Relationship Challenge: Day 16


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. 


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.


I Can’t Even Make This Sh*t Up


I swear infertility is stalking me now, permeating every part of my life, even those areas I thought were safe. Last night I joined J at his boss’s house for their department Christmas get together, just a small gathering with around 10 or so people. Almost none of these people have children (actually come to think of it, I don’t know if any of them do…), so there were no kids around. Just a group of adults having a nice evening together. When I arrived they were just starting to play a murder/mystery game, one of those things where everyone gets a character and there are scripted interactions,  to lead your through and at the end you have to guess who is the murderer (kind of like a real life version of clue).

Throughout the game there are clues to add suspicion to some of the characters. Well one of the clues happened to be a prescription for fertility medication that one of the characters, “Tara”, had taken to get pregnant by her fiance’s twin brother. (I know, it was a weird game). It was funny because the fake prescription even had legit instructions on it like, take from cycle days 3 – 7…ect. But, the weirdest part, is that my dear hubby was playing the character of Tara’s fiance, who was unable to get her pregnant, which is why she was sleeping with his brother. So. Strange. When we got home later that night I mentioned to J how weird it was, and that as soon as the clue mentioned fertility meds, and the instructions did he not immediately think, oh Clomid!

Seriously, it was like a weird omen or something, because today is CD1, and I start Clomid on Monday. So, just as I suspected our cycle of “not trying” did not magically get us pregnant. As Lindsey at Awaiting Autumn says, it’s going to be a “Clomid Christmas”. Luckily last time I took Clomid it didn’t send me for a loop or anything, but I did have a lot of headaches. How fun for me over Christmas. Naaaawt! 

So I called the clinic today to book my IUI appointments for Jan. 2, 3, and 4. I have to use OPK’s and I only go in the day after I get a positive. I spoke to the nurse about in what situation would I have follice monitoring, and she said only when you are on injectables do they do that, and then the Dr. will trigger ovulation, and book your IUI for the appropriate day. I asked at what point do they recommend this, as I am only using Clomid and OPK’s at this point. She said usually they do 3 unmonitored cycles, and then move to something else (ie. injectables, IVF, whatever). Which is sort of what the Dr. M said, is that we would try 3 cycles just with Clomid (the stats for success decline drastically after 3 cycles of IUI) and then go from there. He didn’t say what would come after those 3 cycles, but I don’t really want to find out. I said to the nurse that using injectables probably gives a better chance as it is more accurate then? She said it is more accurate in pinpointing ovulation, because it is triggered and then they know how many follies we’re working with as well. She said that I could talk to the nurse and possibly my Dr. about doing that for my 3rd try (if we get to that point).

So I am glad I asked, and am taking charge. If we are setting a limit on ourselves to take an extended break from TTC to pursue other things in our lives after the 3rd cycle then I want to know that we gave it our best shot. Even though I am scared sh*tless about having to use injectables (and the possibility of multiples, dear gawd help me if that happens). So we’ll see where that goes. I know it is pessimistic to be thinking past the cycle I just started but I’ve got to think about these things, so I can stay on top of it all.

Also, interesting side note; I asked the nurse about how to count my CD if my period starts very late in the day/overnight (like it did this time) and she said if it starts after 4pm, the next day of full flow is your CD1. Good to know! On to cycle #20…