Prayers welcome

I would welcome any prayers or good thoughts at this really difficult time with S and I.  We had a blow up based on a situation that happened at my conference this week.  I chose to take a group hot tub with some colleagues (two men and three women, including me) and S felt I was insensitive in how I communicated around it.  He is packaging it with other recent experience and coming to the conclusion that I don't care for him enough, or in the ways that he needs.  From my perspective, he sees things through a lens of fear and goes right to anger instead of trying to share his feelings more openly with me.  I admit I have a low tolerance right now for this pattern, after having experienced it for a long time now.  I'm ready for more stability and consistent closeness.  Does that even exist?  We're taking a week to reflect and regroup.  I want to use this time to go inward and get more clear about my own feelings and level of commitment.  It is a very hard time for us.


What would it take?

This cycle was indeed, sadly, a bust.  I think I figured out the mystery of the dark spotting.  Apparently the herb supplements I have been taking from the Acupuncturist work to get the blood moving, and that can actually break down fibroids.  Remember that huge fibroid I have that I will likely get surgery for soon?  I think it is the culprit.  The fact my Acupuncturist did not catch that connection the first month it happened leaves me feeling irritated and uncertain of her abilities.  I like her in other ways, but she seems to lack a certain detail-oriented, connect-the-dots focus that would be beneficial.

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my request for sisterly advice.  I appreciated some of the points and questions brought up, such as expense and how much I want to have the experience of pregnancy (not sure on that one yet).  I have already begun researching, considering, and discussing with S both embryo adoption and foster adoption.  In good news, I am not starting at ground zero in terms of knowledge.  I actually completed the foster adopt training classes when I lived in central California.  I believe they are different here, and I would have to complete them again, but they provided good information. 

From that class, for example, I learned what they want in terms of finances and home study preparation.  Before we jumped in wholeheartedly to trying to adopt and/or follow through on embryo donation (I will be doing initial research/taking first steps), I think it would be best if either S or I find a full or close to full-time position.  S is working full-time right now, but he is a contractor with not much security.  He is the better candidate to land a "solid," full-time job, and I believe this would be best in the long run in terms of child care.  But in the short-term, I could take something more full-time, as well.  Even if I simply made more money through another part-time position, this would likely help. 

On top of the employment piece, we both would benefit from bettering our savings discipline.  I have retirement through my work, which feels like something.  My goal is for both of us, hopefully, to start putting away more each month and investing in CDs, or whatever will earn the most interest in savings and allow smaller lump sum investments.  I have also decided to rejoin a support group around money, which is no cost but provides tools and focused group butt-kicking support around creating a spending plan, etc.

I believe it would be helpful on multiple levels (of course necessary after a child arrived!) if we also were living together.  We have been talking about this for some time, and it would be the next step for us, assuming we can work through some of our communication difficulties.  We have discussed moving in during the first part of next year, maybe three to five months. 

In talking to him the other day, I realized that a lot of his reticence, and even some of the fighting that's been happening, is related to his concern about finances.  I currently have a very reasonable rent situation.  His is not great, but okay.  If we move in together, it will likely be a higher cumulative amount.  Also, Zoey ideally needs a backyard.  I guess I could make it work with dog parks and walks, but it would be far less ideal than the current situation. 

Another worry that came up for him - I also worry about this but less so - is having less time for himself and the writing work he does outside of regular work.  He already feels time scarce, as it is.  As an introvert, myself, I get this.  I tend to land on the optimistic side of things, however, and imagine that we could negotiate this and still do things on our own and make boundaries around needed alone time.  Any coupled or previously coupled introverts out there with any advice how to best do this?  An ironic sidenote: when we have conflict, it often tends to be about wanting more attention, communication, connection!

I need to run now and finish getting ready to leave for my conference.  A co-worker is picking me up in and hour and a half to head to the airport!  Yikes!  The conference is in Palm Springs and will hopefully be fun, as well as work.  More when I return... 


Not looking good...

Sadly, it looks as if my next cycle is likely starting today, at 14dpo.  I had a bit of cramping and darkish spotting yesterday and today some more, with an increased amount of spotting (still dark).   The cramping has stopped at this point, and I felt a strong "twinge" cramp earlier today in the uterine area.

Do you think there is a chance I might be experiencing late implantation?  Did anyone else who has experienced pregnancy have spotting around the very end of their cycle?

I'm not sure what my next step will be, if this cycle is over.  I guess I will do as I was thinking and get back on track for surgery to have my large fibroid removed.  Unless I get a very strong sign that I should go forward with IVF with my own eggs, I am not going to pursue that due to my chances of success and financial limitations.

I do see possible donor eggs or embryos in my future or possibly adoption... more on these possibilities later.  If any of you that have been reading this blog for a while would like to give me some sisterly advice on what you think would be the best choice for me, I would love to hear from you now or later.  I am just beginning research and mainly know about these options through the stories of others.


Join Me in a Mind Game?

I know it's all a big mind game, but for funsies, I thought I would share a couple new signs. 

As mentioned in this morning's post, I am currently at 11 dpo.  Driving home from my acupuncture appointment early this afternoon, I reached a bit and felt an unmistakable stabbing pain in my underarm.  This is not usual for me, even on progesterone (at least not the last few cycles... I'll have to look back a ways to double check). 

As the day has progressed, it's become a continual soreness, more on my left than right.  Oddly my breasts themselves are hardly feeling sore today. 

The other sign - now don't laugh! - is feeling more sexual than usual at this time.  I usually feel pretty un-enthused during the last week of my cycle, but then often experience a little wave the day before, or as my period is starting.  This is two or three days before, so not my usual pattern.  I heard that it's possible you can feel more sexual in early pregnancy, due to increased blood flow.

Sooo, again, fully admitting it's a mindgame, I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback from you all!


Killer Convergence and more...

Back from the Convergence last night... It went smashingly!  Over three hundred people, kickass keynote speakers - the best of them our founder, Rob Hopkins - and my opening circle exercises Saturday morning went really well.  Practicing does pay off!  I must have run through those activities 20 times in the few days before the event.  lol  Not everyone was up and ready to go at 9am but we had over a third of the people there or more, and I'm glad to have the facilitation experience with a larger crowd and with using a headset mic and collaborating with others who did an activity after me, as well.

S's panel on Climate Change activism went great, too, and he was very pleased with the number of folks who showed up.   He's a total picture guy and is always posting on FB, so he was frustrated with me for not thinking to take a picture during his panel... especially since he took an awesome picture of me during my opening circle.  Whoops.   Oh well, I think he forgave me.

We did get into another fight on Saturday evening but were able to take a timeout and not escalate.  We are continuing to figure things out with expectations/resentment/conflict/judgment, etc.  I guess things don't turn on a dime, just because you become more clear you have a problem.  Looking forward to going together to a movie Wednesday and having drinks afterwards, though I suppose I should stick to a Shirley Temple!

By the end of the weekend, my introvert side was ready to chill out and recoup, and luckily I was able to have that space when I got back.  I did go shopping and run some errands in the afternoon but have been mostly home.  Oh, and one organization represented at the Convergence does what they called "The Ecology of Leadership" training, and I completed their application today.  I really want to do it!  I feel blocked around pursuing a couple of my biggest goals - co-forming a Social Change Performing Arts Troupe, and joining an intentional community - plus I can see how I sabotage my professional reputation and relationships sometimes by letting anxiety control my decisions.  This training emphasizes learning in community and mutually supporting one another, and we would be meeting one weekend a month for the next six months.  I'm working on getting sponsorship assistance with the fee, so fingers crossed!

About ttc... no big signs.  Maybe a little breast soreness.  I'm at 10 dpo.  Yesterday, my temperature took a three-tenths dip but was back up today at 98.04.  It was a bit colder there, even in the hotel room, so that may have contributed.  I do think we timed the IUI perfectly, and S and a BD'd the night following to fully cover our bases.  I will keep you posted.  I have another acupuncture appointment tomorrow and need to get some more Chinese herb supplements.


Long Overdue Update

I apologize for the dearth of updates.  The last cycle did not work.  It ended - or the next cycle started, depending on how you look at it - very oddly.  I had two days of very dark spotting, one day more of increased dark spotting - almost a light flow - then into a very heavy period.  I'm not sure if something started to happen and didn't take?  Or maybe it was related to the Chinese herbs I had begun that month?  In any case, it was very strange and like nothing I had experienced before.

That was 13 days ago.  My OPKs this cycle tried to confuse me with several light lines, sometimes a bit darker, but always significantly less than the test line.  Finally, I saw a dark line on Thursday morning and went in for the IUI yesterday.  This is cause for celebration!  I finally got an IUI in on a "bump cycle," following a medicated cycle.  There was a lot of psychological weight around that for me, for whatever reason, and it helps me feel like we made our best effort to conceive with my own eggs.  Other things I'm doing right now to give a best effort:

  • Added Fish Oil and Wheatgrass to my load o' daily supplements (currently: DHEA, COQ10, vitamin D3, L-Arginine, prenatal, baby aspirin).
  • Seeing a "real" acupuncturist every week or so, which includes electro-stimulation, heat lamps, and lots of needles.
  • As mentioned above, I have also added Chinese herbs under the care of my acupuncturist.

I will try and do better with posting updates over the next couple of weeks.  S and I head off to the big Transition/Permaculture conference next weekend, so I'm gearing up for that and preparing to lead the Saturday opening circle.  S will be moderating a political panel.  We had a rough time this week but, after some open talking and a counseling session (for him) today, we are in a good place.  Having some adult time today was wonderful - and helped with the ttc efforts, as well!

Happy Beginning of Fall to Everyone!