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Posts tagged ‘question of the week’

Question of the Week: Time Off after Baby

So the conversation happening in our house this week is how much time C will take off when the baby is born. Some of this will be dictated by finances and some by preference, but inquiring minds want to know: How much time did you / your significant other take off when you had a baby or how much time are you planning for each of you to take off?  Any particular reason why you made the choices you did?

Question of the Week: Questions for You edition

Quick poll after another prenatal visit.

1. Are you using / have you used an OB or a midwife?

2. How long are your appointments generally? Does the length of appointment depend on what stage of pregnancy you are in?

3. What kinds of testing, questions, and information does your care provider give at each appointment?

4. If you (have) found one action (your own or your care provider’s) immeasurably helpful during your prenatal visits, what was it and why?

 

 

Question of the Week: What to do with the next couple weeks?

So you’ll remember I had a fantastic list of plans for this planned break. So far it’s been mostly just a list, as we’ve been busy and de-stressing but not on the things I thought.

We probably have just under three weeks and just about two more weekends until we’re in another TWW. One of those weekends we’ll be celebrating our anniversary and the other we’ll be celebrating halloween. So who knows what else we’ll “get done,” though I am hoping it will include exercise galore, which really started this past weekend and has been a real help in terms of chilling out and just enjoying life.

It definitely feels like we have moved to the second half of this 6WW… we’re gearing up for what-comes-next and preparing for the stress and excitement of trying. But that doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy the heck out of the rest of this break and get ready any way we can!

QotW: How can we make the most of our time off?

The past few days have been a slow let down, an awkward transition from the movement of trying and the anxiety of waiting to the slower pace of pausing. The first day or so, I found myself symptom checking on a regular basis, for some reason not fully conscious of the confirmed end of the cycle. The past couple days have involved reorganizing my thinking and coming to terms with taking a break.

I am convinced that I want to use this break to relax, to breathe, but I am not certain I will really be able to quell the anxiety that has come with two BFNs. Before August, waiting to try came with the optimism that of-course-it-would-work-right-away. That felt a lot different than this new waiting to try with the dreadful uncertainty that it-might-not-work-after-all.

But enough worry! If I am being totally honest with myself (and not stuck in the fear-of-what-might-(not)-come, there are a lot of perks to not trying. And it’s time to take advantage. So here’s my list of the ways I plan to make this time the most useful, relaxing, fun time possible.

  • Finish learning to unicycle. I was almost there before our vacation in July and heat + trying + waiting took away a lot of my practice time.
  • Get back in shape. Again, I was there before vacation but lost the will / time when we got back. Along with this comes eating a little better and walking the dog more regularly.
  • Drink. Not a lot, I’m not a huge drinker anyway, but I’m going to exercise my option from time to time.
  • Celebrate. We have an anniversary coming up and will likely take a small trip somewhere. A well-deserved break from the busy-ness of life. And with no ovulation-based limits, we can go when we want to go!
  • Stay involved. We are both involved in community organizations and extra time can be put toward making a difference. Or at least hanging out with some amazing people.
  • Develop and utilize relaxation rituals. To include yoga, journaling, mindfulness, stretching, taking true “me” time. These have already started over the past couple of days and I hope to practice and get better so that they can be utilized during the next cycle.
  • Cook! This is really just a fall thing for me, but a little list padding never hurt anyone 🙂
  • Improve the value of our home. Also known as finishing the room that will be the baby’s room, which is currently a junk room with half-spackled walls. Spackling, priming, installing a new light fixture, building a closet, and building a radiator box are all in order.  Since I am the DIYer of our little family, better to start these projects before I am in a more delicate state.
  • Learn to sew. This has been on my bucket list for a long time and I imagine it will stay there with all the other things I am hoping to do, but it’s a nice idea, right?
You may be chuckling at the idea of a list for relaxation, especially if you’re the kind of person who finds lists inherently intimidating or stressful. But for me, plans are always superior to aimlessness and accomplishment is generally superior to lazing about. And while I am no longer as naive as I was in planning for the future, I am much more cautious with my body when we are trying so I want to make the most of not trying.  
And now a question for the group: what are some relaxation strategies that work for you? Because even with the best laid plans, right now I still feel like I am biding time and I need to just chill out a little. SO much easier said than done, am I right?

QotW: What do we want to change in our lives if/when this all works out?

Because I want to have a future focus today, here is my list of things I’d like to change before baby comes, in no particular order:

  • Our dinner routine. While we eat at home more than a lot of folks we know and while we do a good job meal planning, we often find ourselves eating on the couch in front of a movie or show. This routine is mostly due to long and often late work hours that leave us feeling accomplished but drained and ready for relaxation and distraction. It won’t be physically hard to move dinner to a table, but it will probably be disorienting for a minute and we will have to figure out other ways to unwind between leaving work and nourishing ourselves.
  • The baby’s room. Also known as our all-purpose storage space, it is a spare room that accumulates junk like no other place in our house, often because we don’t want to walk the junk down the steps. It needs some wall patching, a paint job, new flooring, and a closet built… after we find homes for all of the STUFF in there.
  • Our car situation. This one might be a long shot, but we are the proud owners of two cars – one that is 12 years old and one that is 8 years old. And the 8-year-old car doesn’t always start. Or it starts, you go somewhere, and THEN it won’t start. Or… okay, let’s just say it’s not baby-friendly. Ideally we will have some solution in the next year or so (ideally we will NEED some solution in the next year or so).
That’s what I’ve got for now. Today is 9dpo. I was a little bit crampy yesterday, I think, but I don’t usually get cramps so unless they are really bad (like the end of the last cycle), I’m not sure I’m feeling something. Today my pelvic area felt burn-y for a little while. No boob changes this go round. Temperature dip this morning, hoping tomorrow spikes WAY WAY up and we can say it was implantation. I keep telling myself that no symptoms are just as okay as having symptoms (after all, see what last cycle got me?!) but it doesn’t help much. No plans to test just now and so far I am really okay with that. 

 

 

Question of the Week: What did I think about ART when ART wasn’t even on the table?

Yes, it’s kind of a random question.

But back when I was probably 15 or 16 and long before I even considered the idea of anything other than heterosexual bliss (another long story), I knew – vaguely – that some women could not have babies “the natural way” and that those women turned to artificial means. At the time, I don’t really think I was cognizant of IVF or even the concept of IUI as much as the idea of ICI, though of course, I just thought it was shooting sperm “all up in there.”

I do not remember having a strong reaction either way, though I do remember having a vague sense that ART was not natural and, at the oh-so-righteous and knowledgeable age of sixteen, probably also had a philosophy that if it couldn’t happen “the natural way” then perhaps it was not meant to be, though I also likely recognized the relativism of such a belief. I do not believe I ever articulated this sentiment and I’m not sure that were my sixteen year old self here she would agree that that’s what she meant, but this is my recollection of the feelings and thoughts I may have had.

These ramblings are less about the ideas that I used to have and more about the funny way “normal” and “natural” can shift on us if we are open to the change. When C and I began dating, the idea of children was a game to play, a theoretical discussion set firmly in the lands of what-if and one-day. As our relationship progressed and we found ourselves squarely in the world of responsible adulthood, we began to consider the practicalities of baby-making. And day by day, conversation by conversation, we eased our way into accepting and embracing the realities of ART and the role it would play in our lives. Now I have multiple ultrasounds in a week, talk about EWCM, and order sperm from the internet without thinking twice. The norms that I once accepted so readily now seem foreign and my normal must be odd to those who, I don’t know, just make love to make babies. Lines I might have drawn when playing a game of what-if are blurry and boxes I may have placed around others are now the same boxes in which I find myself.

I have no problems with this shift in normal. I just think that it is important from time to time to stand firmly and consciously where you are while also remember where you were.

Question of the week: How will we make this TWW better than the last?

Checked in with the doctor yesterday and we are set to go later this week (will begin daily monitoring tomorrow). If you followed along during try #1, you realize that my philosophical ponderings quickly gave way to symptom checking and anxiety once we inseminated, so now is the time to prepare to make sure this TWW goes better.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far… please don’t hesitate to add your own ideas in the comments – this girl needs as much help as she can get!

  • Keep busy. This was my number one useful strategy last time. Idle time led to google time which led to anxiety. Making plans with family and friends, getting caught up at work, and cleaning the house were all good for keeping busy.
  • Limit internet surfing. Theoretically, this will be easier, as I pretty much visited the ends of the internet during the last TWW and know all the good, bad, and ugly of the ttc information highway. Will try to limit ttc-related surfing to one or two short periods of time each day. Outside of reading all of your lovely blogs, of course!
  • Stick with the planned test date. This will be hard. Last time, I thought testing would make me feel better. And it would have, if the test ever came up positive. But somehow all the anxiety in the world is better than the blank white stare of a pee stick after ten minutes (or ten hours). Didn’t even get a damn evaporation line! Must. Remember. This. And. Put. Down. The. Stick.
  • Daily exercise. Hopefully in the form of walking the dog. Great way to relax and to reconnect with C, who is hoping that we will also use that time to talk about ttc stuff so that it does not permeate every conversation (ha!).
  • Ignore the symptoms.  Okay, probably not ALL of the symptoms (those boobs could NOT BE IGNORED!) but the ones that are really probably not symptoms at all (subtle twinges, brief nausea). I made a point of focusing on symptom areas during the first half of this cycle and guess what? I notice a lot of weird things about my body if I focus on it. Will try to remember that during the next two weeks.
That’s all I really have for now. Even in typing them, I feel the anxiety of the TWW creeping up on me and I remember how much I DID NOT LIKE the last one. Hopefully this will be easier. Hopefully it will end with a second pink line.  
Meanwhile, what advice do you have for the next couple weeks? C would probably like to hear some NBNP suggestions, so lay it on me!