Countdown to TTC for baby #2: our timeline

My wife has started reminding me with increasing frequency that she wants another kid, and although we talk about it as something way down the road (“some day…”), there are a lot of moving pieces in our timeline and I think we need to be clear about all of the variables.

We’re still not planning to have another baby until I’ve finished my PhD, gotten a job, and have worked at that job long enough to be eligible for maternity leave. But the shortest estimated end-date for my PhD is about one year from today, and you only need to work about 3 months (600 hours) to qualify for maternity leave in my province. If I were lucky and got a job just a couple of months out of school, we could technically be birthing baby #2 a year and a half from now (*HARD GULP* – did not realize the shortest timeline was so short…).

And now for the longest (more realistic) timeline estimate. I would very much like to have baby #2 before I’m 35 – I already feel limited by my age when I’m too tired or stiff to keep up with my toddler (*side note: not all 35 year olds feel as old as I do and plenty of moms older than 35 can keep up with toddlers just fine). I’ll be 35 in July 2020. It takes 10 months to grow a baby from conception; therefore, I’d like to be working on conceiving baby #2 by early next fall (2019), which also happens to be about the time I hope to be starting a job. Yikes – when I lay it out like that we’re really cutting it close to the start of my future career. Sorry, future employer. And let’s hope I can actually find a job right away…

If we follow through on our plan for reciprocal IVF, it takes time to go through the planning, appointments, plus the 6-month sperm quarantine for a known donor. Let’s work backwards to see when we need to start the ball rolling:

June 2020 – Have baby #2. I’ll be about to turn 35, and Avery will be about to turn 4.

October 2019 – Conceive baby #2.

March 2019 – Put our donor’s sperm on ice and wait 6 months for him to get re-tested for STIs. Following testing, IVF can be done.

September 2018 – Start talking to our donor about going through the more intensive donor process for IVF, start researching reciprocal IVF.

So it looks like I have about 6 more carefree months before TTC research consumes my brain again! And I thought I was consumed by research on at-home insemination…. IVF is a whole new ballgame that I never thought I’d have to learn about. Maybe I can convince my wife to take the lead on research this time.

*Edit to say that I got my age wrong in the above calculations… I will be 32 this summer, not 33. Sheesh. So add a year to the longest possible timeline.


Definitely pregnant

We bought two more brands of test to confirm the results we got yesterday…


I am finally starting to believe it.

Here is how the whole thing went down…

Christmas Eve we spent at my sister-in-law’s house. My period was due that day, so every time I went to the bathroom my heart would race with fear that it would arrive… As the day turned into evening and my period hadn’t arrived yet, it became more and more difficult to suppress the excitement. That night neither my wife nor I slept very well… I was awake most of the night with light pms-like cramps, worrying like crazy that my period was on its way, just a little late.

In the morning, Christmas morning, it took all of the courage I could summon to get up and go to the bathroom. No period. I peed in a cup. Still no period. When my wife got up a few minutes later we cracked open our box of tests and dipped. I went back to bed and felt certain it would be bad news. When my wife walked back to the bathroom to check, she could see the strong plus sign from the hallway. We spent the next few minutes in shock…

Then we brought the test to bed with us and cuddled and let the nervous excitement wash over us.

We told our immediate families and best friends right away. We told my parents in person because we were going to see them that day. We wrapped the test like a Christmas present and told them to open it first. My dad saw it first and said “is it a toothbrush?” Clearly he wasn’t familiar with the brand name Clear Blue. Then my mom shrieked and cried and my dad wasn’t long to get what was going on. Later in the day my mom kept warning us that it is super early and we shouldn’t get too excited, but I say Fuck That.

During the TTC part of our journey I was a negative Nelly. I was pessimistic and full of dread and concern. And it wasn’t pleasant. I couldn’t see the light at end of the tunnel until it smacked me in the face. There is a light there, no matter what path you end up on. So I want to do this pregnancy thing differently. I want to let myself be excited. I want to let myself dream and plan for the future. If miscarriage happens, we will deal with it when we have to. But if this pregnancy is the one, if this sticks, I want to enjoy every minute of it.

We are 4 weeks pregnant. Our baby is the size of a Poppy seed. Wow. Just, wow.

TTC Cycle 3 updates

I have no updates worthy of a blog post, but I’m starting to obsess so I’m going to write about all the nothing that has been going on.

It is 11DPO. I have had no symptoms. I probably could have imagined some symptoms if I really wanted to, but I have learned that most of the sensations I think are symptoms are sensations I get all the time but don’t make anything of if I’m not looking for something to cling to…

I am trying to prepare myself for a Christmas Eve BFN. I think we should take a test in the morning of Christmas Eve so I don’t have to deal with the surprise of AF while we are with family for dinner that night. And although I really don’t want to let myself get excited, testing in the morning COULD mean that we would be able to share good news with family.

Although this post probably sounds pretty negative, I am actually feeling a lot better than I was during my last post. I think I have successfully lowered my expectations enough to reduce the intensity of the disappointment that would come from a Christmas BFN. Last month I was really convinced that I was pregnant. That was rough. I have learned to protect myself.

However, as the days past ovulation tick by, it is getting harder and harder to keep my mind from wandering to “what if”…

The dread of this wait

My wife wants me to stop worrying and stop being pessimistic about conceiving, but for some reason it is a lot easier for her than me. It is 5dpo and I am filled with dread about getting my period on Christmas Eve or Christmas. I initially thought it would be cool to have a Christmas test date, because we would either haveĀ a very happy Christmas surprise, or I would be able to enjoy the libations to the full extent. Now, I’m just worried. Will this ruin Christmas for me? Can I buck up and not let it ruin Christmas for me, or will the emotions and disappointment be too much to control on this family and child centric holiday?

We are spending Christmas Eve with my sister-in-law who is 6 months pregnant. And here is where I admit that my green-eyed-monster has come out of the depths of my subconscious at only cycle 3 of trying… Pitiful! My sister-in-law tried for almost 2 years to conceive, and required 2 IUIs. This pregnancy did not come easy for her. And yet, I am finding it hard to revel in the excitement of her pregnancy. She asked if I wanted to come over the day before Christmas Eve and have a sleepover. I am ashamed of this, but I don’t want to be reminded of the fact that the first grand-baby will be born into the family in 3 months, and we may still be TTC in 3 months.

Why does TTC do this to us? Why does it strip us of joy and excitement? Even when we get pregnant we are often too afraid of miscarriage to let ourselves get excited. Why does it make us pessimistic and obsessive? There is a reassuring statistic that when intercourse/insemination is well timed with ovulation, the chance of getting pregnant in 3 cycles is as high as 68%! But all I can think about is the 15-20% chance of it working each new time we try. Like my stats prof used to say, dice have no memory. My ovaries have no memory. Statistically, there is no magical cumulative effect that adds 15-20% to your chances each month.

Ugh, I have to get out of this funk. I feel like I have no right to be so pessimistic and jealous because we have been trying for such a short amount of time. I think that the difference between my wife and I when it comes to our patience level is that I have been pushing and planning for this since last Christmas. I wanted to start trying then, whereas my wife has only recently gotten into the whole idea. I’ve only had to deal with the disappointment of failed cycles twice, but I have been riding the emotional rollercoaster for a lot longer. Anyway, I shouldn’t be trying so hard to make excuses for myself. Time to cheer the fuck up.

I want to end this with a hopeful statement, that maybe this will be our month and we will have a very merry Christmas. But I am too afraid.

TTC Cycle 3: The Two Week Wait Commences

We did our first insemination on Thursday at 6pm, and I thought it would be good to use a SoftCup so I could get up and be productive for the rest of the evening. I tried putting it in after we had done the deed, and I think most of the goods ended up getting pushed underneath the SoftCup… when I got up, let’s just say it didn’t do its job holding anything in…

Second insem was Friday night, and third was this morning. Still no temp spike, but I had 2 days of positive OPKs Thursday and Friday, so I am sure ovulation is happening right now, like clockwork, CD19. After confirming an annovulatory cycle in September, though, I am always a little nervous that I won’t consistently ovulate every cycle.

Today we are going to a vintage and makers market to look for some Christmas gifts from local artists, and then we are going to Costco to look for some Christmas presents from a big box store. Good balance. We are also going out of town tonight to a stay at a friend’s house, so I will be packing my thermometer and hoping for a temp spike tomorrow morning.

Gingerbread Houses with our Donor Family

We are getting closer to our third try. I got a high fertility reading on my ClearBlue Advanced ovulation monitor this morning, but my intuition says that ovulation won’t happen until the weekend.

I am a lot less worked up over things this month. I’m not concerned about getting enough water, I’m still indulging in alcohol and sugary deliciousness instead of trying to make my body into some temple of fertile purity…I’m just living my life, with fingers crossed behind my back.

We had our donor and his family over for dinner on Sunday and we all made gingerbread houses. Here’s a picture of my first and only gingerbread-making experience prior to this weekend, at about age 3:


And here are the houses my wife and I made as adults. We have lost all of the imagination and creativity of childhood, and strived for the most realistic looking houses we could make with the meagre building tools we had at our disposal. I also got very competitive, but luckily it is common practice to let the [actual] child in the room win, so it took some of my competitive edge off.

I am now on my Christmas break, officially. Still answering lots of student emails, a pile of marking is on its way, and I have 3 manuscripts to finish over the break. Not as much of a break as I had hoped, but it will sure feel nice to get some things on the back burner dealt with.

Next update will be about inseminations, round 3!