Monday, May 9, 2011

It is not obsession by choice...

okay, so the other day i was talking to dh about the silly things people say in regard to our difficult journey ttc... and he said something that at first really hurt my feelings, but when i understood what he was actually saying... i had a moment of clarity.

when i talk to people about our struggles, in their eyes - it may seem that i am obsessing about everything... because, yes, there are a few people who know about our struggles, and when i talk to them, i don't ever have any news, besides what's happening with me in regard to how i'm feeling at that moment about my journey...

so - for those of you who are not having trouble ttc or have never had trouble ttc...let me share a little glimpse into my life - and how this journey affects me every single day... so that hopefully you'll get a better idea of why it may seem that i am obsessing, when in fact it is just a very prominent part of my life - not by choice...because believe me (and i think i speak for most of those ttc for 2+ years) if i could ignore it or "relax" (as so many people ignorantly suggest) i would...

everyday my alarm wakes me up at 6am - saturdays and sundays included - so that i can take my bbt... i have to turn my alarm off and turn on my thermometer with as little movement as possible and take my temperature (in order for it to accurately take my bbt - i need to be very relaxed and essentially still half asleep).... then i have to wake up enough to read the thermometer and record the temperature. i do this in the hopes that my bbt chart will give me some insight into when i am ovulating, so that i can ensure that dh and i bd at the right time.

once i've taken my temperature, i use my finger to swab some saliva from under my tongue and spread it onto my ovulation scope (which is a tiny microscope) and let it dry for 5 - 10 minutes, at which time i can look into the scope and determine what pattern my dried saliva is making. if it looks like a fern - then i am most likely getting ready to ovulate. you may think - well, aren't you taking you charting your bbt to determine when you're ovulating...? well - yes i am, but this works best when you have other methods for detection to help "back up" your chart.

once i actually officially wake up, i get ready for work, or for the day. i will have a cup of coffee - i can't do this without considering the fact that we are ttc - because i shouldn't really be having coffee at all, but if i do, i only have one small cup and then i have to make sure that i do not have any other caffeine during the day. i am also trying to lower my sugar intake - so i am now having less sugar in my coffee- because i read that high level of sugars can contribute to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)...and this may or may not be true - but i'll do whatever it takes to increase my odds - also, it'd just be in my best interest to lower my sugar intake - to be healthier...

at the end of the day, i like to take a really hot shower... i have always loved hot showers - better yet, a nice long soak in a hot bath tub... however, after ovulation... during the 2ww when i may be pregnant...i cannot have a hot bath or a hot shower - because this can raise your body temperature too much and this is dangerous for pregnant women. so, due to the fact that ovulation is such a tricky thing to pin-point....i try to refrain from hot showers all together... so, every time i take a shower, i am reminded that i have to be very careful of how hot i make the water, and if i indulge in some hot water, i need to be very careful of how long i do so for.

this brings me to a very important point --- what most people don't understand, is that when you are ttc... for at least 2 weeks of every month, you have to live like you're pregnant, because you just may be -- and for many women ttc.... it's easier to live that way all month (except perhaps during the time af is here... because that is a time when you know you're definitely not pregnant).

so - that means being careful of what you eat -- on top of not being able to eat things that pregnant women can't also need to consider what is, and is not, healthy to eat when you're trying to get pregnant. so - no soft cheeses or dairy that is unpasteurized (such as feta, brie, and blue cheese) , no fishy fish (or fish/seafood high in mercury), no alcohol, avoid hot dogs, avoid lunch meat, and of course - no caffeine (which i'm still working on).

this of course means that every time i am faced with a choice of what to eat, i need to consider all these things....  

then of course - i take a prenatal multi-vitamin... because many of the vitamins one needs during pregnancy, help with fertility and also - because i never know when i will in fact get pregnant, i want to ensure i am getting all the vitamins i need for a healthy pregnancy ---- just in case.

i'm not going to go into details about how bd needs to be timed just right during my cycle ... and also - needs to occur as often as possible prior to and during ovulation... so there is no (or very little) spontaneous and romantic bd'ing happening... and because everything is "scheduled" it has to be thought about and discussed... it's not something one can just "relax" and forget about.... contrary to popular belief... you cannot get pregnant at just any time of the month... there is a somewhat small window of opportunity in which one can fall pregnant.... and when you've been trying for over a year... you are going to do whatever you can to increase your chances of conceiving - even if that means standing on your head after db'ing (which is actually not helpful -- but elevating one's legs and putting a pillow under one's butt/hips will help those "little-guys" along...)

these are just the formalities we endure in our hopes to become pregnant - of course there is also the emotional roller-coaster ride that accompanies these... and often this is what we talk to our family and friends about -- because, although we wish it were different, nothing else in our lives really compares to what we're going through with this ongoing battle....

yes, the cat went missing and i'm heart broken, also my friend got engaged, and another friend is getting ready to get married and we've been celebrating with bridal showers etc, and yes, i am turning 25 soon, yes i am growing in my faith thanks to some wonderful women and a weekly bible study, yes, we were asked to become leaders of our church's young adults couple's group, and yes -- these things are happening and i'm more than happy to share that... but ultimately, none of it really compares to the depths of our feelings and desire to become pregnant.well - maybe it compares, but if we've told you of our struggle, it's because we want to be able to share it with you and maybe just vent a little and get some support - we don't want advice or for you to try and fix anything... we just want to know that you care and understand how difficult it is for us.

so, if we seem a little obsessive... please forgive us, but unfortunately this journey requires that you go "all-in" - emotionally and physically.

i would like to mention that all of these things that i endure every month in order to increase my chances - is nothing compared to what other women are enduring while undergoing IUI or IVF -- which includes multiple doctor visits and injecting themselves multiple times a month....

next time someone confides in you, with regard to their struggles trying to conceive, remember that it may seem easy for you to think that we are obsessing and should "just relax" - however, it is not that simple -- and we can't help that this is something we think about almost 24/7... i know that i am trying my very best to put it out of my mind during the time that i'm not eating, waking up, showering, or bd'ing.... but sometimes it's a losing battle.... i wish it were possible to "relax" and stop thinking about it for a few days!!!


  1. I thought I commented on this yesterday but I thought this was a great post.

  2. Sorry to reply so late - I'm trying to get better at replying to my comments! :P Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)