No Testing Needed

December 10, 2006

Those black moods I mentioned yesterday? Totally, 100% hormone-related. In fact, as I write this, I’m in a Midol-induced haze. I woke up this morning to some spotting. Since I’m still at least five days away from the earliest I expected to start (more like two weeks at least for when I really expected it), I got my hopes up at first. I’d been cramping just a little over the past few days, which I never do before I start, and it was very, very little, more like spotting than a period.

Then all of a sudden late this afternoon, it hit with full force. It’s definitely not spotting. I just don’t understand why it came so early this month. Is it to make up for showing up late the past few times? At least it explains the out-of-whack hormones of late. I’m not insane, as my recent moods indicated.

Of course I’m a little disappointed I’m not pregnant, but since the symptoms I mentioned the other day were fading even by the time I’d finished typing the post (slight exaggeration, but you know…), I’d already gotten it in my mind that this wasn’t the month. And it’s not bad that I had confirmation earlier rather than later so I couldn’t get my hopes up too high. Oh, and I didn’t waste a pregnancy test.

I’m also glad my cycle is a little shorter again. I’ll know sooner whether I’m pregnant for the month, and I’ll have more opportunities to conceive since I’ll ovulate more frequently. The cramps and other yucky period stuff isn’t fun to have more often, but maybe I won’t have to put up with them much longer. I just hope this shorter cycle is my new normal. I hate being so irregular, like I have been ever since PJ was born. It’s hard to know when we should try the most when my ovulation could be anywhere from almost two weeks after starting to a full month after. Not that I mind all that “trying” all month long!

Maybe next month is the month. No Christmas surprises for the grandmas, but they’ll get over it.


That Time of Month

December 6, 2006

We have officially entered that phase of the month I call the “Could I be pregnant?” phase. I think I’ve mentioned before that this started when PJ was only three months old and I was on birth control. Even back then, I started analyzing how I felt, trying to decide whether every vague symptom could be a sign I’m pregnant.

This month it started with having to pee all the time. For about a week now, I’ve been going every two hours during the day and wake up during the night needing to go. This hasn’t been a problem since I was pregnant with PJ. Of course, it could also be a sign of a urinary tract infection. I had one of those when I was pregnant with PJ, too, so that alone won’t get my hopes up about it.

But I noticed around the same time that my emotions were getting out of whack. I had a total freak-out on Saturday about lunch and ended up sobbing. Now I realize how utterly stupid the whole thing was, but at the time, it felt like the world was ending. I’m still tearing up at silly commercials, every TLC baby show, and of course, ER and Gray’s Anatomy. I also cry a lot when I don’t feel good, so maybe I’ve just been a little sick for a while and I haven’t noticed it. Still, combine that with the peeing problem, and it makes me wonder just a little bit.

Then I noticed my boobs were particularly sensitive. That was the very first sign I was pregnant with PJ. M has to be careful when he hugs me, and I’m careful with the way I hold PJ. They feel like they did last time. I’m trying to remind myself that I’m still breastfeeding, about to wean, so of course they’re going to be somewhat sensitive.

And then this morning I got extremely nauseous. I had to go lie down and take a nap to make it go away. I couldn’t function. (Fortunately PJ let me sleep.) I’m excusing this one away with the lack-of-sleep excuse. If all these symptoms continue, though, I’m not going to be able to excuse them away any longer.

I shouldn’t be feeling symptoms yet, if I ovulated when I expected to, even if I conceived right away. That makes it easier to keep from getting my hopes up. I’m not going to test for another couple of weeks, until I’ve given my period a chance to show up first. But if Aunt Flo is late this month, I’ll be testing right away. At that point, I won’t be able to find excuses for the way I feel any longer.


December 2, 2006

Even though I had a difficult time at first with breastfeeding my son, I’m proud now that I’ve kept it up this long. We are reaching a point, however, where weaning is imminent. I am torn between pushing PJ into total weaning or to try to stretch it out as long as possible.

If PJ weaned right away, I know my fertility would increase greatly, almost right away. It’s tempting to just cut him off, stop offering it to him and give him normal milk if he acts like he wants to nurse. My desire for a new baby is pushing me into this option. It’s not like he really needs to keep nursing after all. I accomplished my goal of breastfeeding him for a complete year, and these last couple of months have just been bonus.

On the other hand, I’ve found in the last few months that I actually enjoy breastfeeding. Now that he’s mobile, this is one of the few times he’s still anymore. It’s more of a bonding experience now than it’s ever been. I’m not ready to give up that aspect of it quite yet.

The other reason to stretch out this nursing thing is twice as selfish. I want to be able to brag to other moms just how long PJ breastfed. I have my sob story about how difficult it was to begin with, and I’ll look like quite the hero if I can then say I still nursed him for a good fifteen, or eighteen, months. I want to keep nursing so I can brag about it! How sad is that?

Sad as that last reason is, it’s still a compelling one to keep nursing. So I’m torn between wanting to keep nursing, for bonding and for bragging, and to cut him off altogether so that I can conceive a brother or sister for him that much sooner. Right now, keeping with it is the easier course, so I might just place my desire for another kid on the back burner for a few more days until PJ gives up my boob on his own.

Confession Thursday with the Green-Eyed Monster

November 30, 2006

When I was attending my small Christian college in a nowhere town, one of the biggest social occasions for the girls was a candlelighting. I don’t know if anybody else does this, so I’m going to assume it was unique to our school. After a girl got engaged–which happened pretty much on a weekly basis–she would only tell one or two of her closest friends. These friends were responsible for advertising an anonymous candlelighting, finding a candle, and tying her engagement ring to it with a colorful ribbon. On the appointed evening, most of the girls in the dorm would gather, especially the ones who were acquainted with the various girls who were rumored to be the subject of the evening’s candlelighting.

The group would gather in a circle in the dark and pass the lit candle around while singing an appropriate love or wedding song. Each girl would peek at the lovely engagement ring, ooh and aah excessively over it, and hold her breath as she waited to discover which girl would blow out the candle, claiming the ring as her own. Once that moment happened, every girl present would give the lucky girl hugs and wait for her to tell her engagement story.

I went to my share of candlelightings, each time with a touch of envy. It was expected of me, though, so I continued going. As the candle circulated through the dark room, I would have fantasies about my own candlelighting. Sometimes I would envision the current boyfriend sneaking into the room, leaning over my shoulder as I happened to have the candle and blow it out for me, and then proposing to me in front of all my friends. That never happened. In fact, my candlelighting itself never did. I always put on a good show of being happy for my newest engaged friend, but I left the room more lonely than I had entered, and that pit of jealousy in my stomach only grew.

I graduated from college without ever getting my candlelighting. That was one of the saddest parts of my graduation. I knew I would never have another opportunity for one. That was one of life’s milestones that had passed me by. I’d lost my chance to be the center of attention for something so wonderful, and even if I ended up happily married later in life, I couldn’t regain that lost moment. Only my fantasies about my candlelighting remain.

I wonder if the only reason I wanted a candlelighting so badly was the peer pressure. We were at that stage in life when boyfriends, fiances, and husbands were most important to us. When we didn’t get them in that order during those few college years, it felt as though we weren’t a part of the crowd.

Now that I’m married, my missed candlelighting seems unimportant. I have the perfect man, so it doesn’t matter much that I didn’t get to announce it in such a dramatic way. I haven’t changed, however. My desire for that wonderful attention has transferred to the next stage of my life.

I feel exactly as I did at every candlelighting every time I hear or read of another woman’s pregnancy. I desperately want to be happy for them, and in a way I am, but I’m so jealous I could be sick. I want it to be my turn. I fantasize about what it will be like when I read that positive pregnancy test, how to tell my husband, my family. I have several different blog entries announcing the good news all but written in my head.

I don’t want to begrudge my friends, even in blogworld, their good news, but I’m ready for it to be my turn. I want that attention. I’m so scared that this will be just another milestone that will pass me by and that like my candlelighting, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to experience it.

Well, here ends NaBloPoMo. I suppose it’s good that I was so dedicated to blogging on a regular basis before the month started. I didn’t have much trouble with it, other than being out of town. I’ll probably keep blogging on a nearly daily basis, like I did before. Don’t go away!

Questioning My Own Qualifications

November 28, 2006

I’ve finally figured out that I’m really too selfish to be a mother. It might have been nice if I’d realized this before getting pregnant, but I don’t know if it would have made a difference then. I think I’ve spiraled downward into my selfishness since getting pregnant. I was able to set it aside most of the time when I was teaching because I had responsibilities that I had to fulfill in order to receive my paycheck and keep my job. And let me tell you, that paycheck is quite the driving force to overcome even the worst aspects of my personality.

But now my responsibilities are minimal, and it’s difficult for me to push myself to do anything beyond that absolute minimum. I only feel the tiniest twinge of guilt when I roll over and go back to sleep in the morning, even when I hear PJ crying in the background. It won’t hurt him to wait another half hour to eat breakfast. Or I’ll let him cry in his gated play area when he’s sick of playing while I finish whatever I was doing before.

It bothers me that I am able to disregard some of PJ’s desires in order to follow my own desires during the day. It bothers me even more that PJ doesn’t seem to mind at all. He might cry at the time, but the second I pick him up or start playing with him, he’s fine again. If he weren’t so quick to forgive me my faults, I might just work harder to get rid of them.

Yet I’m still so willing to consider bringing another child into the mix; I’m even anxious for that to happen. Do I really think things will get better with two children? I’ll have two children pulling me two different ways and doubling my responsibility every day. I’ll feel twice as guilty for not meeting all the needs of two different children.

Either that, or having twice the responsibility would force me to set aside my own desires and selfishness twice as often. A second kid might just push the selfishness out of me altogether. The way I see it, another kid will either make my problem twice as bad or twice as good. I’ll play the optimist this time and hope for the second option. I’m too anxious for another baby to consider the first. I’ll overanalyze myself right out of a baby if I do that.

Under the Wire

November 25, 2006

I had all day long to blog, with plenty of free time to write something, and here I am with ten minutes left in the day, finally sitting down to blog. Vacations throw me so far off my normal routine that even things I love, like blogging, get neglected.

I’ve been debating what to write about tonight. I have something absolutely perfect for Confession Thursday, but I don’t know that it can wait that long. Maybe I’ll just write about it anyway.

We’ve only been trying to conceive–sort of–for a little over a month, and already I’m starting to feel that incredible jealousy of those who are pregnant. I just found out that a friend of mine is pregnant with her third child, apparently a surprise pregnancy. I was reluctant to comment on her blog when she wrote about it because I was afraid the envy of her would be obvious.

I don’t want to dislike women who are pregnant. I’ve been very blessed already, getting pregnant the first time so easily. Why should I begrudge others getting pregnant at all, even if the kid was unexpected or the conception was easy? Why do I always have to be so special all the time? It’s not good enough that I had one easy conception; I want two, or three. And two years-ish isn’t close enough together; I wanted them a year or less. And I had one easy birth; now I want another. And PJ wasn’t preemie enough for me; if I have to have a preemie, it had better be the life-threatening kind.

I’m hoping I was taking that mindset a little too far there. But I’m afraid I’m not. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of girl. It’s not good enough unless I have the best, or the worst, or any other extreme. Then I feel like I’ve failed if I do something great, but not the best. That’s where this inappropriate envy comes from.

I suppose it’s a good thing that I recognize this trait in myself. I can contain it and laugh it away instead of letting it eat me up. I did finally leave a comment on my friend’s blog congratulating her. It only took me about a week. Eventually my turn will come as well, even if there’s nothing extraordinary about it. At least I can be comforted by the fact that my son truly is the cutest kid ever.

I Hate Being Right

November 13, 2006

At least sometimes I do. Go back and read yesterday’s post really fast so you’ll know what I’m talking about today.

The good news is that the hormones have settled down some from yesterday. After a night spent in ultra-hormonal dreams, obviously an extension of my emotionally hormonal day, I woke up to discover I had started after all.

Yes, just as i had predicted.

So…that means I’m not pregnant, which I’ve been saying for weeks. It’s also six weeks on the dot from last time, which verifies my hesitation to test so early. This is actually right at the interval it’s been the last few cycles, so the erratic cycles since PJ was born were a result of breastfeeding, not the birth control. That means once I wean, I should hopefully go back to my pre-pregnancy regular cycles, not these weird six-weekers. I guess at least they’ve been regular these last few times, even if they’re not the regular intervals I want.

Anyway, it’s slightly disappointing. I was sort of hoping yesterday that the hormones were pregnancy hormones after all, even though nothing else felt pregnant. I’m glad I know either way, though. And I get another month (six weeks?) of trying.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I should do. I don’t want to get more involved with determining exactly when I ovulate. M still wants to leave it up to chance, so I need to use logic, not relatively invasive procedures, to figure out when I’m most fertile. I know if I go back to my normal pre-pregnancy cycles, then I’d ovulate about 2-2 1/2 weeks after starting. If I’m still on this weird cycle, though, then I guess it’s closer to 4 weeks after starting. Should we just try at both of those times? I’m betting whether or not I arrange it that way, that’s probably what will happen. I guess it can’t hurt to cover all my bases anyway, though.

In the meantime, I think I’ll work on weaning PJ a little faster. He’s getting less and less interested all the time. Maybe by the next cycle, that will all be in the past. So maybe another two months before I find out I’m pregnant, if I get pregnant at the first ovulation after weaning? Ugh, that sounds like an awful long time to wait all of a sudden.