Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ovulation Elation!

Finally! A positive ovulation test today! Here's what's been happening:

Last month according to the OPK (ovulation predictor test kit) I never ovulated. I peed on those damn sticks for seven days, all while traveling in California and staying at other people's homes. It's like being on your period-you never want anyone to know, you don't want to leave any evidence around. Our first day at Husband's cousin home we hadn't had enough time to find a drugstore so we could buy more OPKs. That night Cousin took us the grocery store to grab items for dinner-I snuck away to find some tests with the intention of going through the line, paying for them, hiding them in my purse and then returning to the guys who were still shopping. Of course, this store didn't carry them. Concerned with maintaining privacy, I tried to come up with a reason to go the drugstore. Defeated, I asked Cousin if he would stop at a drugstore on the way home. "Why, what do you need?" Uhhhhh...."Just some stuff." Luckily he let it drop. He probably assumed I needed tampons, but that was better than having to explain that we are trying to conceive, and may be using your guest bed to get freaky in.

Anyway, because I had not ovulated my doctor had me go in for a blood test to test my progesterone levels which would indicate if an egg was released. I was supposed to go in on day 21, but got my days mixed up and went in on day 20. The results from day 20 showed ovulation had occurred, but when I went back on the correct day, the results showed a much lower number. Both test results caused me to panic-if I had in fact ovulated, Husband and I may not have had sex at the right time since I had no idea it had occurred.

I emailed my doctor:
I just reviewed the progesterone test results and have a few questions. The early test taken on March 29th (day 20 of my cycle) indicates an ovulatory cycle, but the one taken on March 31st (day 22 of my cycle) shows a much lower number. 

All of my home ovulation predictor test kits were negative this month. Is it possible to still ovulate without those showing the Lh surge? Was the result on the early test skewed because it was before day 22? If I did ovulate, what is the approximate window it could have happened? I'm trying to figure out if the last time we had intercourse would have possibly happened during the ovulation window. 

My doctor's response literally said good question, the date of expected ovulation is a guess (A GUESS???!!!!) and she couldn't be certain I had in fact released an egg, nor could she explain why the OPKs may not have detected the Lh surge.

So here we are, with a positive ovulation test and trying for a baby. Next month if I am not pregnant, we will start taking Clomid which will induce my ovaries to both release eggs. We do that for two cycles, then we try it with Clomid and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). But we have to keep our Clomid use to a minimum, or it starts menopause. Lovely.

Summary: Doctor's don't really know anything. My body seems to be on its own schedule. I hate traveling and peeing on OPKs. None of this matters if we conceive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cooking with Grandma

I did not get to know my grandmother very well. She always seemed more like a monument to appreciate than a person to interact with. It wasn't until I met Husband that I actually began to spend time with her, and started to build a relationship with her. The disconnect is partially because of my insecurity and fear, and partially because of my mother.

When she passed last year, my mom and her siblings asked all of us grandkids what we wanted. Honestly, it's a horrific process to pick through someone's belongings and decide what you want. As if these material goods really have a piece of her in them. It makes one feel like a vulture picking at the remains, scavenging for a tasty morsel. I'm still embarrassed that my older sister and I actually looked through things to choose, and that I actually wanted something of hers. My rationalization is that the items I wanted are of no monetary value.

Most of my memories with Grandma were playing go-fish at the breakfast bar and hanging out in the kitchen. The main high points of her kitchen were the avocado green 70's era cookie jar filled with Archway molasses cookies and the awesome mix of cereal she always kept in the cupboards above the stove. Beyond that however, were a few little items that I believed were iconic and necessary for a good mother's kitchen: brightly colored Pyrex mixing bowls, aluminum loaf pans and the Boonton melamine cereal bowls that we ate cereal out of, and Granddad had his ice cream and peaches in every afternoon.

It may sound nuts, I admit it, but anything Husband and I make using Grandma's items, always turn out. The homemade bread, lemon pound cake, meatloaf, etc., salsa and salads we make in the colored Pyrex bowls, all turn out delicious. It makes me feel like she's here with me when I use the items from her kitchen. Even though we never cooked together, and it took me until my late 20s to really spend time with her, her presence is absolutely with me in the kitchen.

My Grandmother was nothing like I thought she was. Due to my mother's own insecurities and regrets, she unknowingly prevented my younger sister and I from forming any real attachment to Grandma. Whenever Grandma and Granddad would visit, which in my memory was only twice, Mom would be in a tizzy for days cleaning her already clean and tidy home, fussing and claiming that everything had to be just right for Grandma. Not only that, but there were alot of events that happened in our immediate family that we were told to keep secret, be sure Grandma and Granddad never learned of what happened. "Don't tell them I smoke" she said. "Don't tell them I bought a new car", or that "your stepdad left." In mom's actions she made us feel that nothing was good enough for Grandma, that Grandma was a judgmental and critical woman. It's the kind of impression that sticks with a young girl, and as I grew up and made enormous mistakes of my own, I assumed Grandma was judging me. It took me too long to realize that Grandma was never judgmental, and she loved all of us. She was in pain when we suffered, when we faltered. She was straight forward, honest, had an amazing sense of humor, but was very loving. Even though they claim wisdom comes with age, my resentment and bitterness grows as I discover more truth about life. Shameful as it is, I am still blaming my mother for my lack of a relationship with my Grandmother. No, it's not her fault that I didn't have a close relationship with Grandma, but it's her behavior around Grandma that prevented me from being comfortable with her.

Through cooking with Grandma's bowls and bakeware, I feel like I'm building a relationship with her, repairing all the crap my mom and I built up with Grandma over the years. This way I get to share a pure and honest experience with the memory of my grandma, the woman she really was.

On a related note, a woman at work has a tattoo on her foot- it is a flower with "Gram" scrolled above. It is her memorial for her grandmother. She was telling me how close she was with her grandmother, they communicated on a daily basis, etc. It really touched me. I want to be that kind of grandmother-the kind that is a friend and honored, respected matriarch. A grandmother that is close with her grandkids, who has a warm, welcoming home and heart, but who is strong and respected. What a wonderful role to have, and to me, is the very definition of success.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I think its official. I've lost my mind to the so called biological clock. I have become that cliche. It's getting worse, and without me even trying. We are out and I see families with one three year old, then a two year old and a pregnant mom, I think how greedy they are. Ugh, when did I become so pathetic?! As if these families having more than one kid somehow has anything to do with us not having one. It's flat out ridiculous and ugly.

Tonight we visited with our friends who had their son two weeks ago. It was the first time we've seen them since their ordeal, and it was alright. They were actually interested in our life, and what we've been up to- the conversation was not just about their baby. We kept it brief, these are exhausted parents who simply needed a short visit and a hot meal made for them. It is easy to be with them because they have never been self-centered, and they are grateful for the blessing of their son, despite the fact his birth was nothing like they planned. Just like the parents of our godchild, they had planned a natural birth which turned into a c-section, only this time it was four weeks early. Luckily everyone is doing well, and learning to adjust to unplanned c-section.

This mom we visited today was my movie buddy. Now I've lost her to the baby, which has brought her closer to the parents of our godchild, and I feel even more isolated. Even if we get pregnant soon, the last thing I want is advice from all these women who got the privilege of having a child before we did. Who think they know what is right, good, and who are full of ideas to share, when all I want is to experience this joy alone with Husband. To have something private and wonderful that belongs to just us. Now, if it ever happens, it will not be just us. It will be infected with everyone else's experiences, their advice and commentary.

First Meeting, Rambling Post

Ahhhh, it's over. We had our first encounter with The Brat and Wife tonight since they told us they were pregnant. As I expected, it was uneventful, as it should be. There was no change in the  way those two behaved-they were not affectionate with one another, they were not joyful, they were not more smug than normal. We met a bunch of family for pizza tonight. We got to the restaurant at the same time as The Brat and Wife did. I walked right up and hugged them, asked how she was feeling, said congratulations to The Brat. Wife of course is sick. She is always sick. The sorority sister who drinks then throws up-that's her, still. Every time we are at the beach house together, she drinks then pukes all night, and complains in the morning. Now at 16 weeks, she is showing, because she is so thin, and has had cold after cold, which has now progressed to a sinus infection.

It was good that the four of us were together alone first. It gave me time to gauge the situation. I was very shocked that they were not more affectionate. I was pleased that they didn't bring up the pregnancy-I did, as is my way. I'd rather just rather face the issue head on, then wait until it gets brought up, with the heavy weight of it all. I inquired about nursery themes, morning sickness, names, hospital of delivery, etc. It was a natural conversation, much of which I was in charge of because despite her being a nurse, I knew more about it because of all the experience with friends and family I've had. Yes, that pleases me.

In summary-I'm relieved there was nothing awkward. She no longer makes statements such as "you just have to wait until I'm ready then we'll both have kids," she wasn't particularly excited or interested in discussing the baby. Again, the lack of affection between Brat and Wife surprised me. If it was Michael and I, I'd be upset if he wasn't holding my hand, gingerly and sweetly touching my swollen belly, kissing my cheek, etc. If we get the blessing of being pregnant, I don't think we'd be sickly sweet, but I believe it would be quite obvious that we were thrilled to be so. But that is just one more difference between us as couples.

I managed to keep my mouth shut about anything negative-until the end. While we were outside with my husband's mother waiting for the others to close their tabs, she mentioned The Brat and Wife's dog. This dog is an untrained, undisciplined, spoiled purse-dog, that shits and pisses on everything while biting everyone. My husband asked his mother what is going to happen to the dog and she replied that she'll probably end up with it. I responded "you can't have grandchildren at your house then if she's there." Husband's mother commented that dogs just know, have a way of knowing/understanding the children belong to their family, but this dog is a terror and there is no way our kids would ever be around that bitch. Husband's mother also said, "Well, we can't just throw her away."

Husband said to me yesterday that we need to stop being so bitter and envious and start appreciating what we have. He said that he had found the woman of his dreams, and at one point, that's all he ever wanted. It's all he really needs. The craziest thing is that he means this, how lucky am I? It's true that we are so fortunate to have found one another, and we really have a fantastic relationship. That alone should be enough. However, we always want more.

Unrelated to tonight- last night our friends came over with their baby, and it was a lovely visit.  Toward the end of night, and to my surprise, they asked us to be godparents to their baby. Instantly, before she even finished asking I was in tears.  Simply being asked to be their son's godparent is amazing. It was not something I expected- I am not Catholic, and my husband is not a practicing Catholic, though he was baptized as one. Our friend assured me that she wasn't concerned about the fact that we haven't been attending mass, she knew we would start soon. The next morning I spent some time looking at churches in the area trying to find the right one for Husband and I to join. The role of godparent is one that I take seriously, so I need to be educated in the church in order to best support the kid throughout his experience within the Catholic church.

Sitting here now I look forward to when our calendar is full of dates to see our nieces, nephews, god children and close friend's kids in school plays, graduations, holiday pageants and birthday parties. What a blessing to be included in all of their lives.