Trying Not-Trying

Super-Secret Post
Originally written at the beginning of Month 6 (Mid-March)

I spent a lot of time regrouping after my “take charge” plan failed so flat last round and decided to try the “not trying” thing. Ridiculous, right? I know it’s not supposed to be a strategy, sort of, you know, by definition, but I’ll take a swing at it anyway.

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The March Non-News

Super-secret Post
Originally written end-of-month-#5

March: no. Didn’t have much time to dwell on it since I was busy having a great time back where I went to school. Did drink myself slightly sick and accidentally send my confidant under the table.

The only other thing to mention is that the month labels start to fail soon, so the next “month” is March/April. Turns out a month is not 26 days.

Taking Charge

Super-secret Post
Originally written beginning-of-month-#5 (“March”))

During March, I am super-paranoid about factors under my control.

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The February Non-News

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Written mid- and end-of-February

February is filled with ugly and nothing to show for it. (more…)

All Alone

Super-Secret Post
Originally written end of January

I’m someone who has been involving, um, everyone in this process, but yesterday, today, and tomorrow morning, I’m all alone.

After I thought I had a No for January, suddenly it looked like Not a No. My period is now 4 days late. It’s never even been 3 days late before.

But, after already reporting No to my husband and The One Friend Who Is In The Loop, I don’t want to retract it in case I was right and now I’m wrong. So I’m trying to procure a Yes first.

What I didn’t put together until now is that when average people would use a normal test a couple days after their period was due, I have to use an early detection test, just because of my body’s timing. I’ve heard the dollar-store tests are not inaccurate, just insensitive, but I had bought one before I realized that means for me it’s too long a wait before it’s useful. I wasted it this morning.

So tonight it’s off to the drugstore for something better suited and then tomorrow, I might get to wake up my man with some awesome news.

In the meantime, I’m the only one who knows, and considering my disclosure up to this point, “alone” is a strange place to be.

(That night I knew it was No before I could check again. Sigh.)

The January Non-News

Super-Secret Post
Originally composed end-of-January

Well, no April Fools psych for us this year. (Back at school I used to pull big whoppers every year, so I was thinking if we could announce it could be late on the 31st, which would show up as early on the 1st for my friends who are three time zones ahead. They wouldn’t be sure if I were kidding and I wouldn’t even be posting on April 1. But, it wasn’t meant to be.)

After January, I’m just wondering about numbers. What are the actual chances in each month for couples our ages? (Let’s say we’re both late-twenties.)

And the overall numbers that get thrown around as pregnancy rates for couples using no birth control – 15% chance every month, 85% chance over the course of a year – are they the same as for a couple that are trying 3 times a week? Every day?

I was fascinated to learn that no studies have confirmed the assumption that timing intercourse for ovulation increases chances, but they have seen that couples who try 3 times a week do have higher results. I don’t know if this comes from a misunderstanding of when to time it in relation to ovulation, a misunderstanding of when ovulation really occurs for individuals, or some other factor. (Not sure I still have a source for that; sorry.)

Thank goodness…  I was terrible at taking the pee OPK tests at the same time each day since you’re not supposed to do those ones in the morning.  (Charting temperatures is out until I figure out my bed linens and stop alternating freezing and sweating every morning.) I tried some really inexpensive ones in month 2 and 3 because they sounded like a fun chemistry experiment and so I would know if a day was non-optional… December’s was *not* at day 14 and I messed up January’s testing before reading about that study and giving up. And we’re just not an every-day kind of couple.

This was especially depressing because I was 4 days late after a false start. I’ve never been even 3 days late before. And we didn’t have the excuse of a business trip or illness like the first two months which makes me really nervous.

Relishing the Restricted and Seizing Setbacks

In the stretch of preconception planning that accidentally lasted ten months instead of the expected six, I used the list of things I wouldn’t be able to do while pregnant as a to-do list.

It doesn’t sound like a lot but it kept me busy: I went out to the bar two or three times a month and ate tonnes of sashimi. I pushed myself hard on a local hiking trail which was then far ahead of my fitness level so might have been inadvisable during pregnancy. I soaked in hot tubs whenever I could.

Now that we’re trying, if I hit a setback I usually take a nice hot bath, or split a bottle of wine with a confidante, or climb a little higher on the bouldering wall. Although it pales in comparison to my disappointment, it’s a small commiseration.

The restrictions list isn’t as bad as I thought it would be: pasteurized Brie, tempura and meatless sushi rolls, alcohol-free trips to the bar, and climbing with my new full-body harness are all on the table. But a lot of the things I got out to do “for the last time in awhile” ended up also being the first time in awhile, and now the alternative activities are keeping me social and occupied with my mind off of things some of the time.

As long as I’m not too occupied for sex, anyways.

The December Non-News

Super-Secret Post*
Originally composed end-of-December

It’s after 12 weeks after the beginning of December and I can report that while on the gloomy side of things, we were not pregnant at the end of December, the silver lining is that this blog’s title is suitably ironic now. I thought it would be because there would be so many unexpected things with pregnancy, birth, and parenting, but TTC carries its own basket of goodies. But irony is a must in a household where the snake is named Fluffy.

At the end of December, my thoughts are about accidents.

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Baby Steps: Better Eating

I cleaned up my diet well ahead of TTC. What I figured out while doing so could be useful for anyone who’s sick of eating junk but doesn’t know how to start improving the quality of what they eat.

Since I had been old enough to choose my own food, I just couldn’t feel motivated to eat properly. I knew that at some point I would get my act together but I figured it wouldn’t be until I was pregnant and then probably only last through nursing.

Around 25 I got to feeling like maybe I didn’t have the digestive system of a college student anymore. I also realized that to overhaul my diet I was going to need time to adjust. For one thing, you don’t want to go straight to my diet from frozen french fries and pizza or your digestive system will hate you even more, but I would also need to work my schedule so that I had time to do all the necessary food prep.

So, a little bit at a time, I started introducing good things while phasing out bad things. Presented to you for inspiration: the approximate progression I made, one baby step at a time.

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Anecdotes, Advice, Facts, and Figures

I’ve only had cursory interactions with pregnant women and mothers around my own age, but my incompatibility thus far has me pretty concerned about the day they will be my peers. Specifically, when the conversation turns to advice.

It’s worth mentioning that if you take a random normal person I’m going to be awkward with them… The difference is that normal people don’t usually spot something about me that they feel we have in common to start up a conversation (like I see strangers strike up conversations with my pregnant or mother friends).

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