Screw this whole “cutting back on caffeine to be more fertile” thing! 40 hours of working with mental health patients, 3 college classes, 3 active dogs and STILL trying to find time for intimacy (and NOT quickies) is just not happening without help from the almighty caffeine! Here goes my 3rd cup of coffee today–down the hatch!
I didn’t think I’d be upset if I found out someone I know is pregnant while we’re still trying (unsuccessfully), but it’s happened and I’m upset. On our 97th day of trying, we found out a couple who wasn’t trying (and who aren’t exactly ecstatic about it) are pregnant. While I wish I could jump for joy for them, I’m instead finding myself seriously bummed out. No one expected me to be ready to try, especially me, so I could never anticipate the feelings I’m now feeling. I know it will happen when it happens, but tell that to my brain that is tired from trying to rationalize why they are pregnant and we are not, and to my heart which is so sad and mooshy and broken more with every negative pregnancy test. It’s almost enough to wish I’d never come around to the idea of becoming a mom. Obviously I’m still in this for the long run, I’m just feeling bummed today.
As much as birth control has been a blessing for me (keeping me from missing school because of horrible cramps, keeping my undies from constantly being stained due to extremely heavy bleeding and, obviously, helping me prevent pregnancy before I was ready), its now becoming a pain in my trying-to-conceive ass! After some blood tests and exams from my OB-GYN, we’ve found out that 10 years of using artificial hormones has caused my body to go into birth control withdrawal. I’m experiencing mood swings, hair growth in places I’ve never grown hair, and no periods. My body is trying to learn how to produce its own hormones and find balance, and in the meantime, I’m having a difficult time conceiving. This is very disappointing for me, and now I’m starting to kick myself for taking birth control for so long. Why did I wait until I was almost 24 to learn about my reproductive system and how birth control affects it??
It’s officially been 3 months of trying to conceive and while that doesn’t seem long, when people know you’re trying to conceive and ask constant questions like, “What are you doing to try?” 3 months can seem like forever. Every month we’re not pregnant gives us more time to prepare, I get that; but there seems to be more and more pressure for us to “hurry up and get pregnant,” and I’m starting to feel more sad, frustrated and stressed out with every negative pregnancy test. In fact, it’s become tradition to drink a glass of wine when we get a negative test. But hey–at least we’re looking out for our heart health too! I know that this experience is about us, but the comments and questions from others are really starting to get to me. Any thoughts or advice? Should I just start telling everyone we’re no longer trying? 😉
My canine babies are constantly teaching me lessons, especially about patience and unconditional love. Today, my beagle taught me not to ignore the small stuff, even if I think it’s not a big deal.
My beagle got bit by some gnats a couple of weeks ago (we’ve had some nasty gnats this year and the bites are horrendously itchy!) and he’d been itching at the bites but I wasn’t too concerned because I was itching my bites too–it just wasn’t that big of a deal. I became slightly concerned when he started losing some hair on his backside because of his itching. I checked his fur for any signs of fleas, ticks or any larvae but I didn’t see anything, so I just gave him a small amount of Benadryl for the itching and gave him a wash with soothing shampoo.
However, last night, he itched all throughout the night and was still itching this morning. I took him outside where it was super bright (thanks, Mr. Sun!) and checked his fur again. To my surprise and horror, he had eggs all over his backside and I found at least 2 adult fleas! Can you imagine how horrible I felt that I had dismissed his itching and painful cries as simple bug bites?? My poor baby has been getting bit continually for the past 2 weeks and I didn’t know it! I felt and still feel so guilty!
As soon as I saw the fleas, I made the Mister come outside and we gave him a cool bath with flea and tick shampoo and we let him dry in the sun (fleas HATE warmth). I scrubbed his fur like there was no tomorrow and when I rinsed him, I made sure the eggs had all been washed away. Hopefully my beagle baby will be flea-free now!
The lesson I learned from this is to not ignore the small stuff. Sure, it’s not healthy to sweat all the small stuff, but it also doesn’t hurt to at least investigate things either. And if one of my canine babies (and future human baby) is showing me signs that something might be wrong, I vow not to ignore it or blow it off. I’d rather worry a little when things don’t seem right and make sure everything is ok then to not worry and find out something worse has developed thanks to my not-worrying.
You know how I know I’ll make an ok parent? When I had to rub ointment on my beagle’s cut on his leg today and he whined and snarled, I simply responded, “I know you don’t like it, but it’s what’s best for you so I’m going to do it!”
Bring it on, parenthood!
Dear Future Baby V,
There are a few things you need to know about your future life and family. Here they are, although I’m sure I’ll have more to add at a later date.
1) Your dad is going to rock! He is hilarious, goofy, smart, talented, patient and he is the definition of unconditional love. You’re going to LOVE him! Your mom (that’s me!) is less perfect. I sometimes lack patience (just ask your canine brothers and sister) and I’m a loud talker, which is sometimes mistaken for yelling. You’ll get used to it; your momma’s side of the family is basically one giant shouting match because we’re all loud. I am loving, but if your father and I had a loving-match, he would win. I sometimes forget to show my love everyday, but don’t doubt for a second that I love your dad and you. I consider myself fun and I know I’m goofy, and if you get some of my talents (including my ability to BS through college courses) you’ll do pretty ok in the world. Despite any of the flaws I have as a person, wife and mother, I love you already, and that’s the most important part, because just 6 months ago, I was terrified at the thought of you. But I’m now so beyond excited about seeing you and holding you and showering you with love! We even started your nursery (we’re calling it the pre-nursery)! We’re keeping it gender neutral (you can thank your Sociology major mother for that!) so the walls are beige and white, and you have light blue chevron curtains that I made for you (take that, Martha Stewart!). We’ve been waiting for something to go in the extra bedroom in our home, but nothing has ever felt right. Now it’s your pre-nursery and it feels perfect!
2) You have three canine siblings waiting for you. The two older ones are totally cool with the idea of you, but your canine sister is pretty jealous when we pay attention to anyone else, so we’re starting to warm her up to the idea of sharing your dad and me with you now!
3) You are going to have some pretty awesome aunts and uncles. Your dad’s brother is pretty hilarious–your dad and him are like twins and they will make you laugh until your side hurts! Your dad’s brother’s wife (aka your aunt) is super nice and sweet, and she likes kids, so hit her up for favors while you can! Your dad’s sister is super smart and savvy, you can learn a lot from her and she’ll always be willing to read to you! Mom’s oldest sister lives far away because your uncle (mom’s sister’s husband) is in the military. She is really loving and sarcastic, which sounds like it would be an odd combination, but it’s actually pretty awesome! Your military uncle is strong, sarcastic, and goofy. Your dad and him are like two peas in a pod (you’ll understand that saying someday) and he’ll hang you upside down while tickling you. Don’t worry, it’s fun, I promise! Mom’s other sister is stylish and fun. You can count on her to take you shopping when mom and dad won’t buy you what you want! Mom’s oldest brother is goofy and he, too, will be willing to toss you in the air until you either puke or cry from laughing! Mom’s youngest sibling and brother is super strong and he’s got a pretty nice voice too. Ask him to sing you lullabies!
4) Have I mentioned your future cousins? You already have 5 girl cousins and 1 boy cousin. They are all goofy, hysterical, adventurous and loving! You’re going to have a blast with them!
5) Grandparents! You’re going to have the most rockin grandparents! I’ll have to write a post just about them in order for you to understand just how awesome your grandparents are, but maybe I’ll just let you see for yourself when you eventually make your debut!
6) I know you aren’t even conceived yet, but I think about you everyday. I think about what you’re going to look and sound like, what your personality will be like, if you’ll be healthy, etc, etc. Every stinking day I think about you. Just know how much you’re loved already!
Like I said, I know I’ll think of more to fill you in on. But I just wanted to give you a head’s up about the awesomeness that will someday be your life! Love you, Future Baby V