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As I've mentioned to more and more people that we're TTC (trying to conceive), especially that we've been trying for quite a while, I have gotten some great responses, but also many frustrating or upsetting responses. Especially from people who are already parents.

I'm sure these people are just trying to be helpful and supportive, but often times these comments can have the opposite effect. I think there's several possible reasons for this...maybe infertility is an issue they've never thought or learned much about, maybe they don't really think about (or aren't aware of) how their comment sounds or how it might make me feel, maybe it's because they're trying too hard to relate, and maybe it's something else entirely. Again, I do know that these comments are only meant to be helpful...but that doesn't make them any less upsetting sometimes.

First some background: We've been basically not trying/not preventing now for 21 straight cycles...16 of those we have actively tried to get pregnant with NO success. Typical success rate at my age should be only a few cycles (20-25% chance each cycle, 50% of couples take 5-6 months, and 85% get pregnant after 1 year...for those of you keeping score, we're in that 15% that is taking >1 year). At first we were pretty darn casual about it...just basically having sex frequently and hope for the best. Did that for quite a while. I started reading more about TTC from books, online, and support groups. Back in April I started keeping track of my BBT (basal body temp, your temp when you first wake up in the morning, and it helps you tell certain things about your cycle and is often helpful when TTC). I realized I was ovulating a bit later than I thought (but definitely seemed to be ovulating). Since that still hasn't helped us get pregnant, I bought some OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) last cycle. I started using them last cycle, but I gave up too early because it turns out I ovulated quite a bit later than usual. I have my physical on Nov 1st and plan to get a referral to a fertility specialist then. -- I have fairly regular cycles, but not super regular. My cycles are usually 30-36 days long but every once in a while are longer or shorter. I've been diagnosed with PCOS, but it doesn't seem to have much of an affect on my cycle...though it might be having an affect on TTC. I don't know. I am taking medication for it already.

I'll say this one more time, and then I won't say it again, but please keep this in mind as you read the rest of this post...I KNOW these comments are always meant well, and I don't hold any grudges or hard feelings against people who respond in these ways. (Though it can make for awkward and sometimes upsetting conversations.) Also, when I use "you" it is a generic "you" and not relating to a single individual. This really is a commentary about a bunch of different conversations I've had with people. I just want to raise awareness that these comments can hurt and can make an already difficult situation more stressful. I also just want to get some of this off my chest. These are a few things I'd love people to consider and keep in mind when talking about TTC. These are my own personal thoughts and reactions to these comments and situations...other people with difficulties TTC might have different opinions about some of these matters, but similar opinions on others.

More than anything else, I've noticed a huge trend to try to give advice. Generally speaking, this has almost always backfired, and is almost never the correct first response.

If you must give advice, please make sure that your advice isn't one of the many Getting Pregnant 101 cliched comments. Especially without asking what we've already tried. I have gotten much advice from people suggesting that we do things we've already been trying. It's extremely frustrating. There is no one size fits all way to get pregnant. What worked for you may or may not work for everyone. Additionally, some of the most obvious suggestions can just seem insulting. The fact that you think I need to be told this means to me that you must think I don't already know that. Which to me implies that you think I clearly must not know anything about trying to get pregnant and haven't made an effort to do my research and figure out how to do this right.

Also, if you must give advice, please make sure your advice is medically sound. I had a family member tell me that all I needed to do was to have sex "14 days after my period started." Which is not medically sound advice. It may happen to be true for many women with a "typical" cycle, but even then it's not sound advice. You can get pregnant from having sex up to 5 days before ovulation. So to have the best chance, women should usually be having sex multiple times during that time period. When you ovulate can change from cycle to cycle. In my case, I've found that I typically ovulate about 18-24 days into my cycle. So for me, aiming to have sex "14 days after my period started" is HORRIBLE advice, since most of the time that would be far too early. A friend of mine who also is struggling with TTC was told to eat a bunch of poppy seeds because those contain lots of HCG (pregnancy hormone). LOL. This friendly stranger was confusing HCG and THC.

Just because you've gotten pregnant, don't assume you're an expert on the matter or that you know more than I do or that I don't understand what you're saying. If you got pregnant easily, you need to understand that for some people, even if they're doing everything right, it just isn't that easy. It never will be. There's a thousand reasons that might be the case. It may not be fair, but I tend to get defensive and upset really quick if I feel like you're talking down to me as if you know more than I do about the subject just because you've been able to get pregnant while I have not (unless we've actually established that you do indeed know a lot about TTC and/or you know what I do/don't know about the subject). Just because you've gotten pregnant/are a mom does not necessarily mean you know any more than I do on the subject of TTC. This by the way includes not only TTC advice, but also just talking about various aspects of your prenatal appointments, giving birth, and parenting stories. Just because I haven't experienced these things first hand doesn't mean I don't know a fair amount about them or can't imagine what it's like on my own or that I don't have a valid opinion on the issue or haven't given it any thought. If you're talking about your own experiences or those of someone you know, you don't need to stop and explain every little part of it to me. This feels especially condescending if it's a group of mothers all talking and constantly interrupting the flow of the conversation by turning to me and explaining stuff to me as if I know nothing. If there's something I don't understand, I'll ask. If you want to talk about your experiences TTC, that's generally OK as long as you do so without making an implied connection to my own experience.

Avoid saying or implying that "when I'm a parent I'll understand..." whatever it is you're about to tell me (what it's like to be sleep deprived, what it's like to have no time to myself, what it's like to always put others needs before my own, etc). Yes, there are some things about being a parent that you will understand in more detail once you're actually a parent. I realize this. I don't need you to tell me that. I generally have two separate reactions to this. 1) "Yes, thank you for throwing it in my face that you're a part of a super special club that I cannot seem to join." I don't need this thrown in my face...I really don't. 2) Just because I don't understand 100% doesn't mean that I can't understand 99.9% of what you're saying. It just gives me the impression you think that I haven't given it a thought of what it's like to be a parent. That I don't know what I'm getting myself into (or rather what I'm hoping to get myself into). Some of the worst of these comments almost sound as if they're telling me that I'm not cut out for parenthood (but they are). I'm well aware of the good, bad, and ugly of being a parent...and I still want to be a parent more than I want anything else right now. I know it's not all a walk in the park, it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I also know that overall/eventually, the good outweighs the bad. Basically, I understand as well as ANY non-parent can ever understand. Pointing out to me that little bit that I can't understand yet is just throwing my "failures" in my face.

On a similar note telling me that "When I have kids, I can't..." is also a bad idea. First of all, there are many different ways of being a good parent. If once I'm a parent, I occasionally go out and spend a day with friends instead of my kids (or something like that), and instead have my husband or someone else watch the kids, that would not make me a bad mother. I have gotten several comments judging various actions or aspects my current lifestyle or spending habits against the perceived compatibility of me being a parent. My biggest pet peeve about this is that I'm not a parent yet! I know that as a parent I "can't" (aka: shouldn't) do some of the things I do now...but seeing as I'm not a parent yet, I'll do as I please and worry about it later when I actually am a parent. I really can't understand how these comments make sense except for assuming that you think that I am somehow unaware of the fact that some things about how you live your life change once you become a parent...which is just an insulting assumption.

Don't tell me how to feel and don't dismiss my feelings...especially if I'm actively upset. If I'm upset, don't tell me I need to relax...I don't like to be worked up either and I know it's not productive. I do my best to stay calm, but it doesn't always work. If you tell me to relax, it's just going to stress me out more.

The idea that "it'll happen when it's supposed to" is also extremely infuriating, especially when I'm already upset. That just ignores the fact that I want it to happen on my terms. I've chosen that I want to have kids now...I don't appreciate that the choice is apparently out of my hands. Yes, eventually I'll have a kid, one way or another, but that doesn't help with the fact that I want one now (or rather as close to now as possible).

Speaking of wanting a kid now, another phrase I hate is "you're young, you've got plenty of time." As if what I want doesn't matter. Maybe I don't want to wait till I'm older. Most people who have said this don't even know how many kids I want or how far spaced I want them. For all they know, I want a super huge family...I don't necessarily, but they don't know that. I'm pretty sure I want 3 kids. I might get to 2 and change my mind. There's also a slight chance I might decide I want a 4th if we can afford it...a part of me likes the idea of having a bigger family. Ideally these kids would be spaced 2-3 years apart. I'm almost 27. Even if I got pregnant this cycle, we're talking 7-9 years till my last is born if we have 3. That puts me at 34-36. If we decide we want 4 (which I doubt, but it'd still be nice to have the option), that'd be 36-39. That's getting into age that it's not uncommon to start struggling to have kids anyway. Plus keep in mind that Kevin is 4.5 years older than me and what that means on his side of the equation. Plus, all of this math about ages of course assumes things work out the way we want them to and we actually get pregnant when we want to...which has not fit with our track record so far (yes, I know that can change in the future, but it also might not). Now what if we keep having struggles? You start to see why I do get a bit upset at the delay. Never mind the fact that neither one of us want to be on the older side when we're having kids. We have both wanted kids for quite a while but have waited because it just wasn't financially feasible and because I wanted to find a career I like, etc. But now that we're as stable as we're likely to get, we'd like to have kids before we get much older.

Similarly, telling me that "god has a plan" (or something similar) is not helpful either. For starters, chances are I don't particularly believe in your god. Beyond that, even if I did...statements like this end up saying to me that "there's a reason god hasn't given me a child." That somehow I'm not worthy. But I'll look around at some of the other idiots I see getting pregnant that are totally not in a place to support or provide for a child and wonder why god thinks I'm less deserving of having a child than them.

If you're pregnant or recently had a kid, these "rules" go double for you. Fair or not (I know it's not), I'm jealous of you. Wish I wasn't, but I am...can't help it. Might as well be honest about it. Yes, I'm jealous of your morning sickness. I'm jealous of your sleep deprivation. I'm jealous of it all...because it also means you get all of the good bits with the bad, and that makes it all worth it...you get what I want but can't seem to have at the moment. It's for those good bits that I'm also extremely excited for you. It can be a complicated feeling sometimes. There's times that I absolutely will want to hang out, share stories, and cuddle your baby/babies. There's also times where I really don't want to talk about it. If I'm feeling especially depressed or upset, there might be times that I just can't handle it. It's nothing personal. It's really not. It's just how it is. Some days I'll be super excited and want to talk to you about all of it and totally want to know anything you want to share. Other days, if the conversation turns to babies and I suddenly get quiet...chances are it's one of those days that I'm having a rough time of it. If I suddenly bail on plans because I'm "not feeling well," chances are it's one of those days that I just can't deal with it at all. Again, it's nothing personal in the least. It's really a lot like dealing with depression...some days I'm completely fine other days it's tough to just make it through the day like a normal person.

Sometimes I don't want advice, I just want compassion. I want some one to hear me out. I want someone who will let me vent. Who will just try to understand. In fact, most of the time, if I do want advice, chances are I'll ask for it. I just want to be upset without worrying about getting any of the above reactions.

When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask questions. I'm happy to tell you about what we've tried, what's going on, what I do/don't know, and all sorts of other stuff about this process as long as I feel like it's a conversation amongst equals. As long as I feel fairly confident that I'm not going to run into some of the things I mentioned above. This starts with you asking about what's going on, instead of assuming you know (or assuming the details aren't important). It continues with not necessarily assuming that your experience (or the experiences of your friends/family/etc) applies or is helpful here...especially until you've figured out what's actually going on.


WIPocalypse - March Progress

What is WIPocalypse? Linky

Things have been really busy this month with volunteer commitments, family, and pets. So I only worked on the Moon piece for my niece. Other pictures haven't changed from last month.

I started this pattern middle of Dec '11. I've changed up the colors a bit because I'm doing it for my 6 yr old niece. Here's my current progress pic:

Mirabilia's Bluebeard's Princess mermaid. Started on 1/2/12. Progress Pic (from last month):

My other big crafty project is a scarf I'm working on for my mom. (Picture from last month.)

January's Post
February's Post

WIPocalypse - February Progress

What is WIPocalypse? Linky

I started this pattern middle of Dec '11. I've changed up the colors a bit because I'm doing it for my 6 yr old niece. Here's my current progress pic:

I also started Mirabilia's Bluebeard's Princess mermaid on 1/2/12. Progress Pic:

My other big crafty progress this month has been a scarf I'm working on for my mom.

January's Post

WIPocalypse - January Progress

So I've joined in on this (mainly) stitching adventure that a friend has started. She's calling it WIPocalypse. So here's my progress...

I started this pattern just before the holidays. I've changed up the colors a bit because I'm doing it for my 6 yr old niece. Here's my current progress pic:

I also started Mirabilia's Bluebeard's Princess mermaid on 1/2/12. I'm doing it on a blue-ish fabric. I've only done about 10-20 stitches on it so far, so I won't take a picture this month.

My other big crafty progress this month has been a scarf I'm working on for my mom. I've done a little more than half of what you see here since the new year.

Detailed images:

Other than that, I spent a chunk of the earlier part of this month organizing my floss collection since I'm finally starting to accumulate a collection.
So I've been considering getting a newspaper (probably Boston Globe, NYT, or USA Today) or possibly a news magazine on my kindle. I am horrible with keeping up with the news and really want to change that. I am just not certain if kindle versions are the way to go.

Paper vs Kindle debate

+ Kindle is pretty much always cheaper

+ Green...no wasted paper, don't have to worry about recycling or otherwise getting rid of it when you're done.

+ Kindle is less awkward to hold/browse though (I always hated navigating the paper)

+ Easy to take with me.

+ Ability to easily keep articles or entire editions as well as comment on them

+ Consistent delivery even if away from home

- Missing content. It seems like every kindle edition is missing some/most pictures, all tables/graphs, crossword (whatever), comics, and even entire articles. WTF? I get missing crossword, I can even get missing some pics and the comics (although with recent improvements in how the kindle handles graphics this seems less and less necessary). But tables/graphs are essential for understanding some articles. I have seen them done successfully in other kindle (book) publications. Plus missing articles just DOES NOT make sense.

Kindle vs Web/Mobile App debate

+ Don't have to be in wireless coverage with kindle.

+ Less load time on kindle to browse different articles

+ More organized way of easily keeping articles or entire sections

+ I think it'll be easier for me to stay focused on reading the news on the Kindle than on my computer/phone. I can't wander back and forth between my multitude of tabs that are always open on my computer or bookmarks and apps on my phone.

+ Kindle is easier on the eyes than computer/phone.

+/-- Content isn't the same between these, and typically both of these versions are missing content from the printed version

- Web & Mobile sites have more pictures, color pictures, graphs, and tables

- Web & Mobile sites are more easily updated with breaking news through out the day, where with Kindle, you'd wait till the next morning's edition (if it's a big story), or have to look else where for updates on smaller topics. This I'm not too concerned about.

Other Debate Points

+ I really prefer reading on the kindle as compared to newspaper or magazines hands down. (And slightly prefer the kindle to a book, but that's besides the point) I would not buy a print version of a paper and probably wouldn't buy a print version of a magazine again.

* Boston Globe = local

* Not sure pros/cons between various papers besides locality factor

Umm...thoughts? How bad is the missing content on the kindle vs printed versions? That's my biggest concern.

LJ Fail

So I'm going through and adding a bunch of people on a friending community. (Hi & welcome new people!) So I figured that now would be a good time to update my user info. I'm editing that and get all the way down to email when I realize they still have my previous email. I click edit email. It takes me to a different page and DELETES everything I had changed. *scowls*

Since I should get back to work now, I'll just leave you all with a promise of a soon to be updated user info as well as the promise of a long over due intro post. Both to come some time later today.

LJ Cut

FYI, I made a rather large f-list cut. Mostly communities and people who don't use their accounts any more. If I cut you and you still wish to read my posts, comment here and I'll fix it. This would be especially likely if you're one of the people who never posts and never comments. I'm not trying to intentionally cut anyone who still wants to read my posts.


Make the Movie List

So going through the list of suggested movies, Kevin and I have narrowed it down some. We figure Back to the Future, Goonies, and The Breakfast Club will all be watched. We're gonna try to play 5 or 6 movies all together ending with the 3 I just mentioned. The other movies will be picked by interest shown in this poll. Vote for your top 5-7 movies...

Poll #1289916 Birthday 1985 Movies

Here's a list of suggested movies - pick your 7 favorite We will try to play at least 5 of them

Back to the Future
Breakfast Club
St. Elmo's Fire
The Color Purple
Real Genius
Weird Science
The Sure Thing
Better off Dead
Teen Wolf

We have Back to the Future and The Color Purple. We also have the Goonies (if Dan remembers to bring it). Let me know if you can get me a copy of any of these other movies.

For food, we'll have pumpkin cheesecake, lots of halloween candy, and I'll probably make some chili or something. The rest is potluck style. I know Nycholle is bringing some of her delicious mac-n-cheese. We'll have soda and of course water, but the rest is BYOB.

We'll start the first movie at 10:00am. Then keep playing movies back to back as the day goes on. We'll probably start the first of the big 3 movies at about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. We'll probably finish about midnight or whenever we feel like. Come whenever...leave whenever.

Plenty of on street parking. If you need address/directions, lemme know. I can also pick people up from Wonderland. If you'd like to crash here, there's a futon and several couches (as well as lots of floor space).

Friends only

This Live Journal is becoming friends only. So log in if you want to see anything here from now on. There are several reasons, none of which i'm going into here, and don't expect me to explain them elsewhere either.

F.O. banner created by chickdrummer101

Here are the rules:

1) If you would like to be a friend, comment
2) In said comment, tell me where you found my journal, why you want to be my friend, etc.
3) Play nice...no fighting, no biting and share your toys
4) Respect other's opinions

those of you that are already friended shall stay friended...no worries about that. If you're a friend who has been reading entries, but doesn't have a livejournal...get one, they're free. You don't have to ever post on yours, but you can use it to read my entries. Just let me know what it is and i'll add you.