First of all, you still need to pray for Ann, please. (I felt guilty posting anything above that, and then I realized that I could link to it. Someday, I will truly master the internet.)
I can't really claim, though, that I have anything interesting to say. I do need to respond to the many interesting responses to my recent rant about IF/mommy bloggers and the transition and so forth. I am going to do this (or at least intend to and feel guilty about failing to do so).
In brief, I will note now, as I remember a few things off the top of my head: Ann noted that she actually does not like "baby mentioned" warnings and labels. This possibility had not crossed my mind, and makes clear that there actually is not a please-everyone solution available. So, um, I need to ratchet it back a bit, apparently. AYWH chimed in to note that as an IF-only blogger, she didn't read mommy blogs at all and never expected childless IF bloggers to read hers. An eminently fair approach and entirely above criticism, I must say. And I truly appreciate the honesty.
You should also know that if you plan to be in DC in the next few weeks, Saturday, November 6 would be a great time for that. The DC (primarily) Catholic infertility support group will be meeting once again! If you're interested, drop me an email and I will give you the details. I am very excited.
I have scaled back my analysis of FF from "pure evil" to "highly objectionable." It now concedes that I have probably ovulated at least twice in the last few months, but refuses to commit itself to a date. Whatever. In any case, I believe that interested parties can view my chart here. Charting has been an education for me this month. First of all, I was so sure that my post-peak temps were not as much higher as they ought to be, and that the days of suppressed temperatures corresponded directly to the days I was sick with a cold (almost completely over it now). But fever increases your temperature, obviously, so I was confused. Dr. Google set me straight: if you breathe through your mouth all night, your temperature will drop a smidge. Sure enough, I had been unable to breathe through my nose. Mystery solved.
I don't know how much that helps with the other mystery, though. For the last handful of cycles, I've had 2-4 days of spotting before the start of a new cycle. That had never happened to me before. It's all light red (no brown at all), so I'm not sure it matches up with the dreaded TEBB about which I've heard so much. I believe I've heard spotting attributed to either pelvic infection or low progesterone. I don't think I have an infection (especially a new one), and my progesterone was low before I had this symptom, so I don't really know what to make of it. I will ask at my upcoming appointment (the one at which I request the depo); perhaps there is some test that will solve the mystery.
Anyway, a further wrinkle was added to the mystery this round. I maintain peak day was CD10 (you may disagree, but I note that I've always had a lag between peak day and a temperature spike). It could have been as late as CD12. Starting on CD15, I have had very slight true-red spotting. It hasn't really increased, but it's been there every day. I'm now on CD22. That's a lot of spotting, people. And it started WAY early. I think the earliest I've had it before is starting on CD19, with a peak day of CD12 that cycle, and only 3-4 days of spotting before a new CD1. This is eight running days. What the heck is up with that? I don't even really have an intelligent theory.
Here's the part that's no mystery at all. A sane, rational person exposed to the facts of my reproductive health would deduce (after concluding immediately that I should give up on having children and commit myself to a useful life of raising parakeets) that I am generally not fertile at all, and that in certain cycles when an unaccustomed phenomenon appears, I have zero chance of conception rather than just approaching zero. The stars are badly aligned for me in the first place; defects and irregularities are insuperable obstacles (whereas for the proverbial pregnant crack whore, they merely present a sort of sporting challenge).
I like to think of myself as a sane, rational person. The total inaccuracy of this notion is demonstrated by the fact that I do not draw these sane, rational, obvious conclusions. What do I think when I see a menstrual irregularity that indicates the total absence of a normal, healthy cycle? Say it with me, now: I must be pregnant. What else (other than endometriosis, adenomyosis, hydrosalpinx, ovarian cysts, massive scar tissue, hypothyroidism, low ovarian reserve, a retroverted uterus, and a progesterone deficiency, naturally) could possibly explain the sudden onset of a new symptom? Of course, I could be getting sicker in some new way, or this could just be an intermittent defect; something a sane, rational person would realize is almost inevitable in a system as broken as mine. Those possibilities are the only two realistic ones.
They haven't made a dent in my obsession. I am generally pretty good about this; at least, I try to make myself forget where I am in my cycle long enough to miss most of any 2ww, and that seems to keep me sane(r). I know our timing was pretty good this month. I also know that the spotting in the last few months is hardly a sign of improvement, but eventually I did decide that I was going to combat it with some topical progesterone I bought years ago and never used up. I've been using that since the spotting started this cycle, but the spotting hasn't stopped. Perhaps I'm just postponing the next cycle, and I would otherwise have had three days of spotting and an 18-day cycle?
I know this is possible, and that if it is true, I am more or less wasting my life by continuing to postpone CD1. However, I can't disassociate the spotting-as-sign-that-cycle-is-defective from spotting-as-sign-of-miscarriage in my head. I wasn't pregnant on CD15, and I sure as heck wasn't losing a pregnancy. There's no way. But it doesn't matter. Until a new cycle starts, I can maintain an irrational, baseless, and emotionally harmful hope of a pregnancy. If I were actually pregnant, it would be essential to supplement with progesterone, because while that can't cure a defective cycle, it actually could stave off a miscarriage (if I were lucky). So, to prevent the termination of my delusion of pregnancy, I have to keep it up with the progesterone. It all makes sense, right?
I feel I should get credit for trying to be sane. I haven't bought an HPT in months ("Doctor, I don't even keep alcohol in the house!"), and I am not planning to start now. But I know I don't get a lot of credit for that, because I'm on CD22. While my usual is around 25 days, it varies plenty, and I'd have to be on CD29 at least before I had any good reason to spent the $10. Plus I'm only 12 days post-peak; nothing is overdue.
Except, probably, therapy. Sigh.