Clockwatchers vs. Calendarlookers

I am happy. I am positive. But I realize now that the projected duration of said happiness and positivity doesn't stretch very far into the future. Yesterday in part of a long conversation Mia said, "Urs and I have our long holiday between December and January, so we'll come after Christmas. I will stay until the delivery in February but Urs might have to return for a few more weeks to work and then come back…we'll have to see when we get there!"

December? Delivery? I can't see past tomorrow's beta, much less preparing for delivery in December. Thinking that far forward implies that I would still be umm…pregnant at that time and it hasn't even sunk in that I'm…uuuh…getting positive tests and had a decent beta yesterday. I can't even use the p-word when talking about myself in the present context without twitching and feeling like I'm about to asphyxiate.

I think vast majority of us here in blogland are Clockwatchers. It's difficult for us to think forward any further than there are hours on a clock. We see whatever the next immediate major step is, be it bloodwork, a follicle scan, the fert report, transfer, etc, but there's always a but, unless, or if hovering somewhere between now and then: "Okay, so we got 13 eggs, but what if they don't fertilize well?"  "I have my Clomid and I should have my IUI in about two weeks, unless I don't have any mature follicles to trigger."

I should have a good beta tomorrow – if things are still progressing the way they should inside. Yesterday's beta brought a degree of comfort and took me another small step forward, but you'd better believe I still tested again this morning and let out a huge sigh of relief that today's line is darker than yesterday's. And now, I watch the clock until tomorrow's beta, knowing that this morning's test has bought me another 24 hours of relative sanity.

Now that I'm…where I am…I find myself in very unfamiliar territory. I'm accustomed to being in the presence of other Clockwatchers. Calendarlookers are usually fertiles; the type who start planning baby showers before the stick is even dry. Now that Mia has read The Secret and has adapted this "new" way of thinking positively, she has become a Calendarlooker through and through. Don't get me wrong – I am happy for her, proud even. How many times have we thought or seen others think, "I am pregnant now, so why can't I just relax and be happy?" We yearn for that but it's too…heavy, for lack of a better word. Mia has acheived an infertile's mental nirvana of sorts, and though it feels foreign to me I am both pleased and somewhat relieved that she is not being crushed under the buts, unlesses, and ifs. But if things go wrong…well…I'm utterly terrified of what it might do to her. That is my greatest fear.

If we get through the betas and the first ultrasound unscathed, I see 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 13 weeks, and 25 weeks drawn as lines in the sand, the thresholds of Mia's and Urs' losses that must be crossed and left behind. This is my calendar view.

Oh, yes. It's much easier for me to just watch the clock and bask in the good news of the here and now.

Are you a Clockwatcher or a Calendarlooker? How far forward can you think before things start feeling all…weird and uncomfortable?

18 Comments

  1. M on June 3, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Congratulations on your positive tests!! I’m so happy for all of you, and I am sure that Mia and Urs are doing cartwheels now. I will definitely be checking back for updates on this!
    (here through nclm)



  2. Shea on June 3, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I’m definitely a clock watcher and can relate to your calendar view. I can only focus on today and the current week’s activities. If not, I would be extremely overwhelmed!
    Hang in there lady! One day at a time is my motto.



  3. ~Carrie on June 3, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Congratulations on your positive beta!!! It’s so hard to think past the next beta in the beginning.
    I was, and to some extent, still am, a clockwatcher. I could barely see past the next beta or u/s in the beginning and wouldn’t let myself think too much past each of those little milestones. I was then forced to become kind of a calendarwatcher as things progressed, (you have to start planning ahead at some point!) yet I still have a hard time seeing past the next Dr.’s appointment! (I watched “The Secret” DVD and that did help – I should probably watch it again!)



  4. SAHW on June 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Clockwatcher for sure…but I think until we make it to the point where we can become calendarlookers, we just can’t. Before IF, I was a calendarlooker, but IF turned me into a clockwatcher – b/c after disappointment after disappointment, I couldn’t afford to keep hurting myself by looking too far out into the future. Being a clockwatcher is safe for me…but I hope that I can become a calendarlooker soon.



  5. Poppy on June 3, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    wow, congrats on the positives and the beta! I am a calendarlooker for sure. Which is why IF has been so hard for me, I think months ahead, usually, not days/hours.



  6. motel manager on June 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I think most of us IFers are clockwatchers. Beta 1, beta 2, ultrasound 1, being discharged to OB, etc. I also watch the clock by thinking about what to worry about next — that list would go, like, BFN, chemical pregnancy, ectopic, blighted ovum, earlyish miscarriage, incompetent cervix, and on and on.



  7. Io on June 3, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I need to be a calendarlooker. Unfortunately, I’m a clockwatcher, which is stupid when you have nothing to watch for for probably another year…
    Maybe I should read the Secret.



  8. Megan on June 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    This morning I was talking to my mom, and she asked me if I had started shopping for baby furniture yet. It seemed weird to me that she thought I would be thinking about that so soon. Do people really go crib shopping at 15 weeks? I am almost unable to think further ahead than the next doctor appointment in two weeks. Occasionally I will have brief moments of thinking about when the babies are born, but mostly I am thinking about how I am going to get in enough calories today so I can keep my weight where it needs to be or if I will have any shirts that will fit me tomorrow. If I ever was a calendar looker, I’m not anymore.



  9. Kathy on June 3, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Interesting concept Moxie…calender lookers vs. clock watchers. I was definately a calender looker (to the extreme) before we had our now 4 year old son.
    Once I had my first of three early losses (two m/c & one interstial ectopic) and discovered we seemed to be dealing with some kind of SIF, I guess I became more of a clock watcher.
    Since our baby girl Molly was diagnosed with severe CHD in January and then was born and went to Heaven 14 minutes later (at almost 30 weeks gestation) last month, in many ways I think I have become a “moment liver.”
    Though I imagine in the days, weeks and years to come I will continue to go go back and forth between all three ways of looking at time and our life/family.
    I hope and pray that your clock watching and moment living go well until you get your next big call tomorrow! And I also hope and pray that Mia’s calendar looking comes to fruition in the year to come!



  10. Carrie27 on June 4, 2008 at 8:36 am

    You already know my answer to this. Funny, that I am reading this now. Yesterday, as Cody and I were driving I was explaining to him how I can’t even think about having two babies in September. I can’t picture it. I’m just waiting for tomorrow’s u/s and that’s enough to look forward to at the moment.



  11. Elizabeth on June 4, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Definitely a clockwatcher. I am twiddling my thumbs waiting for our next appointment and trying to tell myself that I will make it through the next two appointment-free weeks 🙂



  12. Trace on June 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I used to be a calendar watcher, but a few let downs put a stop to that and now I’m a clock watcher.



  13. k77 on June 5, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Definitely a clockwatcher. Just reading about M being a calendarwatcher makes me feel icky. Almost as though, as an IF she “should know better”. Do you feel it adds extra pressure to you?



  14. Moxie on June 5, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Good question, k77. In an odd way, it actually relieves some of the pressure. As a surrogate, I’m accustomed to my past two IMs as being MAJOR cloclwatchers. I’m used to taking the role of being reassuring but not to the point of giving exorbitantly high hopes, while keeping myself sane at the same time. It’s a fine balance to have and I’ve gotten good at it, so that role is comfortable for me. With Mia being so much of a calendarlooker now, it’s almost like I don’t have any work to do in that department; she has enough reassurance built up on her own that I don’t have to work at trying to keep her balanced. I only have to work on keeping myself balanced. So no, I don’t feel like it adds extra pressure. But I do feel like I have to be ready to catch her just in case….



  15. niobe on June 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Reading this, I kept thinking that for most IP/surrogate pairs, the perspectives must be exactly reversed. I know they are for Kyrie and me. She’s talking about baby clothes and I’m thinking, “Okay, we’re at 9 weeks 3 days. If nothing bad happens by tomorrow morning, we’ll be at 9 weeks 4 days.”



  16. katedaphne on June 5, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I am late to the bfp-party, but congrats!
    I don’t know which I am. I think I’m both, but primarily a calendar-looker. Which for me, unlike Mia I guess, is part of what makes IF so hard.
    I’ve never been or had or talked to IRL a g.s. but I think it might be nice to be going thru this as a team. You sort of divide up the worries and the roles. She calendar-looks, you clock-watch. You worry about the next beta, she starts thinking about cribs. Having to do both is a huge burden and is (I imagine, since I’ve never been there) maybe a big reason why the state of being pg is so hard on so many of us infetiles who manage to cross over.



  17. Jendeis on June 6, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I’m a Calendarlooker in the midst of becoming a Clockwatcher as we travel further down into the abyss of IF. Blecch.



  18. Sarah on June 6, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I was a planner until IF took it away from me. Then it was all I could do to get through days, weeks, months. I refused to plan anything too far in advance. I had excuses ready just in case I couldn’t handle social situations.
    Once we got past the first trimester with this pg (after three years of TTC, two m/c, etc), I got back to planning with a vengeance. We not only went crib shopping at 15 weeks, we brought one home and assembled it in the nursery. I’ve been ready for this for what feels like forever. I got to the point where I had to prepare and believe and love even if things later went to hell. I needed to know that I had done my best to love and prepare for my child in whatever time I was given.