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Zelda, I keep thinking that I'll somehow "know" too. It's such a mind fuck. A few months ago I totally tricked myself into believing I was pregnant. When I got my period, I was absolutely crushed. I just want to be normal- I don't want to have a hysterical pregnancy, yuck. I know so many couples who reportedly "weren't even trying" or it happened "right away." I'm not sure if they are being completely honest. I mentioned this to my gyn at my annual and she said "people lie." Interesting- I'm not really sure why anyone would lie about that but who knows. I think that part of it is that people have different ideas of what constitutes trying. I definately think that the odds are that one of us should be coming down with a case of baby pretty soon. Here's to beer until then! Ugh, I have to get back to my paper writing- I keep taking internet breaks.
Yumyum, I was just recently thinking about the whole "trying" thing. I agree, I bet some people out right lie. Others may count their "first try" as the first time paying attention to timing. I swear I want to slap the next person who tells me they got pregnant on the first try. :-) I have way too many friends who say that it just took "one try."

I am like you too - when I want something, I want it now. I don't have a lot of patience, but this sure puts what I do have to the test! I hear you on the alcohol issue too. I was a little uptight at first, but am now being more laid back about it. I really don't see how a few drinks in that window before there is a shared blood supply could hurt. I think if a beer helps to relax, then go for it. I am still not sure about the caffeine thing either. I have cut down in my 2ww, but cannot entirely seem to quit.

Zelda, I took a look at that movie you mentioned. I may go see it too, but at a time in my cycle that I will be less affected by it. Not too sure what time that will be though! :-) It definitely looks interesting.

I am sending out lots of positive thoughts for all three of you.
The thing about Away We Go is the part that upset me you do not see is a minor subplot that hits you out of nowehere, but it is a major thing if you are TTC. Like I said, I won't give away anything else, but just an FYI.

Mr. Zelda and I Did It twice this weekend...obviously not baby time, but just for fun. The reason I am telling you all this is that I really feel the need to talk about my sex life. Kidding...the reason I am saying this is that I had something strange happen each time after orgasm (both times). I had weird cramping low in my uterus that shortly followed each orgasm. This has never happened to me before and was strong enough that I noticed it. I wonder if it could be the aspirin I am taking or something else? Of course I Googled it and there are a few women out there who claim this was an early symptom of pregnancy, but who knows.

I don't think I'm imagining it because it was pretty strong. However other than that I have no real symptoms. I have three weird zits in places I've never had them (two on my upper cheek, one under my nose - nice), and I've had some headaches. But that's it. I think it could be a crapshoot either way this month. I know we got our timing right, I just have to wait and see.

I also think people lie about how long it took them for what reason I do not know...perhaps it is their way of trying to seem like overachievers. When I finally get pregnant, I will have no problem telling people it took more than 3 or 4 months. I think it will make others feel better...I know I instantly feel better whenever I hear of someone saying it took 10 or 12 months (or more) to conceive...even "naturally" with no assistance.

I got my period today. Out of the blue- I wasn't even expecting it for another few days. Sucky. I have cramps and in general feel like shit. TTC month #6, here we come. Mr. Y and I have decided that if 6 isn't our lucky number, we are going to make an appointment with my gyn and discuss getting a semen analysis. If that turns out to be okay, we'll keep trying for a while longer before any more tests. I just hate the idea of "trying" for 12 months if Mr. Y has ghost sperm. I feel like I also need to take into account those other months were we didn't use any birthcontrol but just didn't pay special attention to timing.

Zelda- I hope your cramps are the kind that we always hear are early symptoms! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. It's gotta happen soon for one of us, right?

Michelina- I know of two couples for sure that went off of BC pills because they wanted to conceive, but then when it happened, both couples said they "weren't even trying." WTF? I think for some it's a competititve thing and for others it's a way to assuage any guilt for doing things that they shouldn't have been doing before they knew they were pregnant (both women had gotten shitty drunk on at least one occassion before they found out they were pregnant). That's my hunch.

Okay, I'm going to retreat to my menstrual hut for a few days. I probably won't post but I'll check in periodically (no pun intended).
Zelda, I never heard of that before, but it sounds hopeful! I also feel a sense of relief when I hear that it took someone a while to get pregnant. Every month I automatically think that there must be a problem, but am quickly reminded that this is still a normal timeframe.

Now I am obsessing about something else. I read that men should not put a laptop on their lap when TTC. Mr. M ALWAYS has his laptop on his lap. I remind him, and he moves it, but hours later he has it on there again. I feel like such a huge nag about this. And it makes me angry everytime he forgets and puts it on there again. I want to get a little lap table for him to put it on, which will keep the heat away. I don't know how easy it will be to find what I am thinking of. I am seriously obsessing about this.

Part of me wants to insist with my doctor that Mr. M get a sperm count. I feel like if she suggests progesterone for me, that I should insist I won't go on a hormone until we know for sure whether his count is okay. I don't know! Ugh, why is this so complicated?!
Yumyum, I see we were writing at the same time. Sorry to hear that your period arrived. I hope you and Mr. Y. will do something special. I find that it helps to make a special plan, like going out for dinner, when my period comes.

I see you and I have similar thinking about the sperm analysis issue. We are seeing our doctor in a week about my luteal phase so I am going to broach the subject then. A year seems like a cruel amount of time to go if there is a low sperm count - to find out there was never any hope at all. Even at the 9 month mark, I would be happy. I just can't fathom seeing a whole year go by.
Dang, yumyum...sorry to hear this was not your month. So frustrating to get your period when you did not expect it. I am so sorry...again, I think you are still within a normal time frame, but I totally understand your desire to get things checked out so as to not waste time.

Michelina, I understand about obsessing over the laptop. I obsess over Mr. Z's pot smoking even though he has radically cut down since TTC. The only thing that makes me not freak out completely is the knowledge that he has managed to get a girl pregnant before when he was literally high all the time (back in his crazy youth). The truth is, I doubt his laptop or Mr. Z's minor recreational drug habit it going to affect either of us, but I know that you can't help but worry sometimes.

I am torn about the semen analysis as well. I feel like it is so cheap and easy, it can't hurt to get it done just for knowledge. I know TCOYF says after 4 to 6 months of well timed cycles, you should go ahead and get checked out, but I still don't know if I 100% agree with that seeing as I know of many women who got pregnant and it took them more than 6 months.

I gave Mr. Z the doctor info and it is up to him at this point. Right now, I feel okay about waiting a year to really check (that may change by month 10 or 11, of course). But if he wants to check sooner, fine. After a year, he will have no choice. We'll both go and get checked out.

I think part of what may factor into the equation is age. Yumyum, did you say how old you are? At 32, I don't feel like my clock is ticking TOO loudly just yet. Mr. Z and I are pretty sure we just want one kid, so it's not like I need to start popping them out pronto. If I were 39 or 40, I would most likely have asked Mr. Z to get a semen analysis by now.

Sigh...and yum, I think you are right on about people who want to say it "just happened" because they feel guilty about partying when they were pregnant...or perhaps by saying they were trying, it makes them sound like their sex life is not active enough. Frankly, Mr. Z and I have a very healthy sex life, but I've learned that even having sex 2 or 3 times a week (normally) does not always guarantee conception since that window is so damn small!

Hang in there yumyum...
Well, from the other side of the pregnancy trip I am fucking exhausted and today is the first day without Mr A at home. i'm planning on heading to the doctor because i've got this damn rash under my nose that I thought was from constant noseblowing during pregnancy but it's still there and getting worse and now i've got a cold sore as well.

also, breastfeeding is so fucking hard. The night before last she had her normal 730-830 feed, but after i had my salt bath she fed again for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Mr A came in and i was laying there crying while she sucked then screamed because there was just nothing left. He gathered us up, got her a bottle I'd expressed earlier, and brushed my hair. Last night went better, but it's so damn hard.


Zelda - i had severe cramping on orgasm for the entire first trimester. As in I burst into tears once, and refused to even try it again for a month. Turned out Mr A still being, uh, engaged made the cramps less painful, but damn that sucked. The doc siad either BH contractions or complications from endometriosis. I was seriously dehydrated for a lot of the first trimester which didn't help with the BH (put it this way - the BH from first trimester were worse than third trimester BH)

As for trying - we counted from when we stopped using contraception. My BiL counts differently though (and restarted the count from the miscarriage) and I know a lot of people who count from when they actively had sex for babymaking. Which is kinda asnine really - no contraception = trying IMO. It took the Mr and I five months (I missed my sixth cycle) I think. I can't remember if we tried the month i was tapering off anti-d's or not. In any case, it didn't happen straight away but we didn't tell people we were trying (except for one set of friends who shan't be told in the future). I did get good news the other dday - my sister in law is pregnant! I'm so happy for her.

I hope things start happening for everyone here.

I am sure right now it must be so difficult at the same time that it is amazing. What a mix of crazy emotions and experiences this whole baby thing is. Sounds cheesy but you know what I mean. It sounds like Mr. A is really being awesome which is great. I have a lot of respect for women who do this alone, but I don't think I could be one of them...

Are BH Braxton Hicks?

Anyway, I hope the nursing thing gets better. You are certainly not alone. Pretty much every woman I know who has nursed has had issues. But we are raised to believe we just stick the kid on the nipple and all is well.

I just realized I may have made a stupid decision. My BFF needs a ride to her doctor's appointment (she doesn't have a car), and her husband can't take her due to work. I agreed a while ago to do this, and then I just now realized that it's on the day this week that I expect my period (Wednesday).

I love my BFF and I totally want to help her...if it was any other time of the month I could handle it no problem, but it's going to be a very difficult day if I get my period and have to take her for a check up. I don't know. I think I'm being selfish. At any rate, I agreed to take her, and I don't want to let her down.

Erg...maybe my period will play nice and hold off until Thursday. Or just not come at all? (crosses fingers)
Oh, and I wanted to say something to Michelina and yumyum re: low sperm count...remember, that low sperm count or poorly motile sperm is way different from NO sperm count. From my understanding, most men with infertility issues have viable sperm - just not as many of them as a fertile man. I don't think many men are truly sterile in that they literally have no viable sperm. (And I think most men would know this either due to being treated for cancer as a young child or having a testicle injury, etc.)

At any rate, from what I've read, a man with poor sperm can often get a woman just takes longer. My mother has a friend whose husband was told he would probably never father a child...and he did!

I could be totally off base, but from what I've read, I think I'm halfway correct here.
Welcome, yumyum! Sorry to hear about your period but glad to have you posting here with everyone.

zelda, BH are Braxton Hicks...I actually didn't realize one could get them in the first trimester until ananke mentioned it. I do seem to remember having some minor cramping after orgasm in the first trimester though, so one never knows...

As far as people lying about how long they "tried" before getting pregnant, I think it's a number of things. I think if you have been trying for a few months and are really wanting to get pregnant, after it finally happens the time you spent actually feels like less time. For other people, they don't really count "trying" unless they're actually timing the sex and consider other sex without birth control to be "not trying but not preventing." For us, we had tried for a few months last year with no success (from about April - October) then had to take a hiatus when we got new health insurance with a waiting period for maternity coverage. Then we started trying again and conceived the first month after the hiatus. In my husband's view, we got pregnant "right away." In my view, I'd been hoping, waiting, and praying for this for years.

zelda, obviously you know yourself better than anyone else does, and you know whether it will just be too hard for you to take your BFF to the doctor on the day your period is due. In addition to your BFF, you will likely see a number of visibly pregnant women in the waiting room. If you do think it would be too hard, perhaps you could figure out other arrangements so that your BFF has a ride. OR you could think about dropping her off at the office and then going somewhere else for awhile until it's time to pick her up - that way you don't have to hang out in the waiting room but you still give her a ride. You could also do some combination - that plan A (if your period hasn't arrived or you've tested positive) is to take her and then wait in the waiting room, and plan B (if your period has arrived) is to drop her off and come back to get her. Believe me, your BFF is your friend and she will understand if you tell her that period day is just a tough day for you to deal with pregnancy stuff, so you're still going to make sure she's able to get to her checkup, but you have to take care of yourself too. It's much better than taking her and trying to bottle up your feelings about it, which in my experience just ends up coming out in some other way instead (usually a passive-aggressive way that ends up hurting everyone). Honoring your feelings is not selfish.

Ananke, sorry to hear that nursing is still so tough...I'm glad that Mr. A has been able to be there for you. I'm thinking good thoughts for you all as well.

Eyelet, I hope you are well! Thinking of you and lil one as well.

I need to wrap this (very long) post up so I can get to work, but so far so good for me. My feet are starting to swell by the end of the day, so I'm trying to be nicer to them and up my water intake. I'm also getting some faint tingling in a couple fingers, so I'm now wearing my wrist brace that I wore last year when I was having wrist pain and carpal tunnel-like symptoms because of poor desk set-up. Hoping that nips it in the bud. The cost of all of this is kind of freaking me out from time to time, but I just try to remember that there are ways to do it with way less money than we have and that we'll figure it out. I also remind myself that this freakout happens every month when I have to pay the mortgage and the credit card bill and I'll feel better in about a week.
julie, you've given me great advice. THANK YOU. I never thought about dropping her off and coming back to get her (duh)...I think the plan will be this. If I wake up Wednesday morning to my period or if it arrives before that, I will pick her up and drop her off and then come back and pick her up later. I had not even thought about the pregnant women in the waiting room and how difficult that will be for me (probably the most difficult part of all). If I DON'T have my period, I think I will still be able to take her and handle it since I'll have that little bit of hope.

Fortunately, the appt. is first thing in the morning, so it will be over with early.

I know my BFF will totally understand. She has been very supportive throughout all of this.

Now we will just wait and see.

I hear you on the money front...right now Mr. Z and I are very comfortable financially, but I do get a little nervous when I think about trying to live on one income for at least a year (our plan). We have savings, and we should be able to do it...I keep telling myself that the money we spend on going out and eating out will not be used anyway since we'll be spending a lot of time in!
Ananke, sounds like you are feeling a little overwhelmed, and that's okay. You just delivered a human being after all and she needs you for everything. Although I haven't been there, I know that what you are feeling is totally normal. I'm so glad to hear that Mr. A is a huge support. And the mental image I get of him brushing your hair is just so sweet.

Zelda, we bought a lap table for him to put his laptop on. I kind of wish I had thought of it earlier. I like this little table myself, and he is actually using it! Yay! Hopefully I can put that obsession to rest now (although I am sure there will be another one creeping up shortly.) Julie's advice on your BFF's appointment was fantastic, and it sounds like you have a great plan in mind.

As far as the sperm count issue, I know that some men with a low count can conceive. However, the chances are much smaller, and the lower the count, the smaller the chances of success. I watched the Sperm Wars the other day and it amazes me how few of those suckers actually make it to the tubes. It makes so much more sense to me now why so many are required for conception. I am not sure whether seeing that program makes me feel more or less hopeful! I think it was mentioned on here before, but I just saw it a couple days ago.

Fookie, how are you during your 2ww?
(((yumyum))) I'm sorry you got your period. I empathize with the disappointment. I whole heartedly agree with Michelina when she says she hopes you and your partner treat yourselves to something special.

Zelda, that sounds like the perfect solution: If you get your period, drop your BFF off. If you don't get it ... then go and take it all in. I had never heard about the cramps after orgasm (or the BH during first trimester, for that matter). I am crossing my fingers that you'll be able to count that as a symptom once day when Teeneaged Zelda asks you how you first knew you were pregnant. Bwa ha ha ha. Come on ... isn't there a small (ok, maybe not so small) part of all of us that looks forward to embarrassing the crap out of our teens one day?

I am constantly amazed at the number of people who "weren't even trying." My sister-in-law had two kids "while not even trying" the whole two-and-a-half years that I've been trying ... life just ain't fair. I'm not sure how many people are lying. In the end what matters most to me is how many of them, who know we are trying, seem so thrilled to tell me "they [weren't] even trying] with this total "isn't that craaaaaaaazy" lilt to their annoying voices. Ha ha. What the hell is wrong with people? It's the same people though who have no problem telling me I look sick (even when I'm not), or saying things like "wow, it must be humid out, you're hair is crazy frizzy today." Ha ha ha. sigh. I do think that some of the people who say "they weren't even trying" are the ones that for some reason or another think people are going to "judge" them for being pregnant (new relationship, student, financially insecure, just came back to work from mat leave etc.) ... to be clear I'm not saying anyone should be judged for those reasons...I just think some people are insecure and maybe have their own doubts.

I am just wrapping up day 10 in my two week wait. I have no driven myself too crazy this month. Partly because I'm afraid of the disapointment, partly b/c somehow this has become old hat (kind of sad actually). The progesterone support has made me insanely bloated. I am totally breaking out, and my breasts feel like they may fall through the floor they're so heavy. They're also insanely sore. I have crazy spider-web veins all over my chest and arms, which I've stupidly read can be a sign of pregnancy due to my body starting to make extra blood or some such thing. Oh, and TMI-warning ... I am suffering from the vilest flatulence ever. Not sure if that's the progesterone or the fried chinese food I caved into Sunday afternoon. Also waves of nausea on and off for the past six days or so, also likely progesterone-related. bleh. Ha.

(((Ananke))) You will get through this. The vision of your partner brushing your hair nearly made me cry. How lovely and sweet.

Eyelet, how are you? Have you moved on to another thread? Drop us a line when you have a chance.

Julie, do you live in the U.S.? I have no concept of what a hospital stay and delivery might cost, but I cringe for you. A gazillion people seem to figure it out and I'm sure you will be ok, but I am a financial worrier and I can relate. While that aspect won't really be an issue for me, a lot of the fertility stuff is out of pocket here. No insurance covers it. I'm lucky that my partner has fantastic insurance through his job and it covers 85% of the drug costs. But even still, they are expensive, and it doesn't cover the sperm wash, or the supplements i'm taking. So each month is a struggle. I really hate thinking about it.
Glad Mr. M got the laptop table! I have never seen Sperm Wars, but I do remember my GYN telling me that in every normal ejaculation there are enough sperm to impregnate every woman in China and India. That blows my mind.

Hopefully Mr. M and Mr. Z and Mr. Y all have good swimmers...

Mr. Z and I did it again tonight (he is feeling randy lately...of course during the prime time I have to do a little dance to get him in the mood)...ANYway, I didn't feel those cramps this time, so maybe it was a one time deal.

Fookie, like you I have terrible gas, am breaking out, and in general am feeling bloated and crampy. The problem with all of this is that often happens to me before my period because of the natural progesterone increase that comes with getting your period Of course it comes with pregnancy, too (I do believe), which is why PMS and pregnancy symptoms are often so similar...SO...only time will tell.

Oh, I just want this so badly. I just do do do. I really do.


And Fookie, I am crossing my fingers for you this month....I want this for you very much, too! Why does this all have to be so complicated. Why can't we all just get pregnant???

Okay...venting is over.

OH...and can someone please explain to me how EVERY SINGLE TIME I click onto my Yahoo mail, the same stupid pop up First Response ad comes up with the girl looking all nervous and the wording, "Am I Pregnant?" going across it? Seriously!!!

Sorry...I had to add to the vent. ;-)
Hello ladies,

Just peeking my head out of my menstrual hut. I've been so tired the last few days! Usually the first day is the most difficult and then I perk up and start thinking about our next attempt and how it might be "the one." I remember how happy and relieved I used to be when I would get my period each month. Ha, how things can change...

zelda, my fingers are still crossed for you. I think that dropping your friend off is a wonderful solution. If you do happen to have your period that day (which you will not) you could have your friend accompany you to a bar after her ob appointment while you have a drink. There are two sides to every coin, right? Enjoy it while you still can!

Ananke- nursing sounds tough- hopefully the whole process will get easier soon. Hang in there. I agree with everyone else, your partner sounds super sweet and loving.

Everyone else, thanks for the words of wisdom about sperm counts and questionable theories about all of the short conception times that seem to be floating around.

Michelina, What are the Sperm Wars?

Must go to bed now- had a long day and I'm so tired.
Thanks for the kind words everyone! The idiocy of the internet doesn't stop when you give birth - I remember Mr A threatening to ban google when we were trying/while I was pregnant, and now again with Fallon. I keep looking up stuff about how to up my flow/supply (every time I talk about my flow, I feel like I should break into an impromptu breakdance) and end up flailing about how crap I am and how I'm doing everything wrong (and believe me, it's ALL wrong, somewhere) because nothing brings out the judgemental crazies like reproducing.

i do hope this is the month for all of you. I didn't get heavy/sore boobs until about two months in, about the same time I started getting BHs. I didn't know you could get them early and panicked a few times - like I said though, it could be something to do with endometriosis as well. I'm going to talk to my ob. about that, simply because the whole 'lochia is like your worst period' was so not true for me. Not even close, even the day I gave birth. Which is kind of horrifying to be honest - I bled more during my periods than I did after I birthed a child! WTF?

Mr A is the best. The man put my pad in my knickers for me after the labour. He comes home from work and looks after the baby all evening, except for feeds. He got me icecream last night. The man's a gem.
Hi all, I've been on a bit of an internet hiatus after my holiday, having worked myself up into a bit of an information overload frenzy pre-hols and pre-scan. I am back.

Welcome yumyum! And a big welcome to the new babies! Ananke and Eyelet, thank you so much for sharing your birth stories with us. I hope you and your babies are doing well. Ananke, Mr A sounds stellar! I have spent this weekend with two good friends who both had babies last year, and they both had very different experiences with breastfeeding, but both of them were stressful. I do hope it gets better for you very soon.

Zelda, you are a good friend, I think your Plan A and Plan B sound good, and it is lovely of you to be going anywhere near the clinic. I really hope that this is your month, and you too Fookie. I'm thinking of both of you during your 2WW.

I'm now 17 weeks pregnant, and a lot more 'out' about it. I've told my work, and most of my friends. I'm beginning to feel more pregnant, too, and can feel a bump developing when I lie down on my back and feel my lower stomach. In fact, I can feel my womb hard and like an avocado just above my knicker line and below my belly button.

I've felt a few fluttery feelings, which I understand can be a pre-cursor to feeling actual movement. I am really, really excited about feeling the baby move! I am getting pretty conscious of an added weight, or presence or something, in my lower abdomen. I'm also starting to feel a lot more well - having been pretty lethargic and under the weather feeling during the first few weeks I have got my libido back, have had the energy to put make up on in the morning and have lost 6lbs! (Believe me, I have it to lose!). I'm still pretty emotional and am fighting tears at some point most days, but even that feels OK. It helps that it is super sunny in London for a change!
yumyum, I, too remember the days where I would be praying that my period would arrive...running to the bathroom every few minutes, praying it would be there. And now I'm running to the bathroom every few minutes praying it won't be! Hilarious, if you step back and really think about it. I'm right with you about feeling so down when your period arrives, then getting excited again as you get closer to the trying time again where you can have a little hope.

Ananke, Mr. A continues to impress! Please continue to fill us in on how things are going...even though I know you have a lot on your hands (literally...or I suppose in your hands!). :-)

jennyd, glad you returned to say hello. Glad everything is going so smoothly for you. My BFF also lost a few pounds at first which her doctor said is okay given her pre-pregnancy weight. Strange to think about, but I think a lot of the weight comes on at the end as the baby grows.

As for me, I am just watching and waiting. Today I had terrible stomach cramps and constipation followed, randomly, by diarrhea. ??? I have a sore belly right now, and it's hard to tell if the pain is coming from period-type cramping or intestinal cramping. I am still quite hopeful for this cycle - more hopeful than I've been in the past - which I know will make it all the more difficult for me if my period arrives. Our timing really was so good this month. But I know that doesn't promise us anything.

I'm hoping that my period at least holds off until tomorrow afternoon after my BFF's doctor's appointment. I'm picking her up quite early, so at least it will be out of the way.

jennyd - I called those little movements 'flooping'. I remember that heavy presence as well, and that bump in libido. That was awesome after the 'oh god no not an orgasm' months. I lost weight as well, and didn't gain until that last month.

Oh, do y'all remember how i said I had one stretch mark? Well, I developed a whole bunch across my lower abdomen THE DAY I GAVE BIRTH! Mr A noticed them the morning we went to the hospital.

I had a visit with the maternity nurse today, and she said everything seems to be going great. Fallon is over her birth weight now, which is awesome. So I've gotta keep on keeping on!

Also, for the pregnant/trying/babyfied life and advice, I still haven't come across anything more helpful than AlphaMom - US-centric but still great.
I've had a bummer of a morning.

I woke up to pee at about 3 a.m. and noticed my breasts aren't swollen or tender anymore. I can only imagine this means that things were not successful this month. I'm still on the progesterone support which is supposed to cause breast tenderness so it seems really strange that they would have gone from insanely sore to pretty much normal. The hcg shot they gave me to stimulate ovulation so they could time the IUI perfectly is the same hormone that increases exponentially when you're pregnant and it also causes breast tenderness etc. It takes about this long to leave your system ... If I was pregnant, I would imagine my natural HCG would have kicked in and my breasts would still be tender.

Right as I was noticing my breasts being back to pretty much normal I opened my eyes and was looking straight at the rocking chair Mr. F. started building about three years ago in anticipation of us finally being ready to have a baby. It's finished and just needs to be stained/painted. I just started crying my heart out, thinking of how cheated we will be if this never works. How cheated the world will be of such an amazing father. Mr. F. is away so I was just thinking of how when he gets back he'd be coming home to the news that our hopes are dashed again.

On Friday we visited old neighbours of ours whose oldest daughter (she's now 6) was two when we first met them. She's the child that made us realize that we were ready to think about having kids. Anyway, he spent the entire night with her and her sister on his shoulders. How could two people who would make such great parents be denied this opportunity. I am so blue. Thank goodness my employer allowed us to switch the Canada Day holiday to Friday. If I had been at home today I would have been such a mess.

I'm still here. I haven't had it in me to post anything lately. I guess it's because I feel so differently from moment to moment, day to day, that I hesitate to commit to an opinion. First off--the baby is great. I love her dearly. She is mellow and funny and strong and opinionated. She sleeps well and rarely cries for more than a few seconds. She's already feeling like my dearest love. So for all that, I am grateful. What's not going so well is this whole post partum phase.

Sorry if I repeat myself--no patience to go back and read what I've written. At just a few days in, they told me I would have to start supplementing her with formula because she had lost too much weight. I couldn't get enough milk and had to assume it was because of a breast reduction surgery 10 years ago. I never expected it to be so emotionally painful not be able to breastfeed her "properly." I got the sns feeder that tapes to my breast and allows her to suckle while getting formula at the same time. It seems that my ducts are all open and flowing, but there simply isn't enough milk volume. It could be nerve damage dating to before the surgery since I've never really had any sensation in my nipples to speak of (you need this nerve to signal milk production). So I've struggled with pumping every two hours, and taking herbs. I went to acupuncture and am drinking a tea steeped from still more herbs which tastes like bong-water. I get just a few cc's out of each pump, and sometimes nothing at all, so it's more to stimulate production than to actually use to feed her. I still get droplets of milk when I squeeze the nipple, so I know I haven't dried up yet. We lie together and she nurses at night. Though I'm probably just a human pacifier and she's not really feeding, at least we have that connection. I'll keep trying and I'll take whatever I can get of this experience.

I am having a hard time being cooped up in a small cottage and due to 107 degree heat here in Texas, can not really even take a walk with her unless it's before 8am. These same four walls are driving me crazy. When I do get out, it's to go to a doctor's appointment and it involves diaper bag with formula in cooler bag, heavy carseat, battling the traffic, parking and heat all by myself to be looked at for 5 minutes and told what I already know (that my incision is healing fine or that the baby has gained weight).

My relationship is in a very tenuous place right now. It's not that he is doing anything blatantly wrong. He is here with us every night, fixes dinner, and hasn't refused any of my requests, but he doesn't seem emotionally present. He doesn't want to stare at her endlessly like I do. He doesn't rush over here at every chance to hang out with her like I would (and like my sister and best friend have done).

I have been hesitant to admit in this thread that I've had my doubts about this relationship from very early in the pregnancy (though definitely not all the time). Most of you seem to have such loving relationships where the guy is just as invested in becoming a parent as you are. If I'm honest, I think that my partner "gave" me a baby because he believed it was the way to make me happy and to hold onto me, but now that she is here, he doesn't know what to do. He's become obsessed with working on this project that is going to earn a great deal of money and enable us to look for a place together, and I guess that's his way of doing his part. Sometimes he does look at me with great admiration and tell me he loves me, but it's more about being impressed with my mothering skills than it is romantic.

I know a lot of people experience relationship problems after having a baby, so I'm not giving up hope, but this month has been one of such extreme highs and lows, I feel very beaten down.
Fookie, I am so sorry you are having a rough day. I know you know what I'm about to type anyway, but I'll go ahead and say you don't know what's true until your period arrives. Ananke was just saying how she didn't get sore boobs until later, so you don't know. Many women have no symptoms until after their missed period.

Still, I know how it is to feel defeated. You are so incredibly strong and brave to go through this. I know that sounds like a bunch of trite shit, but I do mean are. And you are so lucky to have Mr. F in your life.

I'm one of those look for the silver lining people (don't shoot me), but even I admit it's hard to find the silver lining in this fertility game. As a public school teacher I see people who are allowed to breed and who have mistreated their offspring to such a degree that it has brought me to tears...and then I see people like you, Fookie, who are struggling to make parenthood happen and who *would* be such amazing parents. It's *not* fair, and I *can't* make sense of it.

I still try to, though. The other day when I saw that 16-year-old (or something) pregnant cashier at the Taco Bell, I was so frustrated and jealous of her. Then I had to calm down and remember all the blessings in my life that I've had that she probably never had (great family, college education, loving and stable relationships, resources, etc.). Still...there is a biological drive that is so intense for us that it's hard to rationalize.

The one thing I can promise you is that we are here for you for as long and as often as you want to let it out. Anytime. (((Fookie))))

Eyelet, I know what you mean about this blasted Texas heat. I'm in Houston and it's no better here. It's so miserable you can't even step outside for a minute. It sucks. We finally got a shower last night and it helped for about 20 minutes.

I think a lot of relationships go through these ups and downs after childbirth, whether the couple is married or not or living together or not. I think that part is normal. I've also read that men sometimes become panicked after the birth of a child, seized with this impulse to Make Money and Provide Now. Maybe it's biological, maybe it's cultural...but perhaps the same feeling you are having about feeling frustrated and emotionally painful about breastfeeding (even though you logically know it's not anything you've done) maybe explains the way he is behaving now.

I also think a lot of men are just confused by infants. They don't know what to do with them, they don't know how to interact, etc.

I'm sorry you feel so beaten down. I think right now you just need to probably get through these initial few months that can be so difficult...maybe don't try to overanalyze anything right now. I may be giving very bad advice and not know what the Hell I am talking about, so please tell me to shut up, but I am just thinking what I might do in that situation...

I, too, worry about Mr. Z's reaction when and if we have a child because initially he was uncertain about the baby thing. He has very much warmed up to the idea, but my mind keeps going back to that initial time when he wasn't sure (we actually went into couples counseling years ago over it). He's almost done a 180 on it and talks all the time about how fun it will be to do this with the child, etc., but he has not been around a lot of babies and kids (he was an only child), so I worry sometimes about whether he will simply Freak Out when the time comes.

Just hang in there...update us when and if you can or want to...we're all thinking about you.

As for me, my period did not arrive this morning, so I was able to take my friend to the doctor in not too lousy of a mood.

I put a pantyliner in just in case and at one point while we were there, I had to pee. I was so scared to look and see spotting that I purposely didn't look down when I wiped. (I know, crazy, right? But I just couldn't take getting my period AT the doctor's office. That would have been too much.)

It's an OB and GYN practice, so while I was forced to look at a LOT of pregnant ladies in the waiting room, there were also many older women and young girls there, too.

The good part is I got to meet my BFF's doctor, and I loved her! I loved the whole office and if the time comes, I know where I will be going.

Afterward, we went out to lunch and got ice cream, and all in all it was a distracting afternoon.

My period is still not here. However, I know I ovulated later than normal this month (day 15 or 16), so I wouldn't be surprised if it showed up tomorrow or even Friday. Of course, I still have my fingers crossed, but I have no symptoms, so...I don't know. But at the very least I'm relieved that I got through the doctor's appointment.

Phew! Long post...okay...hang in there everyone.
I just reread what I wrote before, and I do hope no one thinks I was saying that *all* teen moms have no resources or can't go to college...I fear what I wrote came out wrong. What I was basically trying to say was that I have ended up having a ton of life experiences that would be very hard for that pregnant cashier to have with a baby at 16. Just didn't want to sound mean or anything.
Thanks Zelda. I know I have to be patient and I know that hormones must still be raging in my system. Newborns are a scary thing for many guys, and this guy has particularly little experience with children, making it even worse. We'll get through these first few months and at the very least I need to reserve judgment until my head is back on straight.

Slight reprieve from the heat today.

Soon I'll figure out how to show some pics of my little one.
eyelet! I'm so glad to see you here, but I know what you mean about the breastfeeding. And i did not know that about nipple sensation - I never really had much either and it makes sense that it would affect the milk production. That's awesome that you've got the SRS and that you're still trying. I know it's only just started getting easier for me, and that it's taken this long for the milk to really start producing, so maybe all your effort will start paying off?

Dads can have a hard time with the littlest babies - particularly when their life is just pooping, feeding and sleeping. Mr A has a fair bit of experience with children and babies, which helped a lot. But even he was a little distant in the first trimester - I asked him about it and he was scared. Scared of getting too attached, and of the whole thing being so real. Even the weeks before the birth he said it still didn't seem that real to him, that he'd have to see her before he could make that connection.

And don't discount that pride. Mr A told me so many times how proud he was and how amazing it all was and what a good job I did. I was so weirded out until I realised that the labour and breastfeeding are so much more concrete for him than the pregnancy. He can SEE the calories and the effort feeding takes. He could see the labour of labour. Pregnancy was just me getting bigger for the most part.

I hope it works out for you, whatever way it goes. And I do not envy the heat, although when I get up for that 230am feed, I wish it weren't quite so cold here!

Fookie, i do hope you get good news and same with you Zelda!

As for me, I cancelled a visit from a friend today. I was so tired and she's just so freaking intense. She basically invited herself over - that whole 'don't ever reject offers of help' thing pisses me off so much. It creates this stupid culture where people INSIST on 'helping' new mothers. Except the help is always what THEY want or think or assume you need to do. It's so rarely what you actually need or want. I don't want company right now. I don't want a distraction. I don't want to be reminded of adult conversation. For starters, she's three weeks old. I want to just drink in her presence. I want to be with her, just for now. I don't want to be distracted from her and what's happening. Not to mention Mr A is actually and adult and we do actually have conversations in the evenings. But noooooooooooo, everyone reads the op.ed. pieces and thinks I need to get out and not just be a mother. That I need to be reminded of my identity. *sigh*
Eyelet, I agree with Zelda and Ananke. I think that a lot of men take longer to bond with the infant than women do, and they probably bond in a different way. As your little one becomes more interactive, he will likely show more and more interest and bond in his own way with her. My mom said that my dad didn't really bond at all with us during the pregnancy. Women get 9 months to physically bond, but men sort of start right at the moment of birth. I also know that having a child is a trying time in a relationship, and things will likely get better as she gets less dependent on you. Thinking of you.

Zelda, how are you doing? I am so hopeful for you! I didn't think your post sounded insensitive or judgemental at all. I completely understood what you mean. You are thankful for the opportunities you have had and appreciate that not everyone has those same privileges.

Fookie, what about you? How are you doing?

I am on CD9 already which means our period of abstinence starts soon. :-)
I woke up to my period this morning. I was so very hopeful this cycle - more hopeful than I've allowed myself to be other months. I curled up in a little ball on the bed and just sobbed my eyes out. I feel foolish saying it's been 6 or 7 months and I don't know how much more disappointment I can take when I know others have struggled with this game for so much longer than me, but I can't help it. I am so very disappointed. I just sobbed.
Hi everyone.

(((((Zelda)))))) Just reading about you sobbing is making me cry. Iím so sorry. It hurts so much to get your hope up then have it dashed. I am sending you the sweetest thoughts and biggest pair of crossed fingers that next month will be your month.

Michelina, thereís been a lot of press the last few days about a study that shows that ejaculating once/day improves menís sperm quality by a significant level. My gyn and my fertility clinic always advocated every two days and no less than four days. Although with infertility issues they did advocate daily during the ovulation window. My fertility docs have no problems with us having sex the day before our IUI. I would imagine that if there are any quantity issues, that might not be recommended. If the counts are within normal range, it seems to be perfectly fine, even recommended, to have sex often.

Ananke and Eyelet, Iím still thinking of you. I hope youíre doing well and the babies are thriving.

As for me, no period yet, but lots of little pre-period twinges the last couple of days. I am still pretty blue. Am crying at the drop of a hat and bargaining with dead relatives and guardian angels. This is going to be a crushing month. Suspecting for the last couple of days that it didnít work, is not going to make it any easier once my period comes. Thank you for all your well-wishes and words of hope. And Zelda, I agree with you (and I donít think you were being mean at all about the taco bell cashier.). I am beyond blessed in my relationship and my job. I have phenomenal friends. I travel well and often and am in love with my tiny townhouse that backs onto forest. My dog is a saint and to be honest, most of the time I feel like I have no right to want anything more.
(((Zelda))) I am so sorry that you are not pregnant. Please be good to yourself and do something that will make you feel good with Mr Z. Thinking of you.

Fookie, thanks for the info. My doctor (a GP) recommended that we abstain for a few days before 2 days prior to ovluation. Maybe 5 days is a little much, but I do want to try out this method for a while. I seem to hear so much conflicting info about this subject. Maybe if this doesn't work, we'll go back to the daily or every second day thing. I am hoping Mr. M will have a count down by this fall so we'll know for sure if there is a problem with number / motility / morphology.
Zelda- I'm so sorry to hear that you got your period. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you but I haven't had the best mental health day myself. When I get my period, it usually helps me to really allow myself to feel my grief for a day or two before I pull myself together and start thinking more optimistically about the next month of trying. I know it sucks. I feel like if I could just look into a crystal ball and see that it will take us 10 months or whatever to get pregnant, then I would feel so much better. It's not knowing if all of this "trying" will end up being for nothing that really kills me. I'm thinking about you!!!
Thanks everybody for your kind words...I am just not doing too well today but that's to be expected. Fortunately, I have dinner plans with a friend which may help distract me.

Mr. Z was so supportive and wonderful this morning, but every single time I let him see me break down, I get worried that this will stress him out and affect his "performance" next month (as has happened in the past). I'm torn between going to him for needed support and trying to stay calm so he doesn't get performance anxiety. But this morning I just had to go to him and I am glad I did.

yumyum, you read my mind. I was telling my mom that if you could promise me that in two years I could push a button and become pregnant, I would have the patience to wait. It's all of this trying and the fear that it will lead to nothing that really makes me batty. I don't mind waiting for it to happen...but I just want to know it will happen!

I, too, go through a depression at the beginning of my period and then start to get more optimistic during ovulation time (although I also get stressed about "doing it" at the right time). I don't know what to do this month. I've tried everything from BBT to baby aspirin to trying not to try to every other day to every day to OPKs blah blah blah. I'm sick of it!

Just feeling really super crummy...
Zelda, is there any room in your curled up ball of tears? Today is day 14. I've tested and I'm not pregnant. They make you wait until day 16 to do the blood test, but by now something like 97% of pregnant people would test positive. I'm not desperate enough to hang on to that 3% chance. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhh and waaaaaaaahhhhhh. I am kind of numb right now. I'm sure the tears will really come once Mr. F is home and I share the news with him.

To add insult to injury I have to keep taking the damn progesterone suppositories until the blood test. So now every time I'm inserting them I'm doing it knowing that it's all for not and somehow that seems worse right now than the single lonely line on the pregnancy test.

I do have some shopping planned for today, so maybe that will help take the sting out of things.
(((Fookie))) I am glad you have a distraction today, but do let yourself grieve too. When will Mr. F be home?

Zelda, I think that you bottling your emotions up and putting on a front for Mr. Z would not help to lessen performance anxiety. In fact, not being yourself could have the opposite effect. I am so glad you shared your feelings with him. You are in this together afterall. How are you doing today? And how was your dinner?

Yumyum, you are so right! If only we knew for sure that it WOULD eventually happen. Then we could sit back and enjoy. It really is the not knowing that makes it so hard.

We are off to the doctor in 3 days now. I am a little nervous about it.

I am very thankful for the lounge and all the support here.
Fookie, there surely is room in my ball of tears...come on in.

I am so sorry...when I was typing my bad news yesterday, I meant to put down that the only thing that would make me feel better would be if you had a positive result. Damn it, it's not fair. I am so fucking sorry...

Wish I had the right words.... (((Fookie)))

I am still feeling pretty down today and am letting myself feel down...I feel it's okay. Dinner last night was distracting, so that was good. When I got home, I told Mr. Z I was still down...he was very calm, relaxed, and supportive. He said he just wanted to keep on trying and that he had every faith it would happen one day. Michelina, I think you're right...we need to be honest with our partners...he would sense otherwise.

So I'm just allowing myself to be down and have my little cries and just hope for the best.

I'll be interested in hearing what your doctor says...I've reviewed my old calendars, and I'm pretty sure my luteal phase is always 13 days long. I still feel like everything is going okay for me, but I worry more about Mr. Z. This morning my BFF and I came up with a list of all the women we know who conceived naturally who took a year to a year and a half...that made me feel seems so long to try, but if I only just knew it would eventually happen.

I'm kind of wondering now if we should just go ahead and go to the doctor, might make us feel better as we continue to try. I don't know.
And I wanted to say I am also so grateful to come here and have this really helps.
Man, Fookie, to borrow your phrase this has been a crushing month. I have been in a serious funk for the past two and a half days...right now I am trying to motivate myself to get out of my pajamas and take a shower. I did manage to go for a swim yesterday which helped, but this month I am *really* down over not having a positive outcome.

Around this time I also start to get anxious about whether or not Mr. Z and I will get to do it at the right time during the upcoming fertile window and so on and worry about that...I know most of the literature out there suggests that stressing over TTC does not really have an impact, but I can't help but wonder if it does...of course, worrying about it only makes me worry more...

I am just down, down, down in the dumps this month. I think this has been the worst month ever in terms of my sadness.
(((((((( Zelda)))))))))) To borrow your words, I wish I had the right words. I'm so sorry you're so crushed. I don't know about literature specifically geared towards TTC stress, but I do know that stress in general can do pretty nutty things to your body and can impact TTC. So relax. Ha ha. Just being an ass. Always easier said than done, I know. I hope that you find something to do each day that helps you lose the sadness and find the hope again. Odds are you're going to be pregnant soon, and by then you'll probably be laughing at yourself for thinking the last few months took so long.

Zelda and Michelina, thank you so much for your loveliness. Every time I visit the lounge I feel like I'm sitting down for coffee in a really cozy couch with some really good friends. I need this.

Mr. F. gets home this afternoon. I didn't have the heart to give him the bad news when I finally talked to him last night. I'm feeling kind of numb at the moment ... either that or my brain is transitioning into a much more accepting space. I'm not sure. Maybe I'm holding off so that Mr. F and I can be in our funk together. So that I'm not already moving on when he needs some wallowing time. I really don't know. I'm starting to think, though, that I would like to talk to him about taking a breat from TTC. I am definitely exhausted mentally and physically. I'd like to go back to some sense of normalcy. Maybe just leave it up to nature for the next several months. I know this is going to sound clichť, but I hope it doesn't sound trite, and I hope that this gives some of the other TTCers on the board some measure of peace: I have had the kind of life most people take 70 years to live. Incredible ups, and incredible downs. I think that I am at a place of happiness and acceptance about all the superficial things a lot of people seem to obsess needlessly about for a lot of their lives. I truly believe I am in that place, only because of the things I've lived and what I've learned from them. I'm still growing and I'm still learning, don't get me wrong. It's just that in retrospect, every shitty thing that ever happened, was responsible for every wonderful thing that's ever happened in my life. I think I'm getting to a place where I can believe that about this particularly thorny journey. I truly believe that this will happen for us, when and how it's meant to happen. And when it does, I have no doubt at all that I will look back and be thankful that it didn't happen right now. Although we live comfortable, we still have about two years of major student and car debt to pay off. Yesterday's disapointment was a bit of a call to action for me to get some control back in my life. I've created a very doable, detailed budget that would have us pay off that debt in the next year. Then we could actually save up for adoption in case things just don't work out naturally. (I did do some serious shopping yesterday before doing the budget, though. ha!). It makes me feel good to have made the budget and to be seriously thinking about making a decision to take a break from the medical attempts at TTC.

I don't know. I have overwhelming sadness deep inside me. It's like the tears are always sitting right behind my eyeballs. I need to find a mental space where seeing the kiddies playing t-ball and soccer in the parks near my house doesn't bring me to tears. Where the idea of another family gathering chock-a-block of nieces and nephews doesn't fill me with dread. Where I can let go of some of the anger I feel (completely irrational, don't get me wrong ... I KNOW) at my sister and her #2 and #3 due in August. TTC can't be the only thing that defines me.

Anyway. I will continue to visit this board if that's ok with everyone. I can hardly wait to hear about all the positive tests in the coming months and the nine months that will follow.

Micheline and Zelda (if you do decide to go to the doctor, which I hardly think is necessary, but could give you peace of mind) if your doctors do decide to put you through the testing paces. I am your lady. I've done it all. Ask and you shall have every detail I can remember of every test I underwent.

My doctor has been bugging me to do a laparoscopy to definitely rule out endometriosis. I think I probably will go ahead and do that this full. You can't be trying the month before or for like two months after the operation. It's a day surgery, but they put you fully under, which scares the shit out of me. There are no signs pointing to endometriosis and there's a part of me that believes I'll be the .0009% statistic that dies while under. And the worst will be that at my funeral people will be saying things like "if only she'd trusted her instinct" and "isn't it ironic. she didn't have endometriosis after all." I've heard an MRI can also detect endo. I wonder why my doc hasn't mentioned that. I'll have to ask her. I know in ONtario it can take like a year to get an MRI if it's for non emergency situations. Maybe she just figures most people won't wait that long. I think I'd opt to wait.

Ok. This is getting long. And rambling.

Zelda, thank you again for being such a comfort to me. I hope you start to feel better soon. I don't know how one does such a thing, but trying not to stress about Mr. Zs performance seems like a really good place to be. What about aiming for every day during the week around your ovulation window? That way even if he has performance issues every second day, you're still well within your target range of "doing it". Mr. F. and I struggle often with one of us just not being in the mood. Easier for me than for him when that happens. Life has been about timing sex for the last 30 months. We're both kind of sexed out. I actually worry about whether we'll ever find the spark again.

((Fookie)) ((zelda))
Oh my dears, it's been a tough week, hasn't it? I'm so sorry and I wish words would help. Just know that you have lots of folks pulling for you out in the world, and try to be good to yourselves. Fookie is right, TTC does NOT define you. At the same time, it's right to grieve and be sad when you find out you're not pregnant. And Fookie, I'm guessing that the progesterone supplements probably made this cycle particularly emotional for you.

My advice (such as it is) is again, to be good to yourselves. To paraphrase that Anne Lamott quotation I love so much, let yourself feel the feelings, and yes, they will feel like shit. Remember that this process is not who you are. You are going to make wonderful mamas someday, and that day will come - no matter how it happens (conception, adoption, whatever), it will come. And the best thing you can do for your future child is to honor yourself and your feelings, and to continue to build that bond with your partner.

My thoughts are with you and your little family. I think it's good that you're just trying to take things as they come for the moment. As several have said, having a baby is a tough transition for any relationship - so much redefining that goes on.

And I think men do have a tougher time bonding with really little babies sometimes, because in the early days the babies don't do a lot of interacting. I'm reading The Happiest Baby on the Block right now and they talk about the concept of the "fourth trimester" - that basically babies from birth to about 3-4 months are still like little fetuses, just outside the womb. And that for a lot of first-time parents especially, people think of "babies" as being like that 4 month old baby, not that newborn, and it's kind of tough to readjust their thinking.

I've been thinking of my brother when his first child was born. I thought he was very into it from the beginning - especially considering that before the birth both he and my sister-in-law were kind of like, "Hmm, wonder how this is going to work, we're not really all that into other people's babies" - but to hear him talk about it now, he talks about what a difference there was after my niece started smiling and you could see her personality a bit.

[Edited to remove the sentence that the internets apparently ate when I originally posted....]
Zelda, how are you doing today? I know that stats don't help when one is feeling low. But I do want to remind you of a stat that has helped me a little lately. Half of couples are pregnant by the 6 month mark; the other half of perfectly fertile couples are not. I hope you have been good to yourself over these few days.

Fookie, I think that your idea of taking a break from TTC may be a very good one. I can see how this process would become financially and emotionally exhausting. Like you pointed out, you have much in your life that is wonderful. Maybe a breather to just focus on and enjoy those other things is what you two need. And if your gut really says that the laproscopy isn't a good idea, maybe you should listen to that. How did it go with telling Mr F?

Thinking of both of you.

Julie, thank you for the reminder to honour ourselves during this process. You are so right. I needed that!

I am at CD13 and have strong signs of impending ovulation already. I am out of OPK's - they're somewhere in transit. I'm a little worried about missing ovulation so we are just going to have sex every second day and skip the abstinence period this month. Mr. M said he doesn't want a semen analysis until the fall and I am fine with that. I am sure our doctor will think that the analysis after 9 months is reasonable too. I'll let you know how the doctor's appointment goes tomorrow.

Fookie, you are a wise woman. I'm going to try to take your words to heart and be more appreciative of the things I have. I too have had quite an interesting journey to get to where I'm at in life and I want to show more gratitude for the good things that have happened. The reason that my husband and I have been talking about him getting a SA before 12 months is because he had a serious medical issue about 4 years ago that could possibly affect his fertility. I am trying to stay positive but I get caught up thinking about how we've had to struggle for so many other things in our lives, why would this be any different? Like I said, I'm still working on having a more posititve outlook and some months are better than others. Another thing I'm going to try to work on is dealing more effectively with stress, not just because of its possible negative effect on fertility but for my overall wellbeing.

Zelda, how are you doing, dear? I hope you're starting to feel a little better.

Michelina, have fun over the next several days and good luck!!! Thanks for the stats- it's good to get a reality check every few days or so. : )
I haven't posted here in ages (it was a password

Anyway,last week I found out I was pregnant.I've been on and off again with my partner for the last six months or so.We live apart (he actually lives with his mother and he's 39! This has been a huge issue of contention but at least he's happy to pay for holidays and dinners etc etc.But then he has a full time job and a good salary!!)
Last week when I found out, we were actually trying to get our relationship up and running by being friends.
All was going well...
He told me yesterday that he can't handle the prospect of him having to live with/be with me because of a baby.He says he feels trapped and that he feels no joy at the prospect of having a child (with me) right now.
We had a huge row on a picnic yesterday ( my idea.It was a really nice day for a picnic).
I told him that if he continued to be so fucking negative that he might as well go draw out money for an abortion. That he did.Which spoke volumes.And made me feel very alone and very pissed off. After he dropped me off he then said that if I needed anything that he would be there for me! WTF??? I really do believe that some people are emotionally retarded sometimes.He"s the sort of guy that's very emotional,he cries easily which I've discovered is his way of manipulating me into feeling sorry for HIM.But it just makes me want to punch him out.So to speak.
So the last couple of days I've patiently listened to his woes and fears but it gets a bit too much especially when I try to offer solutions like councelling and he says that it probably won't help.He's the sort of guy that constantly needs to be guided.Like a child.

I want this baby and there's no reason why I can't have it.I live in a fairly roomy 2 bedroom apartment,I'm in the process of getting a part-time job,and he has alot of money saved up by all the years NOT paying rent.Lucky me. I'm only about 5 weeks.But I'm taking folic acid and vitamin B and doing all the things the baby fascists are telling me to do.I've borrowed baby books and found out the politics between midwives and OBs,homebirth verses hospital.So I'm on board.

But I'm wondering if it IS doable to have a child alone.I've been told many times that it's hard.But I'm 31 and am at an age where I feel ready.Perhaps not for the birthing bit which scares the hell out me.But I feel positive about the future even if my stupid ex partner is Mr doom,gloom and disaster.
To all those TTC, sorry to hear it's another month of periods. I've been thinking a lot about the circumstances that brought me to this point, and recalling the longing for a child that inspired some of the biggest leaps of faith in my life.

Speaking of those leaps of faith, my partner (whom I've been doubting a lot recently), finally addressed some of the issues we've been having. He let me know that he does love the baby as much as I do, and has even started staring at her and cuddling her endlessly the way that I do. He said that since she arrived he has felt the need to make as much money as he can for us and that has driven him to distraction and grumpiness at the end of each 103 degree day of outdoor work. He admitted that she is so tiny and vulnerable he's a little scared to love her as much as he can because something might happen to her and it would hurt so much. It doesn't forgive him being a surly pain in the ass during a time when I'm trying to care for a newborn and recover from a C-section, but it does at least reassure me that he's not a permanently changed man.

I still feel a little ambivalent toward him because my emotions have been under such a strain lately, but I tell myself not to make any decisions or come to any conclusions until we've all had a chance to get over the intensity of the last few months and are allowed to settle into a routine we can live with.

My breast feeding struggle is still going on, but I do seem to get more out of each pumping session and she is staying on the breast longer without the supplemental feeding tube (the thing that attaches to the breast to give her formula while she nurses).

I've gotten out of the house a little more recently and the more I do, the more normal I feel. That English expression "confinement" really is accurate.
datagirl, glad to have you with us!

I'm sorry your ex is being...the way he is being. Sometimes things that have to do with growing up (like pregnancy) bring out the worst in people. Especially if he's dead set against growing up, which it sounds like he is.

I can't speak for being a single mom as I haven't had that experience, though I know that for all the parents I know, partners or no, having a child is a hard business. That said, it sounds like you really want to have this baby if you can make it work.

I know you'll make the decision that's right for you - whatever it is. I guess my only advice is that you avoid being saddled with TWO children (your ex being one of them). My relationship is much better now (though not perfect), but I spent a lot of time in past years sort of being the mom in our relationship...until my therapist pointed out to me that if I really wanted him to grow up, I had to stop doing the emotional work for him. I had to let him step up to the plate, and if he didn't, I had to ask myself, "Is what I'm getting in this relationship enough?" Scary stuff, and in my case I came close to letting him go, but he finally started stepping up to the plate and we're working on it.

The thing about having this baby (and I'm NOT suggesting that you shouldn't - just want you to be clear about what you're signing up for) is that you are going to have your ex in your life for the rest of your life. If you don't want to be in a relationship with him anymore, you're going to have to set clear boundaries for yourself so you don't end up mothering him. You won't be able to control what kind of father he will be (or won't be, as the case may be), which frankly you couldn't do even if you were together, and you'll have to deal with the effects of that on your child.

That said, if you're going into this with open eyes and want to have this baby, I believe you can do it, and do it well. I know another mom (friend of a friend) who found herself pregnant by surprise, with very little of a relationship with the dad, hadn't finished school, not a lot of money...and a couple years later, she and her little boy are doing great. It's not easy - she has had to work really hard, make a lot of sacrifices, and it's totally changed her life - but having the support of her sisters and friends has really made the difference for her. Hopefully you have some support from family and/or friends to help you out.

Take care...I'll be thinking of you!
I had a child almost two years ago in a similar situation and will share some suggestions/experiences with you.

First, in asking whether or not it's possible to raise a child alone, you might do the following:
Take an assessment of your resources, personal, financial, and emotional.
1. Do you have family and close friends who can help you emotionally and when the baby comes? Staying up late, cooking, folding clothes, going for a walk, just being there?
2. Do you have the financial resources to pay for childcare, health, issues, clothes, etc.? Are there people who can help you? What if this guy doesn't?
3. How do you experience stress? Can you handle lots of stress, or do you need other people (like a partner) to help you get your head together?

I would make lots of lists of what you have and what you don't--can you get into a position to raise this child in a healthy environment, with or without a partner?

I think it's incredibly hard to be a single parent--I could not do it without moving in with my parents--and they help some, but not as a partner would. I found that I needed to have more people in my life than I had expected because I needed more emotional support and felt the baby would thrive in the presence of others.

As for the man, I suspect his emotions will change over nine months. Could you coparent with him? Could you get him to sign off to be completely out of your life, financially and otherwise? What do you need from him to make this work? What can you realistically expect? And, imagine sharing caring for a life with him if he is a child, too. My ex changed his mind, first telling me I had to abort and then wanting to be a family with me. I moved away and now we see him periodically. Don't know if there will be custody battles in the future, but I know that I feel conflicted about having to include him in the kid's life and wishing he would disappear. My therapist says children need to know their fathers, and I grieve not choosing a better partner for a father and choosing to have a child when the circumstances were not ideal for her. What if you waited a year and found someone who was really suitable for parenting? What if you find yourself forever connected to this man? Could you handle it?

Good luck. This is an issue people don't talk about enough. Maybe there are enough busties for a single parent thread?

I knew I'd get fantastic advice here on Bust!!

Lapis thank you for putting things into perspective.
I do handle stress quite well.Although I've really only handled work stress.
Financially I will need governmental help.Here in Australia it's quite good.And the father isn't a spiteful bastard just clueless, so I'm sure that he'd help me financially.He's always wanting to help his friends, he's just not ready to be a father...yet.I call him an unconcious asshole.He really doesn't realise how much he's hurting me.I'm amazed at how stunted emotionally he is though.Yet he's very intelligent.He's a librarian with about 2 or 3 degrees in engilsh,history music and librarian studies.

I haven't as yet told any of my family but am in two minds in telling his sister who is alot older than him and who he's quite close to.I met her while we were on holiday in Tasmania and got on very well with her.I'd like her to talk about this with him but whether or not she'd be supportive I don't know.
He hasn't told anyone that I'm pregnant and I really wish that he would instead of breaking my balls with his wingeing and crying and general emotional weakness.
My two very good guy friends have come to visit me since my ex went AWOL sinply talking with me and being supportive but warning me how hard it will be going it alone.I have many friends with kids who are wonderful women.I'm just not used to reaching out to them.But I'll have to learn quick smart how to ask for help.

Julie124 thankyou for also responding so wisely.And I can imagine having him as my baby's father becuase I know that he won't cause me or the baby any anguish.He's not abusive, doesn't drink or smoke or take drugs (infact he's very into herbs which is probably Korean Jinsengs fault that I'm pregnant LOL!!) so I feel positive that if I'm willing to change and take things slow then maybe he will. I live in hope that this will all blow over and he'll just get over himself.
I'm staying positve if somewhat delusional. It's a very hard time in my life and I just wish with every ounce of my being that he could be different and not so grossly selfish. It only takes him to change and come on board.I mean he's not 20 he's 39 years old.The only reason I would feel to terminate would be because of him.And that's not a good enough reason for me.
Eyelet, I'm glad to hear that you and Mr. E had a very open discussion. It seems you have reached a resolution with yourself not to make any decisions immediately. Very wise. Glad to hear that breastfeeding is improving too.

Datagirl, it sounds like a tough spot to be in, but it sounds like you are being positive, realistic, and true to yourself.

I went to the doctor today. She ordered a sperm analysis on Mr. M. She said that she can't refer me to a gyno until the sperm analysis is done. She was concerned about my luteal phase and feels that a specialist is best to judge whether it is a problem or not. She is a fantastic doctor. I am so glad Mr M came and was open with her. He told her he is reluctant to have the sperm analysis now as he only quit smoking pot. She said that within a month it should be just fine. We'll try again this cycle, and if no pregnancy results, he'll have the analysis. I feel a huge sense of relief today just knowing that something is getting done.
Hey Michelina, so glad you went to the doctor and that you liked her. I'm sure it feels good to have a plan. What were her concerns regarding your luteal phase? Did she offer possible solutions? (I'm sure they exist.)

What did she say about the pot-smoking and its affect on sperm? I'd be curious to hear about that, too.

I wish I had the time to write to everyone right now...I'm still sort of down this week. I took this month *hard* as you can probably tell...Fookie, I am thinking of you and am glad my words have been some sort of comfort for you. I wish I could comfort myself sometimes! Eyelet and Datagirl, I second what Michelina said...Datagirl, I hope you find some support here!

I've decided to broach Mr. Z with the idea of doing it every single day next week (my fertile window) or at least aiming for it in an effort to really hit the mark. I'll be going out of town to visit family soon after that, and he'll have the place to himself for a week or so...I'm going to suggest to him that it might be a good time to get the SA done without me hovering around freaking out. I waver between thinking we can wait and then wanting to do it. I wish I could make up my mind.

I've got a new freelance writing project I'm excited about, and I've already started planning for next school year (two activities I enjoy), so it's been slightly distracting. Next week will be stressful again as we try to do it, but...argh. I just want to be pregnant already.

More later...Michelina, let me know what your doc said about the pot smoking. I'm glad she said it would be okay in a month...I thought it might take longer to get it out of your system.
Look at the support the gov.t gives you now datagirl - it's so so so complicated. So complicated. It's insane. i'm trying to get one of the forms filled out and it's just fucking stupid. Centrelink are total dicks. But you don't really need to worry about healthcare (as such) (yet...) and you can make it on govt benefits only.

The kicker is your ex. You cannot make him do anything or be anything other than what he wills. And if he cannot see how pushing for an abortion can hurt a woman, he's a total dick. Unconcious or not. Anguish isn't just deliberate - he can cause a shit ton of hurt just by being an immature arsehole. You can do this alone and you can't bank on him changing. Hope is fine but you really need to look at it and see how you would be doing things with him not in the picture. Or only dropping in when he wants and how he wants regardless of the help you may need.

It's worth it, and I've known a lot of single mothers. But I don't know many who were single from the start - the start is hard and you really do need support, both emotional and practical physical support. Actually, I think you could do it without but the difference it would make is huge.

eyelet! So glad to hear feeding is getting better. And I'm glad your partner has spoken up about it. I know what he means about the tiny and fragile - I sometimes see myself dropping her, or misjudging where doors are and the idea of hurting her, even accidentally, hurts so bad.
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