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.


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.


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).


The Pregnancy Calendar Generator

Part of deciding what “the right time” for us to start trying was working around a wedding we wanted to attend and the possibility we wouldn’t be able to fly our airline of choice for summer vacation (airlines are different and WestJet allows flying with a doctor’s note after 32 weeks, but Air Canada doesn’t allow any flying after the 36th week).

I’m bad at month math and even worse at week math, so I created a way to see exactly where weeks 36 and 40 would land if we started in September. I’m glad we didn’t because we could have screwed (ha!) ourselves out of that wedding.

Click here to open the generator in a new window or tab

It’s also handy to see when week 12 is so you can guess when your first ultrasound will be and therefore when you can announce your news.

I did find another site that says I can build a personalized calendar but when I put in an ovulation date in the future, it told me I had to pick a date in the past, so it was not for planning purposes.

It’s very utilitarian but I think I worked out all the bugs. Let me know if you see any problems.  Enjoy!

The Longest Two Weeks

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

I’d been having trouble with time flying by too fast, unable to keep track of what season it was, let alone what month. Little did I know that all I needed to do to fix that was try to get pregnant.

Our first month is a bust as of today. We have to wait a whole month until we know what’s happening next. I blame a poorly timed business trip my husband had to take. I want a do-over for November!

The longest two weeks are between the middle-of-the-month to the end, with the runner-up for longest two weeks being the two weeks after we know we’re not until the time when it feels like we are most effective.

A friend of mine was really open when he wrote his daughter’s birth story and talked about how ingrained the due date was, and how when they “missed” it part of him kept thinking they missed their chance for a baby. I have the opposite problem: I keep thinking of my August due date and forgetting that has passed me by.

Ah well. Maybe Santa will bring me a pregnancy for Christmas.

Modern P.S.

The great thing about a negative the first month is that it gave me a practice month for keeping secrets. I did blurt out at the bar “not yet” to the “are you getting fat yet?” joke, although my audience was all guys I work with and hey probably didn’t realize this was actually significant. I also had to break it to a girlfriend that I would be keeping it from her too until the third month, but let slip that the first was a bust. But with those slip-ups out of the way, I’m much more tight-lipped.

* About Super-Secret Posts: since we are not announcing until 3 months, many of my thoughts have been composed ahead of when I could actually post them. I may later learn how to backdate posts, but for now they’ll just be labeled like this.

To Tell or Not To Tell

That is the question.

We found a good middle ground. We do tell people we are trying to get pregnant, but they are only going to be kept up to date three months behind schedule. We’ll be updating people around the last day of the month.

It sounds so over complicated, but if I suddenly stopped drinking and eating soft cheeses and raw meat, people were going to talk (these were frequent activities of mine). And by keeping them three months behind even for negative news, they don’t take a lack of updates as an obvious yes.

The trickier part was how long it took me to realize I don’t have to explain this big scheme to everyone who asks. “We’re trying” is enough to explain why I’m not drinking. If in a month or so they ask me how things are going and “we’re trying” doesn’t satiate them I can fill them in on the grand plan.

So far everyone has been really good about not pestering us for details. I’m especially proud of our mothers!

And it was hilarious when a coworker asked me if I was getting fat when we were at the bar and I had to refuse the round he had ordered for everyone. The waitress overheard and was so confused as I am quite petite.

The Terminology of “Trying”

My husband doesn’t like the phrase “we’re trying to get pregnant”.

I do see his point that it sounds a bit explicit if you think about it too hard (“We’re having lots of sex this month!”). But I’ve never been fond of anything milder.

The phrases “We’re leaving it up to chance” or “We’re letting whatever happens happen” tickle the edge of my brain as… odd, and maybe even naïve. I used to watch a couple communities about pregnancy and the refrain was “If you’re not using protection, then you are trying”.

Obviously there’s quite a gradient between charting and timing sex vs just stopping protection. But in my hyper-self-aware state right now, my logic is: every woman I know knows her cycle and therefore can infer the half-way point and and is deciding to go ahead with sex at the important time (or not). And if she decides to go ahead, she’s not leaving it up to much chance!

The logic falls apart since most women don’t pay as close attention to cycles as couples who want to get pregnant asap.

I understand that what I’m doing is very far from interventions like in vitro, but I feel like I should sound more decisive… take more responsibility? It’s definitely inaccurate to say we just left it to chance.

TTC is the easy way to say it on the web but I don’t feel like out loud, “trying to conceive” sounds different from “trying to get pregnant.” Maybe I could say the letters out loud: “We’re Tee Tee See” and only explaining it means “trying to conceive” if I get weird looks. I guess since it’s more clinical it’s also less explicit.

Settling In

Well, I’ve got the technical part down: EAP has a domain, email account, flickr, and Twitter. Of course, for me that’s the easy part.

Now, for the style, followed hopefully by some substance. Too bad we sometimes seem to value the former over the latter. Otherwise, I would just code a simple blog with plain-text posts like some of my classmates did back at school. But, it’s too easy to get flair through something like WordPress, so here I am worrying about how different the colours look on my laptop vs my external monitor.

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