Thursday, February 26, 2009

Me A to Z

Age: 27
Bed Size: King
Car: Hyundai Elantra
Dad's Name: Gary
Essential Start Your Day Item: BBT
Favorite Actor: Will Ferrel
Gold or Silver: Gold
Height: 5'3"
Instruments You Played: None
Job Title: Program Officer
Kids: Hoping
Living Arrangement: In a home with my husband and dog
Mom's Name: Debbie
Nicknames: Jess
Overnight Hospital Stay Other than Birth: None
Pet Peeve: The bottom of people's feet.  They completely gross me out.  I hate seeing them.
Quotes You Like: "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." A.A. Milne in Winnie the Pooh
Right of Left-Handed: Right
Siblings: One little brother who's 24
Time You Wake Up: Between 6:30 and 7:00
Underwear: Briefs
Vegetable You Dislike: Mushrooms, ick.
Ways You Run Late: I'm really bad at judging how long things will take, which makes me persistently 5 or 10 minutes late.
X-rays You've Had: Chest, left knee, right hand.  I've torn my left knee ACL twice and had a bone tumor in my right hand during college. 
Yummy Food You Make: I'm a huge fan of soup, so I have quite a few good recipes I make.
Zodiac: Aquarius

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Confessions of a Diaphragm Abuser

I quit taking BCP in October even though we weren't quite ready to TTC. We've never used condoms since we are high school sweethearts. We tried them after BCP but were not fans. My MD gave me a prescription for a diaphragm.

First off, I had no idea that there are different vajayjay sizes. Mine is a rather petite 65 mm. Secondly, diaphragms are harder to find than grade A cocaine. I tried three local pharmacies, all of whom were on backorder for at least a month. Thanksgiving rolled around with no diaphragm. We were in Mexico for week-long vacation. We were responsible enough to bring condoms, but not responsible enough to use them. It didn't help that it was all inclusive, so sliding on a condom after practically having a strawberry daquiri IV was almost impossible.

When we got back from Mexico I took matters into my own hands and bought a diaphragm from an online UK pharmacy. We used it a whole three times before deciding that we were ready to TTC.

Now for the abuse. Brett left super early Monday morning. We had sex that morning. Afterwards I was thinking how much I hope those spermies stay in there and alive a long time in case I ovulate while hubs is out of town. I'm sure you see where this is going - I put the diaphragm in right afterwards. My thinking was that it could contain my fertile CM and his sperm. My chart doesn't show O yet, so it was probably all for naught. What do you guys think? Was this so stupid or a stroke of genius?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Last you heard from me I was perplexed by EWCM on CD 10 when I didn't ovulate until 24 last cycle. Well, my body has continued to confuse me. Saturday I was getting egg whites all over the place, but we were in our hometown visiting family and were booked up all day. I was worried that we wouldn't get a chance to have sex, especially since we were staying at his parents' house in a tiny bed. Mid-way through the evening, fate handed us a sublime opportunity. Our car's battery died in a pretty remote part of town. I called my dad to come jumpstart us. I looked at Brett and commented that we'd be bored stiff waiting. Both of our eyebrows rose and, though I'm ashamed to, I'll admit that we had sex in the front seat of our car. That is classy stuff. If it works, I can't wait to tell the little bean that we conceived them when our car broke down.

I haven't got a clue if it has a chance to work, though. I decided at the start of this cycle to be less crazy about temping at the same time because it was really getting in the way of me actually sleeping. As a result, my chart is full of open circles and almost useless for detecting ovulation. I guess I learned a lesson on that one. I was so stressed today because I woke up and my temp was the lowest it's been all cycle. The problem is I had to get up at 4:00 am to take DH to the airport. He'll be gone until Saturday, so I hope I either just ovulated or will hold off until after he's back.

The great news today is that I met with my boss about my new position and it sounds like I'll be busy, but it will be spread throughout the year, rather than concentrated during the legislative session. This is fantastic news because it means that we can continue trying without pausing to avoid maternity leave during session.

I am so thrilled to have this great news. It's such a load off and makes me a lot less worried about making this cycle work.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My body has me completely perplexed. I was hunkering down for the long wait until ovulation, but my body seems to have other plans. Between a high cervix and watery CM, ovulation seems to be just around the corner.

My husband will be out of town for work from Monday to Saturday, so I hope I either O soon or hold out until after he's back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trying to Work the Energy Up...

For our first cycle TTC, I had no idea when to expect ovulation and was also really bad at decoding my cervical mucous.  As a result, we decided to have sex like rabbits.  We were aiming for every other day, but then every week or so I'd become convinced I was ovulating at that very second, so we'd do it every day.

I can't lie and say it was great because at least half the time it was clearly baby-making sex for both of us.  No candles or romantic music.  Just me rolling over first thing in the morning and saying, "Do you want to do it now or later?  You have to pick one."  My poor husband was such a trooper.

I had wet CM today, which is awfully early.  To be CD 8 and get wet CM seems a little nuts when I ovulated at CD 24 last cycle.  I'm sure it's just a false start, but we'll be having sex tonight just in case.  We haven't had sex since I ovulated, which is a little sad but standard for us.  I've been trying to justify it by telling myself that we are saving up our energy for this cycle.  That's partially true.  The other part of the story is that we've been married for four years now and have both been working extra long hours lately.  I think we'd both prefer to cuddle on the couch than pounce in the bedroom.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yeah and Boo

Well, this day has brought good news and bad news.  The good news is that I got a promotion.  My boss pulled me into his office and closed the door (a rare occurrence in our office's culture).  I was so nervous that he'd have bad news since our endowment was almost entirely invested in the stock market.  Instead, he said that he wants to promote me to handle the foundation's public policy and lobbying.  I'm so excited about the position and will get to take lots of ownership for directing the foundation's efforts.

The only downside is that I'll likely be responsible for lobbying the state legislature which meets from January to May every year.  This wouldn't be a problem except that I really don't want to be having a baby during those months, especially not in 2010 since it will be my first full legislative session.  The hubby and I are trying to take a wait and see approach to this problem.  If we get pregnant this cycle (please God) then I'd be due at the end of November, which wouldn't conflict with the session.  If not, I'll have to determine whether I'm willing to be pregnant during session.

There's also a chance that I will only be lobbying occasionally or will be lobbying local governments.  This would be another way out of my predicament.  I guess time will tell.  In the meantime, I'd love lots of baby dust for this cycle.

Monday, February 16, 2009


So, my chin-up attitude about cycle 1 not working imploded Thursday night. I am in a book club, which is super fun and would be more appropriately named wine club. The 4+ glasses of wine I had during book club on Thursday were just what I needed to let my feelings out. After I got home, I just started sobbing in my husband's arms. It was cathartic to get that out and I'm glad I can get on with cycle #2 now.

Brett and I had a great weekend -- we went out with another couple for dinner on Friday night. This couple is super on top of their finances. They have no debt, 6 months of living expenses in savings, and pay 4 times their mortgage every month. I was super impressed by their diligence (and pretty sure they make loads more money than us since we are both in the non-profit field). Anyway, our dinner with them inspired us to spend much of the weekend coming up with some plans for our lives.

I recently read an article in Real Simple about how families should be run more like businesses, meaning that they should have core values and priorities. On Friday night, we brainstormed the traits that we most value and want to pass along to our families. They are: unconditional love, kindness, confidence, health, and learning. When it came time to choose a priority, we both knew that having a baby would be our choice. However, when Brett wrote it down in our notebook, he wrote, "create life." I'd never thought of it that way and it sent shivers up my spine and tears to my eyes. It's such a profound thing to do.

We made two sub-goals: develop healthy habits and make new relationships. Since we've only lived here for six months and have lots of family in town, we haven't done much to expand our social circle.

It was a great exercise for Brett and I to talk through who we want to be and the kind of family we want to create.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lessons Learned from Cycle 1

As my first cycle charting has come to a close with the appearance of AF this morning, I'm reflecting over then things I've learned from charting this first cycle:

1. I'm ovulating! Woohoo. I was so nervous that my body wasn't back in the groove yet and I wouldn't be ovulating.

2. I learned that my type A personality doesn't mesh so well with TTC. I've been trying to temp every morning at 6:15, but I'm such an overachiever that I get up at 5:30 half the time. I know it may result in some open circles, but I'm just going to relax about the whole temping at the same time thing. I need to get some sleep.

3. I learned that having a BBT actually matters. I've charted this whole cycle with a digital thermometer. About half-way through I got around to buying a BBT. They show similar trends, but the digital almost always shows a higher temp than the BBT. Even though they are both showing similar trends, using an actual BBT gives me some peace of mind that my chart isn't being governed by some glitch with my thermometer.

4. I learned what my CM looks like. It makes so much more sense now that I've seen all the different types of CM.

5. I learned to check my cervical position, but am still clueless about the texture and opening stuff.

6. Lastly, I learned that it's called a 2 week wait, not a 2 week obsess over every twinge you feel, or a 2 week pretend you're already pregnant. It's a time for waiting, which I suck at.

Overall, I'm a little bummed that this cycle didn't work out, but I'm not particularly surprised. I went into this thinking it would take me awhile to get pregnant. However, once I ovulated and saw that our timing was good, I did get my hopes up a bit.

My luteal phase was just 10 days, which is on the short side. The good thing about it is that my 2ww is actually just a 10 day wait, but that bad thing is that I need to give any prospective babies time to implant. My overall cycle was 34 days, which is the shortest I've had since I've been off BCP. Shorter cycles = more chances, so that's good news.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Sick of Overanalyzing

Which is precisely what I've done this cycle. In my defense, it was my first cycle charting, so I had lots to learn. My temp was down but not under the coverline today and I got a BFN. I'm at 10 dpo and a single temp does not make or break a chart, so in the spirit of not overanalyzing, I'll leave it at that.

I'm also going to try to wait until Saturday to test, but given my track record so far, it doesn't seem likely. Those silly $1 tests make it so easy.

My poll closed with a whopping seven votes -- four think I'll be pg and three don't. After subtracting out my vote and DH's two votes (you cheater), that makes it a 2 to 2 tie. Not too shabby of odds, I suppose.

Also, today I got my first two blog followers. Hello and welcome. I can't promise wittiness or drama, but I do promise regular updates.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Temperature Dip and BFN

Well, two things happened this morning:
  1. My temp went back up to the high temps of the weekend without me even drinking lots or sleeping in a warmer environment.
  2. DH and I decided not to test again until Wednesday morning because we have no patience and couldn't possibly wait until Friday or Saturday. Well, I woke up early and gave it a shot and it was negative. I knew it would be and wasn't too upset. Those damn dollar store pregnancy tests make it so easy to POAS at the drop of a hat. Anyway, here's my chart for today.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Spirits Rise and Fall with My BBT

My temp today was down relative to some of my previous post-O temps this cycle. It sort of bums me out, but I also think the super high temps were a little artificial. I had drank the night before each of them. For two of them, I was at my mom's house and she keeps her home warmer than outs.

Nonetheless, I can't help but feel a little sad that my temp is down. It's still early in the 2ww. Between the lower temp and very blah weather, I'm in need of a perk me up. I've also learned that the first cycle charting is difficult, not just because you are learning to do something new, but also because I don't have anything to compare my current chart to. I wasn't sure if I'd ovulate, when I could expect to ovulate, or what my "normal" pre-O temp is. I also don't know how long my usual LP is, which makes it difficult to decide when testing makes sense.

I'm also going to confess that I took a hpt last night on 7 dpo without fmu. It was a bfn, which is exactly what I was expecting. I knew it was probably a waste of a test, but Brett and I had just bought about 6 hpts from dollar tree and we were both kind of joking about how I should take one. Then, for some reason, we decided I should. I think I'll wait a while before I take another one.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Things that Make You Go Hmmm...

We went to our hometown this weekend to see our new niece and visit family.  Yesterday afternoon (6 dpo), I had a small bit of brownish spotting, which I hope is implantation spotting.  It seems a little early for implantation spotting.  My temps have been way up, which is nice, but I'm not sure that it means much at this stage of the game.  Time will tell.

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Three Voters

Well, my snazzy poll to the right has attracted a whopping three votes. It's only a matter of time before this blog is one of the most visited blogs on the web. Ha! Actually, I know 2 of the three voters. One was me and I clicked that this cycle wouldn't be the one. I'm a pretty optimistic person, but I am trying to force myself to be pessimistic to lessen the disappointment if I'm not pregnant.

The second voter was my husband who thinks I'll turn out pregnant. He's more of an optimist than me apparently. The third voter is a mystery to me, but much appreciated. Knowing some stranger out there (or Bumpie, which isn't quite the same as a stranger) thinks I'm KU is pretty exciting.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Twiddling Thumbs

This is my first 2ww and it hasn't been that bad. Granted, I'm anxious about finally getting far enough past ovulation to begin peeing on things. I was so worried that I wasn't ovulating at all that just getting to the 2ww feels like a victory of sorts. My temp went up by .3 today to 98.4. At 4dpo, it's too early for that to mean much, but I was still fearful it would plummet early and this would turn out to be annovulatory. With each extra day of high temps, I feel better and better.

I think 12 dpo is the earliest I'd consider testing. That would be Friday, the 13th, which sounds like bad luck. However, it would also be exactly five years since DH popped the question. I also may wait until V-day since that's 13 dpo and also a romantic day. Knowing me, I'll probably break down and pee on 12 dpo, but we'll see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Things About Me

Taking advantage of economies of scale, I'm double posting this from Facebook:

1. I LOVE shoes. When I was a little girl I was very serious about becoming a shoe salesman. I don't even know how many pairs I have, but don't worry, I only buy them when they are on sale.

2. I pop my knuckles still. I really thought it was something I'd grow out of once I was an "adult," but I haven't. I've been doing it for so long that I don't even realize it anymore.

3. I think my parents are amazing people. Granted, they each have more than their fair share of quirks and can be overwhelming to some, but they are my parents and I love them dearly. As I get older, it becomes clearer that even though my parents aren't perfect, they were perfect in their unconditional love for my brother and I and that's the most important thing of all.

4. My little brother lives in our basement. He works out of town Monday through Friday and is barely even here on the weekends, which makes it a convenient arrangement. If anything, I wish Sean would be around more often. I am very close to Brett's brothers and feel a pang of guilt that I'm not as close to my own brother.

5. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Brett. We went to homecomings and proms together. In 2005 we got married at the same place where we met and he proposed.

6. I never cease to be amazed at how happy and fulfilled my life is with Brett in it. I'm very easily distracted and tend to be a bad listener. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to be with someone as thoughtful as him.

7. Our dog Champ is a huge source of joy in our lives. He is very well-trained and has a whole bag of tricks. Every Sunday we take him to the off-leash dog park and watch him run around.

8. I have a very bad left knee. I tore my ACL skiing in high school. A few years ago I slipped in some mud on campus and tore it again. A year after that I had to have my meniscus removed on the same knee. Needless to say, it's difficult for me to run for long distances or wear high heels two days in a row.

9. I love politics and public policy. In graduate school, I focused on domestic policy, particular health policy. If you ever want to chat about universal health coverage or health quality improvement initiatives, I'm your gal.

10. After graduate school, Brett and I knew that we wanted to end up back in the Midwest, but the career services office didn't have any leads for us. I was so desperate that I was considering positions far outside my area of interest/expertise. Thankfully, I found a job using my skills and in an area that interests me.

11. I love what I do and, perhaps more importantly, the people I do it with. I work with a small group of passionate, thoughtful, and kind people who make showing up at work each day a pleasure.

12. I enjoy taking care of my home. We spent many years in tiny, crappy apartments and now that we own our own home, I spend lots of time and energy taking care of it. From cleaning to decorating to tending the yard, I like having my own little piece of the world.

13. I like my in-laws. I know there are about 5 million bad in-law jokes out there, but I actually like mine! Over the years, I've started to feel very comfortable around them. I feel like a full-fledged member of the family.

14. I adore Woody Allen. I've got a running list of all his movies and have seen the vast majority of them at least once.

15. I cook a great batch of chocolate chip cookies and can make almost any soup you've ever heard of.

16. My sister-in-law Mandy got me into her book club when we first moved to town. We meet once a month and I look forward to it every time. We talk about the book for maybe 15 minutes, then dive right in with the girl talk and lots of red wine.

17. I'm proud that I went to Princeton for graduate school. I'm no Ivy League snob by any means, but I am very proud that I worked hard enough to be accepted to Princeton.

18. I hate sports. I hated playing them as a kid and I hate watching them as an adult. This tends to be inconvenient because Brett watches KSU sports all the time.

19. As happy as I am to be back in the Midwest, I sometimes miss the great friends we made while on the East coast. It was such a great chance to be surrounded by people with very diverse backgrounds and interests.

20. One of my best friends lives in D.C. and I miss her dearly, especially this time of the year. Our birthdays are exactly one month apart. In the past, we've met up and spent a day celebrating both birthdays by shopping.

21. I love children and hope to have a couple of my own someday.

22. I am a very good proofreader. My dad was an editor when I was growing up, so I learned to be a stickler for grammar, punctuation, and wordsmithing. The only strange thing is that I can't do it to electronic documents, only paper printouts.

23. I was born and raised Catholic, but am no longer. I firmly believe that women are equal to men both within and outside of religion. Until women are treated equally in the Catholic church, I will not consider rejoining.

24. I am lucky to have a small group of friends from high school who I still see. We only see each other a few times each year, but every time we pick up right where we left off.

25. Today is my 27th birthday. I will follow my tradition and have ice cream for breakfast.

Wonderful Day

There are so many things to be happy for today!

1. It's my 27th birthday. I have already treated myself to some fun. First off, I decided to wear whatever I was in the mood to wear, which means that I'm wearing a rather mismatched and not especially professional outfit. Black uggs go with a high-end chunky navy necklace, right?

2. Fertility Friend confirmed that I ovulated on Sunday!! Brett went out of town on Monday, so I ovulated just in the nick of time. Even better, I used FF's chart gallery to search for charts that looked like mine based on the ovulation day and intercourse pattern. 47% of those charts were pregnancy charts. Wahoo!

3. My husband found yet another way to demonstrate his absolute awesomeness. As I mentioned, he skipped town on Monday and won't be home until tomorrow night. I was pretty bummed that he'd miss my birthday, but I understand that duty calls. Before he left, he hinted that my birthday present was in the attic, which is a genius hiding place because I'm scared shitless of that place. I came home from work yesterday and got a letter from him that he'd sent through the U.S. postal service so that it would arrive in time for my birthday. He's one smart cookie. The letter was very nice and listed five things he wouldn't have done if I hadn't been born. Some of them were cute little things like that he would've never laughed 'till he cried because of my spot-on imitation of an aborigine (long story). The cutest one was, "I am excited beyond comprehension about adding one more member to our family. I can't wait to watch you be a mother."

Obviosuly, I proceeded to sob like a baby. He included a onesie from our alma mater. It is the very first baby item that's entered our home and I feel like it's a religious relic or something -- I'm afraid to touch it and feel my eyes water at the thought of it.

When I talked to him last night, he told me to look on the front porch and sure enough, there were two boxes from amazon there. I opened them first thing this morning like a kid on Christmas day. I got a very comfy and much-needed pair of boots, Loaded Questions (a very fun board game), and the 80th anniversary edition of Winnie the Pooh. I know I posted previously about the classic Pooh theme being overdone for nurseries, but I love it too much not to do it. When I was born, my dad handpainted a mural on the nursery wall. I think I might ask him to do the same for us. If we find a few Pooh pictures that we love, my dad can scan them and use an LCD projector to trace the image on the nusery walls. It's such a lovely them and gender neutral too.

4. I have a great evening planned. Since Brett's gone, I'm having my best girlfriends over for Left Center Right dice game. In addition to wine and snacks, there will be betting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My First 2 WW

I have very good reason to believe that I ovulated yesterday since my CM suggested it and my temp was way up this morning. Until I get a few more temps, I won't be positive, but I am fairly sure. I am so thrilled just to know that I am ovulating. Since this is my first cycle charting and I was on BCP for about eight years before this, I wasn't even sure I'd be ovulating.

Even better, DH and I had really phenomenal timing. I had no idea when I'd actually O, so we've been BDing a LOT this month. It sucks to admit, but I think we are both happy I've finally ovulated so we can take it easy in that department. It did result in one of DH's funniest quotes ever. Last night, he was joking that all he could produce was a "puff of smoke." Let's hope that's not true!