I was reading some TTC journals last night for some reason, and I think it's because of hitting my one year TTC anniversary (happy anniversary ). I think I was looking for someone who seemed to feel the same way that I do after a year of this madness. I found a lot of women who cry at each failed cycle, avoid baby showers, and get depressed when loved ones get pg--a perfectly normal response. Last night, however, I spent the evening with a friend who has a beautiful, healthy baby girl and it didn't bother me at all. I had a lot of fun and had no twinge when we went home. Am I normal? I know my clock is ticking, and I went through all this when I first starting TTC. When the woman whose baby I saw last night first got pg I went through this with her. What has changed for me?
I wonder if part of it is that I'm not doing any treatments. Most of the women who are affected the most seem to be the ones who are doing IUI and IVF. Is my coping so well (or not coping at all) a part of not doing those treatments? I know that, when you do those treatments, you think about fertility every day. You have bills for treatment, daily doses of drugs, hormonal mood-swings, and doctor visits. You have to process it to the extreme. You have pictures of babies and/or pg women at the doctor's office to remind you sometimes daily. Now, though, for me, I don't think about it much.
I've also made a lot of the decisions already. I know that, when I was first TTC, I had so many decisions to make that it took up a lot of my mental energy and time. Now I have much less to think about. I don't want to get on the clomid roller-coaster anymore. I will get a lap for possible endo. I won't do any treatment for endo since all of them so far make a woman sterile while she's on it. Right now I don't feel bad about not being proactive and, in fact, am hoping that my infertility will maintain trough the summer.
All right, sometimes I do feel a twinge of guilt for putting off treatment and not being a good infertility patient who will do anything to get pg. If I had kept on the clomid would I be pg by now? Or would I have had an ectopic and lost a tube by now? Or would I just be a lot poorer, a lot more anxious and sad, and still not pg? By not doing the treatment am I not doing what I could to give my DH a baby or am I keeping him from having to deal with the daily emotional fall-out? I will never know the answers. I have to trust God's timing is all.
The most I've thought about it lately is when I thought I might O and I hoped to get it over with. How bad is that? It's not even about a baby and just about achieving some goal. I wonder, how many of us TTC-ers have gone from wanting to be a mom to just wanting to achieve motherhood? Are we control freaks under the guise of loving women who just want a baby to care for? Or are we trying to fit in and it seems OK because we share those family values and/or religious beliefs? Does TTC become just an obsession? Will we be disappointed when motherhood isn't as joyous as we imagine? Or will motherhood really be that amazing?
Or is it a personality thing? I just loved the movie Waitress, and the funniest line to me was when she said she was the anti-mom. She hated being pg (although she had lots of reasons for that that don't affect me). When she met her baby, though, well, I won't spoil it. But I hope that, if I do get pg and hate it, that it will work out for the best. Because I can see myself hating being pg despite TTC. I'm too much of a realist. I hate pain. I do not want morning sickness and all the other stuff that goes with it. I have enough physical drama as it is.
Also, I want to be a mom but even taking care of Toby wears on me sometimes. I may not be the anti-mom but I'm no future mother-of-the-year, either. I hope to keep my part-time job after having a baby and, while I'm going to BF as much as possible, I will have a stock of bottles and pacifiers as well. I'll watch what I eat and be reasonable but I'm not going to be as careful as some women. Is that also part of why I'm not as anxious to get pg? Is it a personality thing as much as a control thing? Have I learned to be patient and found peace or do I just not have the confidence that I'll love motherhood?
Maybe, also, it's a cultural thing. I think that, in the Catholic culture, we jump to adoption earlier. There seems to be nothing but respect for adoptive families but extreme caution about even licit treatments like clomid. Whereas some other Christian religions teach that infertile couples aren't as blessed as big families and, therefore, women who don't conceive are maybe looked down on. I kinda wonder if that's happening in my own family but I don't think so. I'll learn more about the Catholic's true perspective as we get older, though, and start getting the when-are-you-going-to-have-children talks. I'm betting that our religion will be that way as much as any other group the longer we go without becoming parents. Right now I think people just see us as young and newlyweds and, therefore, we don't get any pressure to conceive. That does make this much easier for us.
I realized that, since we had finally BD'd, I hoped that I would O and, therefore, we wouldn't miss it. Then I don't have to feel bad about not even having a chance. At least my hope is justified then (since I know I'll have hope regardless of good BD timing). I still worry a little about missing it when my O is later than CD 20 and it becomes a random thing that could just happen at any time (at least through CD 85). DH and I aren't BDing as often as we did when we were first married and missing it is a very real possibility now. Now we sometimes wait long enough that it hurts me when we are together again. We really should go back to BDing at least a little more often so that it doesn't hurt so much. The added advantage would be that I wouldn't necessarily care if I O'd because we'd have more of a chance anyway no matter when it happened. Then maybe I wouldn't think about it at all until AF. I do grieve then, partly because of the cramps, partly because of the hormonal depression, and partly because something is probably wrong with us.
One way or the other, though, I don't grieve my motherhood because I know I will be a mom. I don't know how, but I am a mom. God is waiting until He knows we're ready by His standards. I feel it get closer with each passing month. I didn't used to have that certainty but I started having it after the visit to the foster-care agency.
Also, I look at what has happened over the past year to help us get ready to be parents. I thought we were ready a year ago and now I laugh about that. Who knows what will happen in this year to prepare us even more? Plus, how much closer have we gotten to God? Poverty brings people closer to God (well, not the poverty that leads to starvation, just the poverty that leads to want, lets call it a middle-class version of poverty, an emotional poverty). DH and I have called on God so much. Of course, I'm sure we would if we were expecting, too. There is always a reminder of who is really in charge. But God chose this journey for us. He gave us this desire to be parents for a reason and He won't disappoint.
OK, so I don't claim to be consistent or to know what I really want. The original title of this journal was TTC or Adopt so I can be confusing and uncertain.
I say that because yesterday, after that long post about how I'm not obsessed with TTC, I really started to grieve the one-year mark. I'm so glad that DH and I had already celebrated our anniversary because I was quiet almost to the point of sullenness all morning and afternoon. There wasn't anything on my mind, just a sense of sadness. DH was in great spirits and I just didn't want to bring him down. Mostly, though, I didn't want a lecture from him about having a good attitude. Plus we had a lot of work to do (which I hate on a Sunday) and I was still stressed from last week which had been crazy with a mile-long To Do list.
So, anyway, DH treated me to some ice cream and then, out-of-the-blue, he wanted to go to a bookstore to use a gift card he had. He never has the time to go shopping for fun so I didn't want to say no even though the last thing I wanted to do was go into a bookstore. I always get really introspective there. So we go and I'm hanging out near the front waiting for him to find what he's looking for. Well, for some reason, instead of the usual cook books, they had their baby/pregnancy section right there. I couldn't miss it. I felt like a deer in the headlights. I couldn't walk away. I just really wanted to look at those books and yet I felt like such an impostor that I couldn't get closer. Finally I walk down the aisle scanning the titles and trying to not be seen (you'd think it was porn, for crying out loud). At the end was a puny half-shelf of adoption books intermixed with how-to-talk-to-your-teen-about-sex books (I'm not even going to go there). I picked up one, the book on hurt-child adoption, and started to read about how, because of abortion, contraception, and the rise in divorce rates, (all banned by my religion, BTW) which made single motherhood more socially acceptable, there are fewer infants available for adoption. While I think it's great that more woman are raising their own babies despite being single mothers, and that they are getting more support, that was still depressing to read after seeing all of those cute-baby pictures from the rest of the aisle.
At that point I really just wanted to get pregnant. I didn't care about the physical symptoms. I didn't want to adopt someone else's hurt child. I wanted the adorable child that came from DH and I. OK, so seeing my friend's beautiful baby affected me more than I realized --her child is cuter than the Gerber baby from crying out loud. I wanted a baby of our own that our friends and family would celebrate. I wanted to compare whose eyes and whose hair the baby inherited. I wanted to decorate the nursery and shop for baby blankets. I didn't want to apply to raise a hurt child. I didn't want to take parenting classes and have some social worker determine whether or not we would be good enough to raise a child that belonged to the state. I didn't want the knowledge that any child we fostered could be taken away from us with two-hours notice. I wanted to name the child ourselves, raise the child from birth, breastfeed the baby. I didn't want the looks I would get from holding a baby that obviously wasn't ours ("are you babysitting?") and I didn't want to console my black child when he realizes the difficulties of being raised in a mixed family. I just wanted a baby, a cute, healthy, whole baby that was mine and not the state's.
The kicker is that, while this is not a bad thing to acknowledge finally, I know that, before I adopt, I have to go through a lot more of this. I have another year of this before I can begin the process of doing exactly that which I'm scared of. The fact is that these hurt children need homes and DH and I want to be parents. We can do all that which we're afraid of. I still do feel the call to adopt.
So then I'm more depressed, feeling like I don't belong anywhere and knowing that, as of this weekend, I'm officially infertile. I'm thinking about how, a year ago, I thought this might happen but still had so much hope that I would be pregnant by now. Thinking this might happen and have it confirmed does not make me feel better; actually it makes me feel worse. It sunk in how DH and I really do have a fertility problem and I won't know for several more months if my tubes are blocked with endo or not. I don't know if it's a waste of energy trying to predict O and trying not to miss it. I don't know if pre-seed would really help or if there are MFI issues to work with.
After that, I had to tell DH what was going on because I didn't want him to spend our anniversary thinking I was mad at him. He knew something was wrong. So, over dinner, I told him what I was thinking about. Almost right off he started with the "we all have a cross to bear" speech and I got so mad. I told him that I didn't want to fight but that was exactly why I hadn't told him earlier. I asked him, if my mom had died, would he say that. He said no, that he would just give me a hug and let me be sad. I looked at him and said, "Exactly". Praise God he got it and didn't say another word. We watched a movie and he gave me a back rub instead .
I'm just now beginning the real part of grieving this loss, this infertility. It's a death I feel most keenly on our marriage anniversary because that's when we started TTC. It's a death without a headstone, a death with no finality or closure. It's a death in retrospect--AF comes and that's how we know we didn't, in fact, conceive this time. It reminds me of how I felt when my parents divorced when I was in college. I was grieving a loss that no one would let me mourn and no one understood or knew what to say. Except then I got closure eventually, years later. Although I guess I will get closure on this someday, too. I just hope I don't have to wait until menopause for it to happen!
I've changed my schedule a bit to have a day home each week. It is such a blessing to not have to rush anywhere. Granted, it's my work-at-home day, and, therefore, not exactly restful, but at least I can work on my time. That was something I loved about not working outside the home last year.
Anyway, I was so excited yesterday when I thought I had ovulated. My temp was 97.7, .4 higher than my base of 97.3. All the signs fit and I was really happy. Well, almost all the signs--I did have EWCM yesterday and the day before which doesn't make sense. Anyway, AF would have come on the weekend that I'm not working so I wouldn't have to worry about calling in sick at the last minute and having to explain why a woman in her late twenties still has bad cramps (OK, I don't know myself, but I'd have to tell my boss something). I could just suffer through them at home and be prepared for when they were coming. This morning, though, my temp was only 97.5.
Is it an anno cycle again? I got used to those but I really hate it now. I tried having baby-making time and I couldn't enjoy it. I couldn't just relax and be with my husband. If felt like work which is weird. If I didn't O then I'm not going to keep initiating because I happen to have CM and might O any day now. I still want DH to initiate more. I'd hate to miss it but I would hate it worse if we ruined our intimacy in the process.
This morning I started to think about calling my old RE, the one I liked. He's not on our plan but he seemed the most likely to work with us. Would it be worth the money? It's scary to put so much into it. I don't even know how much it would cost to use someone outside the plan. If this was something like an earache I would want the cheapest care, just someone who could make it stop hurting. But this is so different. This doctor works for a clinic that does total care. He could do my lap, I bet, and they do SA. That's not uncommon but he may be willing to let us collect the sample at home. That's the only way we could get a sample. We really should get DH tested at this point or soon. I hate to have DH take time off of work now, though. He started his job not that long ago and what if it led to him being fired somehow? His industry is so uncertain. Plus he's hourly now so it would have a direct effect on his paycheck. I think I will call and see if the doctor will call me back so I can ask some questions. Does the clinic have later hours or weekend hours for DH? Can the doctor do a lap? How much will these treatments likely cost? He'll probably have to transfer me for that last question. I also need to tell the doctor about the depression caused by the prometrium. I think my LP is OK now, though, so hopefully he won't harp on that. My LP has been 10-13 days with little spotting since I got off of that stuff so maybe it did the trick. I won't take it anyway so he'll need to either leave it alone or I'll need to find another doctor. And finding doctors is very difficult (although my MIL has suggested one that may be good, and he's closer, too).
I guess I feel like I'm ready to get back to the doctor now. It's been six months and I've learned a lot. Mostly, though, my cycles aren't getting any more predictable and we're more financially stable. In a way I feel like we should just do this while we have insurance since DH can lose his job and his insurance any day now. We might as well do this while we can instead of waiting until we have more money or another emergency that will use up the money we have. We'll do what we can and stop when we either have to (no money/insurance) or we hit a wall in the treatment and there is no hope there anymore. We both want a baby and we have to go through this before we can adopt anyway.
I feel much better about seeing a doctor. I called my old RE, the one I got along with really well. I have an appointment to see him soon. He said he would give me a discount since he's not on my plan, and, best of all, he said he'd work with our religion to get DH tested.
I'm nervous about what this could cost us financially. I wish that we didn't have to feel like we were paying to have a baby when so many people just end up pregnant. After all, if we do get pg then the expenses will only increase.
However, this is a journey. I told DH (more for my sake than his) that we can't see any of this as a waste even if we're still not pregnant by the end of it and we spend a lot of money and we're more confused than ever. We are discerning God's will. That would be like seeing the time I spent discerning religious life (whether or not to be a nun) as a waste because I could have been dating more then. God obviously knew what was best because I still got married to a great guy, a guy who I wouldn't have met until the time it happened anyway. Discernment is all about getting more information while praying about what God wants us to do. If we focus on getting diagnostics, and we pray together about it, and we learn how to communicate about this with each other, and we get some information (even if it doesn't make sense at the time), then this is successful. Just like a successful dating relationship doesn't necessarily end in marriage, as long as the two people don't hurt each other and they both learn what God wants and grow closer to Him, then this can be successful without getting pregnant. We are taking a journey of faith and using the doctor to give us information that we can't get without help.
My main questions at this point:
Do I have endo, and, if so, will he treat it surgically?
Is there something I can do to ovulate more often without prometrium or clomid?
Is DH healthy reproductively?
If we find out that my only hindrance is not Oing often (no endo or after treatment for endo) and that DH is healthy then we can focus on Oing more often. That may mean clomid. If I know with more certainty that an O with good timing has a great chance of pg then I'll be more comfortable with it. DH and I know the sacrifice of it and we know we need to communicate about it. I know what kind of treatment I want while I'm on a clomid cycle. That won't make it easier but at least we'll have a better idea of how to approach it.
Despite laying it out like this I still dread the certain confusion. Meeting with doctors always makes things more difficult than it should be. I get so overwhelmed! Add the moral dimension and it's even worse. At least I remember that this guy was nice to me and, while I didn't feel any less confused, at least I didn't often walk away angry at him. That's a huge improvement! I hope we get some real answers and have peace with the outcome, whatever it is. I wonder how long this treatment will last, and how much time I'll spend on this. I hope DH doesn't have to miss too many hours.
I'm very proud of DH for being so supportive. He's genuinely glad I made the appointment. I didn't give him any heads-up that I was going to do it since it was a spontaneous decision based on my temp going down instead of up. I think he really wants us to get pg and he's happy to see me moving forward. We'll see how it goes when he gets the bills!
We were really concerned about all the flea bites that DH had so we used a spray for the carpet and upped Toby's topical dosage to once every three weeks. Well, today, just over two weeks from the last dose, I saw a flea on Toby. Then I took a closer look at the "zit" on my skin and realized it was a flea bite. It didn't itch but it did look like it was getting more swollen with each day and it was filled with pus (ewww).
The fleas make sense. I thought I felt a few jump on me but I ignored it. I knew he was biting at himself still, and his rear-scooting and eye drainage hasn't improved. I ignored it, though, since I thought for sure this time we'd taken care of the problem.
However, I realized that, even if the flea meds keep the fleas from biting Toby as much, the fleas still ride into the house on his fur. They still bother the dog, and he's still biting at himself. That leads to him having a skin infection which will get harder to treat if he becomes immune to the antibiotic. Then, since Toby and the carpet are covered in poison, the only safe meal the fleas have is...us.
Stopping our daily walks isn't an option because it would be cruel to a dog that was bred to hunt. He is high-energy if he doesn't get a walk. He is wonderful if he does get a walk. I would feel horrible if I knew he was wired up in his crate while I was at work and he would drive me crazy if I was home with him. Walks are not an option with a cocker spaniel. He'd go crazy (maybe literally; after all, he is purebred).
We want a baby, either by conception or by fostering/adopting. As long as fleas come into the house the baby would be the ideal target since the baby is defenseless. How would it break our hearts to see any baby covered in flea bites? Plus, how much damage would it do to cover the carpet (where baby crawls) and the dog (where baby touches) with poison? Even a baby blanket would have to be treated so that the fleas don't live in it. This would particularly be bad for a foster baby who may have had health issues in-utero? I don't even want to deal with this while pregnant.
We originally got a dog after watching our friends have a great experience. However, we ended up with a dog that is over twice the size of any of theirs. None of them walk their dogs and they're fine. If we never walked our dog we wouldn't have fleas so bad, either.
Part of this is because the breeder lied to us. They told us the dog wouldn't get over 15 lbs. The dog is 6 months and already 20 lbs. I told her I wanted a Cavalier, which is bred to be lap dog and doesn't need to be walked as much. She sold us an active cocker spaniel. So part of this isn't our fault (although we should have read the contract better, so it's our responsibility of course). She even told us Toby was a lap dog. If we had gotten what we thought we were paying for this may not be an issue. We may have gotten a dog that can be kept inside with less problems.
Now, though, we have a decision to make. This dog is wonderful temperament-wise. He is gentle and well-trained with the intelligence to make play fun even for us. He is easy to walk with his head-collar and hardly ever barks anywhere. He rarely whines anymore, either, since we trained him to stop. He is house-trained and only had 4 accidents in the three months we've had him. He is so cute and we get compliments about him all the time, particularly at the vet where they say he is one of the best cocker spaniels they've had in a long time if not ever. We have to watch him when he's out of his crate but he isn't bad about chewing up our stuff. He generally sticks to his toys. You would never know we have a dog just be looking at our furniture and shoes. He's never bitten anyone or been abused. He would be an awesome dog for a family with school-aged kids as long as someone would walk him daily. We assumed it would be our school-aged kids we took care of him for.
At the same time, we can't put our babies' health at stake. I don't want to be surrounded with poison while pregnant or with a baby. I hate that DH and I are being bitten no matter what we do.
Then, to factor in the cost. I had originally budgeted a certain amount per month to care for Toby. Now, however, with the flea issue, it will cost almost 3x that amount. We don't have that much to spend on the dog. Not with still getting the medical treatment we need and especially not with getting pregnant or bringing a child into our home.
I wish it was easy, but DH has bonded more than I even imagined to this dog. DH has shown me that, no matter who are children are, he will love them and give them the best care. He accepted Toby as he is, despite all the surprises and disappointments, and wanted only the best for the dog. He takes the time to play with Toby, feed him, walk him, and doesn't worry about the money so much even though DH is normally more frugal than me. DH is so forgiving when the dog tries to chew something or starts to whine. I know, from watching DH with Toby, that DH is going to make an amazing dad some day, no matter who our kids are or no matter what their limitations. I'm also really proud of how DH has gotten better about being firm with the dog which will be important when he's a parent. DH given so much and really doesn't want to let go of this dog.
I don't blame him. I feel so cruel working so hard to bring Toby into our family, spending literally thousands (during a lay-off no less) and then asking DH to give him up. I could say it's a waste but I know better. I believed that we were following God. I learned about myself, DH, and our capacity for love. We got a lot of experience with dogs that may come in handy later. This is discernment and we're learning how to make decisions. We have to have faith. Neither of us knew anything about dogs except what we read. It seemed like a good idea and it was, in a way. If it was just us and there wasn't the hope of babies in our lives then we'd keep him for sure and just be persistent with the treatment.
Then I had an idea. What if we gave the dog to a good home now, while we're wanting a baby, and keep all the non-perishable things. Then, if we have a child who begs for a dog, we have the option of getting one. If we go to the SPCA and get a healthy dog (by luck, I know) then we can hopefully avoid issues like the ones we had this time. We'll only have to pay to bring the dog home and not the vaccination and neutering issues. Most of the money we spent this time was at the vet and to the breeder, two things we could hopefully avoid next time if we're both smart and lucky. We'll have the start-up stuff and just need to buy a few random breed/size-specific things and the disposable things like wipes and food. Having a dog with a school-age child could be fun as long as they're not really allergic or have very sensitive skin. We would know about fleas and could decide what kind of breed we wanted and the risks either way. We'd know from experience about how much it could cost minimum and we could make a truly educated decision about whether or not to have a dog and whether or not it's in the budget. We'd know which products are a waste and which actually work. Some kids do really well with dogs and fleas would be an OK price to pay for the joy it would bring to them. We know that DH and I like dogs and how much work it is to care for them.
I need to talk to DH more about it but I think he's seeing what I mean. I hate this and wish we weren't actually talking about giving up our dog. In a way Toby is such a burden but he's good for us, too. We like caring for him and we'll miss him. We'll miss seeing him grow bigger and I'll miss him companionship on our walks. I know I need to walk and there were mornings that only the fact that Toby needed it got me up and outside. I liked training him and seeing the results of that training. I love when he falls asleep near my chair and when he's happily laying on my lap or gnawing at his rawhide. Most of all I love watching DH with Toby. They both are so joyful. And now I'm asking DH to give that up.
DH and I had a long, tearful talk last night. I wish we could say that we resolved some things but at least we tried to communicate.
This is a small thing, but I realized how many things I've done to try to cope with infertility. My cycle right now is so confusing and I feel like God is mocking me sometimes. I know He isn't but I'm so confused. God gave me a wonderful husband who will make an amazing dad. He gave us this desire to have kids. Then he gives me this messed-up body, clueless doctors, and, at times, severe budget restrictions. He's given me every pregnancy symptom known to man and no pregnancy. He's given me every different type of cycle issue I've ever heard of (my cycle gallery looks like a textbook of fertility problems).
To cope with it I've tried denial, not TTC (which always leads quickly to me regretting it when some new, wacky symptom occurs and I have no idea what's going on), clomid, getting a job, getting a dog, various hobbies, spending more time out with the girls, volunteering, more time with family, less time with family, more BD, less BD, therapy, chocolate, dieting, exercise, learning more about babies and childbirth, staying away from babies, praying, retail therapy, saving money, avoiding doctors, seeing doctors, being more active at church, taking a break from the church group, and more. I feel like this whole past year is one big coping strategy.
Anyway, one good thing in our talk is that I realized that finding a new home for the dog wasn't just about the pesticide (although I maintain that it's bothering me). DH kept saying that it can't be a big deal since so many familes have dogs with babies. Then I reminded him how few owners actually walk their dogs daily and, therefore, don't have as many problems with fleas. I very rarely see someone else walking their dog and I walk at various times in the morning and at various places. I think more people walk their dogs in the evening but it's still not the majority. So the pesticide issue still bothers me.
One thing I may try is just to walk him on short walks around here and leave him home when I walk with my MIL at the park a couple days a week. Maybe DH can walk him on those evenings? Toby seems to get fleas worse when I walk him there. We're still going to treat him every two weeks and spray the carpet every two weeks as well. I can only pray that we can somehow be able to reduce the amount of chemicals we use when/if I get pregnant and/or foster/adopt a baby. DH said he'd look into it and I'm going to hold him to that.
There are, though, other reasons that I finally admitted to myself and DH. Taking care of Toby is much less fun and way more work than I expected. Maybe it gets easier? When I was home during the day it was fine, even fun. Now, though, the dog gets much less attention. I hate to leave him cooped up while I'm home but it's exhausting to always worry what he's chewing on. When I'm home I have much more to do now. Mornings I have to work are the worst. I'm always running around and thinking of what I'd rather be doing.
There are other consequences of walking him daily--he stinks, the house probably stinks, and his fur is not pleasant to pet anymore. That dog needs a bath and I'm not supposed to give him one. At least he's getting groomed this weekend. I know that a daily walk is good for him but there is going to have to be some changes. I'm not sure what, though. I don't want to pet him when he has the pesticide on his fur and treating him every two weeks means that he always will. What is the fun of having a dog and not being comfortable touching it? I'm probably overreacting but I try to avoid harmful chemicals and that stuff can't be healthy. If I get pregnant then I'll definitely avoid touching him much during the first several days after treatment and be extra-careful about washing my hands.
I'm also going to bathe him every two weeks since we'll apply the pesticide every two weeks. I'm sure it's not great for his skin but I'm sick of him smelling so bad. We'll let up in the winter but, for now, we'll try it. We use a gentle soap so it will hopefully be OK. And the other advantage is that, if we leave it on ten minutes, it helps kill fleas. Bathing Toby isn't so bad anymore either. He doesn't seem to mind so much.
I think that I'm going to stop taking Toby for long walks. I'm only going to walk him around the neighborhood. Plus, I'll have DH walk him in the evenings on the days that take a long walk with my MIL so he won't be in strong sunlight. This way I'll be walking him three times a week and DH will walk him four times a week (and I'll probably join him if my legs aren't too sore for some of those). This way we're sharing the walking responsibility and both getting exercise, at least some. So no more two-mile walks I felt good doing that but, ironically, it's because of the dog that I'm stopping. However, I wouldn't walk at all if I hadn't been taking care of him so it's OK. Plus, it takes a lot of time and I'm way more busy than before. I don't have time off anymore unless I work to keep Sundays free and even then it doesn't work out often.
Anyway, so the point of all that is that we're keeping Toby. I changed the budget to reflect the reality of caring for him. I can only pray that we'll find a way to reduce the cost or that God will keep providing. I pray that all those chemicals don't hurt our family and/or that we find a way to reduce how much we use and still avoid an infestation.
I also talked to DH more about TTC. I told him that I had stopped telling him every time I have fertile CM awhile ago. I told him that I would like him to ask me every once in awhile what kind I have. I told him that, best case scenario, he asks me on a day that I do have fertile CM and then he initiates BD. Then he's doing the work and decision making I've been doing all by myself for a year. I rarely chart anymore, only the basics like if I BD on a day of fertile CM and my temps when I have certain symptoms. I felt like he wasn't looking at my charts when I did do all that work since he never initiated anyway. If he gets better at initiating and asking then I'll start charting again. He said he wants a baby and he wants me to get pg. He said he was really glad I made that doctor's appointment to start getting things taken care of. I told him I was glad that he finally said something! He also said that he figured that we didn't have any chance right now which was why he wasn't really thinking about it yet. He knew I wanted to wait on the treatment and that I was probably infertile. I told him not to give up yet and to keep talking about it with me. I said that I felt like I was working on my own to have a baby and to care for Toby. He said he's worked, too, but I said that I have to make all the decisions which is harder.
He has made two decisions that took a lot of burden off of me. He was the one who pushed for the house. It wasn't my idea and I wasn't happy to do that when we did. Now I'm glad, though, and it wasn't as much of a burden because it wasn't my idea. Also, he said last night that he didn't want me to work at the library anymore after I have a child. He had agreed that I could because he respected my right to make decisions about my career. When I told him that I wanted him to be a more traditional husband and be a leader, however, he said that he wanted me home when we have kids. I was actually relieved when he said that. Yes, I will miss working there and I will miss being with adults. However, I'm tired now and I can only imagine all the work of a new child plus finding/paying for childcare along with it. Heck, I'll probably bring the baby and go there anyway now that I know how many parents are there and that they have programs for moms. I'll still work for my MIL since I can bring the baby with me. So I like it when DH makes an executive decision and he does sometimes. It takes the burden off of me when he does that.
After a lot of thought and some prayer (should be the other way around, lol) we decided that we're going to keep Toby for now. We both talked to several dog owners and it seems like this is just something we're going to have to learn to deal with. We haven't walked him except for once around our neighborhood and we haven't been bitten by fleas in the last several days since we treated the dog topically. I'm really hoping that he was picking up new fleas at the park. If neither of us get more flea bites this week then I'll be more hopefully. We'll keep treating the carpets once a month with the spray we used this past weekend and we'll keep treating Toby twice a month. I haven't laundered all of the linens yet but I'm going to wait until I see more fleas for that. We'll vacumn at least every-other week and DH is going to spray the back yard tomorrow night for fleas as well. A week after Toby is flea-free and we stop getting bitten then we'll try walking him around our neighborhood again to see if the fleas come back. If so then we'll know that we can't walk him anywhere. He is really hyper but we'll have to deal with it. His eyes are still kinda runny but it's not as bad and it's less infected-looking. He was scooting his rear for the last couple days, though, even though we just got him groomed. At least he's much more pleasant to have around. His fur is super-short and I like it better that way. As for the cost, I just have to deal with it. We'll deal with baby issues when that comes.
My cycle was confusing but it's a little more clear now. I'm 9 or 11 DPO today. I started using a progesterone cream a few days ago and my temps went up to the normal post-O temps after that. I'm also taking a cayenne tablet every day and taking my B vitamins. I'm eating spinach every day for lunch for vitamin K which helps as well. This treatment isn't unpleasant so I'm hoping that it will prolong the LP and, maybe, make AF less painful. I also had bad depression and irritability on Sunday but yesterday it wasn't so bad. I'm really tired, like AF is already here, but everyone is tired around here since it's so hot. I'll take tiredness over irritability any day! I'm not as hyper as I can get on PMS either but that may start very soon. I also haven't had the libido surge that almost always comes right before AF, either. I have some acne, some WCM, and persistent mild nausea, all characteristic of PMS. No spotting yet which is great. This may be a healthy-enough LP after all. Even if spotting begins today that would be OK. I also have some mild cramping but it was worse this past weekend. I crave the usual PMS things--chocolate and protein like eggs or beef.
I was hoping to kinda take it easy this week but no such luck. I'm putting in extra hours today and tomorrow. I can rest Friday, though, and kinda on Saturday, too. I really hope AF hits on Friday! I can rest all day and it wouldn't hurt any plans or affect my work. It will be hard to be on AF with a baby in the house (we have friends visiting this weekend) but at least I can deal with it in peace at home. Hopefully I'll be OK by Monday.
Yesterday I got one spot of bright red. Of course I immediately thought that, OK, here it comes.
Then, of course, I thought that it might be implantation spotting.
Sigh. That's how it goes!
It makes it even more intense that I don't know how long ago that I O'd. It might have been two Fridays ago, making this 13 DPO, because my temp dipped to 97.1 that day. I also had WCM. However, with my zig-zag temps, Sunday makes lots of sense, too, as does Saturday. It would depend on which of those days was the last day my temp was 97.3 and, since I wasn't temping that weekend, I'll never know. So I might only be 10 DPO.
This morning I had some intense cramping but they went away quickly. My temps are holding steady at 98.0 for the last three days. I'm still craving chocolate and protein like mad. I was really irritable last night and really emotional all day. I cried twice in one day at times that I wouldn't normally cry.
So, with all the signs that AF is definitely on her way, I should just expect it and move on. However, AF scares me now. I'm scared of the depression. I'm scared of what thoughts will run through my head. I'm scared of what I'll say to DH or try to do. I'm scared of the despair. I'm also scared of the irritability and being a real jerk to loved ones and rude to strangers. Add to that I'm scared of the intense pain that can hit any day now.
I still have hope that AF won't come and I'll have good news for once. This hope, though, is irrational. I don't get it. It's purely emotional, that I want AF to not come. If I got brownish spotting today it'd be both a sign that AF is coming very soon and a sign of pg. My cramps are both a sign of AF and a pg sign, too. I'll still be heartbroken when AF arrives. I hate this! It's so intense, and it will just happen all over again in the near future. I need closure of a more permanent kind but I can't get it. My mom brought up yesterday how she was scared that I was going to find out that I couldn't get pregnant (in context it wasn't a bad conversation).
I told her that sterility wouldn't be the worst thing. At least then I would not only have closure but I could treat what's wrong. I could take medicine for endo (if I have it) and antidepressants for my PMS. All of those meds are not OK for women trying to get pg. Yes, I would go through the whole grieving process all over again. But at least I would have closure sooner rather than many years from now. I could move on quicker to other options. In reality, though, I don't see a doctor saying that. This treatment and testing could be very drawn out and we may open and close many doors before any kind of closure is found. I'm still glad that I see my doctor next week.
I started the brown spotting yesterday night and I knew what it meant. I was really disappointed but not surprised. At least I didn't get AF on a work day. It's going to hit tomorrow or Saturday and I can rest those days. If I'm lucky and get a 13 day LP (my longest) then it will be Sunday but my progesterone isn't high enough for a strong LP.
I worry a lot about my LP which is why I'm obsessing so much this cycle. I don't know what day I likely O'd so I keep playing guessing games with myself. It wouldn't be a big deal except that I can't take any of the medicines without wicked s/e that put me in danger. I know that my RE, who I'm seeing next week, is big on checking that. What do we do if he says my levels are too low? Is that it, no more TTC? Or are there other-more expensive-treatments? I dread that, too, as we try to find a treatment that won't make me very depressed and extremely nauseous. It's just one more thing on my mind.
For good news, though, for a woman who's a day or two away from AF I feel remarkably good. No depression, mind clear, no irritability or hyperness. I'm just tired but that's from allergies and everyone around here is tired, too. I think that's why I have so much irrational hope this time. I have the physical symptoms of PMS but not the more prevalent mental ones. All I did differently was use a progesterone cream starting just a few days ago. The day after I started it my temps went up to 98.0. That isn't high, in fact, that's a low temp for the last few days of the LP. However it's sure better then the lousy 97.6 I had just a few days before that. I hope that, if I temp better next cycle and start the cream sooner, that my post-O temps will be better. I used to get post-O temps of over 98.6 over a year ago and even then my doctor said my progesterone levels were bad Plus, even if I start AF tomorrow, I've had three days of spotting so far (but only two days of the brown stuff). Too many days of brown spotting is yet another sign of low progesterone.
What I did this time seemed to help so here is my plan for next cycle:
Walk four days a week (with Toby, as the flea problem has gone away for now and I'm hoping that it was a problem with the park and not our street).
Temp every day. I hate the constant awareness but I hate the guessing games during the 2WW even worse. Even if I'm not doing it to TTC I need to know what's going on.
Use the progesterone cream after I get/make crosshairs.
Keep eating the spinach salads. I have not had the old medical issue related to fiber since I started doing that and it's a great source of nutrients I need, especially vitamin K for a lighter AF.
Take a cayenne tablet every day during the second week of the 2WW to help with the pain of AF.
Be extra careful to take my B vitamin every day during the 2WW.
That is a lot but some of it is stuff I'd do anyway or is no big deal. If it keep the depression from getting really bad and if it makes my LP healthier (and, therefore, lessens the risk of miscarriage) then it's worth it.
Although I don't know for sure that it will keep the depression away entirely since I may get it tomorrow and start AF Saturday. Last time it didn't hit until the day before and it was really bad. So I'm not out-of-the-woods yet. At least tomorrow I'll be able to relax and generally keep to myself. Maybe I can just sleep it off. Still, I would be thrilled to not get it at all this time. It would help my confidence big-time.
When AF hits it's normal for me to think about adoption. While AF isn't here just yet I got yet another confirmation that it's only a matter of time. At least God answered my prayers for it to come on the weekend so I don't have to explain at work. Anyway, DH and I have been dealing with a communication issue and it came out big-time with the dog struggles we had this past week.
Basically, I'm impatient and I will say that I want something. What's more, the bigger the decision, the faster I go! My first car was the first car I saw. My first job was the first job I felt right about. DH and I only dated four months before getting engaged (while I didn't propose I sped the process along at times). I have never regretted those, either. Not to say that I don't do my research but, to be honest, the research is almost more to help me cope with the decision more than anything. I've pretty-much always gotten what I set out to get/do.
I was the same way with Toby, and, now that I'm married, things have to change. I realized that I didn't like feeling like Toby was mine. I was doing most of the work and all of the hard decisions. I took him to the vet, shopped for him, and signed him up for obedience classes. I did most of the research and read the books. I decided what breed to get. However, when I decided it was time to reconsider, DH finally took a stand. He wanted to keep the dog. I got confused--wasn't it my dog, after all? No, it wasn't and I didn't want it to be but I felt totally responsible. It was a confusing situation for me. We decided to share the work load more, not because I'm shrugging off my housewife responsibilities but because I want us both to feel ownership.
I realized I was doing the same thing with adoption. I hated to admit it because I had felt called to that from a young age. I've done so much reading on it and I know these kids need a home. The thing is, though, that DH won't tell me what he wants no matter how much I ask. He won't tell me what age he wants, just that he doesn't want to pay for the process. That isn't a good sign! He was like that with the dog, too. He went along with it but didn't say much until I asked him to contribute half of the money. Then he started hedging more and I put it off until later. In fact, I didn't really feel like it was partly his dog until he wouldn't let me place it in a new home.
Of course I needed to talk to DH about the idea of adoption to see how it fit and to see what he thought. I have to accept, though, that, if the same thing happened with adoption as happened with the dog we're doing huge harm to the child. I have to know before we bring that child home that he is absolutely on board 100%. I can't have doubts about it being my idea and my desire not his. I can't wonder if he's going along with it for me. He'd do that, too. He hasn't said no this whole time. He went along with me to the foster-care meeting and participated even more than me. He liked the agency a lot. At the same time, he never brings it up. He was more enthusiastic about me getting medical care then he is about adoption.
It's hard to give up the idea and I know I'm not giving it up for sure. I can't go through another year without that back-up plan, to think that I won't be a mom for sure. But DH is much more patient then I am, and I think he has hope in the medical treatment. He's never shown any impatience to be a dad. He's never shown any pain or frustration at not being a dad yet. He gets asked about it more than I do, especially at work. But DH wants to conceive a child, not adopt a child. I do, too. It bothers me to say that. I just hope that the medical treatment works! We're putting a lot of faith in it. Not to say that adoption won't happen. I'm just saying that, after the experience with the dog, and how we made the decision (or how DH let me make the decision and I didn't know what he wanted) we need a lot more time. We need to communicate better. I need DH to bring it up and tell me what he wants. I'll probably still take him to the adoption meeting later this year but just for more info. I need to see DH excited about it. I'd need him to do half the paperwork willingly.
I also worry about DH bonding so much to a child and then having to let the child go. DH is so loving and he's sensitive in a good way, too. I wonder about adoption of a newborn who was put up for adoption (any race). I wonder now if that might be the best for us emotionally. It would still be expensive but the emotional risk is different. The mom chose adoption instead of having the child taken from her. I can only imagine how PO'd I'd get with the foster-care system no matter how much we like the agency now. So we're very far away from that. I really hope we conceive or that both of us grow to really want to adopt. It all seems so far away.