(Warning: lots of TMI in here about bodily fluids and such.)
Thirteen days ago, when I began my last period, we officially started trying to conceive again. Sort of.
Our fertility doctor requires three full months of post-pregnancy charting, and as I had been having a regular period since March, we decided to start our three-month charting. It doesn’t lock us into actually getting pregnant at any specific time (we’re not sure when we’ll be ready for that); rather, it allows us to give our doctor a baseline for approving us to start trying again at any point following those three months.
So the wait (for the wait, for the wait) begins.
I’m nervous. Despite several perfectly back-to-normal cycles, this month seems off. We went camping, which threw off my eating and sleeping patterns. I had good cervical mucus yesterday, which was my predicted ovulation day, yet a negative OPK in the morning. The day before, negative; today, negative. Granted, I’m only testing in the morning, partly because I am trying not to drive myself insane while charting my ovulation. That said, if I don’t get a positive tomorrow morning, I will feel a little more insane. As it is, I’m jumpy. My basal body temp is still low, but I keep wondering – did I miss it? Should I have also tested in the evening? What if I’m not ovulating anymore? What if I never ovulate again?
In reality, I’ll probably get my positive tomorrow. I usually ovulate between day 11 and 15, and today is day 13. My cycle is long – around 31 days – so a later ovulation for me isn’t really a problem. At least, it wasn’t last time – I got pregnant on our first cycle of IUI. Yet knowing I had that luck seems to make me more paranoid this time around. What if that goes wrong?
These little jumps and jitters – the delayed ovulation – don’t help my anxiety. Although I would never claim that I have PTSD, I think I do have some form of post-traumatic stress and anxiety. While I don’t have panic attacks, and I’ve been able to return to our NICU (three times; to return my hospital-issued breast pump and for two hat deliveries), I do find it hard to shake bad memories. One main trigger: the restroom at my office. It’s impossible to avoid, for obvious reasons. Yet that’s where I first started bleeding, first noticed the telltale spotting in the second trimester, bled every day for several weeks until I was put on bed rest. I would go in a different stall each time I needed to use the restroom, hoping with only a superstitious person’s hope that maybe the change of venue would also result in a change in the bleeding. That maybe this time, it would be different.
Of course, it’s not that easy to stave off a disaster. Yet I still find myself hesitating when I enter the restroom. Which stall to use? My favorite, in the corner, is also the one I resorted to most when bleeding, where I could hide against the wall and cry. I cannot “simply” use that stall anymore. So I’m trying a new perspective: I’m using the handicapped stall. This is fairly rebellious for me; I’m the kind of person who thinks it’s never acceptable to use the handicapped stall when in a public restroom, even if there’s a line and that’s the one open. I certainly don’t want to be the person hogging that stall when someone who does need it, and needs it urgently, enters the restroom. But the other day I entered the restroom at work and hesitated. Each of the stalls harbors a horrible memory for me – except the handicapped stall. I had never used it before. While my obedient instinct hesitated, my rational mind reminded me that I knew everyone in my office, and no one was going to be in dire need of that stall. No one in a wheelchair, on crutches, with Crohn’s. Granted, there may be someone with a more hidden need for a handicapped stall, but I could be fairly confident that the few minutes each day I would require it would not seriously inconvenience anyone else. Plus…. we have two handicapped stalls in our bathroom. So seriously, I should just use one of them. It didn’t banish the memories perfectly, but it helped, so that’s my coping strategy for now. Now I just need to find a good one to help me with the ovulation anxiety…