Relationship Challenge: Day 16

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So glad Friday is almost here. It feels like it’s been a really long week. I’m still feeling pretty chill, but that’s normal for the few days after the IUI, because at this point it’s not like I would have any inkling what’s happening in my body anyways. Today and yesterday I’ve had a bit of discomfort in my abdomen (mittelshmerz?) that I’ve had previously around ovulation time, so I’m hoping my ovaries are doing their thing. I found out today that Best Friend is having another boy. And now I feel bad for even saying that it would be hard for me if she was having a girl, because her baby has nothing to do with me. But I mean, she’s having a baby, so she’s happy regardless.

J and I have been in a really good place lately. We’re getting along really well, and feeling rather affectionate as well. Not that we are normally all scrappy and pissy with each other, but things just feel good right now. I think we’re both ready for a new chapter, and we’re so close that we’re just enjoying the last moments before we thrust ourselves into the “new”. Sorry, I don’t have a lot to say today, so here is Relationship Challenge: Day 16

Respond to the Spirit of a Gift

Gifts often strike odd chords with us. As Andy Warhol observed, “You can never predict what little things in the way somebody walks or talks or acts will set off particular emotional reactions in other people.”

Someone give you a big plant, and you worry about killing it. Somebody gives you a cookbook, and you feel guilty about the fact that you haven’t been cooking much. 

On this subject, I was struck by something from Story of  a Soul, the memoir of my spiritual master, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. One day in 1897, when she was in her early twenties, and weakened by the tuberculosis that would soon kill her, Thérèse was sitting in her wheelchair in the garden of her convent, and trying unsuccessfully to write:

“When I begin to take up my pen, behold a Sister who passes by, a pitchfork on her shoulder. She believes she will distract me with a little idle chatter: hay, ducks, hens, visits of the doctor. . . . Another hay worker throws flowers on my lap, perhaps believing these will inspire me with poetic thoughts. I am not looking for them at the moment and would prefer to see the flowers remain swaying on their stems. . . .I don’t know if I have been able to write ten lines without being disturbed. . . however, for the love of God and my Sisters (so charitable toward me) I take care to appear happy and especially to be so. ”

Saint Thérèse emphasizes the importance of accepting gifts in the spirit in which they’re offered, instead of responding to the gift itself. She doesn’t want to be distracted with chitchat; she wants to write. She doesn’t want a bouquet in her lap; she wants to see wildflowers growing in the fields. But she takes “care to appear happy and especially to be so.”

I try to remember this every time I get a gift that sets off some kind of internal bad reaction, to make sure that I respond with the enthusiasm that thoughtful gifts should provoke. 

(Of course, reacting to the spirit of a well-intentioned gift is not the same as reacting to a passive-aggressive gift. An electronic calories tracker is probably a gift that should only be given upon request.)

Resolve to “Respond to the spirit of a gift.” It’s a resolution that’s obviously right, but it’s often difficult to do. 

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p>When I first read this one, I thought how can I relate to this, it’s a bit of an odd one. But I got to thinking about all of the well meaning things people can say to an infertile that may be offensive/annoying/ignorant but they are well meaning. I don’t necessarily think it is “our” job to make people feel comfortable, or that what they say/do in regards to infertility is right, but isn’t it better to gently redirect someone that flip out at them and make them think we are a crazy infertile, or that we are being too sensitive/rude/difficult. I don’t discuss my infertility with anyone in real life,  so it’s a little harder for me to put into practice, but people ask me all the time when I am having kids, if I am having kids, and good-naturedly rib me about it, I should try and understand that they think that is something socially acceptable to ask. Tough to do, but might spare me some annoyed feelings in the future.

Fertility Privilege, Part 2

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Came across this post while jumping from blog to blog, playing six degrees of separation and it stopped me dead. So well written, and unfortunately all very true. I’m reblogging for the IF community that I am involved with, but if I ever get the balls to come out of the IF closet, I will use this to explain myself.

Schrodinger's Catbox

Ok, here’s where the academics come in. Most folks have heard something about the dynamics of power and privilege, but not everyone, so please forgive the review if you’re ahead. Here is a quick and dirty outline of privilege and what it does/fails to do:

Privilege is any societal advantage you hold because your skin color, your gender, your sexual identity, your able-bodiedness, your age, your class, your education, your language, or your religion are accepted and prioritized by dominant culture. Privilege means that there are benefits you enjoy – whether consciously or unconsciously, and that part’s really important – because of something about you that society values more than something else. Frequently these are things you were born with, or into. People get very upset when it is pointed out to them that something that is not their “fault” carries implicit potential to harm and dehumanize others. This is…

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Liebster Award!

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K first things first, four posts in two days for me, whaaat!? Who am I? Anywho, onto the more important matter… I have to say as a fairly new blogger, I was tickled pink to receive this award from Lindsay at Awaiting Autumn, so thank you!

This is an awesome way to distract from infertility, and to get to know each other better! So here are the answers to Lindsay’s questions;

  • Are you a morning person or a night person? And why?

Totally night person. I hate getting up in the morning, but I can be so productive in the evening, after I’ve had plenty of time to piss around all day, I finally get motivation in the evening. Plus I get distracted by books, my phone, ect. and it keeps me up until the wee hours. J is totally a morning person, so he gets up with the dogs at 6am (thank you!).

  • Name 1 destination or activity that is on your bucket list.

Oh man, this is so hard. I am a travel agent and I have been to a lot of places, but I still really want to go to the Galapagos islands. 1) Because I am a scuba diver, and the marine life here is crazy diverse. 2) I love Charles Darwin, and this is where he did a ton of research that was lent to more proof of the theory of evolution (I have a dog named Darwin).

  • What is your all-time favorite smell?

Hm, this is kind of hard because there are a lot of different things, but there is this essential oil from the body shop called Satsuma (like the citrus fruit) and it is divine!

  • What book(s) are you reading right now?

I just started reading “The Silent Wife” after it popped up on my Goodreads account, but I am not very far into it. I just recently read “Me Before You” by JoJo Moynes. Amazing. Very sad, but such a good story.

  • What’s 1 thing you miss about being a kid? 

This is pretty obvious, but no responsibility, and adult worries. Ever since being thrust into the world of IF, I have come to resent being an adult a little bit.

  • What physical trait do you like the best about your body? We are all beautiful. Don’t be shy now.

 Hmmm, tricky one. I have a rather awkward, boyish figure that I don’t love but I do like my eyes. They are a blue-y gray color that change depending on the day, and what I am wearing. I’ve often been asked if I wear colored contacts.

  • Who is your ultimate celebrity crush? 

Also hard because there are sooo many lol. I love love Adam Levine, but I think my hearts true desire would have to be Ewan McGregor. He’s not for everyone, but I swoon over him. He can sing (Moulin Rouge, plus I’ve seen him in Guys and Dolls live in London), he has a sexy accent, and he seems like such a good guy. Dream stud 😉

  • If you could only have 1 of the 5 senses (see, hear, taste, smell, touch), which one would you pick and why?

Wow, tough. I think I would have to say taste because I love to cook and I love food, but without smell your sense of taste suffers. So I dunno…

  • Favorite scripture verse, life motto, or quote?

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return” – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (the fictional one from Moulin Rouge)/Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez

From one of my all time favorite movies, and such a simple but amazing sentiment.

My nominations

I would like to nominate the following amazing bloggers for their own Liebster Award (it’s hard because my own nominator and I follow a lot of the same blogs, so she’s already chosen some of them!): 

Buckrugerlayla http://anairmandadoctor.wordpress.com/ (I’m going to double nominate you, so you can answer my questions too!)

anabea1 at http://mydinkishlife.wordpress.com/ 

Mallory at http://nobuninthisoven.wordpress.com/

Rach at http://positive-peach.blogspot.ca/

How to play

If you choose to participate (why wouldn’t you? It’s awesome), no pressure, here are the rules to “accept” it.

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.

  3. Answer the questions that I give you below.

  • Have you always lived in the place you are currently living, if not, what took you to where you are now?
  • What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
  • What ability or skill do you wish you had (I’m not talking super powers here…)?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • What is your favorite movie of all time (or two, I’ll allow that because mine is a tie)?
  • In everyday life, what is your biggest pet peeve?
  • What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
  • If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  1. Nominate as many blogs that you feel deserve the award.

  2. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers you have nominated to answer.

  3. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here)

Once you have accepted your MAJOR award by writing and publishing your “acceptance” speech, you then should inform the people/blogs that you have nominated them for the Liebster Award.  Also, you might want to provide a link for them back to this post or your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

It’s the Final Countdown!/Relationship Challenge Day 15

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Well, IUI #3 is in the books now. I was trying to stay cool but I get sooo anxious the morning of the IUIs it literally makes me sick to my stomach (I have a nervous tummy). I tried to preempt the nauseau by taking some pepto bismal and a ginger tablet this morning when I got up. It helped a little but I still felt pretty ill. Couldn’t eat breakfast, and even the tea I had between the time when J gave his sample, and they called us back was churning my tummy.

We were both more outwardly calm this time, except when we got there I realized my wallet was still in my gym bag from last night, so J had to pay. Only, his credit card was maxed because he has a low limit and he just bought a really expensive camera. So we did a little quick online banking and moved money onto his debit card. Thank goodness for banking apps, and smart phones! I swear, there is always some sort of hiccup, every time we go to the clinic. But, this was rather minor and fixed quickly, it just set us on edge for a moment.

So anywho, he gave his sample (no blood in it, like last time. Yay!). So we went to get a coffee/tea and kill some time before they were done with the washing. So we left at 8:15, they told us it would be about 45 minutes but to come back in half an hour just to be safe. So we did, back by 8:45, waiting, waiting, it’s past 9, now it’s almost 9:30, what the hell is going on, is there a problem? So finally just after 9:30 they took us back, and apologized for the wait as they were using a different washing protocol and it took longer than normal. Ok, well at least nothing was wrong. His count was 16 million post wash, Not his worst, but not great either. I think she said it was 43% motility, and they were all at level 4 for forward movement (best score, out of a scale of 0 – 4).

We had a different nurse, yet again. The clinic is very large and they have a lot of different staff. The only one that stays constant is the receptionist. She is young (ok, like my age probably), black hair, and lots of tattoos. She doesn’t have the friendliest demeanor, she’s just very mechanical. It seemed as though she had a trainee today though, as a different lady checked us in today (under Tattoo’s watchful eye). We have never had the same nurse, or lab tech through all 3 of our IUIs.

The nurse we had today was really nice, and very thorough but she took the longest actually doing the IUI and it was the most uncomfortable one. I’m sure J hates that part because I scrunched my face at the pain, and try to just breathe, and I know he knows it’s hurting me. But, I told him he is off the hook now. He did his part, and now there is nothing more either of us can do but wait.

Before the IUI, the nurse asked me what cycle day it was, and when I got my positive OPK. I told her it was positive last night, and then again this morning still (yes, I tested again and both types of OPKs I used were positive). She didn’t scold me for testing again in the morning but she told me I didn’t need to do that. I said, I know I was just curious, and since we’re not doing another IUI I don’t need to be stingy about using them up. She said they’ve had patients who would get a positive one day and then not the next morning, and cancel their IUI because of it.

I knew even if it was negative this morning, doesn’t mean anything because yesterday could have been the tail end of the surge. Plus, prior to doing IUIs I used to test in the morning and I found that when I did that I seemed to always ovulate the same day as the positive OPK (based on BBT), so it makes most sense that I do it in the afternoon, as requested by the clinic to catch the beginning of the surge, so I go for the IUI on the correct day.

Anyways, I digress. Onto my final (for an indeterminate amount of time) TWW!

*I forgot to add, my beta is set for Feb. 14. How ironic…Lucky we don’t celebrate Valentines Day or that could potentially be a really shitty day. Alternatively, perhaps after this one we might want to celebrate it.

Relationship Challenge Day 15:

Consider Some Hard Facts about Shared Work
One obstacle to happiness? Feeling resentful when another person won’t do his or her share of work. Consider these facts about shared work:
Fact 1: Work done by others sounds easy. How hard can it be to take care of a newborn baby who sleeps twenty hours a day? To return a few phone calls? To fill out some forms? Often, daily work by other people sounds easy. This fact leads us to under-estimate how onerous a particular task is, and that makes it easy to assume that we don’t need to help or provide support.
Fact 2: When you’re doing a job that benefits others, it’s easy to assume that they’re aware of your work—that they should feel grateful, and that they feel guilty about not helping you.
But no! Often, the more reliably you perform a task, the less likely it is for someone to notice that you’re doing it, and to feel grateful, and to feel any impulse to help or to take a turn. You think, “I’ve been taking out the garbage for weeks! When do I get a break?” In fact, the longer you take out the garbage, the less likely it is that someone will do it.
Fact 3: If you care more about a task being done, you’re more likely to end up doing it–and just because you care about it doesn’t mean that others feel the same way. You think it’s important to clean out the basement, and you expect your spouse to share the work, but your spouse thinks, “We never use the basement anyway, so why bother?” People are much less likely to share work they deem unimportant. At least not without a lot of nagging.
Fact 4. If you want someone else to do a task, don’t do it yourself. This sounds obvious, but think about it. If you think you shouldn’t have to do it—don’t. Someone else is a lot more likely to do it if you don’t do it first. Of course, this doesn’t always work. Someone must get the kids ready for school. But many tasks are optional.
So resolve to “Consider the hard facts about shared work,” and see if these points alter the way you think about work you share with others.

I don’t have a lot to elaborate on this, because it is all very true. Basically, if you want something done right (aka your version of right) do it yourself, and if you don’t want to do it, don’t complain when someone else does it, but not to your standards. I find there are chores that J or I don’t mind doing, and ones that we each hate. We try and be fair, dividing things up but sometimes I do feel like I always cook dinner, or I always take the dogs to the the groomers. It’s not true that it is an always or never situation, but it feels like it sometimes. It’s good to keep in mind that there are probably things that J does that I don’t take note of. I can try and be appreciative of the tasks that he always takes care of. But overall, I think we have a pretty good divide.

3rd Time’s a Charm?

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Well, it seems the time is upon us again. I thought I wouldn’t get a positive OPK until tomorrow, but it appears that last month wasn’t just a fluke early ovulation. After being so busy all afternoon at work I didn’t even have time to pee, I took my full bladder to the staff washrooms and peed on my little magic stick, and wouldn’t you know there was a little smiley face staring back at me.

So tomorrow is the day, the day of my last IUI and the indefinite (but not final) break to my fertility treatment. I’m feeling a bit more zen about it this time. I went to the gym tonight, by myself I might add, which is no big deal but I can’t usually get my ass to the gym unless J is prodding me, and he’s coming too. But I just needed to run some energy off, and feel good.

I can’t really do anything more now. J will do his part tomorrow, in it will go, and that’s that. I was really hoping that the IUI wasn’t going to fall on Wednesday because I am the 2nd closer at work, and they will be rather screwed if I’m not there. Plus I have a buttload of work to do, so I am not going to call in sick tomorrow, as much as I want to just take the day for me.

With my little superstitions, I can be glad tomorrow is an odd numbered day, I don’t like even numbers and last IUI was on Jan. 2. I know, makes no sense. I have a lot whirling around in my head right now. And I sort of messed with my head by testing with OPK’s again tonight, and I didn’t get a smiley face again, but I did get two equal lines on the standard test. So I don’t really know what to make of that. I am going to hope that even if I ovulate overnight, that little egg will be waiting for J’s swimmers by morning. Fuck. I hate not having any control over this.

Also side note, Lindsay (sorry, can never remember if you are “ey” or “ay”, hope I picked right!) at Awaiting Autumn nominated me for a Leibster award. My first ever blogging award, I feel so thankful, and loved as a part of this community. I will accept my award in another post, but just wanted to put that out there because it made my evening!

Ok, so I’ll recap tomorrow, now to relax with my dogs, have my cup of tea and get a good nights sleep. Please keep me in your thoughts, and send me lots of good juju vibes if you can!

Relationship Challenge Day 12 & 13

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Ok, so apparently I am going to keep you in suspense about the daily relationship challenge by withholding a day and then doubling up. Seems to be a habit lately.

I am in the week of the IUI now. I started using OPK’s today, CD11 (negative), though I knew today would be too early. I am paranoid about missing it, since last cycle was my earliest positive OPK ever at CD12 (which happened to be the first day I tested). I think part of the reason is because I wasn’t really sure what to consider CD1 last cycle because AF came overnight. So I considered the evening before CD1 but I think that was a bad call and I started clomid too early and caused ovulation to be early. Luckily this cycle was more clearcut and I didn’t have to doubt it.

So I get to limit my liquid intake after my morning cup of tea, hold my bladder all afternoon and pee on a stick at work. Life is fun right now. I’m still trying not to get stressed out about it all yet, but my biggest thing is if the IUI falls on either Wednesday, or Thursday I am going to leave my office severely short staffed by calling in sick either of those days, and I feel bad. But at the same time, I feel like in the big scheme of things, isn’t my well being more important than a job? Or am I just being selfish?

I don’t necessarily need the whole day off but it will make me feel better to not have to rush to work afterwards and I am going to take it easy for the rest of the day in hopes it will give my body it’s best chance at making this work. Bedrest is recommended after IVF (I know this is not even close to the same thing) but it can’t be bad right?

So onto relationship challenge day 12 & 13

Day 12: Don’t Keep Score

One of my Twelve Personal Commandments—and one I struggle with constantly—is “No calculation.” This personal commandment is meant to remind me not to keep score, not to stint on love and generosity, not to keep track of who has done what.
It’s based on an observation by my spiritual master, St. Therese of Lisieux: “When one loves, one does not calculate.”
I have a real tendency to say, “I did this, so you have to do that” or “You had your turn, so I get my turn.” I remind myself, “No calculation,” when I find myself starting to start to bargain or trade or keep score.
It’s much more pleasant to feel grateful for a nice gesture, or to act out of love and generosity, than to squabble about the score.
Now, it’s true that every relationship involves some calculation. It wouldn’t be fair for one person to do everything, and the other person to do nothing. But if you’re in a relationship where things tend to balance out fairly, the atmosphere is much happier when you don’t keep score, when you don’t calculate, but just try to do the loving thing.
So remind yourself, “Don’t keep score,” and instead, act with love and generosity. 

This is so true. So so true. I don’t find that I do it as much, or at least not with big things. It’s more little things, like I cleaned the floor last time, or it’s his turn to make dinner. Minor things, but again, I shouldn’t be keeping score. But there was a time when we were in not such a good place and I would hold grudges. There’s the old adage that “holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha. And it’s so true, who is it hurting by me keeping tally of all of the bad things? I am much better at letting them go, and trying to think of all of the good things that I can appreciate.

Day 13: Ask for a Favor

As Benjamin Franklin recommended, “If you want to make a friend, let someone do you a favor.” Allow yourself to ask for a favor, for help, for advice, for suggestions.
Studies show that for happiness, providing support is just as important as getting support. By offering people a way to provide support, you generate good feelings in them. And on your side, asking for a favor is a sign of intimacy and trust. The fact that you’ve asked for a favor shows that you feel comfortable being indebted to someone.
So asking, and receiving, a favor generates good feelings on both sides.
One of my most helpful Secrets of Adulthood is “It’s okay to ask for help.” Asking for help is a very useful way of asking for a favor. I’m absolutely mystified by asking for help is so hard for me. So often, I can just solve a problem by asking for help—which is almost always freely and cheerfully given.
Resolve to “Ask for a favor.” It’s a surprisingly effective way to show affection and trust in a relationship.

I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense. I am a very independent person, and generally don’t like to ask for help unless I’ve exhausted all other options. But it’s funny because reading this tip makes me think of a reccuring occurance between J and I. I will be looking for something (usually in the kitchen) and wonder outloud where said item is. J will immediately jump up and help me look. And sometimes he gets in the way, or he looks places I’ve already looked, or would have no idea where the item would be anyways. So now, a lot of the times, as soon as the words, “where is …” are out of my mouth, I tell J “Don’t move, I wasn’t asking for help, I was just wondering aloud!”. Perhaps I should let him help me, I’m sure it would make him feel good to be my knight in shining armour.

It’s going to be a big week, so look alive people, we’re on positive OPK watch!

Reconnecting/Relationship Challenge: Day 11

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Happy Saturday to all, I had another hectic day at work. I have tomorrow off and then back at it until IUI day. Last night Best Friend text me, and said she realized it’s almost the end of the month, and asked when was I having my next IUI? She went to Mexico for a week in the middle of January and we had a brief, awkward visit just before she left, at which point I was in the middle of a TWW, but she didn’t ask then and I didn’t volunteer that info. She knew we took a break in December but I think she thought the next IUI wouldn’t be until later in the month. She doesn’t know my cycles so she wouldn’t have known I’m in a two-IUI-month.

I think she was a little surprised when I told her I had an IUI on Jan. 2 and that it had failed. She missed an entire cycle because we’re feeling awkward about her being pregnant and me not. I told her our last IUI would be this coming week and I will get a Valentines day reveal, and a possible early birthday present (my bday is on the 18th).

When I told her our final IUI was quickly bearing down on us she said she wasn’t sure what to say, that she was trying to think of something but she couldn’t. She told me she’s sad it’s my last one but understands, and she asked me how I was feeling about it all.

It was so nice to have her check in with me. I told her it’s ok that she doesn’t have anything to say. There isn’t really anything for her to say, but I appreciated her just asking after me. I told her I’m nervous but ready for some resolution. And then I bit the bullet and asked after her baby-in-utero.

I think she was relieved that we could have a semi normal conversation about what was going on with me and what was going on with her because she thanked me for the chat and told me she was missing me. I missed her too. It stinks not having your best friend to talk to. So I think we’re good now.

Only problem now is her gender scan is on Tuesday and if it’s a girl I’m going to die a little inside. She will have her perfect little family, one boy, one girl, spaced just under two years apart with her successful corporate hubby and her cute little two story house. Not that I want all of that necessarily, but some of it. Is it too much to ask for my own little piece?

But in any case it will be exciting to know the gender, though Best Friend thinks the baby will be uncooperative and she’ll be doomed to gender neutral till the baby comes. We shall see.

Onto Relationship Challenge: Day 11
Quit Nagging

In a romantic relationship, or in a family, or any partnership, chores are a huge source of conflict. Who does what? How do you get someone else to hold up his or her end, without nagging? Consider these points:
It’s annoying to hear a hectoring voice, so suggest tasks without words. Leave a note, send an email, put a bottle out on the counter to suggest that the prescription needs re-filling.
If you need to voice a reminder, limit yourself to one word or phrase. Instead of barking out, “Now remember, I’ve told you a dozen times, stop off at the grocery store, we need milk, if you forget, you’re going right back out!” Instead, call out, “Grocery store!” or “Milk!”
Don’t insist that a task be done on your schedule. “You’ve got to trim those hedges today!” Says who? Try, “When are you planning to trim the hedges?” If possible, show why something needs to be done by a certain time. “Will you be able to trim the hedges before our party next week?”
Assign chores based on personal priorities. If you hate a messy bedroom, make tidying the bedroom your job.
Re-frame: decide that you don’t mind doing a chore—like putting clothes in the hamper or hanging up wet towels. This is often surprisingly easy.
No carping from the sidelines. If someone else makes the travel arrangements, don’t criticize the flight time. If someone else gets the kids dressed, don’t mock the outfits. If you want something done your way, do it yourself.
Remember that messy areas tend to stay messy, and tidy areas tend to stay tidy. If you want others to be neat, be neat yourself.
Resolve to “Quit nagging.” After all—at least in my experience—it doesn’t even work!

Ooooh I suck at this one. I hate to nag but I also hate when shit doesn’t get done (or in the case of annoying habits, does get done. Ahem, towel on the floor). I like the idea of rephrasing it so it’s not so demanding. I do try and not criticize J if he is at least trying (like his attempts at loading the dishwasher). Better to let him do it unless I want to take care of it myself. Because I am not a nag!