Stress and a wee trip to Westeros

It’s been a stressful couple of days. After the reflexology session to Monday I took our cat to the vet. We never intended to be cat owners but during a particularly cold snap at Christmas this kitty showed up on our front door. We felt sorry for him and took him in while he tried to find his owners. I went knocking on doors with my eldest daughter and we put signs up in our local shop but no one ever claimed him. When the thaw came he skipped out the back door and we thought that was it, he was away home again, but a couple of hours later we re-appeared so I guess whether or not we wanted to be cat owners he had adopted us. We were a bit lax about it though. We fed him, dewormed him and deflea’d him but it took us a couple of months to get around to organising pet insurance and then the very important vaccinations and neutering operation. On Monday it was vaccination time.

Imagine my mortification when the vet was examining him and then let out an “eeeeew! he has fleas!”

Really she looked horrified. Like I’d brought a turd in and dropped it on her examination table. I couldn’t understand it, the cat had been flea treated only about a fortnight ago. I investigated matters further and discovered that my husband had used some Bob Marten spot on de-flea stuff I’d bought (and never used because I heard it’s rubbish) instead of the Frontline that was sitting in the cupboard next to it.

When I got home with de-flea’d cat I began the task of treating the house. I then discovered our vacuum cleaner had broken down, so after spending £50 at the vet I had to go and spend another £50 buying a new hoover (and yes, it’s an actual hoover). I then started stripping sheets, vacuuming, dosing everything in flea spray, and citronella spray. I sprinkled a couple of bottles of salt over the carpets (my best friend swears by this for killing flea eggs). I’ve seen 2 fleas since then, all in my bedroom, all in the process of biting me. I hate this. My skin crawls at the very notion.

To top it off I discovered the next morning that I had an assignment to do for my masters course that I knew nothing about, and it was due the next day. Oh and I did a pregnancy test and got a BFN (that’s a big fat negative for the uninitiated). And my thermometer is dying, my chart looks awful and I think it’s fairly safe to assume that I am not in the two week wait or enjoying any kind of menstrual cycle whatsoever.

Yesterday was spent in a panic trying to get the assignment done, bribing my children with all manner of food to keep them quiet and out of my way (it was bad, really bad. there was crisps, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate and dinner care of Dominos). I needed to relax and break the tension last night though so I stuck my family in my best friend’s car and we headed off to one of the locations where they are currently filming Game of Thrones.

We had an amazing time on the beach. We took our shoes and socks off and paddled along the waterline all the way to the far side of the beach where we found eight foot tall statues of the seven gods of Westeros just waiting to be burned. It was (and I don’t use this word lightly) awesome!

The assignment is done, the flea war continues, the cat has been consigned to sleep in the kitchen, I’ve got a new thermometer and life goes on.

And the nerd in me is absolutely delighted.

A Foot-rub at theoretical 7dpo

I had my first reflexology session this morning. I’m not sure entirely what I was expecting, well I think a little part of me hoped she’d poke a toe and my ovaries would kick into action (I was going to say burst into life, but putting the words “burst” and “ovaries” together just seemed a little off). She’s asked me to come back for five more sessions, once a week, and then review things at the end of that. Right now she’s just concentrating on balancing my hormones generally and after the six weeks is up she’ll start on the fertility stuff. One thing she did say is that she reckons my thyroid levels might be a bit off. I’m not dismissing that, I do think my temperature does tend to be on the low side. I know diagnosing an underactive thyroid from a low basal body temperature alone isn’t done but it’s enough to make me wonder if I should get down to my GP and ask her to test my thyroid levels. I think extended breastfeeding and mammoth weight loss have probably done something to slow my system down, I just hope I’m not throwing an underactive thyroid into the mix.

Looking at my chart I’m still not convinced that I’ve ovulated. I also think my thermometer is on it’s last legs so I ordered a new one. On top of that I’m drastically upping my agnus castus dosage (I was taking 200mg per day, the wisdom of the internet reckons I should be on 800mg) and I’m throwing in some evening primrose oil too. I’m surprised I don’t rattle when I walk.

Not Feeling Very Positive

I forgot what an emotional roller coaster this is. Yesterday I had a really positive day. I was just convinced that I had ovulated and I was going to end up pregnant, today I feel the exact opposite. It is so hard to not let that feeling take over. I’ve been moody all weekend, short tempered and spending far too much time googling ridiculous things. I keep looking at my chart and thinking it’s going to be a repeat of last summer.

Today Fertility Friend didn’t take away my cross-hairs but it did move them forward a couple of days. I’m fairly certain that I didn’t ovulated on the new date they’ve given me. I did have a huge temperature dip that day but I’m putting it down to getting very little sleep that night as my youngest decided that 3.30 was a good time to wake up 4 am was a good time to get out of bed and look for some breakfast. Or maybe I just don’t want that to be the case because that puts me outside the realm of possibility for getting knocked up if I did.

I need to learn some patience. This could take a very long time and I can’t spend my emotional energy like this day after day.

Tomorrow morning I have my reflexology session. I hope she can tell me something positive.

I got cross-hairs!

I am trying, and failing, not to be stupidly excited at the moment. As I mentioned in a previous post I’ve resurrected my old Fertility Friend account. To the uninitiated this  an online service where you can record your basal body temperature and all manner of bajingo related information. It then enables you in all manner of obsessive, neurotic tendencies and allows you to share your burgeoning mental illness (by way of a pregnancy test addiction) with like-minded people. Well that’s my experience of it, I don’t wish to offend any other users, I am speaking strictly about myself with all of the above.

If you are very lucky, after days and days of entering temperature information and a myriad of other fun (yet slightly gross) facts about yourself into your chart, lovely little cross-hairs appear and declare you have probably ovulated. It then gives you a date approximately 3 years in the future (okay, it only feels that way) when you can take a pregnancy test. I will speak for others now when I say that (I’d bet) NO ONE lasts until their suggested testing date. Well maybe some people do, with wills of steel, but those kind of people scare me a little.

This morning I got my very own super-lovely set of cross hairs and the proclamation that I am 3 DPO (probably).

I am very excited.

But I probably shouldn’t be. See I had this last Summer. I had a number of occasions where Fertility Friend would decide I’d ovulated and then maybe a week or more later would take a look at my wacky temps and failure to materialise either a period or a positive pregnancy test and it would take them away again. I am now going to have to face the next few mornings with a certain sense of dread as I internally plead with my thermometer to give me a reading above 36.1°C, because it’s too late to plead with my body to release an egg last Tuesday. I want to be in the 2 week wait so badly.

My best friend does have some wonderful words of wisdom when it comes to the pregnancy guessing game “either you are or you aren’t, and you’ll know which one it is eventually.” Sage advice indeed, but it’s all too easy (and admittedly a bit fun) to get carried away.

Stick cross-hairs, stick.

 

Reflexology

I’ll lay it on the line and say that I’m a skeptic. I think homoeopathy and reiki and the like are balls, but I am a believer in reflexology. During my last pregnancy I had symphysis pubis dysfunction, that’s SPD to you. When you are pregnant the hormone relaxin (possibly the most appropriately named hormone ever) has the job of softening up the ligaments in your pelvis to make it marginally easier to pass 7+ pounds of infant out, but sometimes it does it’s job a little too well which results in the ligaments beginning to separate and many many hours of saying “ouch!!!!”, shuffling and occasionally crying. It was only after my daughter was born that I actually began to appreciate just how disabled SPD had made me. It was a revelation and a joy to be able to walk without pain.

It wasn’t all bad though. I managed to get a couple of days of relief after reflexology sessions. I didn’t go to those sessions for the SPD, I went to try and get myself geared up for labour but it did miraculous things for my pelvis, so I’m a believer.

It was only yesterday that it occurred to me that I know someone who is trained in reflexology AND that she is trained in fertility reflexology. I called her up and I’ve made myself an appointment to go next week and see if she can prod my big toe to it wakes up my ovaries.

I’m continuing with charting. I’m not sure how reliable my temping is though. I actually think having the thermometer at the side of the bed makes me sleep worse. I wake up a couple of times per night and shove it in my mouth before I even realise that it’s actually only 2 in the morning, or 3 or 4. I’m the same way the day before I have anything important to do in the morning, I wake up every hour because I’m terrified of missing it or sleeping in.  So much for being relaxed.

I’m having some positive signs that may be pointing towards ovulation. I suppose I’ll know within a few days depending on what my (probably unreliable temperature does). Fingers crossed I have something good to report.

A Positive Chat with my Doctor

I had a nice little chat with my doctor on Friday about this trying to conceive (TTC) lark. She is of the opinion that I stand a very good chance of ovulating before my first postpartum period because I’ve been breastfeeding for so long, apparently I’m unlikely to get a “warning period.” Her advice was to keep on taking folic acid and throw all notions of contraception out the window. She did raise the issue of my weight loss though, and said maybe it could be delaying my fertility coming back. I’m not remotely underweight and I haven’t been on a crash diet. I have a very healthy BMI of 22 (possibly a little bit higher considering the weekend of gluttony I’ve just had celebrating my wedding anniversary, and I intend to compound the problem with a mountain of popcorn later today when we go see Harry Potter) but I used to have a much higher BMI (35, yikes) and I’ve lost over 90lbs in the last year. I’ve been maintaining since April so I’m hoping between that and night weaning things are beginning to settle down. As I left she said I hope next time I see you it’s because you’re coming back with a nice positive pregnancy test.

It was so nice to have a conversation with someone where they didn’t raise their eyebrows and ask if I was crazy. I finally got my hands on some B6 as well, the B12 won’t be wasted either as I’ve read that it’s good for men to take so I’m palming that off on husband.

I’m feeling pretty positive. I know that it could still be months away but I feel like I’m taking control in some small way.

Hopefully I’ve have something more interesting to report soon.

Crunchy Granola Vs Science Girl

There’s a big dichotomy in my personality, on the one hand I’m a trained scientist, a thorough sceptic and completely anally retentive. On the other hand I kind of want to be a hippy. I admire the people who get through the whole nine months without asking what flavour their baby is (I never managed it). I admire the people who take a laid back “let’s see what happens” approach. The problem with knowledge is that once I learn something, I can’t unlearn it, I can forget huge chunks of it, but a nugget of it will remain.

I’ve talked before about how easily I’ve fallen pregnant in the past, but I need to be honest here, when we last decided that we were going to have a baby I got organised. I signed up for Fertility Friend membership, I ordered a bunch of ovulation tests from eBay and I picked up a fertility thermometer. There was a solid month where not a single day passed that I didn’t pee on something.

Last summer we started talking about having another baby and in anticipation of my fertility coming back I did all of the above again and drove myself completely nuts for 3 months before I gave up. I think I permanently damaged my eyesight in that time too squinting at tests trying to will a second line into existence.

I have some romantic notions about how I want to do it this time. I want my crunchy granola side to reign, and crunchy granola is not at home to graphs and statistics. I have idle fantasies about just relaxing, about not testing from about 7 DPO onwards, about having my husband there when I take the test and letting him tell me the result, and finally about staying resolutely team yellow.

Yet I found myself this morning waking up and sticking a BBT thermometer in my mouth AND then resurrecting my old Fertility Friend account (albeit the free version) to record the verdict.

I can’t fight the annotating lab coat wearing me.