This has been a great weekend. I have been trying to enjoy every moment of it.
I don’t think I ever posted on here about what the gyno nurse (lets call her Nurse Useless) told me when I finally got a hold of her. She did not seem distressed in the least that I’m a week and a half late and not pregnant – she said it takes some women up to three months to get back on a regular cycle after going off the pill. She said to call back if I haven’t had a period by April. (APRIL?)
In the meantime, I might be ovulating or I might not be, no one can tell, and if I am I’ll have no idea when. So really I could get pregnant any time, and since I won’t have a period to be missing, I’ll have no way of knowing. And of course that went over really well with my anal, planning side. Oh well, there’s nothing to be done about it.
I finished Love in the Time of Cholera today and dear Lord I thought that book would never end. It was so incredibly dense, but I had to finish it. In the end I felt like I was running a marathon (not that I would know what that actually feels like), because I just had to keep plodding through to get it over with. I had come this far and by God, I wasn’t going to give up now. It wasn’t a terrible book and I guess I can kind of see why he won the Nobel prize for literature, but I will not be reading any more Marquez any time soon.
I haven’t felt much like writing lately but I have felt like doing a lot of READING, and that’s what I have done. Lots and lots of reading. I haven’t set a goal for number of books this year, but I’d like it to be a big number.
No news on the baby front. Apparently my cycle is WAY off, because I’m a week late and not for the good reason. And, like I told A tonight, trying to talk to the nurse at the gyno’s office is like trying to reach Jesus Christ himself on the telephone. I called them over and over again and the darn lady is never available. And “I’ll have her call you back later today” doesn’t exactly work when you’re surrounded by snoopy lady co-workers and have meetings all day so you can’t leave to take the call even if you wanted to!
Anyway, we’ll see how that all works out. Work has been very busy which I really approve of, because it’s a lot more enjoyable when there are things to do. Although on the co-worker front it has been one of those weeks where I have had to try really hard not to be irritable, and when I give up, at least there’s the iPod (and it’s only Tuesday!).
I have been feeling very down on myself about my weight lately. I feel bigger than I have felt in over a year, although the post-Weight Watchers clothes I bought still fit, whatever that means. But I still feel gigantic and gross and it has been bothering me a lot, but yet I have this bad, unhealthy thing where I still snack WAY too much in the evening. It’s like the worse I feel about myself the worse I eat – I don’t know how that makes sense. And I need to go get measured for a bridesmaid dress, which I don’t exactly want to do in my current state, but let’s face it, I’m not going to lose any significant weight before June. Especially since I’ll be hopefully eating for two by then! : )
Well, it’s about time to deem Operation: Make a Baby unsuccessful for month one. Pretty disappointing, but I am armed with all sorts of tools for month two (mainly just ovulation tests but I like to make it sound like I’m more prepared than I am).
A note on the “first response” pregnancy tests – first response, my foot. They claim they are accurate 5 days before the missed period. What I didn’t realize is the day your period is supposed to start is the first day. So it’s really 4 days before your period is supposed to start, and 4 days out it only has an accuracy rate of 53%. Three days out it jumps up to around 74% (that was this morning, based on my calculations). So, four days before your period, you might as well save yourself a few bucks and just flip a coin.
Last night we went to our first “grown-up” party. Meaning that we were the youngest people there. It was hosted by a guy A teaches with at ISU and was primarily English faculty, their partners, and their children (if applicable). It was a karaoke party and the upside of having a negative pregnancy test yesterday morning was that I felt 53% sure it was harmless to have a glass of wine. So I did, and I sang two karaoke songs (“Lookin Out my Back Door” by CCR and “Livin on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi). I was quite proud of myself.
A had a lot of anxiety leading up to the party. He thought it was weird that these people were our professors just a few years ago, and now we’re their peers (kind of). It was a little weird, but mainly we had a really good time. It was fun to meet some new people and catch up with others.
Tomorrow a new girl starts at work. It’s always awkward when that happens. I have been at my job just over 15 months and this will my third time watching someone new start. Hmmmm. I am doing my part to welcome her though – I’m baking chocolate peppermint muffins. As long as they’re not terrible, I’ll bring them in.
Nothing in my life has prepared me for the two week wait.
Sure, there have been things I have dreaded and things that I have giddily anticipated. But there has never been something that I both dread and giddily anticipate.
Things before that have left me in this nervous lurch of waiting have also had predictable outcomes, unlike the two week wait. In junior high I auditioned for jazz band. I knew that I would either a) make jazz band and get to spend some extra time after school with the band geeks or b) not make jazz band and it would be the end of the story (I did make jazz band, it was fun).
In high school I auditioned to be drum major for the marching band. I knew that I would either a) be drum major and that would be cool or b) not be drum major and continue being section leader (I did not make drum major and I was devastated for a while and then I got over it).
I was a bundle of nerves in the weeks leading up to my wedding, but where is the unpredictable variable there? Maybe the flowers would be late, maybe someone would get unforgivably drunk, but at the end of the day the wedding would be over and I’d be married.
But THIS, this is something totally different. It is a “different animal” as they say. As far as I can tell the outcomes could be as follows:
a) I am pregnant.
b) I am not pregnant, maybe I’ll get pregnant next month.
c) I am not pregnant, maybe it will take me many months to get pregnant.
d) I am not pregnant, maybe it will take me years of trying to ultimately realize that we cannot have a baby.
Clearly, a) is vastly different from the other choices, and each choice is incredibly powerful and comes with its own package of things to plan, things to worry about, and things to celebrate.
But for someone like me, who is a planner and a worrier, waiting to see which outcome it will be borders on being painful. How am I supposed to lead a normal life, when any time now I will find out a) b) c) or d)?
As far as “any time now” goes, that is just as painful. My calculations about my cycle in December and early January were kind of stabs in the dark, because as we know, having a period off the pill is a whole new experience for me. So I don’t really know when I ovulated or if I ovulated at all. My best guess, based on when I started last month, is that I should start Wednesday, January 13. Like I said, who knows how correct that is – but we’re going to assume that it’s correct because I have to at least assume that I know one tiny fact or else I’ll go crazy.
So, we assume. If I am scheduled to start again on 1/13, then I can technically take a pregnancy test as early as this Friday, January 8 and hope that it’s accurate (of course, me being me, I bought the “first response” type). So do I take one then? Or do I make myself wait until closer to 1/13?
The benefit of taking one on Friday is that if I am indeed pregnant, maybe I will know then and get to stop worrying. But of course there’s a chance that I am pregnant and the test will give me a false negative. If I get any kind of negative at all, I will be quite upset.
Today I spent the whole day in orientation for a job I have been doing for almost 15 months. I had to sit next to a really creepy new person who will be a manager and incidentally, after I had decided I disliked him, I noticed a piece of paper that listed his starting salary as over $87,000. So now of course I HATE him instead of casually disliking him. I will have to warn everyone I know about his creepiness because on the outside he looks quite handsome and debonair, but actually he is a weirdo. So there you go.
I learned all about my brand new benefits and let me tell you how excited I am about them. VERY EXCITED. I spent all day trying to be sneaky and email my co-workers snarky comments without the facilitator noticing. I also ate lunch with 5 ITS interns, so I obviously had nothing to contribute to that lunchtime conversation. That is, until one of them started bashing the English program, at which point I had to speak up, because really? At least we turn out some people with a little bit of personality!
Anyway I’m doing a lot of bitching about the day but it was really quite good. It’s just that often the things worth recording are the slightly irritating things. Because they are easier to find humor in than the moments of Oh Thank God That I Finally Get Health Insurance moments.
Also, pregnancy test on Friday? Monday? I don’t know. How much longer can I possibly wait??
The first two weeks off the pill have not been as bad as I worried they would be (this is a theme in my life – most things are not as bad as I expect them to be!)
First of all, I have been delighted at how my complexion has cleared up. Maybe my dermatologist and my gynecologist were part of a detailed conspiracy to keep 20-somethings riddled with acne, because the combination of going off the pill and discontinuing my two acne prescriptions has resulted in clearer skin than I’ve had in years. I keep waiting for the other ball to drop, so to speak. I hope I don’t wake up at the one-month mark and look like a monster. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not going to be a Cover Girl any time soon. I still have acne, just not as much and not as severe. If I do get pregnant, I’m sure that will change.
My hormones have not been out of control as I feared they would be. Mostly, I have felt like myself.
There was one day, though – last Wednesday – when it all felt like way too much. This was the day that, according to my calculations, I should be ovulating. However, I didn’t feel like I was ovulating (silly, right?). The pressure I had been putting on myself and on us to conceive the first month really got to me.
All day at work on Wednesday I felt keyed up, like I was going to crawl right out of my skin. I felt like I had chugged 5 pots of coffee and taken some sort of awful drug. I hadn’t slept the night before. When I got home, the combination of the hormones, the dog we’re watching having an accident, and some other things going on were just too much and I had somewhat of a break down. I felt exactly the way I felt when I was an angsty teenager. I remember then just feeling so ANGRY. I wasn’t angry at anyone or anything, I was just mad and unhappy and had all sorts of negative energy and no idea how to release it.
It doesn’t seem like men understand this. When I was a teenager, my dad would tell me “STOP CRYING”. Now dad, seriously, I can’t stop crying just because you tell me to. There is not a switch in my brain that turns off the waterworks. It’s much more complicated than that. I had an awful flashback to that tune when A got home and said “You just CAN’T get this worked up”. It doesn’t matter if I can’t or if I shouldn’t be so upset. I am upset. Just ride it out with me and please don’t tell me not to feel the way I do. Right? But apparently men’s brains have too large of a “rational” part!
But luckily, just like puberty, Wednesday came and went and now I have returned back to my normal, if still emotional and irrational, self.
On Sunday, December 20, 2009, I did something incredibly exciting. Actually, it was more what I didn’t do that was so exciting. For the first time since February of 2002, I did not start a new pack of birth control pills. As of December 20, A and I were officially “trying”.
I was glowing for days when I realized I could finally stop taking birth control. The secret I had – that we were actually finally able to start trying to conceive – felt like a golden ticket of sorts.
Of course, I am a worrier by nature, and this was no exception. I have struggled with acne for years, and in December I was on a prescription antibiotic as well as a prescription topical creme. My dermatologist recommended I discontinue both immediately, so I stopped that treatment two weeks before I went off the pill. Between the prospect of unregulated hormones and no acne medicine, I was extremely worried about just how nightmarish my face would look in the coming weeks.
I was also concerned about my mental, emotional, and physical health in the coming months. I went on birth control when I was 15 after a bout with ovarian cysts. That means my body only had three years to have a natural cycle before I put it on the pill for almost eight years. What on earth would my hormones do now? Would I be an emotional wreck? Would I gain weight? Does my body even remember how to ovulate?
But all of this was in the back of my mind, really, because I was ecstatic to be off the pill. It was the first step in a much-anticipated journey.
When we got married in 08, we decided to wait one year before trying to start a family. That was a long time to me; I have always wanted to be a mom and I wanted to get started right away. But I knew that waiting a year was the smart thing to do, and I like to do the smart thing, so I did.
For most of the first year of our marriage, I was working through a temp agency at an insurance company in town. I took the job because it was a nearly 50% salary increase and because it offered benefits, and my previous position (at a small non-profit) did not. I had worked in the temp position for just over three months – January 2009 – when I needed to take a trip to the emergency room.
To make a long story short, my new “insurance” that I was so happy to have through the temp agency was hardly insurance at all. They only paid $50 for my trip to the emergency room, and I quickly found myself saddled with nearly $6,000 of medical debt. Once the EOBs and bills started filling my mailbox in early Spring, I had to come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t have a baby until I got better healthcare insurance.
It made me heartsick to postpone our “trying” date, but I knew it wasn’t fair to bring a little person into the world without being able to afford it. And with the cost of labor and delivery topping $10,000, I knew we couldn’t afford it on our own.
During the calendar year of 2009, when there was no end to the waiting in sight, babies were a sore subject for me. I was dying to start a family with A, but my position in my career was holding me back. There was no concrete promise that my job would become “permanent” any time soon, and those benefits were out of my grasp until then. The uncertainty was the worst part – how long would this go on? Will it be years before we can start trying? Meanwhile, it felt like everyone I knew was pregnant. It hurt.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we got the good news: my job is permanent starting tomorrow (January 4, 2010).