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A Sane 2ww

post #1 of 160
Thread Starter 

Fellow ttc travelers, just in case you haven't met me, 'cause I'm new, I'm zenquaker and have been ttc for just under a year with one miscarriage. I have a five-year-old son and a wonderful husband. I'm on my first Clomid cycle, and my first Clomid 2ww. And I'm going INSANE.

 

Hence, this thread!

 

I need a space to come to gather with other women who are in the middle of their period of waiting for the results of their efforts (or maybe some who weren't trying at all, and maybe wishing for a negative!) WITHOUT getting encouragement for all the crazy-making behaviors and thoughts that have characterized all my 2wws for the past 11 months. I want to re-conceptualize (har, har) the 2ww as a beautiful, almost holy time of waiting. If you are religious, or spiritually inclined, you can think of it as akin to Advent or Lent: a time to become quiet and inward, a time to listen, a time to reflect, a time to prepare for some kind of Coming (be it a new life, a grand disappointment, a new direction in ttc, an unplanned blessing, or an unplanned complication).

 

At the end of our 2ww we are going to be going through something emotional and significant. Why not take our luteal phases to prepare our minds, bodies, and spirits for whatever is to come? Not by becoming obsessed over one outcome, but by noticing our thoughts and feelings and returning to a center of calm and reflection. Our bodies are doing AMAZING things during the luteal phase--creating that lining to nurture a new life, if it comes along, and if our bodies are not working the way we want them to, striving and working so hard to be ready for a life. It is beautiful what our bodies are doing. I am awe of the whole lot of it! (Sidebar: I showed DS one of those videos that was taken inside a real live woman of the journey of the sperm to the egg and he was absolutely spellbound. I love the sense of wonder at this age, before it all becomes embarrassing and gross to many children)

 

I'd like this to be a space free of symptom spotting (!), chart over-analysis, pleas for those with past bfps to tell us that they, too, had dry mouths and creamy cm in their 2wws, and early testing (before expected missed period). These are the things that make me, and I suspect many of us, CRAZY. Worse, they use up valuable time and energy that we could spend on nurturing ourselves.

 

Those are the don'ts. How about some do's?

 

Let us meditate daily, freeing our minds of obsessive thoughts for any length of time that is feasible and desirable, even if it is five minutes, even if it is ONE minute! Let us breathe and be open to many possibilities, and listen for guidance and inspiration.

 

Let us record our temps lightly, saying each morning to ourselves, "97.67. This is one temperature among many. It alone tells me nothing. I will record this and blow it away like a kiss. The time for analysis is later."

 

Let us chart once a morning and not return again to the chart until the next morning.

 

Let us listen to our bodies, noting each change and feeling we have with lightness. Let us greet each feeling (and not call them "symptoms--" maybe someone has a better term?) and just sit with it, live with it, not ask the feeling to tell us anything. It may tell us something, or it may not.

 

Let us come together to share our meditations, not our "symptoms." Let us support one another with love and patience, and share ways we've found to be more spiritually engaged with our bodies, our possible future children, and the people whose love surround us daily (spouses, children, parents and in-laws, siblings, close friends).

 

Let us focus on nourishing our bodies with fresh whole foods, with greens and beets (if you like them) and walnuts and good fats and everything that strengthens us and gives us even moods and tempers.

 

Let us take walks and runs and bike rides and do yoga and Pilates and give our bodies the gift of joyful movement.

 

Let us compose poems, prayers, stories, letters, etc. that contemplate the wonder of this time.

 

And let us breathe, breathe, breathe in the life that is all around us.

 

---

 

I hope some sisters join me, because frankly, I really need it! Just one would be enough, more would be better :) I feel that others may need this too.

 

I hope that some of you will have ideas on how to fill this time. Maybe we could have a meditation for each day past ovulation, or some little exercise. The former behavioral therapist in me knows that you have to REPLACE unwanted thoughts and behaviors with more rewarding ones.

 

*Disclaimer: this is NOT a criticism of people who obsess, are POAS addicts, symptom-spotters, etc. These are not healthy things for ME, and I'm thinking there may be a few ladies for whom this is also true. This is a space for those. But of course, ALL are welcome to read and even post, but I would just prefer that even if you are a POAS addict or whatever that you keep those thoughts/activities off the thread.*

 

Who's in?

post #2 of 160

I applaud the effort but I'm not sure I can honestly say that I can commit to not going crazy. So far I've been laid back about this particular 2ww, telling myself that whatever comes at the end it'll be fine and I'll be fine. But I'm also only in the first week, I might feel differently next week...

 

Two things that are helping me stay sane right now:

- I'm paying a lot more attention to my business, making it grow, analyzing myself as a business person, focusing on behaviors and which ones work for me and which ones don't...

- my friend's baby shower is at the end of my 2ww and I told myself that I wouldn't test before then because I don't want to ruin her day, either by being too excited about my own BFP or by being grumpy about a BFN.

 

I hope that this is in the spirit of what you're talking about. I know I could use the focus on the positive rather than all the mulling over flutters and feelings and potential early lines.

post #3 of 160
Thread Starter 

Dakipode, nurturing a key part of your life (your business, which supports yours and any future life!) sounds like a GREAT way to get through the 2ww. I love it. And I like how you're strategizing about testing with your friend's baby shower. Sometimes I think having an external reason not to test is the only way to keep yourself from testing!

 

No need to commit to not being crazy! No one can commit to that. Sharing things that help you cope even if you are still feeling crazy is what this thread is for :)

post #4 of 160

Zenquaker, this was a very thoughtfully written, and thought-provoking post, thank you! I'm quite obsessive around the TWW, and I will re-read this post around that time to remember what's important! It may be difficult, but I'd love to try and have a little more calm and reflection during my next TWW. Wishing you well!

post #5 of 160

Yes! I love your outlook. And, I think it can be applied to those in any stage of their cycles. Count me in. I have been reading Fully Fertile and one of the exercises the authors offer is listing those tasks that drain Qi and those that help us gain it. Very enlightening! And for me, it seems I have several built in things for gaining Qi, like taking care of some new plants, riding my bike to work, eating yummy greek yogurt/ blueberry/ granola parfaits. Obviously, we all have work of some kind and relationships that can be draining. But it was nice to see how actually balanced I am right now after feeling for years completely out of whack. Furthermore, each good thing I do for myself to gain Qi feels like I'm saying yes to my baby on the way, like I'm opening my arms in anticipation of an embrace.

 

Keep the good meditations coming!

post #6 of 160

Ecxellent post. It can be hard not to read into the chart, and think about the end of the 2ww.  I have a few days left in my wait and will be following your lead!

post #7 of 160
Thread Starter 
So happy for the camaraderie! Thanks so much.

This morning I chose to meditate in the shower, which was right after I temped and glanced at my chart. AND resisted the urge to google my dpo. After a few minutes of quiet and centering, I though about what Clumsy wrote about listing Qi-producing activities. I decided on a few to try today (clumsy, your three are mine too!!!) and also some things I should avoid.

Today's the calmest I've ever been during a 2ww. I was better able to calmly handle ds's morning meltdowns because my energy wasn't going down the 2ww hole.

How is everyone else doing? And keep the ideas comin'!

I should hug a tree after work. It actually gives me this solid sense of life and well-being. I look like a weirdo but I don't care. treehugger.gif:
post #8 of 160
This thread is great. I'm actually just out of my tww, but I could use this kind of thing during any time in my cycle. I tend to OBSESS about everything and try to control every last detail. It's not healthy and it's so draining. One thing that has been a great help is http://www.amazon.com/Restoring-Fertility-Brandon-FABORM-Wendy/dp/B001OVFAA4. It makes me feel like I'm focusing on the amazing things my body can do during each phase of my cycle.

I just made my first appointment with an RE...
post #9 of 160
Thread Starter 

SKJ and everyone else, welcome!

 

SKJ, it was hard to make that first appointment. I conceived both of my pregnancies on the first try, so not getting anywhere with only well-timed intercourse is new to me/us. But I have been charting and paying attention to my body and there is something amiss. Just don't know what yet.

 

This afternoon I'm having some sensations that may or may not be telling me something. I decided to take the possibilities they suggest, roll them gently into a ball, and toss them into the air. Then I told myself that I'd wait to see if one/all/none of them return to me at the end of the 2ww. It was really really freeing. I could then return my thoughts to all the things I have to do today to take care of my clients at work and my family.

 

Yes, I agree with SKJ and Clumsy that this kind of thinking can be healthy for all stages! It can be hard to just bd joyfully every other day during your fertile period and not stress about matching it up with opks, cm, and temps. Also, to listen to your partner when they are just too tired or stressed, and to not flip out when you know it is most likely the perfect night! The reality is that we have a fertile window, and that it is ALSO a holy/sacred/special time, not a time to race to a baby. The window is long enough to allow for bding in a relaxed way. I forget that all the time.

post #10 of 160

zenquaker: yeah, what you said about the BD window. This was definitely my most intense and tense BD effort but I think that's also why I now feel more relaxed. Now I know that we've done all we could on our end and it's up to nature, as opposed to before when I felt like it might be our fault, so to speak...

 

I've been immersed in activities that require me to be fully present and it's been great. Today I went and helped a friend organize and I'm going back on Tuesday. I'm finding, so far, that keeping a full schedule, at least one "activity" every day, helps. "Activity" = special errand (like going on a mission to get hummingbird feeders), exercise (which I always do with a workout partner), special work project (developing a new class, reading a book, making a flyer), etc.

 

At some point during the day it'll cross my mind that hey, I might be pregnant. And then I think, ok, maybe or maybe not, we'll see and let nature take its course.

 

On a bit of a tangent though I feel that this ties into the "crazy" that people get into: I tell myself women have been doing this forever and it's always been something normal and natural. When did we start turning it into this circus and this special occasion that requires a "push present"? Am I just being callous? I understand that creating life and giving birth is something to celebrate but it seems like it's just turned into this "ooh, we have to treat every pregnant woman extra special with extra love..." I don't know. Like I said, I do feel that it is awe inspiring to think that two cells just start reproducing and form new life, I just don't agree with the exaggerated worship of the mom to be.

post #11 of 160

I've found my new home!

 

I'm so excited for this post! I feel this philosophy towards the 2ww is more in-line for what I want for myself. I too am having something amiss with my cycles and have been working hard to not succumb to symptom watching, and the mental/ emotional roller coaster that has become the 2ww and beyond for me. These last few weeks I've taken up yoga and meditation in the morning to help acknowledge and calm a lot of my fears and anxieties and I'm still working hard to find their place rather than allowing them to take me over.

 

I find knitting to be a very useful activity for me. I find knitting something that I wish to manifest (baby clothes, blankets, accessories (for friends who are pregnant) and for my wedding) is a very relaxing and productive way to spend my energy when I find I need somewhere to send my restless hands and mind. I also find it is helpful to remind myself that YES I intuitively feel I will have children, and to trust that intuition and spiritual side about myself.. and because I trust that in myself I take comfort in the wait, feeling that it will happen exactly when it's supposed to and not sooner.

 

I just ended my 2ww with AF yesterday. I celebrated by going out with friends to a party and being grateful that I was able to participate in that gathering this one last time before I head back to Canada and probably never see these people ever again. I'm also grateful for one more month of eating right foods, making my body stronger with more yoga and biking, and spending just a bit more time to learn about and focus on myself.

 

Thank you for beginning this thread. I am very excited to be here!
 

post #12 of 160
Thread Starter 

Welcome, nattery! I love the sense of gratitude in your post. I never thought of the end of the 2ww with the idea of one more month to strengthen my body/spirit, but WOW, that is very positive. And it is TRUE. I like that your knitting is both calming and productive. There's just something in the rhythm of those clacking needles :)

 

Dakipode, I share your frustration re: the elevation of Pregnant Goddess. It is an amazing and wonderful thing, but no more wonderful than a whole plant growing from a tiny seed, or the birth of a revolutionary idea, etc. Sometimes the ideal version of womanhood, which reaches its height in the image of the serene pregnant woman, just puts so much pressure on us. Those of us who are ttc are open to receiving life and nurturing life. And when it doesn't happen or doesn't happen right away we haven't failed! We are not less in any way than our pregnant sisters.

 

Which is not to say we don't suffer. One of my pet peeves (and then I'll return to the positive) is this idea that "everything happens for a reason." This can be a hurtful thing to hear when we've suffered losses. I didn't lose my second child (m/c) so early so that other things would happen. It just happened, it was sad, and though it changed the course of my life in subtle ways that will eventually lead to joy, the loss didn't create the future joy. I know others think differently about this, but I find it hard to swallow. And I am a religious/spiritual/believing type person. I just don't assume that I have any inkling about the Plan, if there is one. I believe in a God or life-force that streams love and light into the universe, and brings healing when things are broken.

 

Enough of that! Tonight I spent some time looking for a flattering bathing suit to take on our trip next month. It will be with hub's work, so I def. want to look decent. I am very large-busted and about a size 16. I have never been this large in my life and I have no idea how to dress! Anyway, I see large women dressed beautifully all the time, especially at the beach, and I want to honor my love for my body by buying something flattering for this year's trip. So that's how I'm nurturing/distracting myself tonight.

 

DH just offered to run to the grocer's for a Friday night treat. I think I want something nourishing and good for my body but it has to taste really good. I'm thinking savory. Any ideas?

post #13 of 160

zenquaker, I'm totally with you on the "things happen for a reason". Personally I think it's BS. I think things happen and we create a learning experience out of that. I can't accept the fact that I would not be in control of my own destiny.

 

nattery, so excited to learn you're a knitter too! I've been away from it for a couple of weeks but realized the other day that the baby kimono I'm making for my friend needs sleeves and I'm not almost done, as I thought I was lol.gif  So I'm working on the sleeves now and it'll be done before the shower next week. On the topic of weddings: are you making a wedding shawl? I recently made "Fragile Heart" by booknits (on Ravelry) and it's gorgeous!

 

Anyway, so glad to be here, away from the drama and the constant "OMG, I think this might be it"

post #14 of 160

Dakipode - I am going to look up that pattern right now!

For a wedding shawl I've just started the Tibetian Clouds Stole: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tibetan-clouds-beaded-stole

Previous to that I just completed the Yggdrasil Afgan for my husband-to-be http://www.knittingdaily.com/media/p/41042.aspx  It was a great meditation with the theme of family trees and what I want for the future. Maybe we could post pictures and share some of our projects / ideas!
 

post #15 of 160
Thread Starter 

Oh, that shawl is gorgeous. It makes me want to get back into sewing, which I really enjoyed while I was doing it. Maybe I can work on something little during this or the next 2ww to busy my hands.

 

This morning I am feeling so cross and moody. I don't know if I want to roar like a mama lion or cry myself into a puddle. I am upset about everything all at once: at my clothes that don't fit, my failed career, our precarious financial situation, our messy/filthy house. It is a beautiful, bright morning and I have lovely things to look forward to (farmer's market! yay!) but all I can think about is walking around in ill-fitting pants.

 

Hmm. I just figured out that I want/need water. Like, not just to drink, but to swim in. Maybe I'll see if the fam wants to take a little trip to the beach. It's supposed to be hot today.

 

Thank you all for writing so my grumpy self has something positive to read this morning! Love you!

post #16 of 160

I am heading out of the house now, but this sounds like a great idea for me.  The past 4 months I have OBSESSED about everything and tested starting at 7dpo.  I am not temping now, so that will be easy for me, but boy do I 'symptom' obsess.  I will be back later.

 

Thank you so much for creating this space (and some great ideas for helping with the obsession).

post #17 of 160

In a sense I think having gone absolutely crazy last cycle makes it easier now to tone down my over-scrutinizing of so-called symptoms. I tell myself: "remember, when you're in 2WW everything is a symptom" and then I can let it go.

 

zenquaker, I'm sorry you're feeling so raw this morning. My (unsolicited) advice is to allow yourself these feelings, do not suppress them, that never helps me, rather go into them fully, if possible throw a tantrum and then laugh about it later... winky.gif I wish you a wonderful day!

post #18 of 160
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm still feeling crappy. I did do some things I like, but by in large today was all about seeking ways to restore my energy and balance and instead having it depleted. I did get to take a nap, and that helped a bit, as did grocery shopping, which makes me feel good about being ready for the work week.

 

Late afternoon/evening while hubs is out with friends is all about getting ready for his birthday tomorrow. He has been really stressed out by the disaster that is our basement (he does all our laundry, so every day he has to put up with tripping over stuff and just generally feeling stressed by the mess), so my son and I cleaned it. Tonight I will make his favorite spinach pies in preparation for his birthday lunch. And I am going to try to do a little cleaning and neatening to help him feel good about being home.

 

I am hoping all of these things bring me calm and keep my mind off these last few days. Tomorrow is the day I would normally start spotting, and with the Clomid I have no idea what's going to happen. I am trying to breathe and take one moment at a time.

 

Hopefully I will wake up not so grumpy!

 

How is everyone else doing, whatever the point in her cycle?

post #19 of 160

Zenquaker - thanks for posting this and starting this thread. It's really where I need my mindset to be. We are just beginning our 3rd tww since ttc #2, and I've been a mess for the previous 2 cycles. For no good reason. We have absolutely no deadline riding on this pregnancy. And, honestly, I could use to step back and evaluate my own health & lifestyle before going through pregnancy again.

 

I'm just finishing a very stressful part of my life and am preparing to enter a part that should be less stressful and should allow for me to focus on myself and my family - finally! I think your suggestions on handling the 2ww would be a wonderful addition to this transition and a great way to kickstart my mental attitude on the whole thing. So, thanks again and I look forward to getting to know the rest of you on this thread. Good luck!

post #20 of 160

zenquaker - sorry you are/ were having a tough time. I concur dakipode's idea. Sometimes you just have to embrace the feelings so that you can go through the motions and let them go. Sometimes I find the longer I try to surpress them the longer they linger (much like trying not to be excited about something just builds up until you allow yourself to be over the moon).

 

I can also relate to how you're feeling. I am in the process of so many life changes (marriage, moving back to Canada, moving my life, cats, partner to Canada, leaving my career with uncertainty if I will find another one (unlikely) when I get back... etc. Sometimes when I find I really need to acknowledge some anxieties or concerns I will do something like a full moon ceremony for myself. I follow moon cycles and natural holidays (like winter solstice, etc). Basically during a full moon I think of the things that are really bothering me, or things that I have spent too much time on and decide that they are 'complete', as in, the anxiety I have has reached it's climax and it is time to go away. I write each concern on a piece of paper and one by one burn it. Now I know that everyone here comes with different religious / spiritual backgrounds so this might not be a ceremony others want to participate in but I've included as an example of physically letting things go. For those who are curious I also use the new moon as a time to focus on what I wish to cultivate in my life.

 

As for me, well three days into my latest cycle and my af is acting strange. Extra heavy, crampy, etc. I am taking this time to pull back on some of my crazy social life and focus on just eating and sleeping healthy, knitting my wedding shawl, enjoying my last few weeks as a teacher at a job I adore and getting ready for the big shift. I tell myself that maybe my strange cycles are a reaction to the unhealthy food and environment here. As much as I eat the right foods (fruits, vegetables, beans and grains make up most of my diet) the food in China just isn't as healthy. Health standards, farming standards, pesticide standards, air quality just aren't the same and despite eating well, I would not be very surprised to learn my cycles were affected by the air, water and food pollution. I have decided that if I am not pregnant by the time I arrive back in Canada I am going to go on a 10 day juice cleanse (I've done them before) and give myself an extra jump start to purging the junk out of my system. I'm gearing up to O in aproximately two weeks and I expect it to go rather quickly since I'm so busy. I think I am going to take this time to just try to get as much stuff as done as possible so that after I O, there is less stress on my body and mind during the 2ww.

 

So that's where I'm at.

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