Friday, September 30, 2005

I know my self-esteem must be around here somewhere...

It's CD34 of a Clomid cycle today, no AF, temp still all over the place, so I spat in the face of better judgement and called my doctor's office. Not wanting to bother the doctor (yes, I have self-esteem issues, lol) I asked to speak to the nurse, thinking that she may have some advice for me. When I told her what was going on, her reply was "Oh, I have no idea about something like that." [insert obvious sarcastic comment here] "Let me put you through to the doctor." Fine, right to the guy in charge, probably for the best anyway. Now, I know that the doctor is always busy and it was just before lunch and he was probably dizzy from hunger, but the way he flatly answered the phone made me feel like I was a Jehovah's Witness at a Gay Pride rally, rather than a concerned patient. Swallowing hard, I gave him the 20-second synopsis of what was happening, after which he told me I could either wait a few days and take a pregnancy test, or just start right away with some Provera to induce bleeding and start another cycle with the Clomid. He did add a hopeful "Good luck" at the end, but it didn't leave me feeling very confident. In fact, it made me feel like an obsessive nutcase who was asking to be over-medicated for a non-existent problem. Shouldn't I be concerned that I'm over 35 and not ovulating, even on Clomid? Should I have just waited until Monday (he mentioned something about day 37 -- maybe that's some sort of cut-off for waiting for AF on Clomid, before starting Provera)? I know I shouldn't take his tone of voice on the phone personally, but I'll tell you, my confidence level is in the sub-basement right now and since I naturally overthink most things anyway, it's no wonder that I'm so ready to blame myself for being whiny and impatient.

And to top off this feeling of inadequacy, the mailman just came by and what was his offering today? A single piece of junk mail from Huggies, no doubt full of coupons for baby products that I obviously don't need. Okay, I'm starting to depress myself. I'm off to go find some chocolate; if I can't think myself into a better mood, maybe I can chemically induce one.
:: posted by Ann Howell, 12:42 PM | link | 3 comments |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Moving on

Ever since before we even knew that Lydia was on the way, I was having an early mid-life crisis of sorts. I felt like I still hadn't found my place in the world, both literally and figuratively. I'd been living in the same city for over 10 years, a city that while cool in its own right, was never one that I ultimately felt connected to. Great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Part of it had to do with the fact that I knew I wanted to make a living by writing, and trying to do that in a largely francophone city wasn't ideal. Secondly, I just couldn't identify with the French-Canadian culture that dominates the city and I felt spiritually alienated. So, we were exploring the idea of moving -- I really wanted to live in London, but since my husband had grown up there he was keen on trying something new. At the time, his consulting work had him traveling frequently to the New York-Connecticut-Pennsylvania corridor, so we were looking at areas that would be within commuter-plane distance. At any rate, as we reached the half-way point of the pregnancy, it seemed unrealistic to plan a move before the baby was born, so we put the idea off until at least the spring. And a month or so after we came to that conclusion, we lost her. For the following months, basic survival was the priority of the day and thoughts of moving were put on the back burner. But now, well over a year later I'm back to feeling alienated and unhappy about living here, now with the added feeling of being haunted by failure and loss. I feel like my life here was a false start of sorts and I'm eager to move on. We keep talking about it, but he wants to get completely out of debt before we think about moving. By current calculations, this will take at least 2 years. On the other hand, if we were to sell the house (which has appreciated in value considerable since I bought it), we'd have a sizable wad to start a new life with, even after settling our debts. But then, I've always been a "leap before you look" kind of person, which, ironically, is how I ended up here in the first place.
:: posted by Ann Howell, 8:18 AM | link | 4 comments |

Friday, September 23, 2005


Blast and double blast -- I just spent the better part of an hour writing out a post that has just been completely lost in cyberspace. This is just testament to how my life has been going lately. Perhaps it's all for the best, as it was mainly a whingey post about how frustrated I am that not only has pregnancy proved to be ever-elusive, but despite taking Clomid this month, I'm still not ovulating. My chart is a mess, I'm getting hot flashes multiple times a day, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm sequeing right into menopause.

Right, I'm off to buy some cheery, colorful mums for my front steps. Given the irony of their name, it's unlikely to brighten me up too much, but at least the house will look cared for (and oddly enough, I still care about what the neighbours think, why I don't know). Perhaps later I will be able to reconstruct my original thoughts.
:: posted by Ann Howell, 9:34 AM | link | 5 comments |

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Defying nature

This article, Delaying babies 'defies nature' has got me seething. It's not that I dispute the facts (which are nothing new), it's the condescending, paternalistic way the story is told. I first read it on the Daily Mail site ( Heartache of late motherhood) and chalked it up to the rantings of the tabloid press, but today I saw the same story picked up by the BBC, and told with the same "it's too bad girls want to wait until they have careers and stable relationships before they have kids". Never mind that most people don't even *meet* their partners before they are 30, or that with the cost of higher education these days, many people are mired down in school debts until their early 30s or that the vast majority of people have have barely had enough experience to manage their own lives in their 20s, never mind being responsible for the scads of babies they're supposed to be having at that point. Medical science has made advancements in almost every possible area of human development, so instead of focusing on returning the role of women to that of the 1950s, why don't we focus on helping slightly "older" women achieve healthy pregnancies? The pharmaceutical industry spent enough time and money on developing drugs to allow lecherous old men to annoy their wives in perpetuity (something certainly nature had *not* intended), so it seems that giving nature a helping hand is something only men should be able to profit from. I can't believe that articles like this are still getting published in 2005!!!
:: posted by Ann Howell, 7:50 PM | link | 13 comments |

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bummed, bummed, bummed.

That's how I feel today. For those in the know, it's CD 17 today and still no 'O'. Which kind of sucks because DH is leaving on a trip this afternoon and will be gone for the next couple of days. Our chances are just getting slimmer and slimmer this month. I was really psyched on Friday, because I got a +OPK (or so I thought) and everything was naturally falling into place, BD-wise. So, I just kept checking the signs and waiting for confirmation that we were into the 2ww, only it never came. Now, I know that it's very likely that I will O within the next few days, but since DH will be on the road, it won't do us much good. (I can only hope that he will make it home for a "nooner" today before he leaves for the airport, which he said he will try to do.)

Anyway, besides that I'm working on a hellish project and I'm just in a horrible mood all around. Maybe if I start tackling some of the household projects that have been nagging me for a while it'll take my mind off of my frustrations. Of course, I run the risk of simply exchanging my current frustrations for new ones, but I think I'd rather deal with small tangible inconveniences, like paint drips on the carpet or having to fill in nail holes in the wall, rather than the maddness of work and my monthly cycle. A little home improvement therapy, that's what I need...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 1:38 PM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I'm so obsessed this month that I've been reduced to creating inane tickers for myself. Where will this all end?!!!

Lilypie Baby Ticker

Must try to distract myself before I start looking up the astrological chart for the baby that we just *must* conceive this cycle...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 9:18 AM | link | 5 comments |

Monday, September 05, 2005

Truth and consequences

I've been preoccupied with the fate of those affected by Katrina, yet I feel powerless to do anything concrete. I had half a mind to hop on a plane down to Houston with my last remaining Air Miles, but it occurred to me that it will really be in a month or two that they'll really feel the big pinch, after the world's attention has started to turn away.

I had a minor epiphany after my last post about feeling so bitter about other people's pregnancies. I figured the only way I was going to stop feeling so bitter was... to * stop * feeling * so * bitter. It sounds dreadfully obvious, but when you're subsumed with a feeling, it's hard to imagine that you have any power over it. To test out my theory, on a morning that I had lots of errands to do, I vowed to smile pleasantly at any pregnant woman or woman with a baby that I encountered and even to peer politely into baby carriages. Well, I must say that the experiment was a success. The first couple of times, I had to make a conscious effort to plaster a smile on my face, while trying to make it seem as sincere as possible. After a while, I realised that I was smiling unconsciously at most mothers and moms-to-be. I even had a lengthy chat with a new mom in the checkout line at Costco whose baby was sleeping peacefully in her carrier in the front of the trolley. And I did this all without having a nervous breakdown or having lightening strike me down or the occurrence of any other natural or supernatural disaster.

Confession time: up until recently, I was a smoker. In this day and age I feel like I'm confessing to kicking crutches away from the disabled or leading elderly blind ladies straight into heavy traffic, but it's true. I was a light smoker before getting pg., quit completely during the pg. (hormones made it easy; I didn't fancy smoking at all) and then started again after our loss. I must admit that I smoked heavily during the first few months of grieving; it seemed to be the only thing that could console me in any way. I tapered back to a few cigs a day as things got easier and thought that I was happy like that. Until late one Saturday night a few weeks ago when I reached for a cigarette and found an empty pack. My desperation for a cigarette at that moment was so visceral, that I realised that I was not in control of this situation in any way. It occurred to me that I really needed to quit completely. So, I picked up a great book on the subject and read it cover to cover in one afternoon. I put out my final cigarette that evening and have not had one since. I was amazed at how easy it was to give up. I do not crave it in any way, and I feel so much healthier that I've been exercising even more and eating very healthfully. I don't want ever to be a smoker again!

I was a bit wary of admitting my former habit here, as I know that TTC while smoking seems like a contradiction. But I was truly addicted and only now can I see to what extent. The great news is that it's all over and now I can move forward to a healthy, nicotine-free life! Now, I just have to get DH to quit...
:: posted by Ann Howell, 12:50 PM | link | 6 comments |