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Ditherers Anonymous continued.... MN lurkers welcome (you know who you are!!)

(32 Posts)
Zara1984 Tue 20-Sep-11 19:42:31

Continuing a previous thread that went cold in May... for those trying to figure out why, when and if to start TTC. All welcome - especially those of you that perpetually lurk on MN (you know who you are.... I am usually one of them) thinking that reading the forum posts will provide the magic answer about when is the "right time".

Definitions courtesy of Dr Honeypetal Sparklepants and confuseddoiordonti:

Dither: vb. def. The act of procrastination and delaying of coming to a decision regarding reproduction due to an attachment to lie-ins, working bowels and cheap holidays in term time.

Ditherer: n. def. One who is in a permanent state of flux regarding whether to procreate or not (see def. of babyometer). On the flick of a coin, may ultimately not reproduce, or bear triplets. Whatever. pl. A confusion of ditherers.

Babyometer: def. Semi-quantitative scale upon which an individuals current extent of dithering (i.e. desire to conceive) is measured, commonly red, amber or green, although reddy-amber, greeny-amber and reddy-ambery-green have been described (see def. Dithering). Caution is required during interpretation as measurement may change hourly.

Zara1984 Tue 20-Sep-11 19:52:29

Might as well out myself: since dithering earlier this year, I have been putting every spare bloody penny into paying off my mahooosive (foreign) student loan in the space of less than a year. It will be gone by the end of the year (fingers crossed).

DH and I talk about Best Baby Strategy every day like Churchill talked to his War Cabinet about Hitler. Maybe (after my remaining four months of pills run out) I won't go get a prescription for more and THEN MAYBE I will take some pre-preg vits and THEN OH MY GOD MAYBE THIS IS TERRIFYING when we go on our 3-week holiday planned in March we won't use condoms AND THEN WHO KNOWS WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN. Phew. Rather terrifying writing it all down.

My current employment contract (I'm on a fixed term contract, it's the way of the future don't you know hmm ) ends at Christmas next year. My current plan (which, like any good Ditherer and also Broody Fool, I have planned out in embarassing and excruciating detail... so much detail that I am often ashamed to tell DH) is that I will get preggers in March/April and THEN give birth, like, one week after I finish work. Because that's how it happens, right? grin DH and I were also talking the other night about having #2 (and even #3?!) right away (like, conceiving 3 months after birth) to get the "small and screaming" phase of child-rearing done at the same time. Clearly, by reading this, you know I am probably completely nuts.


Help me....

louloubellamozzarella Wed 21-Sep-11 15:50:25

... and breathe ...

Hehehe. This post so accurately summarised most of my fears about producing a sprog. Have been dithering about various factors (marriage v kids first; whether we want to get married; jobs; living here or abroad; etc; etc) for aaages.

Then we sat down a few months ago and decided that we want kids and not too old, we're always likely to have something that's up in the air (work/money etc) and that we're in an ok position financially so let's just go for it.

That led to us TTC like NOW (arrg!) Still scary but real now grin

Hope you turn your MAYBEs into WILLs when the time is right. Don't stress about it, it's really very simple. When you want to TTC enough I'm sure you'll find a way to do it (luck willing) smile

PopcornMouse Wed 21-Sep-11 16:08:20

We were textbook ditherers, always putting it off while waited for the right job/housing situation/stable lifestyle/stable illnesses (I have hypothyroidism) etc. I even came off the pill once about 2 years ago, but we wussed out and I went right back on them grin Now been properly ttc for 6 cycles!!

Talking with oneanother about it is a great start. And omfg I can't tell you how scary it is doing it without contraception to first time grin

Zara1984 Wed 21-Sep-11 19:00:00

Hoo-boy. So glad you two ladies responded... I was starting to feel like I really WAS the craziest nutter on MN. blush

popcorn OMG don't even get me STARTED on the terror that comes with the thought of doing it with no protection. DH and I are such contraception-nerds that we couldn't just maybe-let-an-accident-happen. We are either TTC or not TTC - other alternatives DO NOT COMPUTE. That would probably equal much stressing when IT WAS DESIGNATED TTC-SEX. confused

loulou I so envy you. You sat down. You discussed it fully and seriously. You made a DECISION. I'm not half the woman you are!!!

DH and I are, I have to admit, MUCH better at talking about The Baby Plan now. We were always talking about "our kids" in the abstract (and we are very open about everything else in our life), but nailing down the very specific whens, whys and hows of the making of them has been a bit harder. But there's been progress: I recently revealed to DH my ridiculous level of dither-but-immediate-broodiness (I think he got confused when I burst into tears and had a meltdown after he told me our close friends were pg a few months ago). DH also revealed his nervousness about having bad sperm (his parents took ages to conceive) and that, about 2 years ago, when we had a pregnancy scare (late period, I was REALLY not on the baby crack) he was horribly disappointed when it was a false alarm and REALLY WANTED A BABY RIGHT THEN.... but of course never told me about it. Sigh.

Right now, I like my finish paying student loan/finish up last 4 months of pills/start TTC in March/finish my job in Xmas 2012/have delightful baby and therefore complete cunning plan. DH is generally ok with it but being the big worry-wort that he is wants to think it through a bit further. I told him (half-jokingly, of course!) that in the absence of an alternative plan from his corner, the plan concocted by my feeble brain and hormonal uterus was the default plan. Hahaha! grin

DH is away this week on business and I am barely restraining myself from going and skulking round Mamas and Papas like a trenchcoated perv in an adult shop cheekily checking out M&P this evening.....

Prunella79 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:27:47

Surely the first TTC sex is the best ever - IMHO - there's the thrill of the 'danger' that conceiving had always been but the strange horniness that emerges at the thought of getting pg.

zara sounds to me like you're both ready now - if you're brain is full of it and DH has already been down the road of thinking it a good thing previously then you're close enough to start trying - at least with the idea it could well take time (if it happens sooner then that'll just have to be the right time)

DH and I haven't agreed to get pg he just agreed to me coming off the pill to see what happens before i start feeling like i've ruined chances by starting too late. but then i found MN and started to become a bit obsessed - but i don't let anyone know i hang out here, i'm pretending to all the outside world, even DH, maybe to myself that it's not really happening

louloubellamozzarella Wed 21-Sep-11 22:25:56

SO agree with you there prunella, just a shame it didn't happen for us first time, but the thrill of it is fab smile

I think most people are like this zara so you're definitely no loon.

Can I ask how old you are? If your username is anything to go by you're 27? Just wondering as I think it does make the whole decision making thing more tricky if you're both a) fairly young still but b) keen for kids whilst c) still wanting to do loads of stuff with your life. That pretty much sums up my hopes and fears but I'm determined to do this parenting thing my way and still do all the other stuff like travelling, running my own business, etc but with kids (I'm 27 if you'd not guessed...) Anyway if you're not then scratch that last para blush

Oh and I sound so mature with my decision making but I didn't mention the two years + of messing stuff up with DP and nearly breaking up cause we couldn't communicate properly with each other. I find it hard to talk about emotional stuff at the best of times so my baby talk is quite factual and not fluffy at all (even though it is in my head and in my womb!!)

It sounds to me like you're both ready especially if you've got over the difficult hurdle of talking everything through. Oh, and you have a plan which is waaay more than we have (a general idea that we'd like a baby and could probably afford nappies and a pushchair!!) Maybe imagine if you found out you were pregnant next week. How would you feel do you think? Just go with your instincts as far as you can (it is hard to imagine yourself in a situation that you've never been in before!) and then take the leap grin

Oh and let us know how you get on!

Zara1984 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:06:48

Aaaaahhhh it feels so going being about to talk about this with people rather than letting it roll around in my head. Nobody except DH (and now you lot!) knows about. I don't know, I just really don't want to talk about it with friends and family until that point in the future when I'm actually preggers!

prunella LOL I know what you mean, I would die of absolute mortification if anyone discovered my dirty broody dithery secret. Most of my friends and family think I'm the kind of person that wants to have kids years into the future, after setting up a business empire and doing the hundred other million goals I've set for myself. IF ONLY THEY KNEW. My (extremely grandchild-desirous) MIL and FIL are coming to stay with us for 7 weeks from Saturday... I will DEFINITELY have to clear the history on my computer grin!!

Anyway - loulou, yes you guessed correctly, I am 27. DH is 6 years older. Yes got LOADS of time I know but we really want to have had our first (or be pg) by the time I am 30 (and DH is 36). I'm very much like you - I'm determined to do exactly the same things as you - travelling, running my own business (I'm one of those people who can barely sit still and I have been investigating a few business ideas in some detail in the past 18 months... being at home with a baby would give me a great opportunity to work on them further!). Straight up answer: if I got preggers now I would be very very happy. Type A Personality-side Of Me Answer: Would be MOST happy if I found out I was preggers in March/April next year (so due date coincided with my employment contract winding up.... can you tell I overplan things and I used to be a solicitor hahaha?), and so I've paid off my student loan.

More morto shame that I can only admit to MNetters: Downloaded the free samples of What To Expect Before You're Expecting/When You're Expecting on my Kindle and SORELY temped to buy them (and read them in secret, like a 10-year old sneakily reading Jilly Cooper hahaha). I discovered you can watch all the One Born Every Minute episodes live on Channel 4's YouTube stream. Of course you can guess what I've been doing since I got home from work...

Of course I had the complete opposite thought when browsing ASOS on the bus and looking at covetable Whistles dresses. "God, what am I thinking! I can't have a baby now!! I can barely absolutely not anyway afford lovely clothes now!"

Anyway, an actual update of progress today. Due to aforementioned DH concern about slow/bad swimmers, I investigated semen analysis. Discovered the most affordable (but still a ripoff at €150 in total) lab (at local maternity hospital) and he was quite pleased I found it all out. He hasn't said he will get it done, but I think he will.... I told him that his task for the next month was to consider his position on Projected Baby Plan: March 2012. (Yes, that is actually what I called it via Google Chat to him).

Bloody hell I'm an eejit. Hope I can at least be of entertainment to others though... grin

Zara1984 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:18:17

Also loulou - so glad that it's worked out all right with your DP. DH and I had some REE-HEEE-HEAAAAALLLY bad years in the mid-noughties, so I know where you're coming from (both survivors of depression, and me of a fucking awful set of abusive parents who thought emotional blackmail was good parenting). Keep at the communication!! smile smile

Prunella79 Fri 23-Sep-11 09:10:17

zara i recommend using an incognito window. sad i know but i'd be mortified if anyone knew i was obsessively trying to conceive - trying to keep up a pretence off laidback nonchalance. i reckon DH suspects me of looking at dodgy websites as i keep closing pages the moment he enters a room!

moggle Fri 23-Sep-11 10:53:26

Omg this is the perfect thread for me! Finally delurked on MN yesterday after months of lurking around the pregnancy / childbirth / baby names pages…
DH and I are both 30, married for 2 yrs. Think we are pretty much there on the whole baby thing, although DH is a bit dithery about it. Our closest friends / cousins / siblings are all popping sprogs out at an alarming rate, I am always trying to engineer visits with them as after a cuddle with a cute baby he’s pretty much ready to impregnate me right then and there. Zara I have been there with the bursting into tears with yet ANOTHER person announcing they are pg!
I’m coming to the end of a full time PhD and fingers crossed should be able to get a job at the place I’ve been studying which if it works out, will be fab as I'm already entitled to good maternity leave. I’ve come off the pill recently but we are using condoms (despite DH’s moaning about them and embarrassment at buying them!). Bit worried about how long it could take to conceive as my parents took 6 years to conceive me (but I was worth the wait!) but gotta keep optimistic!
I am ridiculously broody, it’s not even funny, I cannot think of anything else. Which is not ideal when trying to write up a research thesis. All my ambition has gone down the drain, I can’t think any further than babies and the only reason I want to get a job in the same place as my PhD is that if I go anywhere else I’ll have to wait to get pg due to mat leave rules…
On the other hand sometimes I’m paralysed with the thought of how a baby will change our lives, even though we aren’t massive social butterflies, don’t go out that much etc, in fact I’m pretty lazy and quite a home body. But the thought of losing lie ins and lazy evenings on the sofa is rubbish, having to clean the house more regularly and the effort of doing a balanced diet… Also, ridiculously I’m worried about how our cats will cope… they are our babies at the moment and I’m worried that the quite stupid, attention seeking one is going to be truly jealous of a baby hmm (Can I be a crazy cat lady if I am married?)

well anyway... I tend to get a bit obsessive with internet forums so really probably should not have registered, but oh well, too late now!!

louloubellamozzarella Fri 23-Sep-11 11:29:51

Tee hee @ prunella - I need to start using private browsing at home all the time - I spend my life deleting history to maintain the aura of someone who's only vaguely interested in babies blush #livingalie smile

Hi moggle I'm there with the being ridiculously broody. The decision to stay in my current job is largely due to getting a decent mat pay package. Bad but true. I will probably leave after baby #1 (haha if we get that far) but can't turn down 6 months full pay + childcare benefits. When do you think you're going to be able to TTC?

Zara, any updates on Projected Baby Plan: March 2012?

moggle Fri 23-Sep-11 12:03:00

loulou hoping sometime before Christmas... Got a trip to the USA planned in May so don't want to mess that up. Hence will be waiting til November at least I reckon. Then I try to micromanage and think, would I want have a kid born at the very end of the school year - would be in same school year as it's cousin due in Dec which would be nice, but on the other hand it would potentially start school very young - just 4 - which I'm not sure how I feel about.

Obviously that would only be an issue if we got pg straight away which is unlikely, but you see I like to overthink pointless things like that!

I'm also somewhere where I would get the 6m full pay and 3m half I think, plus flexible working and they are very open to going part time etc, so very lucky. So boring as this job is, I can't really look past that. As we're both in public sector our pay isn't amazing so we will need the mat pay!!

PopcornMouse Fri 23-Sep-11 12:15:46

Omg moggle, I worry about our cats too! Friend brought over a screaming baby last week and our eldest furman legged it straight out the flap - and that was without toddler tail pullings! shock it doesn't help that dh keeps teasing me they'll move out when we have kids hmm

PopcornMouse Fri 23-Sep-11 12:17:15

I also really worry I'll have a baby and it'll be allergic to cats and I'll have to rehome my boys blush sad

Zara1984 Fri 23-Sep-11 12:39:41

I am the MASTER of the Alt-Tab (on PC) or Command-Arrow (on a Mac) window cover-up. LOL. Have got the Mumsnet App on my iphone now too though so I can stalk in secret... gotta make sure the app icon is on one of the far-far-away screens....

Moggle - welcome!! Your plan is quite similar to my plan. In fact for a while there my baby plan revolved around doing a phd (something I have been considering) WHILE I have kids (ie phd is my maternity plan... hair-brained scheme, I know). I too really never thought all my ambition would be thunderstruck by being broody. Yeah and DH and I are also about as social as most parents with small kids are anyway!! Haven't been much of a party animal since my early 20s, really.

And oh my god! I had completely forgotten my own cat-angst too (that forms part of my dithering and broody complexity!)!!! We are all the same here ladies! Our two kitties ARE my babies. I'm petrified that they will hate the baby or WORSE the baby will be allergic and have to be rehomed, just like popcorn! Also I feel bad because they're really attached to us, and I'm afraid that the littlest one will be heartbroken when our attention is more focused on a baby. We love our kitties so much, when moved to Europe we paid for them to come over with us. Crazy Cat Lady? Oh yes that's me.... blush

Loulou - nothing further on Projected Baby Plan: March 2012. Gotta wait to hear from husband about whether he wants semen analysis and his views on aforementioned plan grin (he only gets back from his business trip tonight, then his parents are turning up tomorrow morning confused). Although after my far-too-eager-research this week on the whole conception thing, I think I need to go for blood tests to check my own bits and pieces out. And then I had the bright idea that maybe I should start tracking my cycle. Because you know, I'm just SO RELAXED and FREE AND BREEZY about the concept of having kids. So tracking my cycle isn't something I'd get obsessed about AT ALL hmm Hell, it's not weighing on my mind at all, I'm so mature about it... grin

Zara1984 Fri 23-Sep-11 12:42:50

Oh and the totally casual-not-thinking-too-much-about-it tracking of my cycle would involve stopping the pill earlier (ie not using up my last 4 packs, to fit into hopelessly idealistic timeline of conception in March 2012) and just using condoms. DARE I?!?!

louloubellamozzarella Fri 23-Sep-11 12:47:43

Zara I'd stop the pill right now if you're thinking about TTC even starting in a year's time. It can take a long time to get the hormones out of your system and if you're back to normal cycles before starting then you know where you stand with dates so will drive yourself slightly less crazy you won't worry about what's happening so much.

I just wish someone had told me. I took my sex ed lessons ad verbatim and thought that my poor eggs would be attacked by sperm if I so much as took my pill a few hours late. Not. The. Case. sigh

Zara1984 Fri 23-Sep-11 12:56:28

Loulou yeah that's what I've been thinking for the past couple of days. I just get confused when I read on MN threads (and elsewhere on the webs, and in RL) about people getting knocked up 2 weeks after going off the pill. When I went to Marie Stopes yesterday to ask about the sperm analysis referral (and then about tests for me), the lady told me (obviously) that I couldn't be on pill to have the various blood tests done (to check my ovulation). Got about a week of actives left on my current pack.... will try ask DH about it when his parents are in heavy jetlagged sleep and therefore outta earshot. wink

When DH and I first got together he said I was the first girl he ever trusted to take the pill properly because I was so militant about it... those spermz are just WAITING for you to be 15 mins late taking that pill so they can get to that minxy egg, you know...

PopcornMouse Fri 23-Sep-11 12:59:59

<<agrees with loulou and is in the same boat>>

It depends what sort of pill you're on, Zara, ime. With some your fertility just pings back to place, and some - like the one loulou and I were on - can sometimes take months.

PopcornMouse Fri 23-Sep-11 13:01:14

would never refer to her cats as her furbabies blush

Zara1984 Fri 23-Sep-11 13:06:48

Get this - DH (in one of his broodier moments) said that if we had twin girls, we should give them the same names as the cats. I'm SERIOUS. This is how much we dote on our furbabies cats.... grin

Don't worry, we're NOT going to name our kids after the pets... I will make sure of that....

Prunella79 Fri 23-Sep-11 13:08:55

like the sound of starting the process by getting yourself checked over first, can you just request tests to make sure everything's (probably) ship-shape? i thought you'd have to wait til you're sure something's up before tests could be run. where do you go for that kind off thing - not that i'm paranoid that there's bound to be something wrong or anything

Zara1984 Fri 23-Sep-11 13:15:40

Well from what the woman at Marie Stopes told me yesterday, they can do pre-conception blood tests (taken at different times of your cycles), and an internal exam (ie poke yer bits to see if they're all normal). I am not sure if this is all the tests for assessing your fertility. They would also give you a smear if you weren't up to date with one. They seemed pretty happy about doing it (and it's cheap too - only €6 per blood test). They also said they could do antenatal care and checkups, not that I asked, ahem.....

I don't have a GP since I moved here (haven't got sick) so MS is where I've been going for my pill prescription, smears etc.

If you can't get it done at MS, from my research it appears private clinics are happy to take your moolah for tests if you're worried. You seem generally to need a GP referral though but I imagine that would be easy to do? Just tell your GP you're worried, and directly ask him/her to refer?

From voraciously reading the sample chapter of What To Expect Before You're Expecting, it seems that pre-natal check-ups are not out of the ordinary (I'm guessing more so in the US?).

moggle Fri 23-Sep-11 14:10:01

popcorn and zara I am so glad it's not just me with the kitty angst. I mean they are our babies aren't they until human babies come along... I don't know what I'd do if a baby was allergic. I'm not even thinking of that possibility! We too had a VERY noisy shrieky baby visit when I had a birthday BBQ in June, Mia the baby-cat was just coming into the house when it screamed, she legged it to the end of the garden, and she stayed there for 6 hours until everyone had gone home. it tipped it down ALL DAY and she was the definition of bedraggled when she came back in, poor thing.
The names thing is funny, our cats are Mia and Lila - we wanted "real" names for them so thought we'd pick names that we liked but that we'd never use for our kids. Now obviously we love the names, doh.

i was thinking about starting to take folic acid... any of you guys doing that yet? Someone mentioned it on another thread. Would have to print off a replacement label though to stick on the bottle, perhaps saying "Just Normal Vitamins, Nothing To See Here Mother"

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