Scared/Relationship Challenge Day 14

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Today is the final day of ICLW, and I have 1 week left of my relationship challenge. I will soon be entering the two week wait, and it will be the last one for a long while. Waiting, waiting, always waiting. I am almost free of the waiting but the next one will be the worst. My life is broken into segments and pieces right now, but will soon become whole again. Everything is coming to a head. 

It’s funny, Best Friend asked me how I was feeling about it all, and I said “scared”. And as stupid as it is, I am scared if it doesn’t work, but I am also scared if it does. How can I be scared for something I’ve been hoping for, for 18 months now? It seems a bit ridiculous, because of course I want it to work, but it is hard to think past that. What if it does work? Then it’s “holy shit, I’m pregnant”, and “oh my g-d we’re having a baby”. I can’t even wrap my head around that, it seems like an impossibility.

When we first started trying, I was naively optimistic, but months went by I started really learning and investigating pregnancy and conception and had this bad feeling that something wasn’t right (even though there weren’t that many reasons to suspect it). I did discover that I had a short luteal phase, but with supplements I was able to correct it. Other than that, I didn’t really have any good reasons.

At the one year mark I went to my GP and she didn’t seem concerned, told me maybe I needed to gain some weight, but keep trying and come back if I wasn’t pregnant in 6 months. Yeah, right. I’m going to purposely gain weight, and “just keep trying” for another 6 months when I’ve already been at this for 12 already. If I had taken her advice, I would just be going back to her now. Instead I’ve seen my RE twice (who normally has a 4 month wait), had 2 IUI’s and am rounding on my third and final. I think I need to fire my GP.

So here we are, standing at the edge of our (self imposed) precipice. Will it work, or will we go back to our lives as DINKs, pre TTC (not that it’s possible for us to ever get back to the place we were, but move forward without the weight of TTC on us)? Only time will tell, but either way I’m still a little scared to find out.

Relationship Challenge Day 14:

Get Enough Sleep

How much sleep do you get each night? Far too many of us are chronically sleep-deprived. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night—if not eight or nine. (I do best with a solid 7-8 hours of sleep.) Some people say, “I’ve trained myself to get by on five hours,” but in fact, when researchers study these folks, they’re often quite impaired. Except for the rare true “short-sleepers,” most people function much better when they get a full night’s sleep.
Lack of sleep drags down mood, memory, focus, and immune function; it may even contribute to weight gain.
And lack of sleep affects our relationships. We’ve all heard the admonition, “Don’t go to bed angry.” True enough, but current research suggests that couples shouldn’t try to work out problems or talk about difficult subjects at bedtime. Also, they should avoid having hard conversations when one of them hasn’t slept well.
Having problems with your relationship can negatively affect your sleep; and lack of sleep can contribute to conflict in your relationship. With a good night’s sleep, it’s so much easier to keep a sense of humor, to have a sense of perspective, and to adopt a loving, good-natured attitude—with a partner, with children, or with co-workers and friends.
Resolve to “Get enough sleep.” Being well-rested may not seem like something that will affect your relationships, but it does.

This may seem like a weird one, for a relationship challenge, but sleep can be a huge influence on mood and demeanor. I, for example, am nauseous and cranky if I get less than 4 – 5 hours of sleep. I have never really had trouble sleeping until recently, and I am a night owl by nature.

J, on the other hand, never sleeps well. He has had sleep studies done, used prescription sleep aids, as well as natural (melatonin) remedies. He can sleep if medicated, but he can’t live his life like that. I don’t know how he manages on the terrible sleep he gets, but somehow he seems to have adjusted. But it is not good for him. When I was going to acupuncture, the acupuncturist asked about him and I mentioned that he doesn’t sleep well, and she seemed concerned, like that was a very important thing. Which I’m sure it is. But what can you do? A person can’t live their life, always taking sleeping pills. But otherwise, how do you train yourself to sleep through the night?

Having never really had troubles sleeping (I can sleep just about anywhere), I didn’t really comprehend the magnitude it can have on you. But recently, I’ve not been sleeping well (I’m thinking it is due to all the stress lately) and it is awful. I have been going to bed a bit earlier, and it almost seems to make it worse. I seem to wake up around 5am every morning, and have a hard time falling back asleep from there. I don’t sleep soundly anymore, and I don’t feel rested in the morning. I have crazy dreams too (clomid related?).

So, I can see how both people in a relationship getting enough sleep is a big deal. Hopefully two weeks from now, I will be sleeping more soundly. Or not. Maybe I’m just in training for my future as a parent?

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Stress/Relationship Challenge Days 9 & 10

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Ok, so I suck at writing everyday. I didn’t really think of that when I signed myself up for a DAILY relationship challenge and decided to share it with you all. So, moving forward, think things through! On that note, I want to talk a bit about stress. I generally don’t get too stressed out. I may get flustered at times and feel all spazzy and freak out a little bit but it is usually very short lived. Or I have a bit of a stressful day at work but I can usually let it roll off my back pretty quickly once I leave work. J started a new position with his company about a year and a half ago (or maybe even two, but anyways besides the point) and for the first little while he hated it, he was stressed to the max and it affected him a lot outside of work hours. I always told him he needs to turn the work part of his brain off once he leaves, because when he’s not there, he can’t do anything about it anyways so worrying isn’t going to do him any good. Even now that he is more comfortable in his position, when we go on vacation, the last few days he starts to get more tense as he thinks about going back to work and all he has to do. It drives me crazy, why think about it when we’re not even back from holidays!

The past 5 or 6 months have been very busy at my job, therefore quite stressful, but generally nothing I couldn’t handle. That was until the past week or so. I had a little problem that snowballed into a big one, plus all of my busy-ness on top of that, has made me a tight ball of stress. It made me think of how this stress might affect our IUI chances, and fertility in general. I know the old adage “just relax, and it will happen” is a load of crap, especially when there are medical issues at play but I know being overly stressed can’t be helping anything. Stress can cause all number of other problems, and can even release the hormone cortisol which can wreak all kinds of havoc on your body. So I know being stressed out here and there is not going to be a huge issue but chronic stress can be a problem. And unfortunately infertility is a vicious cycle, it stresses you out, and then you worry about being overly stressed which just feeds back into itself. Infertility has been a big stressor in our lives, plus all the other daily struggles and I fear that stress may play a more serious role.

At this point, I don’t know that there is a lot I can do about it though. I go to yoga every Sunday, that is a really great stress reliever, and acupuncture started out as a good release but it just sort of started pissing me off because it was a hassle to get the appointments and I am feeling like it’s not really helping me in anyway. My big problem at work should be resolved soon, but it involves me swallowing my pride and taking the hit for it. The impending IUI, and doing OPK’s at work, trying to block time off work for the IUI when I don’t actually know when it is going to happen. Stressful. It is easier said than done, but I try and remember that worrying is about effective at fixing my problems as chewing bubblegum to solve algebra problems. Not, at all. So with that in mind, I am going to try and chill. No assurances that I am going to succeed, but I need to just let it go, and whatever happens with this IUI there isn’t a whole lot I can do to control the outcome, except show up and tell my uterus to be cooperative.

Sidenote, took my last Clomid pill last night, excited to be done with those btches for the foreseeable future! Though I know I will feel the affects for a few weeks yet, I threw the pill bottle out with a flourish last night!

Onto the Relationship Challenge Days 9 & 10;

Day 9: Plan a Nice Little Surprise

Studies show that we react more strongly to an unexpected pleasure than to an expected one. The brain gets a bigger thrill when some little treat comes as a surprise, whether it’s a dollar found in the street, a free cookie sample, a gift for no reason, or an unexpected compliment from a boss. And not only do we feel happier, but these little boosts of happiness also make us temporarily smarter, friendlier, and more productive.
Try to plan nice little surprises for the people who are important to you—something as small as bringing home a favorite dessert, doing a chore without being asked (how long has that light-bulb been burned out?), suggest a fun outing, or send a quick, loving email.
Resolve to “Plan a nice little surprise.” By acting in a thoughtful, loving way, you boost your feelings of tenderness towards the people in your life, and they feel more beloved by you. And that contributes more to happiness of home than practically anything else you can do.

This one, I love. While I hate the actual anticipation of surprises (when you know something is coming but you don’t know what, or sometimes even when…ahem, a pregnancy/baby for example) I do love the result of a surprise. J often brings me a Dr. Pepper (my favorite!) home after work, or some other little treat. Generally it’s food. Is that bad? Anyways, I love these little things that say he 1) knows what I like, and 2) he was thinking of me. It’s really sweet and such a simple little gesture can be so nice. I try and do the same for J (again, usually food) or I’ll pick something up for him that he’s been meaning to get whether it just be more deodorant (boring) or something a little more exciting. It’s a lovely, simple way to brighten a day.

Day 10: Follow a Threshold Ritual

Gratitude is a key to a happy life. People who cultivate gratitude get a boost in happiness and optimism, feel more connected to others, are better liked and have more friends, and are more likely to help others—they even sleep better and have fewer headaches.
Nevertheless, it’s challenging to cultivate gratitude. It’s easy to take for granted the people closest to us—and perversely, the more reliable and familiar a person is, the more likely we are to take that person for granted!
To remind yourself to feel grateful for the people you love, consider taking a moment each time you enter or leave your house to reflect lovingly on your home and the people you see every day.
Resolve to “Follow a threshold ritual.” In the tumult of daily life, it’s so hard really to see the everyday, to realize how precious it is, and to feel grateful for it.

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p>I am so grateful for everything I have in my life, I am very very lucky. But I suck at remembering to appreciate it, especially in times like this where I feel like life is not shaping up how I hoped. But it is a good reminder, even in all this suckiness to be grateful for my wonderful hubby, our sweet little dogs, our family and the stable life we have that allows us some financial freedom to do as we please (within reason). And if this cycle doesn’t work, I will still be thankful for all that I have.

In other news I am also sucking at ICLW, so I am going to be a commenting machine today to catch up!

Relationship Challenge: Day 8

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Happy hump day!

This video is quite possibly the best thing about Wednesdays. J and I have taken to answering the phone (to each other only) with “Woot, woot!” instead of hello. Love it. Anywho, I don’t really have a whole lot to say today. I went to what will have been my last acupuncture session today. It was with another different acupuncturist because the schedule doesn’t always allow me to see the same one. She was not my favourite, and then I wanted to rebook for on or around the day of the IUI but the schedule just didn’t work so I figured, ok well that’s the universe telling me, no more. 

I had the day off work today (as I have to work Saturday, boo) so I made a Mexican soup that is one of mine and J’s favourites but it takes a bit of work, lots of steps and things going on all at once. So when he got home I was in the middle of making it, the kitchen was a disaster, I was overheating and stressed out so I told him, “I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you need to get out of the kitchen”. We have a small kitchen and he was trying to peek around and steal bites and I was about to snap. 

So after I made him leave I was still multi tasking, and seriously trying to not cry while cooking dinner. I was just hit with a lot of emotion, frustration, stress, and I was having a hard time. Luckily, I managed to finish making dinner (it was delicious) without freaking out and I destressed a bit. After dinner I told J, that is what Clo-mad looks like. Can’t wait to be done with that.

So, onto relationship challenge day 8: Control the Cubicle in Your Pocket

Managing time is a pervasive, widespread struggle.  Many of us walk around with a cubicle in our pocket, and we always have the feeling that we should be working, or could be working—or we actually are working! At home, this constant pull toward work can distract us from the people to whom we want to give our time and attention.

The real problem isn’t the switch on our computers, but the switch in our minds.

You have to make your own rules to control the cubicle in your pocket, because your work, family situation, and technology challenge is different from everyone else’s. But to get you started consider these suggestions: 

Create time periods each day when you don’t check email or connect to the internet.

In particular, don’t check email at bedtime.

If possible, do your most demanding mental work in the morning, before the day’s distractions kick in.

Give yourself a “quitting time” each day, after which you do no more work .That way, you give yourself a sense of true leisure.

Resolve to “Control the cubicle in your pocket.” Remember, technology is a good servant, but a bad master.

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p>When I first read this one, I thought “Pfft, I don’t have a problem with this at all”. And I don’t, not the work part at least. I am very good at turning off work once I leave. I hate working overtime and try and be very efficient to avoid it all costs. But technology has a grasp on me for sure. I am always playing on the iPad or my phone and J does it too. When we’re having dinner we don’t touch our phones, but we do watch tv. I think it would be nice to spend a day away from technology, but that just feels so scary. I just need to remember to limit it, and not let it interfere with the real people in my life.

IComLeavWe/Relationship Challenge: Days 6 & 7

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I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! Today is the first day of IComLeavWe, and it is my first time ever participating. I’ve noticed some people give a little synopsis for those that come to their blogs for the first time through IComLeavWe, so I figure as a newbie, I would do the same. So here’s where I’m at;

My hubby, J, and I have been TTC for 18 months, we are on our 21st cycle, and due for an IUI around Jan. 30. I have had an HSG with no blockages showing, I ovulate on my own and have no major issues, besides having no EWCM (ever!) and I used to have a slightly short luteal phase (that’s been corrected with supplements). J has a low side of normal sperm count and motility and below average morphology. Our RE recommended 3 rounds of IUI to help combat our male factor issues. After that, if it doesn’t work, we will have to have another chat to discuss the next step. I am on 50mg of Clomid from CD3 – 7, and I am unmonitored. So I book 3 tentative dates for the IUI, and then use OPK’s. Once I get a positive I go to the clinic the next morning and away we go. This will be our 3rd IUI attempt and our last cycle of trying for an indeterminate amount of time.

We’ve decided to call it quits for a year (or two) if this cycle doesn’t work. I know that seems crazy to some people, but fortunately I have (a little) time on my side, being only 26 (well 27 next month) years old. Though I would prefer that I was a younger mom, and that I already had a baby if that’s not going to be the case then I need to take my life in another direction for a little while. J and I both want to move cities, and luckily his job could take us virtually anywhere in the world, but ever since we’ve started TTC we have been paused in life, stuck in limbo at a fork in the road. So we are taking back control so that we don’t lose our sanity.

So that’s me in a nutshell, hopefully some of you ICLWer’s get to know me a bit more throughout the week. I am also currently partaking in a relationship challenge through Gretchen Rubin’s website for the Happiness Project. It is an email that gets sent to me daily with tips and ideas that I can use to strengthen and improve my relationship. I feel that J and I are very strong, especially after all we’ve been through but marriage takes work (I never understood this until I was in one) and I am a keener. So I figured if we’re adding stress to our relationship with our TTC efforts I could work on counteracting that! Therefore I present you with Relationship Challenge: Day 6 Dig Deep & 7 Abandon Your Self-Control  (I’ve been a little busy lately and missed yesterday, posting every day is hard!);

Dig Deep

“As part of my Happiness Projects, I’ve identified my Twelve Personal Commandments—the twelve overarching principles I use to guide my thoughts and behavior. (If you’re curious, you can read them here.)

“I read your personal commandments,” a friend told me. “I came up with my own commandments, but I only have four.”

“Oh, what are they?” I asked. I loved hearing other people’s commandments. She listed them: “‘Reach out,’ ‘Love your mother,’ ‘Show and tell,’ and ‘Dig deep’.”

“Those are really good,” I said admiringly. “I especially like ‘Dig deep.’ I’m going to adopt that resolution myself.” 

In my case, I especially need to dig deep with my children. Too often, I speak sharply, lose my patience, or make my (supposedly terrifying) mean face. Controlling my quick irritation is something I struggle to do every day.

We can’t yell and nag our way toward the loving, peaceful, tender atmosphere that we all want to foster at home. 

Resolve to “Dig deep” to react with humor, with patience, with calm. Easier said than done, right? But it’s worth the effort.”

This one takes constant vigilance, you have to always think before you speak, no snap reactions of snark or bite. I always feel so awkward when your with another couple, or a group of people and two people start getting sharp and terse with each other. I hate being that person, and it happens rarely in front of other people but it happens more than I would like in the privacy of our own home, or car. A sharp word, comment, or look really hurts my feelings so I try to stay calm, even when I am really annoyed. It’s a good thing to remember, especially in times of difficulty. I need to gain support, not push J away.

Abandon Your Self-Control

“Instead of working to strengthen your self-control, consider abandoning your self-control, by using the strategy of abstinence. Perhaps surprisingly, for many people, one of the easiest ways to resist temptation is to give something up altogether. 

For “abstainers,” it’s easier to decide that something is off-limits, and never indulge. For abstainers, abstaining requires no self-control; indulging in moderation requires enormous self-control. You spend too much time thinking, “Today, tomorrow?” “Does this count?” “Don’t I deserve this?” etc. As an abstainer, it’s easier to say, “I never eat French fries.” 

On the other hand, some people are “moderators” who do better when they act with moderation, because they feel trapped and rebellious at the thought of “never” getting or doing something. If you’re a moderator, it’s easier to say, “I can have a few French fries.” 

There’s no right way; different approaches work for different people. Recognizing which one suits your nature provides a very helpful strategy for resisting temptation.

The abstainer/moderator split affects relationships, because often a person of one camp will try to persuade a person in the other camp to convert. Abstainers tell moderators, “You should go cold turkey!” and moderators tell abstainers, “It’s not healthy to be so rigid, you should get more fun out of life.” Moderators don’t understand why abstainers don’t want to keep cookies in the house, and abstainers don’t understand why moderators seem to keep breaking their own rules.

Resolve to “Abandon your self-control.” Identify the strategy that allows you to forget about exercising self-control, in order to boost your self-control. And when people in your life are trying to abstain, or to be moderate, don’t interfere with the strategy that works for them.”

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p>Ok, this one really spoke to me. I am totally a moderator. If I tell myself that I absolutely cannot have something, I want it more than ever. I’ve tried to give up soda cold turkey and I just. can’t. do. it. I can manage for a few days but the fact that I have to think, “oh no I’m not allowed to have that. I’ll have to choose something else” it just makes me constantly think about what I’m denying myself. I’ve also read that if you exercise self control for one thing, you will have less of it for other things. It is like a muscle, it can only stretch so far, and then you have to release it, let it snap back and take a break.

I just can’t understand these hyper vigilant dieters who won’t touch carbs for years. No way. But at the same time I can see how to those types of people it is a slippery slope and they’d rather just not chance it. I, on the other hand, could buy a bag of chips/chocolate/insert your vice here and just have a little bit. It doesn’t take much to satiate me, so I can have a little treat and then leave it at that. Dr. Pepper is still my downfall though, and I just can’t deny that. Sometimes, you just have to allow yourself that one thing.

So welcome ICLW, don’t be lurkers, I’d love to hear from you!

Negativity/Relationship Challenge: Day 5

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So I’m not feeling all rainbows and puppies and positivity towards our next cycle, and life in general. I went to acupuncture today but I just don’t know how I feel about it anymore, plus my acupuncturist is going home to China for a month as of Wednesday so she can’t do anymore treatments for me. She did suggest some Chinese herbs for J and I to take and she gave me her personal email address, she seems to genuinely care. But I just can’t help but not entirely buy into the whole thing. I am a science and facts person and my acupuncturist is always talking about how Western medicine says this and that but really it’s not like that. I mean, I grew up with Western medicine so it’s hard for me to consider other options. I’m trying to be open to it but my patience with this whole situation is growing thin, and I just want to get it all over and done with.

I know that’s not the healthiest attitude going in but I feel so close to some form of respite or resolution, whether it be in a successful pregnancy, or my choice to take a break and take back control over my life (for a time), that I am weary of the waiting. I don’t really think that just because I have negative thoughts, it will bring them to fruition. I choked down the book “The Secret” (actually I listened to the audio version in my car because I couldn’t force myself to read it) and I thought it was the biggest load of crap I’ve ever heard. Sorry to those that try and live it, but it is not for me.

So I’m not going to force myself to think positive thoughts, and recite mantras to myself, it’s only going to make me crazier. I am going to survive, no matter the outcome. I have another appointment for acupuncture (with a different practitioner) Wednesday, and probably should go one more time either just before, or the day of my IUI. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to go or not, but I have the insurance coverage for it so it’s not costing me anything but my time. I am going to try and continue to exercise more, eat healthier and try and be better for this cycle, but also going forward. Just because IF has pushed me to evaluate my lifestyle, and try and make changes for the better, doesn’t mean I will drop it if we end up taking an extended break from TTC.

I know I’m all over the place, and I’m sort of talking like this cycle isn’t going to work, and honestly I don’t have a ton of hope that it will. It hasn’t worked ever, not naturally in 18 cycles, or with assistance for the previous 2 IUI cycles. So it just makes me wonder if the previous two IUI’s didn’t work, what’s different about this one. But we shall see. It’s really out of my hands, I’ll take my Clomid (started today), I’ll use my OPK’s, pay them to squirt J’s swimmers into my cervix and sit and wait the painful wait. I just want to move up to the next level or drop out all together. I’m tired of being held back. So, that’s that.

Onto the Relationship Challenge: Day 5 Give Warm Greetings and Farewells;

My Sixth Splendid Truth holds: The only person I can change is myself. It’s so tempting to focus on the changes that other people should make—but we don’t get to hand out assignments. So generally, I make resolutions only for myself.

However, in complete contradiction, I did make an exception to my Gretchen-only policy. I asked my family to adopt the resolution to “Give warm greetings and farewells.”

I’d noticed that we’d fallen into a bad habit; when a family member came home or left, we barely looked up from our games or homework or books or newspapers. I wanted to have a more attentive, more loving atmosphere in our home.

“What would you think about us all making a resolution together?” I asked them. “We could resolve that when someone comes home, or is leaving, we all pay attention to that person, to give a warm greeting or farewell.”

Somewhat to my surprise, my husband and two daughters immediately agreed.  But would we remember to do it, without nagging? I didn’t want a resolution meant to boost our feelings of affection to turn into a source of conflict.

In fact, without much effort, we all began to follow the resolution (most of the time). It feels like a natural thing to do, and the more we do it, the more engrained it becomes. 

As a consequence, several times each day, we have moments of real connection among all members of our family. 

Resolve to “Give warm greetings and farewells.” This simple action will make you feel more connected to the members of your family.

I sort of touched on this with the “Give Gold Stars” topic, that J and I always make sure to give each other a kiss hello, or goodbye. We always say “I love you” before we depart from each other or say goodbye on the phone. I sometimes have the habit of coming home and just dumping stress or stuff that’s pissing me off but I try to remember to greet J nicely, and not launch into a tirade as soon as I get home. And sometimes after we greet each other, have a little chat and a kiss hello, I don’t feel like talking about my (usually insignificant) bothers.

This is going to sound totally hypocritical of what I said in the first part of this post, but I feel like negativity begets negativity, at least in relationships. When I am in a bad mood and come home that way it can rub of on J, and vice versa. I am very sensitive to J’s moods and I don’t like it when something is off. So if we start our encounters off on the right foot we should continue in a positive direction!

Finding Other Infertiles/Relationship Challenge: Day 4

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Happy Saturday fellow infertiles! I’m having a pretty decent day, got two new pairs of shoes (new sneakers for the gym and a pair of leopard print pumps) and we found bridesmaid dresses. And they’re nice! I would definitely wear it again, so that’s a bonus if I’m spending $160 plus alterations on it. the bride and I grew up together as our moms are best friends, we’re not as close as we used to be but we keep in touch and she was one of my bridesmaids so now I get to return the favor. I know her maid of honor but not super well, I’ve met her briefly a few times previously. After today I love her a whole lot more, because she is one of us…

We were having lunch after shopping and Mexico came up and then the fact that “Maid of Honor” had been to Mexico for IVF. She kind of breezed past this fact so I had to back it up and pepper her with questions. None of the women I was out with know we are struggling, so my keen interest may have seemed a bit weird but at this point I don’t care. I don’t have any infertile friends in real life so it was awesome to talk to her, and have her be so candid with me. I think it’s easier for her because she recently adopted a baby girl, so though I’m sure her pain is still there but she has her daughter to help heal the scars.

She didn’t mention anything about their lead up into IVF but once the got to that point they looked at doing it here in Canada but found it was almost half the price to do it in Mexico. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this, because plenty of people go to Mexico for dental work, or other medical needs because it is so much less expensive for high quality medical care. Not that we’re even at that point yet but it is definitely something to keep in the back of our minds. She did suffer from ovarian hyperstimulation and was very sick. They did however manage to get 20 eggs, and complete the transfer.

They did achieve pregnancy but at her first ultrasound they discovered it was ectopic and had to be terminated and removed that same day. They ended up saving her tube, though she said at that point she didn’t care. So after recovering they went back to Mexico and transferred all 4 of their remaining 5 day embryos. None of them took. They were extremely lucky in that from the time they applied for adoption to the time they had their daughter in their arms was 13 months. Perhaps after all they had been through, they deserved something to be easy. If only that were always the case.

So all in all, it was awesome to chat with her, and get to know her. She is very sweet and I could see getting closer with her while helping our friend with her wedding.

Onto day 4 of the relationship challenge. Today is Under-react to a Problem.

“Although we think we act because of the way we feel, we often feel because of the way we act. Accordingly, one of my Twelve Personal Commandments is to “Act the way I want to feel.” 

Along these lines, I follow the resolution “Under-react to problems”: not to ignore or minimize problems, but just to under-react to them. 

By under-reacting to problems or annoyances, and acting in a serene way, I help myself cultivate a calm attitude. 

I’ve found that under-reacting to little household accidents makes them less irritating, because after all, they’re only as annoying as I allow them to be.  No use yelling over spilt nail polish.

Also, when my husband or children see that I’m reacting calmly, they stay calmer, too. It’s creates a much nicer atmosphere in our home—especially when something is going wrong.

Resolve to “Under-react to problems.” Your under-reaction will help make you feel calmer and more in control.

I really like this one. I can sometimes get really worked up about something very small. If something tests my patience, or things start to fall apart I might lose my cool. Sometimes it just depends on my mood if I am in a better mood I am likely to be more tolerating of these things. But if I am in a bad mood, and one of these things set me off it is likely to put me in a worse mood when really I should just let it go.

A scenario that comes to mind when I handled this very well was at our wedding. The flowers were delivered just before the ceremony and they were the wrong color. Fushia pink instead of purple. But it was too late, they were brought in from an offsite company and I had to get down the aisle. I took a deep breath and decided to not let a fairly insignificant detail derail my wedding. I need to remember this with J as well, because when one of us is unhappy, both of us end up unhappy. No sense crying over spilled milk. Unless your on clomid, then cry about anything and everything.

CD1/Relationship Challenge: Day 3

Standard

So even though I just snuck it in the title there’s no denying it; it is cycle day 1 people. After feeling all day like my period was starting and constantly checking my undies she didn’t really start until I got home from work today. She kindly waited until I came home from possibly one of the hardest/shittiest days of my career to make her presence truly known. So now I’m hanging out on the couch with yucky cramps and a pissy attitude. I did however go out and buy some of my favourite ice cream, coke, chips and we had pizza for dinner. I’m giving the middle finger to being healthy today. I am however going to try and be better and healthier this cycle. After today. Seeing as it will be our last cycle for a long time (I’ll get back to that another day) I am going to throw everything I possibly have at this one. I haven’t wanted to deny myself/force myself to do certain things that may or may not help me in any way and then just become grumpy when another cycle fails anyways but since we are going to take a break I figure I can handle one month with no (ok almost no) soda, more exercise and drinking weird teas my acupuncturist recommends.

Our 3rd and final IUI should be around Jan. 30, so lucky me I’ll have managed to fit two IUIs into one month. Some nice start to 2014. I will start clomid yet again on Sunday. I also have an acupuncture session booked for Sunday and I will continue with it as much as recommended until my IUI. Unfortunately my IUI will fall just before Super Bowl Sunday and we are going to a party but I should be able to play off not drinking with so many people around hopefully no one will notice.

I have a fairly busy weekend planned. I am going bridesmaid dress shopping tomorrow with one of my childhood friends who is getting married in July. I have acupuncture and yoga Sunday, as well as a meeting with our realtor (we might be buying a new condo). Another friend of mine is getting married in Las Vegas in October, so we’ve been working on planning her wedding and are going dress shopping for her in two weeks.

It’s nice to have weddings to focus on right now instead of babies (though there will be plenty of babies this year). My friend getting married in Vegas is in her late 30’s, has never been married and has no kids, nor will she gain any step children and she is happy about it. She does not want kids, and her and I have become close over the years as we are pretty much the only two in our circle without kids (though her by choice, she doesn’t know we’ve been trying). I do fear that my other friend will get pregnant shortly after getting married but at least by that point I will either be pregnant or on birth control and no longer actively ttc so hopefully when it happens it won’t sting as much. Only time will show what the future holds. So that’s my life at the moment.

Now onto the relationship challenge day 3; Make the positive argument.

“I love my husband with all my heart, but sometimes I fall into a spiral of criticism. He annoys me by not answering my emails, and that gets me thinking about how he also annoys me by not mailing an important form, and so on.

I discovered an excellent technique to combat this tendency. In general, people are very skillful at arguing a particular case. When a person takes a position, he or she looks for evidence to support it and then stops, satisfied. This mental process gives the illusion that a position is objective and well justified. However—and this is the useful point—a person can often make the very opposite argument, just as easily. If I tell myself, “I’m a shy person,” I remember examples of my shyness. If I tell myself, “I’m an outgoing person,” I remember times when I was outgoing. I’m able to argue both conclusions quite persuasively.

To make use of this phenomenon, I’ve resolved to “Make the positive argument.”

When I catch myself thinking, “My husband isn’t very thoughtful,” and my mind starts kicking up examples of thoughtlessness, I contradict myself with “He’s very thoughtful”—and sure enough, I’m able to come up with many examples of his thoughtful behavior. “He doesn’t enjoy celebrating holidays”; “He does enjoy celebrating holidays.”

I can actually feel my opinion shift. It’s almost uncanny.

Resolve to “Make the positive argument.” You’ll be amazed at how convincing you can be—to yourself.”

Ok, I’ll admit I’m not very good at this one. It’s true when J does something to piss me off it reminds me of other times, other things that have made me mad in the past. This is a terrible thought process that can get me all wound up over something stupid and trivial. And then I might flip out for something as simple as not taking out the trash or leaving a mess in the kitchen. Also, this is me being a hypocrite. I know it will be hard to think of nice things J has done when I just want to wring his neck. But I can see it making me feel more kind and patient towards him. So let’s give it a try!

Sidenote/question; does your significant other read your blog?  I mentioned to J that I started a blog but he doesn’t read and I don’t really want him to…