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!

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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?

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.