Hello lovelies,

Today I was thinking about spotting. In the craziness of trying to conceive and, more specifically the insanity that is the “two week wait”, there is really no equal for the crazy that results from spotting. It single-handedly drives me bonkers. A little back ground information: Before we decided to make babies I was on the pill for 12 years. 12 years of normal periods, 12 years of no spotting, 12 years of minimal P.M.S… So, needless to say, I was expecting more of the same when I stopped taking the pill. Wrong. Woah, SO wrong! My cycles are now fairly erratic (ranging from 26-38 days) and I always spot… seriously… Every. Single. Month. I have spotting. I was surprised by it the first few months, but because we were still new to trying and I was new to being off the pill I basically shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Not anymore.

Once you start to worry about why you aren’t getting pregnant, things take on new meaning. The amount of hours I have wasted worrying about my spotting is, frankly, laughable. In the early stages of trying spotting was a bit of a nuisance. In a “Hmm should I bring tampons with me to work or will I make it through the day with a liner?” kind of way. Now that we have been trying for so long it is a nuisance in a “Let’s take a round trip to crazy-ville” kind of way. I swan dive off my ledge of self-restraint, boot up my computer and work until I am bleary eyed and exhausted… spotting becomes a nuisance in ways I had previous not imagined. The order events typically goes like this:

1. I start spotting… usually a very short time after ovulation.

2. I analyze the colour and the amount of spotting for possible clues to origins and reasons for its existence.

3. I pour over anything I can find online for why I might be spotting. No chat-room is safe, no forum too benign to escape my onslaught.

4. If it’s the first day of spotting I am gleeful. “Could be implantation!” *eye roll* The myth and legend of implantation bleeding is a well known problem for those trying to conceive. Apparently it DOES happen. To people! Usually, to a-friend-of-a-friend’s long lost cousin living somewhere in France! But it is a possibility. And so poor saps like me are stuck clinging to hope that they might be pregnant when really they have already started their period.

5. By day two of spotting I am cautiously optimistic “ Could STILL be implantation… as long as it is lessening… is it lessening?!” Apparently, these French distantly removed cousins of your friend have been known to have full blown periods while pregnant! How on earth can we even really know that we aren’t pregnant… Ever!? If missing your period is not a per-requisite then I don’t know when to give up hope!

6. I obsessively fact check the dates of implantation against my chart. Typically implantation occurs between 9-14 days after you ovulate. But it COULD be anywhere from 5- 16 days depending on the person in question. So I look to see it I fall in that LARGE window. Who cares that the fertility guru is pretty sure I ovulate a few days before my temp rises, and so I cannot pinpoint ovulation effectively. Even though this is an unreliable experiment I am undeterred!

7. By day three I feel mildly pissed with my body. “Why the hell are you still spotting? Do I have low progesterone? Is THAT why I am not getting pregnant?!” Commence manic Googling of low progesterone causes and symptoms.

8. Followed by obsessively Googling anything one can do to fix that shit and get pregnant. Looks like Vitamin B6 works wonders. Do I have that? I don’t! I am also low on folic acid.

9. I drive to the store and buy out the entire stock of vitamin B6 and folic acid. Also chocolate, because STRESS.

10. If I make it to day four of spotting. FOUR!!! Holy Moly!! I start hoping for my period. I really wish the spotting would just end because carrying around a satchel filled with different types of feminine products is hard. And incredibly un-sexy.

11. By day five I have usually started my period. Which for a millisecond feels like relief. I know whats going on now. I don’t have to worry about miscarriages or whatever… onto the next month. I am relieved… until…

12. World ends! At least, I cry as if it has. I have my period. I am not pregnant. Again. Still. UGH!

I would be lying if I tried to convince you that I didn’t do this every, single month of the last 2 years …that means I have done this song and dance 24 times. I might try to convince you that I hadn’t, even though its a lie, because god damn that is embarrassing! Also, after doing the same thing 24 times in a row and NEVER actually being pregnant and NEVER measuring low on progesterone you’d think I could turn off this mind game! False, I can’t. Also, isn’t doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result the definition of insanity!?

That’s the thing though, isn’t it?

I might try to convince you that I hadn’t done this every month, because I desperately want to be sane, or at least to be perceived as still sane! Unfortunately, sanity after 24 months of this hell is a pretty slim chance. It means that I am probably crazy for never trusting the facts accepting that I just spot before my period. I am probably crazy for always hoping that I will be wrong. It means that I have to feel guilty and nervous sharing these things with the world because I don’t want to be “that girl”. You know… the girl that wanted a baby so bad that she went nuts? And now no one wants to be her friend or invite her over because she may dissolve into a fit of muttering and tears at any moment? No one WANTS to be “that girl”.

Infertility sucks. Because it’s hard, and scary, and crazy, and it makes you feel very very alone. You never want to share the struggles because, damn it, you’re not “THAT girl”! You’re NOT crazy!

I am starting to get to a point now where I am able to at least view the madness as objective. Though I still go through the motions of numbers 1-12 above, I am able to practice a sort of detachment. A removed grace hopefully. I know that I spot every month. I am fully aware that my progesterone measures high. So I can now look in on the scene like a friend, I can reassure myself that things are alright. Even though they feel distinctly not. However, even with the detached grace, the inevitable start of my period is a crushing blow. It hurts. Every. Single. Time. This is why spotting is the bane of my existence. It makes me feel more crazy than I want to admit I have become. It perfectly highlights all of the hardships and uncertainties of infertility. Damn you spotting! You are no fun at all!

Love,
Unpregnant Chicken

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12 thoughts on “Spotting = The Bane Of My Existence

  • September 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm
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    Hello my neighbour and friend… Thank you for sharing your struggles with infertility and the 24x frustrating months due to this darn spotting as you have lived it, plus the added humor. I am always around to listen and cry with you. I am tour friend!! Big hug and hoping that when you least expect it the chicken will be pregnant!! Silvia

    Reply
    • September 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm
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      Hello Silvia!

      You are so sweet and thoughtful! So far it has been an absolute pleasure sharing this journey with the world. I am glad we are able to connect over it, even if I am not glad I have had to live it! Thank you so much for your support. Feel free to cry big, slobbery tears on my shoulder any time you like as well… you know where to find me!

      XOXO,
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • September 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm
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    Thank you.

    With no complicated words or theories, you brought us not into the thoughts of the unpregnant chickens of the world, but straight into their hearts and vulnerability. I will never hear the phrase “No, but we’re still trying” the same again. You will be a much needed voice for a great many women.

    L

    Reply
    • September 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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      Thank you!

      What an inspiring comment! I sure hope that you are correct and that many people find comfort in this blog. It has definitely brought comfort to me through writing it!

      Love,
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • September 15, 2014 at 11:54 am
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    I had to laugh a little at this post. While I have the opposite problem (my last cycle was, oh, about 330 days, and no, that wasn’t a typo), when I finally did get my light period that lasted all of two-and-a-half days, I then fell into the “this could be implantation!!” part of the story. I grasped that little rope of hope with all my might. I whipped out the OPKs (what the hell does it mean when you have 4 smiley faces in a row? Damn you, ClearBlue!!) and the thermometer that had been tossed in the drawer 90 days into my last cycle. Then, no temp change. Hello, overwhelming urge to curl up on the couch and cry, good bye hope-rope. Then I read this, and felt a little better. I look forward to following your craziness – don’t worry, you aren’t alone!!
    Xo

    Reply
    • September 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm
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      Jennifer,

      Thank god! I am glad someone told me they get it because even after writing and loading this post I was struck with fear of… I’m not sure what! Maybe that I’m the only one!? HAHA I am so glad that you completely get it. I also love the phrase “hope-rope”, perfect. I am sorry you have been struggling, and I’m glad neither of us need go it alone anymore!

      XOXO
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • October 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm
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    I think we’ve all played that “maybe this is implantation bleeding” game.. just hanging onto hope when we’re quite sure it’s a sign that means we should give up on hope (for the current cycle). Looking forward to when the spotting is actually a good sign for both of us 🙂

    Reply
    • October 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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      Renuka,

      It’s such a cruel joke! But how are we supposed to continue on this journey if we do not have hope! So I suppose we are relegated to hanging on to every little shred that we can! Here’s hoping that after next month I won’t have to think about spotting anymore! Progesterone should do the trick!
      XOXXO
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
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  • March 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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    Hi!

    I’m new to your blog and boy am I glad I found you! I’ve started with your oldest posts and am working to catch up but I already know you and I could be great friends. This post looks like my life every month for the last 13 months. I also spot every month for no less than a week before finally getting a real period. I’ve even been known to get caught talking to myself while analyzing the spotting. Some days I feel truly sorry for my husband!

    Reply
    • March 25, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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      Ashlee,
      Glad you found my, too! Spotting is THE WORST. It even pushed back the dates for my recent IVF (spoiler alert)! I hope you feel better having found my site that it’s not just you!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply

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