see spot run

“More Room for Baby,” an episode of Designed to Sell on HGTV—where experts come in and help homeowners modify their homes for best resale value—has been suggested to me by TiVo.  Well of course it has.  Baby everything is everywhere now–now that it’s top of mind.  Now that it’s not working. 

When I first became pregnant it was the same way.  There seemed to be more baby stores, more gingham, and more blue. Tiny things to tie.  More playgrounds and fathers. Strollers. Pregnant was everywhere.  And now it’s still the same, more everywhere, even though we have less.  I’m on cycle day eighteen, and I’m bleeding.  I shouldn’t be. 

So I spent the night googling “brownish blood spotting.”  I’m not kidding.  An entire night.   I rounded the evening off by IMing a stranger who advised me to stress less and take my temperature more.  “But I’m spotting.  I think.”  I don’t even know what that means, really.  Because when it first happens, without the advantage of seeing what will happen the next day, it could be a full on period.  You’re left up in the air guessing if spot will run.  “The pink wipe,” she called it.  “There’s nothing more disappointing.”  “Maybe,” she continued, “you’re gearing up for the big one.”  I knew what she meant before she went on with, “you know what I mean.”  She meant the one “that’s like meat.”  It was the most awful I ever felt.  Crampy and heavy, and unsuspecting.  It was everywhere.  I sobbed when my last “big one” happened.  It wasn’t a miscarriage, just my first period afterward.  I’ll always remember that.  Meat.  It reminded me I was an animal.

“Well, maybe it’s implantation spotting,” she said.  And then I backgrounded her and began to google a new term.  I had hope.  Maybe it really was—no.  It wasn’t.  Because that’s thinner, it’s a trace, not a mark.  I’m gearing up, maybe.  Or not ovulating at all.  It means, with all the “maybe”s and “or”s, I’ve got a call into my doctor in the AM.  Then I’ll be told to wait it out and see what happens.

Now that it’s AM, that’s exactly what I was told by my doctor.  To see what happens in a day or so.  Today things are brighter, not my attitude; everything else.  It’s a real period now.  Is it normal to have a seventeen day cycle?  What the hell does it mean?  I have months of a seventeen-day cycle followed by months of a twenty-seven day cycle followed by more seventeen-day cycles.  I’m as irregular as those Entenmann’s coffee cakes they sold in the outlet store by my house growing up.  Maybe it was another miscarriage.  Maybe I’m not ovulating, despite what those ovulation sticks said.  I’m tired of maybes.  I want answers and babies. 

I tried to find a happy post in my bag of tricks.  Sometimes I cull entries for a week, dictating the words from my handwritten journal.  I looked for something happy because I’m tired of people telling me all I do is bitch or whine or cry.  That has never felt true, but it feels true today because the only times I write are when I am cranky, angry, melancholy, or anything else ending in a "y" besides "happy."  That’s what I do.  When I’m happy, I’m not inside by a computer.  I’m writing something else.  And if you feel the need to bitch and worry this blog will become a mommy blog or fertility blog, do it elsewhere please.  I’m not in the mood to remind you I’ve got more going on than a menstrual cycle.



  1. Hi Stephanie,

    This happened to me with both girls. Sounds like the babies burrowing in and making her/his nest. So exciting. Do you feel really wiped out and overwhelmingly calm and happy at the same time? That's how I felt at this exact time in my pregnancies.

    Good luck,


  2. I can relate to your stress. I think it's different for everyone (which you will find true when you actually have a baby). I had implantation spotting that went on for two days and I thought it was my period. As a result, I didn't realize I was pregnant until I was 9 weeks along. Good luck to you.

  3. I've also been trying to get pregnant and have become all too familiar with obsessing over spotting. With the irregularities of my cycle, I seem to think up some pretty outlandish ideas, like taking a pregnancy test over a week before my missed period. And every time I’m sure that it hasn’t happened for me, my heart drops. Feeling infertile is like that last bit of stress my life can’t take. I keep telling myself it’s like shopping when you actually need something and can never seem to find it until you go shopping just for fun and find everything you need.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm a nurse in a large women's hospital here in Pittsburgh, so let me just reassure you that less stress is important but not always possible. Instead, just rest, breathe deeply, and know that you're on the right road.

    I wish you well.

  5. If it helps, I generally stop by to read what you're writing about. I'm interested in whatever "y" it happens to stem from on this day or that. I actually like that you write whatever's real to you, and it is annoying to read the comments that are so pushy "write this" "write that" "don't turn the blog into this" "make your blog that" or "you're so _____" based on one slim peek into the whole picture of your life and blah blah blah.

    I read the comments and think, STFU.

  6. Don't know much about fertility, but I can imagine stress does not help. I understand your desire to have a baby, but does it have to happen this week or this month? This is such an immediate gratification world – we pay for convenience and expect everything to fall into place the second we decide we want something. Maybe having a baby is less predictable and more magical and organic than ovulation sticks and pee tests lead us to believe it is. Aren't you supposed to enjoy this process, both the ups and the downs?

  7. Mommy blog. Fertility blog. Happy. Sad. It's YOUR blog. Write what you want to write and ignore the whiners. You're not writing for them.

  8. Ahhh Stephanie
    My heart goes out to you. I know exactly how you feel. I miscarried and then tried for months after to become pregnant. Always checking the toilet paper for red smears. I will tell you now that when you do become pregnant that won't change…you will always be looking. Miscarriage ruins your first real pregnancy as your days,and bathrooms trips, are filled with trepidation. The only positive that I took from my experience was that I could indeed concieve. You can to…have no fear Steph, it will happen. Patience.

  9. I know this sounds strange, but go to my website and look at my little boy. I stood on my head immediately after *seex* to conceive him. It worked.

  10. Ahh Stephanie.
    My heart goes out to you. I had a miscarriage years ago and I know exactly how you feel . I tried for months after to get pregnant and was always on the lookout for the red streaks on the toilet paper. I will just tell you now that that doesn't change. Miscarriage ruins your first real pregnancy. Your days, and trips to the bathroom are filled with trepidation…any sight of the dreaded pinky discharge scares the crap out of you. It really is sad that that happens but it does. Try to be will work for you. The one positive that I took from my miscarriage was the fact that I could indeed concieve. You can too!

  11. someone told me recently that we need not suffer for our art, we writers. but, the truth is that it certainly comes more easily when there is something to suffer over. some anguish to coat the words.

  12. I don't want to read about someone else's happy. That'll make me sad.

    Besides you write about a different H more relevant and interesting than happy. Hope.

  13. I don't even have a menstrual cycle. Thanks for reminding how empty and meaningless my life is, Stephanie. ;-)

  14. I find it ironic that when a couple doesn't want to have kids yet, the girl gets pregnant. And for some who wants to be parents, it takes a while before it happens. I put myself in the first category. My husband and I are not ready to have kids yet. I'm only 21 and he's 25.

    Don't worry Ms. Klein, it will happen for you. A little more patience? You'll be in my prayers.

  15. Have you tried going on B6 vitamins? In addition to whatever you already take? I had terrible wonky cycles going off the pill, and a co-worker recommended it to me after her daughter managed to straighten out her cycles on it and get pregnant. I took it for one month, then had the perfect, textbook, ovulate-on-day-14 cycle and got pregnant. My cycles were too long instead of too short, but I also had a short luteal phase, which meant there wasn't enough time between the day I ovulated and the day I got my period, which would make it hard for an egg to implant and stay put before I got my period. Anywho. It seems to help! Best of luck, I know you'll get there and have a wonderful, healthy, happy baby.

  16. Stephanie,
    I wish you all of the best. Follow your heart and continue to write from it. Good luck with all things baby!

  17. hmmm i would've thought implantation bleeding. cervical fluid sounds better than discharge. i'm just now beginning this journey, at 36 yrs. highly recommend the book 'taking charge of your fertility', and 2 sites… (super-easy and free charts), and has detailed discussion board groups from "holistic families" to "trouble conceiving 35+".

    re: austin–eat at shady grove… the fries or catfish with queso is a must… dear lord anything w/queso! Also, Jo's for coffee on s. congress.

    re: lionel; what a precious pumpkin. i work w/animals and so i just adore his pics.

  18. I'll echo cass' advice. After my miscarrige, I was advised to elevate my hips after sex for 20 minutes–on some pillows….I don't think I would have had the strength to stand on my head :)
    I got pregnant within 5 months. Good luck!

  19. Sweetie –

    Cry and whine and bitch and moan all you want – while you're at it – stamp your feet and yell and scream into pillows and sleep until noon – just do what feels right – for you – not for anyone else. Screw anyone who says otherwise.

    Writing is cathartic – it digs deeper. Keep digging :)

  20. I had "implantation spotting" and it wasn't just a trace. That means nothing, but I felt compelled to tell you.

  21. stephanie … i have never been on this journey myself, but have had friends who have … it's amazing when the relief of getting your period because it means you're not pregnant becomes disappointment for that same reason. i am just about a year older than you, and single, and i anticipate and dread the conception rollercoaster … but at this point just hope that i get to get on the ride. best of luck with your baby-making efforts … michelle

  22. My wife nearly flipped her lid when, after 2 years of trying and then finally getting pregnant, she began to spot. Sorry, I can't give any details for comparison purposes – she left out the minutia. All worked out for us in the end (and then some). Hoping the same for you.

  23. i read your blog along with a few others, and it always amazes me how posessive folks get over the content and tone of the blogs they follow. I’ve read several items in the comments that weren't feedback on writing or responses to a theme an author brought up, but instead demanded a certain kind of content. good lord-this isn't tv. these blogs may be entertainment, and their structure may echo other forms of popular entertainment but they are essentially logs of a real persons life. what, are you supposed to not fall in love and have kids because your single readers can't relate? and how long are you expected to keep on blogging, 5 days a week, forever and ever?

  24. Don't worry and don't stress it will happen. Check out the message boards on This is a great NYC site. Warning: the women can be freaks, but the information that is passed around is very useful!

  25. I second Heather's burrowing idea. BTW, your very graphic 3rd paragraph made me think about Franny: my 4 cm uterine fibroid which I get to see tomorrow via sonogram. That's what most of my periods are like lately. Ewww!! For what it's worth, I took a full year to conceive my daughter, and yes, every trip to the toilet was an ordeal. Now she's 16. And PMSing over her homework as I type. I bought her a Dove bar. Milk chocolate. Why don't you have one, too?

  26. wish for what you want. hope for what you want. worry to the end of the earth. a woman's body can be her greatest obstacle and is an unfair mystery. you can pull through all of this. it's a gift to your readers to have your perspective, your thoughts – they are more personal and revealing than any "how to" or self-help book could ever provide. i have learned a lot from you the past couple of years. and if there's anything i can say specifically regarding this baby strife, it's that you're worth the beauty of a child. so pine and whine – i would, too. i'll send good, fertile vibes in the general direction of ny. good luck. good things will happen for you and the suitor, stephanie klein.

  27. If it helps, I had the EXACT same morning. I got a doctor's appointment for TWO WEEKS from now. I spot every month for days before my period and have googled everything there is to google about what it could be. Endometriosis, low progesterone, fibroids, etc. Bottom line is that our bodies are complex and there are kinks. But I know what it feels like to be obsessed. Reading people's messages, checking out their charts, trying to grasp any reason why the spotting is happening. I am still trying to figure mine out. Let me know if you get any real info… I could use some!

  28. If anything, Stephanie, I admire you for writing about the other y's besides the one in happy. I wish I had the guts to do it…

  29. For almost 2 years, my best friend went through what you're going through now. I hate the saying "everything happens for a reason." It's the thing everyone says when they don't know any other words of comfort to say. When you hear it, it makes you want to fly over the edge you're barely hanging on to. Every time I heard her sobbing voice on the other end of the line, I had to choke back those words. I felt so helpless, I can't even imagine the helplessness she felt when her body wouldn't obey her heart. Finally, I said:
    "I know you want it now. I know you deserve it now. I know you feel ready now and this is the hardest thing you've gone through. But I know that when the day comes and you finally have a baby – no matter what or how long it took to get there, all of your frustration and sadness that you've experienced will disappear."
    Luckily, I was right. Now, the twins are due in August. :) She's getting double the payback in joy for 2 v. hard years.
    I wish that for you too – a wonderful relief from the pain you are experiencing now. And I hope that moment comes as soon as possible. Wishing you the very best.

  30. Stephanie- I had completely shitty cycles for years with no rhyme or reason… and I spent so much $ on those ovulation tests… and I did it for two months straight… not ONCE did it tell me that I was ovulating. I had an appointment with a fertility specialist recommended to me by a friend, and I found out I was pregnant the day before the appt. Now that my daughter is just turning one and I have had my cycle back for about 8 months, I was enjoying a REGULAR 31 day cycle. It was like being on the pill and being able to predict the exact day I would get my period. So awesome… until this month where it was 16 days late and 3 pregnancy tests and my gut feeling told me I wasn't pregnant (but still hoping I might have been even though it was really bad timing). Alas, I got it last Wednesday night. Does this mean that my 'regular' cycle is gone? WTF?! I hate this shit. You are not alone. And the thing I hate the most is "oh…don't worry… it's just stress"
    Stress is a cop out.

  31. thank you all so much. I so needed your comments today. Thank you for reminding me, in part, why I blog. This was so helpful and calming. And, I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, um, Heather from Congress Avenue… the last thing I feel is calm and awash with happiness. I'm angry and annoyed, and The Suitor is pissing me off. I've never felt violent in my life, really. Tonight I wanted to throw something at his head. Something heavy. Instead, I retreated to the bedroom. Alone.

    Good times.

  32. I'm not at where you are right now, but I do know what it's like to want something so bad with every fiber of your being. It's like you've gotta have and getting it NOW would even be too slow. I don't know what to tell you but I'm not gonna tell you what you should do. Just know that I really do hope you get what you want sooner than NOW.

  33. Hey Stephanie,
    I've been away from your blog for a while…months. It's been fun catching up, and it's great to see you're doing well. Engaged, moving, trying to make babies, lots of good stuff. From an outsider, it happened pretty fast – in a good way. Congratulations. Sorry you've had some tough times lately…but things will work out. I really feel that. Just think about enjoying your last month here in NYC…and know that things will be okay. Moving is stressful enough. (I hope this doesn't sound belittling in any way). You've had an amazing year it seems. Can't wait to hear about life in Austin.

  34. Dearest Stephanie

    If you find yourself awake with worry in again, there is a really helpful forum on the Babycentre website that you can reach out to with any worries and questions and get advise from other mothers-to-be. There is a special forum for Pregnancy after miscarriage They are lovely ladies and I find it extremely helpful.

    Lots of love,

  35. I don't think I'm going to add much to what's already been said, but I feel compelled to write something anyway. Don't retreat entirely from the Suitor. Hold back on throwing things at him, but don't retreat into yourself for long. You need each other, even if he can't understand what you're going through.

    Whether you take three years to conceive and end up doing it after tens of thousands of dollars in fertility treatments later or whether it happens in two weeks or whether you end up adopting and choosing a child rather than conceiving one, the joy of having that child will make the moments of intense disappointment with every pink wipe disappear.

  36. There were no comments available on Beth Ann's paper, so I just figured I'd let you know. In journalistic profile last semester we used your blog in lieu of interviews to learn to find an angle. That's how I started reading you.
    Mine began with a quote "I let my dog lick me in personal places but only until it becomes obscene" just thought you'd be amused. If you want the full version emai me.

  37. I'm not pregnant (nor am I trying), but I am heartened to hear from fellow irregular girls. I have *never* had a predictable cycle in my life–excepting when I am on the Pill, natch–and I've always felt like a bit of a freak.

    I'd forgotten just how irregular I was until in a bout of self-pitying singledom I went off the Pill for a time last year. Seriously. Skipping, six-week intervals, the whole nine. The best is getting all PMS-y, then . . . nothing. It's so weird.

    Even when I wasn't paranoid that I was knocked up (despite not having had sex since the previous period or having used condoms every time) I was paranoid that something was wrong with my body.

    My gyno was so blasé about my worries. I wish they gave more info about irregular cycles, so people like me won't feel so freakish or infertile or broken.

    My only general advice is to remember the forest. I know that when I get focused on something, I get too far into the minutiae for my own good and get overwhelmed and lose heart.

  38. You know the phrase…"anything worth having is hard work."

    Just consider patience as part of the hard work in this scenario.

    You are a sweetie, and you will have a little one to nestle in your arms and sigh contentedly. Think positive!!

  39. I echo everyone's well wishes to you, Stephanie. I believe things will work out (and they have to, because you are fabulous with a fabulous life–then, now and always).

    Best of luck.

  40. OK…I just read your comment, and although I adore the fact that you are pissy and want to bitch and moan in your blog…PLEASE dont throw anything at the Suitors head…(neither of them).

    You need them both in this process! ;)

    Prayers are with…


  41. I haven't read u for a while.
    And now i read this. I'm so sorry for you but don't let this things become ur life.
    Be calm and happy and ur baby-to-be will show off soon.
    ale from Italy

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