Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Is this normal?

For those who don't like details about someone else's cycle please stop reading now. Ok, so this morning I had a small bleed.  I had no spotting overnight but stood up in the morning and had the sensation of bleeding that was quite quick. The bleed was bright red and probably about 15-20ml. It stopped immediately and I had a small amount of brown spotting during the day. Sigh. Why is this happening??? I'm not due for my period for another 9 days. The brown spotting happens every month and and the short red bleeds have occurred every few months. Is there something I should be doing? My acupuncturist did hint that my progesterone levels could be low and adjusted my herbal tea accordingly when I saw her last month. I try and ignore the spotting and just get on with my day but it is a constant reminder for nearly 2 weeks of the month that things maybe aren't quite right. It's been a bit stressful at home because my husband no longer has permanent work and I'm having to increase my workload to bring in a bit more money. It's a wet day outside and I feel like a nice warm bath but our hot water service has broken so it'll just have to be TV in some warm trackies (tracksuits). I feel a bit down after this post so I thought I'd finish with 10 things that make me happy to cheer me up a bit. They are: 1) my husband 2) my family 3) my friends 4) weekends 5) chocolate 6) my subscription magazine 7) my favourite TV shows 8) playing sport and exercising 9) the view outside our window 10) spending time in the garden. There, I'm smiling already :-)

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Two-Week Wait (2WW)

Aaaah my favourite time of the month. Not! Last week was our fertile period (at least I hope it was-LOL) and now the wait begins. Over the past 7 months I have 'experienced' just about every early pregnancy symptom there is. Metallic taste in the mouth. Check. Sore nipples. Check. Fatigue. Check. Nausea. Check. It really makes me question my sanity when I get a negative pregnancy result after all these fake symptoms. Am I just more aware of my body or is my mind creating symptoms to trick me? I experience spotting (brown to red) every month in the lead up to my period which makes it very confusing. Early on in the TTC journey I would think hopefully "Is this implantation spotting?" but this month when I got my first spot last night I didn't read anything into it. In fact my monthly spotting is one of those very frustrating things that nobody besides me and my acupuncturist seems to be concerned about. My Gynacologist and two GP's (general practitioners) have pretty much laughed off my concerns and told me to "relax". Pre-menstrual spotting seems to be a common occurance for women (based on my fertility degree from the Univeristy of Google) although I am concerned that it is mostly experienced by people trying to conceive. For some reason I get very irritable the day or so after I get my first sign of spotting...I think it's a combination of PMS and disappointment. I hope this month things are different but if they're not then we'll try again in March. I'm reading back over this post and know that the tone is different from my posts before ovulation. It is just more effortful to be positive at the moment. My acupuncturist was right when she said that contentment was hard to obtain and even harder to maintain. So I'm just going to accept I'm in a bit of a low spot at the moment and make sure I do things that I enjoy and that help me to relax. I'm going to keep up my exercise and yoga as well as continue to listen to the short meditation apps on my iPhone. I know there are so many people out there who are experiencing true hardship and distress and I think I'll focus on keeping them in my thoughts so that I can get out of my own head- so to speak. My favourite saying of all time is "Your perception is your reality"  and I know that I can see this experience however I choose to. Yes there will be peaks and troughs but I believe that my husband and I will have a family one day- in what ever way that means. On that note, I thought I'd share another saying that I have written on the whiteboard in my study that I have to remind me not to give up hope:
"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end"

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Acupuncture and chinese medicine

Mmmmmmm....I've just returned from my acupuncure appointment and I feel great :-) My acupuncturist is very caring and I always feel as if she is very focused on me for the whole session. I started acupuncture early on in the TTC journey and am really starting to feel the benefits in the past month. I am sleeping better, feel less anxious and am generally more content. For those of you who haven't been to an acupuncture session I thought I would give a brief overview. My appointment always starts with a short consultation where my pulse is taken and I give an update on how I've been going. On more than one occasion I am on the verge of tears at this point if I have just had my period and one time I did actually cry. It's hard when you don't talk about trying to get pregnant to anyone besides your partner and then someone asks you the question directly.Today I felt great- I'm ovulating according to my OPK and BBT and feel less stressed than I have in a long time. Anyway, after the short consultation I have around 30 minutes of acupuncture followed by 10 minutes or so of Chinese cupping on my back and a short neck and shoulder massage. I end the session by topping up on my chinese medicine powder mix- which I take morning and night as a hot tea. I gagged on the tea when I first started drinking it but now I actually like it! During my appointments the needles themselves aren't really a problem- they hurt a little at first but then I barely feel them. I usually read books while the needles are in as I can't don't relax very easily when I have nothing to do. Today was the first time I didn't feel like reading as much and so tried to focus on breathing deeply and getting the most out of the experience. I love the massage- even though the cups can be a little firm in places when my acupunturist moves them up and down my back. It feels good to be doing something positive for my health and fertility and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't experienced acupunture or any other eastern medicine before. When I told my acupuncturist I felt content today she was very pleased and said that "contenment is a hard feeling to find and an even harder feeling to maintain". I know there will be dips again in the road ahead but at the moment I'm enjoying the feeling I have :-)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Seeing the funny side of TTC

Over the past 7 months I have had many days of sadness and despair. The day or two leading up to my period I get particularly teary and when AF arrives for sure I usually have a good cry. I could probably keep it in if I tried but it generally feels better to let it all out. It's always hard to face the new month thinking that the rising hope and the disappointing lows may happen all over again. I honestly can't imagine how people do this for 1,2,3 or more years...I truly have respect for their strength and ability to bounce back again and again. I hate not knowing when it will happen for us but for some reason I feel more relaxed and positive this month than I have for a while. Tonight I'm watching FRIENDS repeats on TV as it always puts me in a better mood. Monica and Chandler are trying to get pregnant and it is making me look at some of the wackiness of TTC in a more humerous way. I'm smiling at the recollection that I really didn't want to start charting my BBT because I thought that the thermometer went somewhere other than my mouth! I'm also remembering the time at work when I needed to check my LH levels with a OPK and realised I didn't have a urine collection cup. I had to hide my giggles as I tried to use the empty OPK packet as a replacement! I try not to laugh when I'm in one of the many akward positions my husband has seen me in trying to keep my legs in the air after baby-dancing. Buying pregnancy tests at the same time as tampons is also a bit funny as well when I really think about it- although I always cringe at the time. Overall, the TTC journey is definitely a roller-coaster but I'm hoping to look at the process in a more humorous light in an effort to stay positive and see the funny side in it all. I thought I'd end this post with a little joke to hopefully make you smile:
How many TTC couples does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Screw in a lightbulb? you think it would help?

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A healthy mind and body

I'm feeling pretty positive today. I've decided that this month I'm really going to focus on being healthier and hopefully more relaxed. I'm going to exercise at least 5 days per week if possible...Mondays will be WiiFit, Tuesday will be Basketball, Wednesdays will be Yoga, and Thursdays will be running. Another run/yoga session on the weekend will round out the week. I'm also going to try meditating as often as I can. I've downloaded some relaxation music on my iphone and will start with an acheiveable length of time to start off with- maybe 3-5 minutes. I've tried meditation in the past and just can't seem to 'get it'. I know you're not supposed to TRY and just have to be mindful of your breath and all the rest. It's just so boring! My mind does not slow down or switch off easily and after 5 or 6 inhalations and exhalations my mind wanders to what I need to do on the way home/do at work tomorrow/my face is itchy etc. Visuals seem to help and I enjoy stories that allow my mind to focus on details. I figure that regular practice is likely to improve my ability to meditate; and maybe one day I'll even look love it! Anyway, I'm also trying to drink more water and reduce my sugar intake (I have a huge sweet tooth so this will be hard). So that's the plan. I'm not going to be too strict because- let's face it- additional pressure is counter-productive. I'm going to have a few wines at a friend's birthday this weekend and eat some cake if I really feel like it. It's not the perfect plan but an all organic, sugar free, low-fat diet just isn't realistic and I figure that a relatively healthy diet with a few treats is the best approach for me. I've been for my run tonight and have a cup of water beside my laptop while I type this post. Before bed I'm going to listen to a short meditation. Sending out positive thoughts to all on the TTC journey. Namaste :-)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentines Day

It's interesting that trying to create a family starts with "making love" and a "we'll see how it goes" attitude and soon turns into perfectly planned baby-making efforts. A few months after we started the more flexible approach I grew impatient and- like everything else in my life- felt the need to have some control over the situation. "OK, all I need to do is work out how to do it better" I thought. I thought I was 'in-tune' with my relative regular cycle and figured that the feeling I had that I probably ovulated about a week after my period ended would be sufficient. I had a rough idea that a 28 day cycle should mean ovulation around the 14 day mark but other than that I was naively optimistic that it would all work out pretty easily. After all, I hadn't known anybody with fertility problems (or so I thought) and heard lots of stories about my friends and co-workers getting pregnant after only one or two months. "This will be easy" I told myself. Deep down I worried that it might not be so simple but brushed these thoughts aside in an effort to be positive. Fast forward a few months and its surprising how quickly BBT's, cervical mucous (CM) , cervix position, OPK's and specific details about my cycle have become a part of my day to day life. I would have flushed with embarrassment if somebody had have asked me about the colour of my AF or the viscocity of my CM but now I don't even bat an eyelid when my acupuncturist asks for these details (acupuncture info for another blog post). I'm sure there are others out there who have also developed a new vocabulary and are suddenly mini-experts in their luteal/follicular phases and know all the early pregnancy symptoms off by heart as we look for any sign in that two week wait (2WW). This Valentine's Day has made me pause and reflect on what this is all about- love. The love between my husband and I and the love we have for our future child/ren. I hope if you are reading this you also pause for a moment and give your partner a hug and kiss and tell them that you love them. They may look at you suspiciously and think you must be ovulating but trust me- you'll feel better. Happy Valentine's Day :-)

Monday, 13 February 2012

A new day...

Hi. If you're reading this blog I imagine you are also trying to conceive. I'm 7 months in. For some that may seem like a short time and for others 7 months may be longer than they would like to take to get pregnant. 7 months ago I was full of excitement and ready for the positive pregnancy test within a few weeks of trying. Maybe 2 or 3 months tops! But, it hasn't happened that way. The past 7 months have felt like a whole lot longer and I feel the need to take a fresh outlook. That's why I'm writing this blog. I have struggled to keep my feelings and experiences so private when all I want is to ask- is this NORMAL!!! I don't want this blog to be a depressing rant about how unfair it is that everyone seems to be falling pregnant around me but rather a tool to help me focus my feelings and stay positive. I found it very fitting that when attempting to come up with a creative "trying to conceive" (TTC)  blog name I entered "trying" into the thesaurus and was presented with the possible word options: annoying, tiresome, irritating, wearisome, difficult, frustrating and demanding! I couldn't have said it better myself! I hope you join me on this journey and I will keep you posted about the first 7 months as well as the future as my husband and I try to conceive our family :-)