Here Are 4 Fun Links in Exchange for Advice!

So fair warning, there’s some body talk here that you might not want any part of. I mean seriously, unless you’re here for the whole trying to conceive nitty gritty, you’ll want to reconsider moving any further in this post. To emphasize that I’m really not kidding, here are a few links of awesome to divert you whilst waiting for something brilliant to emerge in this space. Though honestly, if that’s what you’re waiting for, I’m concerned for you.

22 cats who are out to get you. Really.
Crazy baby science.
Visit 1950s Disneyland! For those of us from the west, Disneyworld was impossibly far away.
Have I sent you all here? I love it. Some of the videos are a but slow/above RR but every so often there’s something brilliant for the three year old set. The rest of the time, they are awesome all on their own!

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Okay. That’s enough of a spacer for them, don’t you think? I mean, surely the folks that don’t want to hear about mucous have fled by now. And those that haven’t, well…they just did.

Not only am I not pregnant, my period this month was very different than normal. Its arrival was heralded by spotting for a couple of days (I’m a faucet on/off girl) and everything was the wrong color and consistency. Things finally got back to normal and then sputtered out in much the same way they came in. The whole thing only lasted a couple of days longer than usual but if we were playing “Name that Cycle!” in a dark room I’d have lost. Furthermore (this is my favorite outraged word), I’ve broken out six ways to Sunday in places I haven’t broken out since I was 13. What’s that on my neck?! My perfect, pale, spotless chest?! Okay, well, it’s not perfect but give me a scrap of dignity. I’m talking about acne here. Also, I’m not digging the random breakouts on my face. The side of my nose? Dude. Not okay.

I tell you all that to ask you this: should I mention this odd period to my doctor? I mean, maybe this was a now you’re pregnant now you’re not moment and it’s just something for us to acknowledge and move on. Do any of you have any experience with anything similar? Should I just ignore it because all female patients are hysterical anyway? I’M KIDDING. Should I tell them now (last of the spotting was this morning – seven days later and I’m a four day and a day of spotting girl)? Should I tell them when I go back for the next IUI? Does this even matter? Am I mountain out of molehilling and if so, it’s okay to gently pat me and send me on my way as long as you provide cookies. Rather, don’t, because I’m eating my feelings and, as my pants will graciously tell you, that is also not okay.

I’m not expecting to ovulate until the 18th so I’ve got some time for things to work themselves out. But seriously, ugh.

Unicorns

By way of an update, we’re starting the next cycle today. I’m a day late which, let me tell you, not only tricks you into fervently hoping that maybe you’re one of those people who spots while pregnant and still gets a negative pregnancy test but also convinces you that unicorns exist.

To be clear, I’m not saying they don’t. I haven’t yet seen proof that they don’t.

fat unicornThe lateness hiccup is also inconvenient because we’re headed to an amusement park at the end of the month. Assuming things continue apace, I’ll ovulate on the 16th or 17th, making the 29th (the day of awesomeness and roller coasters) a mere 13 days or so from the IUI. I’d been hoping to squeak the full 2 weeks in before we went but alas. Don’t worry, I’m hoping this will jolt my eggs into an “I’ll show you!” display and this time it’ll catch.

 

 

Probably Not Pregnant

I’ll go ahead and save you the finger exercise: It’s too early to know! Lots of people don’t feel anything til weeks after! Be patient! This has as good a chance of working as not working! And you guys, you are the best ever. Because you tell me this even though you and I both know there’s nothing to fix it but to actually know.

But let me tell you. Even in the absence of actual evidence, I’m pretty sure I know. God, that’s depressing.

Last month, the same thing happened. We cruised along until the ninth day after the IUI and I felt progressively more pregnant. Bits of actual symptoms here and there. Then all of a sudden, the tenth day arrives and bam. I don’t feel pregnant. I’m starting to feel my uterus in ways that I always do, every month since I was 11 except for that unfortunate set of years at the dawn of the century (that’s totally pretentious but also, you guys, totally true! We get to actually use that!) I’m telling you, if I had a personal list of “Oh hey, your period’s coming checkboxes!” – which I would I have if I’d actually ever paid attention – I’d be checking off every one.

So yes, it’s only 11 days. But if I’m right, which I think I am, we’ll be ordering more mountaineer and and taking another shot next month.

Not Potty-trained and Three Tomorrow

RR continues to regard the potty with derision and mistrust. Earlier this month we called timeout for the remainder of June, hoping that a few more weeks of peace would help us more effectively kick the diapers to the curb come July.

flyingpig

At any rate, my child loves diapers. Pull-ups have been a deeply felt injustice. This June break has been a break for us, too. A chance for us to say goodbye to sweet changing table shenanigans (my wife) and begin to more consistently encourage her to dress herself (me). As far as I’m concerned, the biggest perk to diaper changing has been being able to dress her in whatever I wanted. Tiny, adorable dresses TOTALLY make up for poop.

Alas, I’ll have to begin consoling myself with someone else’s Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler. Also, a THREE YEAR OLD. That is some crazy shit.

Obviously Allergic To His Sperm. Obviously.

You guys, I hope my wife isn’t quietly seething inside,* because I am about to tell you one of the things I love about her. I love her ability to take my broad, sweeping, generalized whims and turn them into reality. For example, when we decided it would be a good idea to have another child, she sprang into action and narrowed down the huge donor pool into a few possibles. She took care of the detailed searching, listening to/reading profiles, and selected a few to send to me. As usual, I thought all of her very carefully researched choices were wonderful, offered an opinion, and we settled on a pick. She says she likes this weeding part whereas I would be overwhelmed by the detail and, subsequently, die.

Our previous donor described himself as laid back. His interview was laid back. The answers to his questions were laid back. My wife is also laid back. I’m pretty sure that his sperm met her egg and she got pregnant simply because the pair fell asleep and accidentally attached to the uterine lining. Enter RR. Hold on, she’s still asleep.

It’s no surprise that when his sperm slipped in to meet MY egg, the results were unsuccessful. They probably took one look around and fainted dead away. I certainly didn’t respond well to that first IUI. It was very uncomfortable and I spent the entire first week complaining about the pressure, cramping, gurgling, and bloating. Picture bubbling acid melting through plastic. That’s actually what I thought my insides must look like.

This IUI was completely different (same doctor). It didn’t hurt as much and there has been very little to remark upon. Some noise directly after the insemination but then business as usual. This donor is ambitious and driven. He climbs mountains. He climbs those same mountains again to rappel into unexplored caves. Those sperm probably sidled up to my egg and started comparing adventures and then, my egg being mine, quickly tired of the oneupmanship, started scanning the uterus for other sperm to talk to, decided she was too lazy to move on, and promptly, hopelessly fell right into him**.

Well, let’s hope they bumped into each other. For better or for worse, the positive evening stick meant using both vials at once instead of doing IUIs on two consecutive days. Assuming my egg showed up, she’ll have to be pretty wily not to run into one of those guys. Here’s hoping for the best!

* She’s not really the seething sort. I think when I married her I won at life.

** Note: this is not a metaphor for my joining with my wife. I assure you, it took an extraordinary amount of mutual drive and commitment to bring us together. That said, I might have used it all up on her.

Sharks and Minnows

So this getting pregnant thing – turns out it’s fraught with feelings. I knew that academically but I don’t think I grasped what that might mean for me. And let me tell you, I wasn’t completely prepared for the emotional shenanigans I’m suddenly experiencing.

mud

I’m disappointed that I’m not actually pregnant (and, I assure you, the two days late “gift” didn’t merit a thank you note on nice stationary) mainly because I actually thought I would be. It’s SCIENCE. How could it not happen? Here’s an egg. There are the sperm. How can you miss each other in a space that small? Also, once you get together, which, how could you not, how do you not make it to the wall in time? You know what game I hated when I was younger? Sharks and Minnows.

Hateful Game

I started swimming competitively at three. Yes, I’m that kid who says “I’ve been dancing/singing/drawing all my life” and you think, “Asshole.” The second I could dive down far enough to get a hateful black rubber ring from the bottom of the pool, I was listening for a gun (yes, actually) to go off so I could race some other unfortunate kid to the other side. The coach’s favorite practice tool was a game where one child, the shark, began treading water in the center and the other children, the minnows, attempted to swim from one side of the pool to the other without being tagged by the shark. Once tagged, they too became sharks and the game progressed until one minnow remained and was either crowned the winner or besieged in a terrifying way by ravenous sharks. Imagine being one of a couple wily kids staring down a pack of people trying to get you at all costs. I wasn’t ever dumb enough or slow enough to get caught early. Apparently, neither are my eggs.

scared egg

So, I vacillate between WTF SCIENCE and a host of other frustrations, some as ridiculous as, “Great, now I’ll have to WORK in February, one of the most depressing months of the year.” I told you they were ridiculous. I admit I also feel some relief. Fine, fine, look shocked and then say, “Well, that’s why you didn’t get pregnant. Your body knew you had hesitations!” to which I say, SCIENCE. As much as there was some draw to having both of our children be genetically related, the first donor we chose looked a lot like me. Having been the blondest, palest, bluest eyed baby, I’d kind of like my kid to have a shot at not looking like she fell into a bucket of bleach until she’s 12.

jonahhilleminem

Now we’re able to go with someone who looks more like D. Also in the feelings category, it’s kind of cool to be able to pick what you want your kid to look like but not as cool as actually getting to have a kid. As much as I’m disappointed, I’m also deeply glad this isn’t our first. I feel much less sad when I look at RR and think, best baby ever. Still, now we have to wait, depressed and flummoxed by science, until we can try again this month, Because SCIENCE is so ACCURATE that you still have to wait for the perfect day to give it a chance to fail. You can’t be BOTH, science.

It’s Not Over Til It’s Over but, You Guys, It’s Over.

Have you noticed that sometimes four day work weeks seem longer than five day work weeks? I’m sure it’s some terrible trick of time and space.

Another terrible trick of time and space is the space in my uterus and the lateness of my period. Sure, it’s only a day late but since I feel decidedly unpregnant and am symptom-free, it’s really less about hope and more about impatience so we can try again.

Finally, in order to make up for the fact that you just had to think about my internal organs, here is my daughter in a nutshell:

photo

 

No Means No

Despite having planned to wait until I missed my period to test, when I woke up yesterday feeling decidedly NOT pregnant I figured this morning I’d rather just get it out of the way. And so here we are, at 12 days past, in fact decidedly not pregnant. I didn’t realize how disappointed I’d be. And doesn’t it add insult to injury that not being pregnant brings with it all of the hormones that make me cry anyway right before my period? To my credit, there have been no tears but I am sporting a solid lump of unhappiness in my chest that must be visible from miles away.

On the plus side, my eggs didn’t taste like dirt this morning. My daughter’s first words this morning were, “Mama’s awake now? Can I see her?” instead of “I want mama!” which is an improvement. Maybe. A coworker brought in a few spare cookies. And, my first task this morning was to edit something (who doesn’t like to make things better?).

I sure wish I was at the amusement park.

 

On Being Gay This Week

I’ve been amazed at the wide range of reactions my friends and family have had to President Obama’s announcement this week.  I’ve heard and seen everything from “that dude’s an asshole” to rainbows and adulation.  I have mixed emotions myself but I can’t deny that one of those emotions is amazement that a sitting president said that he was down with gay marriage (as down as anyone can be, I suppose, who admits something under duress.)  I choose to believe that his statement implies that he is okay with gay folks in general which, on most days, is all I really want.  And frankly, it’s not the validation of national leadership I need, it’s awareness and acceptance.  Hell, today I’ll settle for tolerance.

This week’s controversies were good for was flushing out the people who spend time and energy affirming that it’s okay to decide I can’t have the same state and federal protections for my family as they can.  All the easier to cleanse my social media.  I’ve also seen several quotes that don’t take a side so much as state the obvious, “It’s never okay for the majority to decide the rights of the minority.”  Also, on a lighter note, “This is like saying my being on a diet means no one is allowed to eat doughnuts.”  This week’s controversies also generated excellent conversation (debate or otherwise) in the break room and over coffee.  Cool minds consider both sides of issues in conversation and I’ve felt enriched by my friends and collegues.  This is a great way to end the week.

Unfortunately, this week also brought more tears than I expected and I already had a shaky foundation.  I’m a sensitive individual (says…well, everyone.)  I just wrapped up an academic year’s worth of extremely hard and productive work, I’m days away from my period (more than you needed to know, I know) and occasionally my house smells like my mother-in-law (which is another post – probably another blog – entirely).  So, loose around the edges.  It’s no wonder that the photos in this link found me dabbing my eyes at work (Is there any worse place to tear up?  No, actually, I don’t think so.)

Here’s why:  I’ve always thought that during my lifetime I would see a sea change in the way the majority of Americans viewed my relationship, my orientation and my rights.  That there would be a watershed moment when voters and politicians and the lady across the street stopped looking at gayness through a religious lens.  That there would be a greater public awareness that people are killed in the United States simply for being gay (clubbed with bats, tied to fences and left for dead, ambushed on street corners, bullied to the point of suicide.)  That people would understand that just because there are no signs on the restroom door or above the restaurant or at the entrance to the park saying that gays aren’t welcome, that this is because we aren’t always visible at first glance and that, in many places, the minute I somehow identify myself, I can be asked to leave.  I thought I would see an end to this.  My tears were less about the link and more about the fear that I have been overly optimistic.  That I will never see these things.

You know, my own family completely loves and respects me and D and RR.  They do not draw a distinction between my rights and their own.  They don’t acknowledge that a battle is being waged (or pitifully not waged, depending on who you ask).  Although it’s possible that I’d be uncomfortable if one of them mentioned the presidential announcement to me, the that fact that they didn’t is part of what makes me wonder if it’s really possible that I won’t live to see this civil rights battle won.  Silence won’t be enough, will it?

I intend to get a lot of kissing in this weekend.  The only protester will be my daughter and she’s not old enough to picket.  Come hell or high water, at the very least we will have civil rights in my house.

This is not intended to open a political can of worms.  Before you hit that comment button, please consider that:
A) I like you and I don’t want that to change.
B) I already know that some of you think he’s a tool and some of you think he’s awesome, so let’s skip that part.
C) There is no opinion in this post about whether or not a church should be forced to perform a marriage.
D) Here’s the annual disclaimer:  Play nice.  Comments about my personality such as “Oh, you’re the epitome of brilliance!” and “Oh, you’re a virulent shrew!” don’t add anything to the conversation.  I don’t mind the compliments, of course, but it hurts my feelings when I think you’re being mean.  Keep it to yourself and I won’t block your comments – that means I don’t see them either so your meanness will be for naught.

Parenting Style

Have you seen this gem from Boston Magazine?

Welcome to the Age of Overparenting: How I Let my Kids be Kids

Mostly, I loved the little slideshow of 50s cartoon parents in the midst of of a stereotype and I enjoyed finding myself somewhere in between the iParent and the Type A+ Mom (while, of course, feeling horribly guilty about not being able to be OR escape the All Organic Mom.)  Unfortunately, overparenting is also something that keeps me up at night.

I think about it as I hover over her at the playground (can you see this is where all my angst is coming from lately?)  I know she needs catching but I also worry that I won’t know when the moment is to stop catching.  I don’t want to sit on the bench, but I don’t want to hover over her.  Sort of like, I want her to be able to scrape a knee (if you can, don’t even think about cement and your baby’s delicate skin.  I quake with fear.) but I don’t want her to break her neck.

I think about it every time I say “good job.” This article mentions it but so do many others: could telling her good job over and over cause her to give up to early later in life? Undervalue hard work?  Take away the value of praise and reward? Be a disincentive?  But, seeing her face light up when I tell her she’s done a good job for finding her shoes is totally worth it.  AND she’s not even a year and a half so, really, isn’t it too soon to be worried about Good Job?

It occurs to me that overparenting is as much of a worry as worrying about parenting right.  So, in all, you could be a bad parent anyway you spin it.  On the other hand, the fact that she’s clothed, healthy and clean (mostly) means I must be doing something right.

This ramble in memory of the defunct Mompetition.