I invented a new game today and it’s called “Am I Pregnant or Just A Lunatic?”  The rules are as follows:

First, create two lists (you could call one something like “Pregnant” and and the other something like “Lunatic”).  Under these headers, list all the reasons you feel you could be filed under each category.  The header that gleans the longest list is the winner.  Let’s play!


1) Waves of mild nausea all week.  This ranges from feeling very slightly upset to full-on gagging while driving in the car.

2) Acid reflux/heartburn.  Again, just mild enough to be noticeable.

3) Persistent low cramping.  Occasional uterine (?) pinching.  Uncomfortable and near constant, but mild.

4) Currently on day two of mild congestion and sneezing.  This is unusual because when I get sick (and it is rare), it goes from zero to hero pretty quickly.  I usually get about two hours warning (itchy nose, sore throat, etc.) before I have a full-blown head cold.  I’ve had very slight, cyclical symptoms for about 36 hours now.

5) Mood swings.  I’ve had three different, unnecessary fights with my husband today.

6) Crying for no reason.  I’m a pretty emotional person, but I’m currently out of control.  For instance, I just had to pause writing this post because I was listening to a particularly mellow song and burst into tears when I made eye contact with my husband.  I sobbed for about 60 seconds and then came right back to the computer, totally fine.


1) Mild nausea.  Psychosomatic.

2) Mild acid reflux/heartburn.  Psychosomatic.

3) Mild persistent low cramping.  Psychosomatic.

4) Mild cold symptoms.  Psychosomatic.

5) Mood swings.  Lunatic.

6) Crying for no reason.  No explanation necessary.


Okay, so that was a wash.  I could very well be a pregnant lunatic, I guess.  I took a cheap Target brand pregnancy test this morning, because I found it under the sink and was excited (I thought I was all out) and because I have zero patience (I was supposed to wait until Monday/Tuesday.  It hasn’t even been 12 days since I ovulated).

It was negative.




I’m about to be hugely hypocritical.  I know this.  Not three days ago I was publicly shaming people for referring to sex as “baby dancing,” and now I’m about to share with you that I too am uncomfortable with a term in the conception lexicon: I am too immature to hear about other women’s cervical mucus (or CM).  For some reason, nothing skeeves me out more than reading a daily log of what someone else’s discharge looked like.

Just writing the word discharge makes me feel gross.

I guess I’m not the open-minded tree hugger I thought I was.  I will accept everything about you except your discussion of your CM.  That’s just too much.

Not only do I feel like a disgusting voyeur reading about it – I also feel like the only woman in the history of homo sapiens who is completely not qualified to assess that particular bodily function.  Women actually study this?  This is a real thing?  I can’t.

I apologize, all.  BD away.

Non Sequitor.

We have two cats and a very rambunctious dog.  This is what everything in our house looks like all the time:

After living with progressively worse versions of this mini-blind disaster for months (actual months), this weekend, I had had enough.  I went to IKEA and spent $30 and “invested” in some curtains.

I’m aware that that picture is really, really bad.  I tried to lighten it on my phone, but surprisingly, a terrible photo is a terrible photo with or without the help of Instagram.

After the blinds came down and the curtains went up, I felt immediately more adult.  I now have a living room, not a glorified altar to what a terrible dog trainer I am.  It’s the best thirty bucks I’ve spent in a long time.

I’ve also collected all the weird tchotchkes from around the house and put them by the TV.  Why did I do this?  Mostly because I like their descending height order and I am tired of cats vaulting their bodies off the TV stand, threatening to send the television flying into the ground.  (Intellectually, I know that a ten-pound cat can’t knock a pedestaled TV to the floor, but honestly, these animals can open drawers to shed on clean clothes, throw up food I haven’t fed them and eat perfectly round holes in all my softest sweaters, so I’ve learned that when inviting beasts to live in your house, expect the unexpected.)

My husband hates those fake hydrangeas.  Sadly, I can’t have real flowers in the house or the cats will eat all their petals off.


Another handy abbreviation internet conception threads use is “DPO,” meaning “days past ovulation.”  This explains the title of this post.  It is also only slightly less annoying than “BD,” which is short for “baby dance,” which is a silly euphemism for “I had a lot of sex right before and right after I ovulated because I’m trying to get pregnant.”  Dudes (or Ladies, rather), if you’re posting all over the internet that you’re trying to have a baby, I think we’re all aware that there is some sexy time happening.  I find it interesting that some people can talk really freely about their third-degree vaginal tear and yet are still too embarrassed to use the word “sex.”  (Am I judgmental jerk face?  Answer: probably always.)

So.  8DPO.  How am I feeling?  Well, up until this very morning, I was feeling a whole lot of nothing at all.  There are websites (such as the Two Week Wait) that allow you to compare your symptoms every day with symptoms experienced by other women who are trying to conceive (TTC, if you’ll recall from a few posts ago).  I haven’t been keeping a detailed log – mostly because I am 100% positive that that would make me overanalyze so intensely I would already feel a baby kick.  I have been blissfully coasting through the last week, hoping to make it unscathed to next Monday, the 1st, when I can take a pregnancy test and then go see my doctor.  (I love that two weeks post-ovulation just happens to be the same day as the OBGYN appointment I scheduled weeks ago.  My life is never that convenient.)

For the past two or three days, I’ve been having the low, pinching cramps I’d never experienced pre-Provera/Clomid, and some might read those as “implantation cramps,” but I’ve had those before and they were simply a reaction to all the weird synthetic hormones I’ve been pumping into my body (or taking away from my body, in the case of birth control), so I’m going to say those are void.  Again, could be pregnant, could be barren.

However, last night and this morning I’ve developed what can be said to be the most universal symptom of early pregnancy: wanting to vomit on everything.  I woke up in the middle of the night last night feeling crappy and then very nearly threw up inside the dryer when I bent down to pull some clothes out this morning (Yes.  Sometimes we don’t empty the dryer and instead just take clothes out of it every day until it magically empties itself.  We’re gross.).  I could be pregnant or this could be a reaction to my eating movie theater popcorn and seasoned curly fries for dinner last night.

I am now posed with the age-old question: is it a baby or am I just super disgusting?


Yesterday, I got some annoying graduate school news (i.e. I now know it will take me the rest of my life to finish this degree that means nothing), so I’m currently stress-eating M&Ms and waiting for my husband to get home so I can go stress-eat some Indian food.  I’m trying hard (really, I am) to remain in the present.  I have a fabulous husband, a great family, crazy awesome friends, a job I love, lots of education and a cute little house.  However, it seems pretty easy for me to pick apart all those amazing things and find their inevitable faults: the job pays too little, the education put me in debt with little to no promise of pay off and the little house is a rental.

Being happy in the present is getting more difficult the older I get and the faster time seems to go.  How can I not worry about what will happen in two years when it will be two years from now SO SOON?  Additionally, I’m struggling with being satisfied with (and grateful for) what I already have without feeling like I’m settling for something less than what I can achieve.  Quite frankly, I think living in LA is doing this to me, which is a large part of why I want to move out of the area.  Owning an actual house is impossible for us (as we’re both teachers and a one-bedroom condo in the city goes for about $400,000) and every single person I interact with on a daily basis is a millionaire (like, actually.  I work at a very tiny, very wealthy private school).  I don’t want to be an investment banker or a commodities trader or an entertainment lawyer – every single thing I want to be when I grow up is fiscally irresponsible – but those are the kinds of jobs that get people established in LA.  I feel like this is both putting a ceiling on how successful I feel I can be and blowing my expectations for what is normal and necessary way out of proportion.  I do not need (or want) a house in the Hollywood Hills, two Range Rovers and a wardrobe of ugly, hideously expensive Hermes belts, but I find myself feeling crappy about my accomplishments because I don’t have those things.

What I really want is lots of open space, a house big enough for cozy family parties and enough money to (eventually) pay off my stupid, stupid loans.  A girl can dream.

I’m making this my mantra:


I am absolutely thrilled to know that I am capable of ovulating (albeit with some chemical help).  I was literally BEAMING all Monday night, as if that smiley face was a positive pregnancy test.  I called my husband over to marvel at it and then skipped around the house like a nutcase.  I am excited.  I am over the moon.  There is no denying that.

I am also, all kidding aside, really, really terrified.  I’ve been off birth control since May, I’ve been to doctors, I’ve had tests, I’ve taken Clomid, and yet now, it feels like it is really happening for the first time.  I read somewhere (again, I’m doing a great job with citations) that about 30% of women on Clomid get pregnant the first time they use it (up from about 25% of women who get pregnant the first time they try to conceive naturally).  So, there’s a higher chance that I don’t conceive this month than that I do.  (And honestly, I think just knowing my insides are functional would be totally enough this month.  If that’s all I get.)  However, I am, by actually ovulating for probably the first time since I met my husband six years ago, stacking the odds in favor of conception and that is both fantastically exciting and paralyzingly scary.

Does everyone feel this way?  Overanalyzing makes me feel equal parts inadequate and totally healthy.  I mean, who wouldn’t think this is scary?

Finally, I had half of a 12 ounce pumpkin spice latte today before becoming convinced I had just ruined our conception chances for this month by getting juiced on caffeine.  The conception hypochondria continues.  All is right with the world.


I’m suffering from mittelschmerz!!!

Today, September 17, 2012, marks the first day in the history of my life that I have been able to “read my body.”  Thank you, lower back pain, for allowing me to accurately predict something happening to my own body for the first time ever.

I am so proud of my little ovaries-that-could that I’m choosing not to think about how both sides of my back hurt, meaning that, according to the internet, both of my ovaries could be prepping eggs.  I have never felt so much glee and so much terror at the same time.


Two posts in one day!  This is craziness.

I mostly just need to share this incredible factoid I found while googling “back pain and ovulation” (are you shocked?).  According to, “Lower back pain associated with ovulation is known as “mittelschmerz,” which comes from the German words for “middle” and “pain.”

Mittelschmerz.  The more you know.

I’m now even more desperate to know whether or not I’m ovulating because I can’t wait to tell people I’m suffering from mittelschmerz.


There is nothing new to report on the “trying to conceive” (TTC) front, aside from the fact that I am now on cycle day 13 (CD 13) and my lower back is killing me.  I’m not prone to back pain and I haven’t been lifting heavy objects (as I usually completely ignore any and all physical activity) and the pain, while considerable, is pretty localized to just inside my two hip bones and doesn’t feel muscle-y, if that make sense.  (I had to stop myself from writing “the pain is pretty localized to just medial to both ilium,” although I didn’t do a very thorough job because I just wrote it anyway.)  I’m thinking this is either a Clomid side effect (as in: it is melting my insides) or a sign that I’m about to ovulate.  Again, it could either be one thing or something completely different.  So much certainty.

Aside from beginning the use of Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests this week, I have also started itching to get out of Southern California.  Big time.  At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to Single White Female Fertile Myrtle, her decision to move somewhere less expensive, less crowded and hugely more scenic and adorable is making me jealous.  Plus, she’ll be renting a house more than twice the size of ours here for about $600 less a month.  My cousin fled Santa Monica about eight years ago and now owns a fabulous house next to pumpkin patches, apple orchards and blueberry farms.  Also, they actually have fall and snow eventually, which is nice to fantasize about since it’s been 102* here for six weeks.

It’s all really exciting to think about, but in reality, I’m not sure I could ever really make such a huge move.  I had the incredible good fortune to grow up five minutes from my mom’s parents and now they are two of my best friends.  My grandma’s sisters, my great aunts, are my favorite drinking buddies.  I’m sure I would still have adored them had I grown up farther away, because they are fantastic, but I’m also sure I wouldn’t be as close to them.  Now that I’m (hopefully) on the road to pregnancy, I’m not entirely convinced that moving my children a plane ride away from all these people would improve our quality of life.

Proof that my grandfather is one of the coolest people I know.

However, on days like Friday, when a wildfire broke out on the most congested freeway in LA at rush hour and closed down most alternate routes out of the city, thus making my commute of seven miles take two hours, I am ready to pack a bag and book a flight.

Helllllllllllo, two-hour commute!

(In my defense, no people were injured and no homes were damaged, so I feel justified in my complaining.)

Other news:

The husband and I drove down to San Diego on Saturday to have lunch with his mom and her fiance (whom she originally met and fell in love with 43 years ago – it could legitimately be a Nicholas Sparks novel) and just as I was about to pop an edamame bean into my mouth, I noticed it came with a friend:

This is a terrible photo and does not do justice to James in the Giant Edamame.

Lesson here: always be on the lookout for edamame worms.  I didn’t even know this was a thing.

I wore a cheap watch that aggravated my nickel allergy and have had this rash for three days:


Finally, on Saturday, our dog had apparently had it with our cheap blinds and our reluctance to commit to curtain rods, so she made the decision for us: