After five months of being possibly-infertile, I think I have a good handle on how I can expect my cycle to go. No, not the physical parts (if this month's experience has taught me anything, it's that I have absolutely no clue what my body's doing at any given point in time). I'm talking about the emotional cycle. It goes something like this:
Day 1: The period strikes. Muted whining and gnashing of teeth, as its arrival only serves to confirm what my obsessive testing last cycle already told me.
Days 2-5: Obsess over how we're going to handle the current cycle -- clomid? fertility dances? Kidnapping?
Days 5-10: Think about other things and generally act like a normal human being. Also, drink freely, as there is no chance that I'll be scrambling anybody's brains.
Days 10-15: Ovulation Watch begins! Test saliva 2-3x a day, pee on sticks, analyze every single twitch and twinge, wondering if they're ovulation pains.
Days 15-19: Act like a mostly-normal human being, albeit one who is suddenly very diligent about taking folic acid.
Days 20-24: Knocked-up watch commences. M just jumped on my chest and it hurt -- I have sore boobs! I'm pregnant! The trash smells terrible -- I have super-smell! I'm pregnant! In between fits of being absolutely convinced I'm pregnant, remind myself that I'm probably, actually not. This is when I most closely resemble someone who deserves a straight jacket and meds.
Days 25-28: Single-handedly keeping the pregnancy test industry running. I test at least twice during this time. The first test is the hope-shattering one, and I usually spend the rest of the day stomping around and snarling. The second test usually comes two days later, the day before my period is due. In the ensuing time, I've usually managed to convince myself I could still be pregnant, and I tested too early the first time. I rationalize testing rather than waiting for my period by thinking that, if I am pregnant, wouldn't it be better to know that RIGHT NOW than wait anxiously for another day? Test two's stubborn refusal to be positive is usually what brings the tears, whining, and the dead certainty that M is destined to be an only child.
And then we're back to the beginning.
For what it's worth, I'm now on day 22, in the thick of convincing myself I'm pregnant. So far, I've been incredibly weepy (but then again, I have Jon & Kate Plus 8 on the Tivo. I defy anyone to watch that show and not cry, either out of sentiment or sheer terror). But really, that's my only "symptom" so far this month. Not that it's stopping me from getting my hopes up -- I think it's the worst this month than it's been since my HSG cycle. I keep trying to pull back and remind myself that just because we happen to know that the timing was right this month doesn't actually solve the underlying problem. Still, I am bracing myself for a rotten week.
All of this boils down to the following advice -- you're probably going to want to look elsewhere for sunshine and daisies this week. (because up 'till now, everything's been so positive).