Raise your hand if you’re a control freak….

IUI 2.2 was this morning (we’re trying twice each cycle).  And the whole process has me thinking a lot about what it’s like to be the prospective non-bio-mom this time around.

When I was the one we were trying to get pregnant, I took my temperature at the same time each morning and recorded it, starting at least a month before our first attempt and continuing through both months of trying.  When I thought we were getting close to ovulation, I used OPKs multiple times a day.  I knew that temp charts weren’t so helpful at predicting ovulation, but only told you after the fact when it might have happened.  But the charting was important to me anyway.  “This might be good information to have at some point,” I thought.

Looking back, I think this need for information was my way of dealing with the fact that so much of this process is not in my control.  I knew that the odds of getting pregnant each cycle weren’t all that high, even if the timing was completley perfect.  But it still felt important to keep track of all of these details and painstakingly record them on little charts.  Maybe all of the information would help us get the timing exactly right.  This obsession wasn’t necessarily bad.  It didn’t require anyone else’s consent or assistance, and all of the information might have been helpful if I had had problems getting pregnant.  But I ended up being incredibly lucky and getting pregnant on the second cycle, and the timing of that was mostly determined by one positive OPK.

None of this obsession is Roo’s style.  Our doctor seems content with using daily OPKs to pinpoint ovulation, especially since Roo’s cycle is pretty regular.  And if he says it’s fine, that works for her.  This has led to some struggles between her more low-key approach and my desire to control and measure and record everything.  It’s her body, and she’s the one who would have to do whatever additional tracking we are considering.  But the baby would be ours, and it’s our money that’s financing each expensive try.  So how much say do I get in what we’re doing?  And how much do we just do what seems to be enough for now, without worrying about what information we might need down the line?  Given that she got pregnant last month, just doing what we’re doing seems to be working just fine.  But it’s hard for me to let go of the need to obsessively collect information. 

I should add that there’s another major reason this go-round is different than the one 3+ years ago:  the fact that we already have a kid.   We’re way more tired than we were last time around, and therefore have less time and energy to devote to the whole process.  Even if I were the one whose cycles we were tracking, the idea of setting an alarm every morning (including days when there’s a chance Tadpole will sleep in) sounds pretty unappealing.  So I can certainly understand Roo not being excited about that prospect.

One of the other ways that having Roo be the bio-mom this time around is different is that whatever pregnancy symptoms occur are happening in her body.  There are ways in which this is really good for me.  During the last two week wait, it was nice to not be able to analyze every little twinge or bodily function looking for signs of pregnancy.  But it was also hard.  I wanted to feel a part of things, and to know what she was experiencing (and what that might mean about our chances that this cycle had worked).  So it was difficult being away from her (and all of her symptoms)  all day when we were at work.   I had to decide how many times a day to ask her about how she was feeling; should I send her multiple emails a day asking her to detail every sensation?  Probably not. But what about asking as soon as I came in the door?  Or should I just wait for her to mention things?  We were also both trying to be low-key about the whole process and not obsess about symptoms.  But was just talking about them okay?

As a side note, there were several times in the last few weeks when I had a moment of wondering if a particular twinge I experienced was a pregnancy symptom–before remembering that that would be pretty unlikely since my last exposure to sperm was more than three years ago…



Filed under TTC #1, TTC #2, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Raise your hand if you’re a control freak….

  1. *raises hand* I, too, am a control freak. I was using OPKs from almost our very first cycle, back when we had no reason to think we would have a hard time, and it did provide an illusion of control. I’m in no position to advise, but I like to imagine I could kick back and let my partner decide what to share and how much to let me obsess. I bet it would be a huge struggle, though, to be the old hand at pregnancy and yet be on the outside.

    I love the sympathetic pregnancy symptoms–it’s like Couvade Syndrome! And I hope this is the last time you guys have to go through a two week wait (until you start working on #3…)

  2. i am more of roo’s thinking, at least when it comes to temping. one of the most relieving for me) moments of our ttc process was when the RE told me i could stop trying to make my charts work out and just pee on sticks. (so many variables! so much stress — which delays ovulation for me pretty predictably. all to know i *have* ovulated? i already know when i *have* ovulated; it’s prediction that is tricky.)

    given that i was not destined to conceive that easily, i’m even happier that i gave up the temping. doing all that while continuing to not get pregnant would, i’m sure, have driven me completely around the bend.

    • Thanks for your sharing your perspective on all of this. It makes a lot of sense. Given how weird our bodies are, it’s not very often that all of the temps and OPKs and other signals line up exactly the way they do in the textbooks. So adding the stress of trying to reconcile all of them to the already-stressful process of TTC is pretty unhelpful. Especially since the temping part doesn’t actually do squat to predict anything ahead of time.

  3. Pingback: Luck | pajamamommas

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