After months of resisting them, thinking: "I'll know when my period comes, no need to waste money on those things," today I make a special detour to go to a Duane Read and pick up a test. Or three. Actually I went to two Duane Reads. One didn't seem to have any, and also didn't have any airconditioning. I started to wonder if it was against the pharmacist's religion to stock them or something, and gave up looking for them when I started to sweat uncontrollably. Then I wandered down 5th Avenue, bought myself a Mint Frappucino (who suggested this? I know I read it one of your blogs. I wasn't convinced), then wandered down rather than up Madison Avenue, convinced there must be another Duane Read somewhere near.
Having visited a few side streets, and admired the collection of town cars outside Bear Sterns, I spotted a much more upmarket Duane Read somewhere near 45th Street. I went in and wandered, and again couldn't find the tests. They weren't near the sanitary products - which is where they usually are in the UK by the way - but after some wandering I spotted a "family planning" sign. And there they were, right next to the cash register. What's up with that? They were carefully arranged along with the Monistat. Someone in Duane Read has a sense of humour.
Oh the test? Negative of course. What were you thinking?! 10dpo. Not a chance.
I wish I was more inspired in chosing entry titles. All creativity just seems to fly out the window when faced with the blank post.
I realised on the plane this evening that I've been very poor at responding to comments. I respond to them in my head, and act on them, but I don't tell you that I'm doing so, oh friends in the computer. So I thought being knackered and at a loose end meant it was a good time to catch up on them and a bunch of short thoughts.
1. Exercise. I'm afraid I've chickened out, to the extent that I didn't bring my workout clothes to NYC with me. Now I'm really regretting it because this hotel has a great gym and the time difference will mean I'll be wide awake early tomorrow with plenty of time for a workout. Oh well. It's just the next three days, then we can go back to our usual schedule. I am well aware that the evidence, medical professionals, and many of you know it is a good idea to continue to exercise during the 2ww. For most of last year I did that but somehow right now, through a combination of feeling sluggish, being busy at work, and because I really don't want to take any risk at all of trashing a pregnancy before it's had a chance, I've been steering clear. I've been walking, but that's about it. I know this is pathetic, unecessary, lazy etc., and I'm really having a hard time with eating and weight right now, but somehow laying off the exercise this time has just felt right.
2. 9dpo, and my boobs hurt. I'm writing it here not because I really think it's a symptom (although I cannot explain how desparately I want it to be), but because I can't remember how it's felt on other cycles, so I thought I'd record it now so that next time I can look back and say, hell yeah, that month my boobs hurt like hell from 7dpo onwards, and nada. No nipple tenderness, so I think this is a definite pre-period thing. A bit of cramping. Please the powers that be, this isn't my period starting early. My cycle is short enough without that.
3. The dream. What interesting points from both of you. Were the rest of you intimidated? Feel it was too wierd? I certainly hadn't thought about the baby running away being about infertility but that totally makes sense. Let's see what I dream tonight.
4. Chick lit. Why do I do this? Why do I buy that shiny book at the airport, thinking it will be a nice relaxing read? They're all pretty uniformly dreadful. Mostly I hate the bad writing, poor characterisation, laughable plots, but that's a style thing and if they can get away with it, good luck to them. No, what really bugs me is sloppy editing. Like in the one I just finished, on one page she says the baby needs a 3 hour nap, then 5 pages later she describes his schedule and there's only a 2 hour nap in there. Someone should have caught that. If you want crappy but fun chicklit, I recommend Sophie Kinsella. If you want really good books masquerading as chicklit, I recommend Jennifer Weiner. Otherwise, I'd give it a wide berth.
I should go to bed. Hope all is well in your part of infertility island.
I know other people's dreams are singularly dull to hear about, but then you guys are free to stop reading at any point!
I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I had a baby boy. I had rejected any prenatal testing (I think I'd read someone's blog that day who had done that, my intention if we were to get pregnant would be to do some testing), and when the baby was born I thought he looked fine, if a bit tiny, but everyone around me was trying to avoid my eyes, and gradually his face changed a little until it started to look as if he had Down's syndrome - very very mildly - around the eyes. I wasn't in hospital but in a big house with lots of rooms, quite dark. There was another child with me, looking at the baby. I have the impression she was a girl, but I wasn't paying much attention. H wasn't around.
After a period of looking at the baby, he suddenly clambered out of my arms, and started running around on little skinny legs. He, in my mind in the dream, was still a new baby - there had been no elapsed time - but he looked like a miniature 3 year old (i.e., after they've lost that toddler pot belly), with more hair, a more developed face, but still with very skinny baby-like legs. He had a pointy little face, with no signs of Down's syndrome, and kept running away from me when I tried to catch him. He was running away from me because I'd doubted him by seeing the Down's syndrome that initially I had not seen but that those around me had.
And then I woke up.
Sometimes my dreams leave me very grumpy but this one did not. It didn't leave me happy either, just philosophical. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from it. Perhaps something about being judgemental. I am, very. Yet in the dream I wasn't judgemental until others around me started to be. I was happy with that baby how he was, although I was worried about whether or not he was ok.
I hope I get the chance to not be judgemental about my baby.
5dpo and I'm feeling optimistic. Let's be clear I have no reason to feel this way, but somehow the 2ww mostly finds me that way. Then of course there's the lying on the floor and crying when it doesn't work, but that's still to come.
My dilemma is always how much do I allow myself to hope, and how much do I stop myself from hoping and act negative. On the first hand, hoping is a nice way to feel, even if it is for only 2 weeks. Optimistic, a spring in my step, an amazing ability to resist bad food in case it harms the chances of the pregnancy sticking (yeah, I know, but humour me). However when the bleeding starts - or rather when I know it's about to start because my temperature drops - it's all misery and I think it's that much worse if I allow myself to hope before hand. However walking around convinced it's never going to work is not a pleasant place to be and certainly doesn't improve my marriage.
On reflection, I'm not sure I have much choice in the matter. I seem to start hoping around 3dpo whatever happens. I should learn to just live with it and enjoy it, right?
The good news: Hair appointment went incredibly well. I went to a salon that specialises in colour, since it's the colour and condition of my hair that was worrying me. I paid money to see the daughter of the original owner, who now has her own hair care line. She was fantastic. She spent a good 10 minutes just sitting with me before we started, looking at my hair, discussing what I wanted, offering different ideas, before coming to a strong recommendation about what I should do. She said it will take six months, but that this course of action will get my hair back to better condition and look much more natural and professional. Fab. She was just a nice, thoughtful person - to the extent that when she noticed that the manicurist had moved my chair so that I could no longer reach my tea, she came back across the salon to move my chair closer.
She also got me in to see the best stylist in the place, who was good. He cut my hair a little too short, but since the idea is to get it back into great condition, I'm not going to miss the frizzy ends that much. It grows quickly, anyway. I left feeling beautiful.
Other good news: we've managed to have sex three times in the last four nights, and I ovulated yesterday. So if we have any hope of conceiving on our own, we've given it the best shot yet. Two of the evenings had the potential to be stressful as H got worried, but we eventually managed to both stay calm and enjoy things. Keep your fingers crossed.
Bad news: the bloody acupuncture place didn't put my appointment in the diary, so I rushed there on Friday to find they had no record of me. And of course they're incredibly busy so they had no way to fit me in. It was really disappointing. I'll think about doing it again, but not this month - it will be too hard to find time for the appointment.
A question. What do you all do about exercise? I love working out, although I'm crap at finding the time for it. In reading all your blogs I see all kinds of advice about exercise in the 2ww - from do whatever you like, to put your feet up and don't even walk much. Any ideas as to what beliefs underpin those different pieces of advice? My trainer has trained a lot of pregnant women and she says just to keep your heart rate under 140 (which means I can't run, bummer), and to miss out on the roundhouse kicks when we're kick boxing. Dr Candour said do what you're used to, just don't let yourself get dehydrated. I sweat a lot but I drink a lot of water, so that shouldn't be a big problem. I'd really appreciate some opinions.
I'm bunking off. Or as you Americans would say, playing hooky. My office is closed for two days for an office 'retreat'. I used the excuse of medical treatment to get out of it. They were very understanding, but I'm actually fibbing. If we had managed to get an IUI scheduled for this month it would be happening sometime between now and Sunday. But as you know, that didn't happen. So instead I am supposed to be having two relaxing days. Which of course if you are me means that I've spent about 5 hours today answering emails, doing conference calls, finishing proposals and generally covering for my colleagues who are off having fun. Although I did sit in my pyjamas for an hour this morning, drinking green tea, eating a delicious muesli concoction, and watching America's Next Top Model. How I love that programme (boy have they chosen some odd looking people for this series. Tatiana - why?) And I did spend two hours in the gym at lunchtime and am hence feeling incredibly virtuous.
Anyway, the topic of this message was going to be a bit of gloating about the fact that I'm using this opportunity to pamper myself. Tomorrow I'm having my first ever acupuncture, then on Saturday I am going to one of the top hair establishments in the old smoke to get my hair done. I'm v excited as hair has been driving me bananas for ages. I'm also getting a manicure and pedicure. Now all I need to do is book a massage and a facial and my life will be complete. But that would involve rushing around to fit it in, so in retrospect I'll just enjoy the bookings I do have. Heaven knows I'm going to need that bonus at the end of the month to pay for it all!
What do you guys do about holidays? H and I really need one but every time I look at the diary I struggle to figure out when we can go. Partly because of my work commitments, but partly because my cycle is not completely predictable - it can be anywhere between 23 and 28 days. I therefore can't look more than half a cycle out to see where we will be a cycle at any time. Since my early August cycle will be the first time we can do an IUI given my current clinic's busy-ness, I don't want to be away then. If it doesn't work, I want to be around at the end of August for a second try, so we can't be away then. In between we could go away but we can't get flights at the right time and anyway I'm not sure I want to fly during the 2ww just in case it reduces our chances (can you tell I'm getting really irrational here?).
Plus the holiday we really want to do - to go back to Africa again - we can't do because I can't take malaria tablets if we're trying to get pregnant. So we're struggling to think about where we really want to go. One option is to just have a couple of weeks off and stay at home which I would quite enjoy, but that would disappoint H a great deal. We were going to try a UK cottage holiday but the place we want to get to is booked up. We're overall being a bit pathetic.
So what have you all done? Said "to hell with it" and just gone away anyway? Or tried to build holidays around your cycles and interventions? I'm worried we'll let the summer slip away which will be really bad for both of us.
Your blog won't let me post because I'm not on blogger, so just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you. What a crappy time with the transfer, and so sorry to hear about overstimulation. I hope those embryos are busy implanting as I type.
It's been a busy week, but I've also been feeling uninspired about writing. No progress on pregnancy front, just waiting for this cycle to end. Looks like the timing will be ok this month for us to try "naturally", but I'm uncharacteristically spotting today, rather than my period arriving full force straight away, which makes me think that my body may need another month to recover from the hysteroscopy. We'll see. Work is absolutely insane and I'm constantly behind on my obligations, but somehow managing to keep calm. I promised H I'd start meditating again, maybe this week is the week I finally do it.
Oh, and my best friend had her baby. A girl, as expected. She's big - 9lb 11oz- and "looks like a rugby player" so none of the names they'd picked out work. I'm waiting with baited breath to see what they call her.
And, in breaking news, H has started with the drive-bys. "Darling," he said sweetly as he dried himself off on Friday after his shower, "you know J, my sister-in-law's sister? Well, she got pregnant with number one no problem, but was really struggling with number two, and then she did a course of aromatherapy and bang! There she was, pregnant!". Hands up who thinks I should get an award for not pushing him out of the beguilingly open window at that point. And aromatherapy, I ask you. If it had been acupuncture I might have taken him seriously.
Final titbit. I got the big report on infertility clinics that MsPrufrock was posting about last week. It turns out our current clinic has pretty low percentage success rates in the 38-40 category - about 14%, while another clinic, which would be more convenient for work, has numbers up in the 30s. Do you think I can just write it off to heavy screening at the second clinic (which I think we'd get through due to my great hormone levels and H's great sperm count), in which case we might as well stay with the devil we know, or is there more to it? It seems such a huge disparity...and Dr Candour has said that our chances would be 30% for each cycle with them, which doesn't fit the 14% published rate. I'm confused. If I had any discretionary time right now I'd be checking out this other clinic but mostly I'm just focused on keeping my head above water re work. Speaking of which...