Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cycle 5, Day 1

I have this packet of information I got from my acupuncturist about Natural Fertility and Conception. It outlines what you should know and do at each stage of your menstrual cycle. Interestingly enough, it notes:

In ancient cultures of all types, menstruation was a time for women to rest and not have to deal with society. It was a cleansing time, cherished and honored. Take back some of your red tent ritual!

I knew of the book The Red Tent as it's been suggested to me by my mother, but I have yet to read it. Curious about what a red tent ritual entails I consulted wikipedia and found that the tent is where women take refuge during time of menstruation or birth where women can offer each other mutual support.

Coincidentally I do have two women-centered events scheduled for tonight, namely a book club meeting and a charitable group meeting. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be speaking about my menses at either one. A break from society, however, does sound nice right about now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cycle 4, Day 38

Wake up, pee in cup just cuz it's been a couple of days and they're only eight cents a piece.

Wipe reveals light red spotting.

Well that's good, I think. At least this stupid cycle is over. Put away the test. Take pad to work in my pocketbook for the inevitable.

Get to work. Times passes. No more spotting. This is odd considering my period almost always comes first thing in the morning.

Spend a serious length of time reading about people who spotted before getting a BFP. Hmm.

Probably nothing to get excited about and I'll get my full blown period tomorrow. Just another example how much of a mindfuck this whole process is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cycle 4, Day 33

I didn't even test. I don't care. Whatever.

Yesterday was BFN and a negative opk just for shits and giggles.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cycle 4, Day 28

I actually forgot to take a pregnancy test this morning. Does this mean I'll be the kind of mother who forgets their kids at an amusement park?

Anyway, they tell you you should always test with first morning urine because it has the highest concentration of hCG, the pregnancy hormone. You can recreate the effect of first morning urine by holding your pee for four hours but OMG, I can't do that.

Besides, I'm probably not pregnant since my stupid chart doesn't show ovulation anymore.

But I tested anyway this afternoon with a plastic cup I smuggled into the bathroom at work. I used the handicapped stall so I had some privacy. BFN.

Looks like I can drink this weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cycle 4, Day 27

Fertility Friend took away my crosshairs today. In layman's terms, that means the software can no longer confirm ovulation due to my inconsistent tempuratures. Woe is me.

So I went from being days away from finding out if I'm pregnant or not, to not even knowing if I ovulated.

But, just to be sure, I tested today. BFN.

Now I still think I may have a chance, owing to our intercourse timing, based on other fertile signs but who the heck knows at this point.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Statistics That Are Meaningless

I am 9 days past ovulation.

Fertility Friend says that 15% of positive pregnancy tests reported by their users are reported on or before 9 days past ovulation.

If you want to analyze your results even further, they have graphs broken down by brand of pregnancy test and how many days past ovulation they were taken.

Did you know that 17% of pregnancy charts report a negative test being taken before a positive test? That statistic could either give you hope that your negative test result will turn positive or convince you that there are a bunch of smug women out there who were content to wait for their test results.

Fertility Friend even has a more detailed study about pregnancy tests in which they report:

Testing for pregnancy when trying to conceive is a sensitive issue. The
emotional toll of repeated negative results is hard to imagine for those who
have not experienced it. At the same time, waiting throughout the luteal phase
to know the outcome of your cycle can be agony. For these reasons, knowing when
to expect reliable results is extremely important, both to preserve your
emotional state and to save money by not testing too early.

The statement about money is completely irrelevant to me because I have 50 Wondfo Pregnancy Test Strips purchased for apprximately 19 cents a pop. It may, however, be too late to preserve my sanity.

I tested this morning. Big Fat Negative (BFN).

Did you know there are entire web sites out there to looking at other people's pregnancy tests and determining whether or not you can actually see a line? No? You must be a sane person.

There's no room for you here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Phantom Symptoms


Excruciating headache

Extreme hunger

Both of those are probably explained by the fact that it's nearly 10 pm and I haven't eaten dinner yet.

But in the two week window, everything is on my radar.

Only time will tell.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Pussy Palace is All Mine!

This is going to sound weird because I love the guy and we're trying to make a baby together, but my husband just left town for three days and I am ecstatic!

No really. Don't start a poll on how long we'll last or anything, let me explain. Ever since we started dating, I've gotten used to my Dear Husband (DH) traveling on business. A lot. Like at least a few times a month. Like I think in 2011 he logged over 70 nights in Marriott properties (thus earning us lots of free nights but more about that another time).

But owing to the holidays, vacation and just general scheduling, I can count on one hand the number of times we've been away from each other outside of going to work and to use the bathroom since Thanksgiving. This has made it nearly impossible to engage in my Secret Single Behavior.

Now that he's gone, I can play depressing youtube videos, watch ridiculous teen dramas free from headphones and shame, not feel guilty about going to bed before midnight, make a mess, the list goes on.

The cats, however, may be judging me.

Book Review: The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty

I'm not going to spoil the entire book like I did with the last review, but I will tell you something I wish I knew before I started reading Sinead Moriarty's The Baby Trail. This is book one of a trilogy. This will become more important when you get to the end of the book and it ends very abruptly.

For some reason the second installment is called The Right Fit in its Kindle edition, but Perfect Match in paperback. Thankfully, this prevented me from immediately downloading it, enough time for me to read the reviews of the last book in the series, From Here to Maternity. Not only is the last volume not available for Kindle, it's supposedly not even that good. So do I want to devote twenty more dollars and even wait for a paper tome to arrive via United Parcel Service just for the sake of closure?

The answer: I don't know yet. I still have oodles of other TTC books to read and review before I get that desperate. But maybe. I hate not knowing the end. George G.R.R. Martin is my worst enemy.

That being said, it's a cute book. It kept my attention for a couple of hours. Narrated by a very cliched Bridget Jones clone named Emma, The Baby Trail follows the journey of an Irish makeup artist and her husband, an English rugby coach named James. Of course, Emma barely even likes kids and worries about missing nights out at the pub and losing her figure. She starts out her TTC journey very optimistic (don't we all?). She assumes she will get knocked up immediately. I hear ya, Sister.

Then comes buying ovulation predictor kits. Then comes seeing her doctor. Then comes frustration. Then comes Clomid. Then comes IVF. Emma is fun and a little neurotic just like your favorite chick lit heroines. She races to her husband's office to demand sex when she learns she is ovulating. She gets jealous of another woman's follicles in a waiting room.

The side stories about her single friend's love life, her husband's rugby team and her brother who lives abroad were a little empty and also unresolved at the end. Have I mentioned I hate cliffhangers?

So it wasn't a great read, but it did satisfy my desire to read about another woman trying to get pregnant. Even though I hope to never have to experience some of what Emma goes through (side effects from medication, preparing for IVF) I definitely could relate to her tales of being assaulted by the dildo camera and scheduling sex.

Book Review: Irresistible Forces

The all-knowing Amazon tells me that I downloaded Brenda Jackson's Irresistible Forces on January 11, 2010, which makes sense because that was two days after my 30th birthday when I entered into the great world of e-readers. I picked it because it was free and probably didn't get around to reading it a few months later, when I quickly realized how pricey my speed reading plus instant access to thousands of books could get.

As of this reading, it is still free on Amazon. If it's not still free when you read this entry, then don't waste your money. It is awful. Awfully hilarious but awful nontheless.

With a cover that boasts the dubious distinction of being written by a "USA Today Bestselling Author," I should have known this was the kind of book written for an audience with the reading comprehension of a fifth grader.

Here's the story in a nutshell. Miss Super Successful Woman (SSW) has a great job, a great home, and is just so super happy and fulfilled with her life, she decides she wants to add a baby to the mix. You should know that she is totally happy. She is not looking for a man. At all. That does not even cross her mind. (Did you get that?) Her life is so perfect. Perfect I tell you.

Anyway, SSW approaches Really Attractive Perfect Man (RAPM) and asks him to serve as a sperm donor. But wait. SSW wants her baby to be conceived "with passion" so the plan is to go on a romantic vacation and have sex. RAPM has to think about it. Is this ethical? Can he just give his sperm away like that? Yes, yes he decides he can.

SSW and RAPM go to exotic island. It is the most romantic vacation ever, overshadowing even that other ridiculous book about going to a island to have romantic baby-making sex. They have SO MUCH SEX. It is the best sex ever. It is the sex to end all sex.

Vacation ends. SSW and RAPM go their separate ways. SSW gets pregnant. OF COURSE SHE DOES. I mean, that's how this all works, right? RAPM falls in love with SSW. SSW does not want a man. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, RAPM is rich. Of course he is. Really rich, like his parents live in Switzerland or Sweden rich. Some other stuff happens. They live happily ever after. The End. I just ruined the book for you. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cycle 4, Day 23

I am hoping to use this blog to chronicle my adventures in aspiring motherhood. Here's a brief timeline to bring you up to speed on what's happened so far:

July, 2011 - celebrate my first wedding anniversary, stop taking oral birth control pills mid cycle. Get a withdrawal bleed four days later, lasting approximately three days.

September 10, 2011 - get my first post birth control period 57 days after the withdrawal bleed. It lasts 4 days. Start using ovulation predictor kits on the 14th day of my cycle.

November, 2011 - visit the OB on the 69th day of my cycle to talk about my history of irregular cycles. Have an ultrasound and exam. Prescribed Provera but hold off on filling the order. Blood work comes back normal. Finally get period 80 days after the last one. Started temping.

December, 2011 - thrilled to get first positive opk. Temps indicate ovulation may have occurred and my period comes ten days later.

January, 2012 - Turn 32. Start taking vitamin B6. Start blogging.

So there you have it. I "only" started on this whole journey a little over 6 months ago, but my first two cycles were a crazy 56 and 79 days, respectively. Irregular cycles are something I've experienced whenever I've not been taking birth control since I was 14, but with the last cycle being a normal 27 days I'm crossing my fingers that I've finally become regular.

Our intercourse timing was very good last cycle, hitting O-4, O-2, O-1, and O. This cycle, too, we have been getting it on at all the right times, O-3, O-2, O-1, and O. We are in it to win it. I'm only 6DPO right now, so Fertility Friend doesn't recommend I take a pregnancy test for 13 more days. I can unequivocally say that I won't make it that long. If I don't get my period in the next 4 days, I will test Friday morning.

Absolutely no symptoms.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Novels About Trying to Conceive - A List in Progress

The other day I tried doing a Google search for novels about trying to conceive just so I could spend a little time commiserating with a fictional heroine going through the same exciting and sometimes nerve-wrecking process as me. I love to read and chick lit is one of my guilty pleasures. When I was single, I gravitated towards novels about other single gals, looking for love and career fulfillment. When I was planning a wedding, I loved reading light hearted fare about other brides to be.

There doesn't seem to be a really comprehensive list out there of novels about TTC (trying to conceive). So it made sense to bring you one on my shiny new blog, The Pussy Palace. I will edit the list to include titles as I find them, and then link to reviews of books I have read.

So far, here is what I have.

Books I have read (reviews forthcoming):

The Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson - read my review here.

Books to Read and Review:

Notes from the Underbelly by Rissa Green
Pink for a Girl by Isla McGuckin - read this, working on review. It turns out it's nonfiction but I still liked it and will review it, stay tuned.

I also plan to add a post listing novels about pregnancy and eventually child-rearing.