Tag Archives: Trying to conceive

Just relax…

28 May

There’s a girl at our church who is currently trying to get pregnant. She’s got a husband so there’s half the battle won, but other than that she’s not having much luck just yet.

Anyway, today this girl starts asking me about early pregnancy symptoms. And how long it took The Boy and I to get pregnant. And what worked. Because I wasn’t all that keen on explaining the mechanics of exactly how The Boy and I made Henry while standing in God’s house, I, in all seriousness, told her to just relax and that it’ll happen soon. The Boy then sticks his head into our conversation, I tell him what I’ve recommended, and his head very nearly explodes as he remembers just how relaxed I was when we were trying to conceive. Then he got this twitch in his eye as his brain waged war with his body to try to prevent the snort that it knew could very likely be his last. Lucky for him I do realise I wasn’t exactly the most easy-going person pre-pregnancy, and even luckier his brain won.

Of course now I can look back and see how ridiculously stressed I was about getting pregnant. I have a flock of friends who like to remind me  just how insane I got. And even if they didn’t, I sure remember it. I remember waking up at 6am EVERY DAY to take my temperature to watch for the slightest sign that I was ovulating. I was popping more pills than your average geriatric. I stopped eating pineapple, drinking tea, and taking hot baths. I was on the verge of crushing Manivit vitamins into The Boy’s morning coffee. I was a complete and utter bore to everyone who had to patiently listen to every little whine I had about how unfair it was that I was NEVER EVER going to get pregnant, and I’m pretty sure I turned sex into a chore faster than Usain Bolt ran the 100 metres in Beijing.

Thankfully – for both my husband and my friends – this crap only lasted a couple of months. And that couple of months flashed before my eyes when I told this girl to take a chill pill and wait it out. So much easier said than done but thankfully for the majority of people these things have a way of working out. Thankfully, for us, they did. Because I would not make a pleasant infertile. Those two months – one, really – felt like the longest in my life. And there are people out there who have been trying for YEARS to get pregnant. I don’t think I could do it. I truly don’t. I have trouble waiting for my toast to pop up – I’m one of those people who will compulsively watch it every second until it shoots out right in my face (somehow, despite this being a morning routine for over a decade now, the fact that the toast DOES pop out still surprises me). Why do I do this? Because one day that toast won’t pop out, and it will burn, and then catch fire, and then we’ll all die because we’ve been really slack with replacing the batteries in our smoke alarm. Just saying.

Anyway, I guess the moral of this story is that patience is a virtue (one I don’t happen to have, though I can definitely see its appeal). And that I’m a total hypocrite. And that these last few weeks of pregnancy are exactly like those first few when you’re all crazy with excitement and impatience and waiting for something to happen already. And when it does, boy am I going to be excited.

Stressed?

1 Oct

It’s often said that the stresses of motherhood begin when you’re pregnant. That it’s then that you begin to worry; about what type of mother you’ll be, whether you kid will make friends, do well in school, grow into a decent human being of moderate attractiveness.

I’ve read so much lately about those terrible mothers who don’t breastfeed, and those terrible mothers that do. Mothers who would be better parents if they spanked their kids, or better parents if they didn’t.

During pregnancy, women are told they should be doing less, more, or something else entirely if they really have the best interests of their unborn baby at heart. Shame they did this or didn’t do that – now their kid is going to be ruined for life. I’ve got a friend who is pregnant now, six weeks away from delivery, and I’ve never seen her with so much as a feather out of place. Now, she’s freaking out about the cost of school and whether she can eat a plate of curry from a vegetarian buffet. She’s going to make a fantastic mother but there it is; that horrible stress that someone, somewhere, is judging you.

And now, it seems, even before you get pregnant, you’re doing something wrong. You’re too stressed. Even if you’re doing everything right, even if you’re two perfectly healthy and happy adults – that’s why you can’t get that much wanted dumpling to stick to the pot. Because you just want it too much.

If you’ve ever had any trouble trying to conceive, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Image you’ve booked a ticket to travel around the world. You’ve quit your job, taken time off, have all the money that you’ll need saved up. You’re at the airport, waiting, but your flight is never called. You’re told to sit down and wait, it’ll be next. It isn’t. You ask again and everyone is all smiles, telling you not to get stressed, that if you just wait you’ll be on the next flight. Despite the fact that you see a bunch of other people getting seats before you. You ask again, but this time you’re told that you’re not being allocated a seat because you’re too stressed. Calm down and it’ll happen, they say. Just wait. And then another flight leaves with more smiling couples on board and all of a sudden you’ve crash tackled the air hostess for some of those M*THER F***ING TICKETS BECAUSE YOU WANT TO START YOUR HOLIDAY ALREADY.

The Boy and I haven’t been trying that long but let me tell you; the ups and downs of that two week wait are enough to give stress wrinkles to a puppy.

Each month we put more pressure on ourselves than deep sea divers as we navigate the murky waters of conception. Luckily, Ry wants this baby as much as I do and could be the poster child for The Perfect Husband Foundation with the amount of love and care he gives me, even when I’m hormonal as hell and crying for absolutely no reason.

But no matter what you do or how lovely your husband is there’s always that nagging thought at the back of your mind that’s wondering if you’re going to be THAT couple. The one that doesn’t make it. The one that ends up on hormones, IVF, or the news for stealing someone else’s bundle of joy.

And I know I said in my last post that this whole thing totally wasn’t bothering me, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that this wasn’t the thousandth time today where I wondered whether this was our month. Because that’s what waiting does – it turns you into a crazy, obsessed and slightly hysterical human that can’t think of anything beyond counting days and wondering when all this freakin’ WAITING will be over. And then you’re caught thinking that it IS actually all your fault, because if only you could relax you’d be pregnant by now. Which, of course, continues that nasty little cycle of disappointment and self blame.

In all honesty, I’m doing OK. Sure, there’s about a dozen moments a day when all I want to do is chug back a bottle of vodka and say to hell with it all, if only I wasn’t so concerned that doing so may pickle my egg. Already I’m stressed and I don’t even have a sniff of a baby yet. And to think I’ll be enjoying this feeling for the rest of my life.

Stress and worry, you say? Sign me up.

Baby making blues

20 Sep

Ahhh. As if there isn’t a better way to feel good about making babies than by having an argument. Way to get your guy in the mood, right?

As I was explaining last week, I have recently turned into the PMT monster. I found out I was not pregnant (again) and was feeling the sharp edge of every menstrual hormone. Perfect time for a pack of cigarettes to fall out of The Boy’s pocket.

Which it did. On Sunday afternoon. Our one day together.

Cue tears and tantrum.

I don’t even know why I started. I knew The Boy was still smoking on nights but I thought, stupidly, that since we were actively trying to make a baby he’d have stopped. Unfortunately we don’t live in my little fantasy land of smiles and psychic mind reading. We live in the real world where we don’t have a baby and I get to spend my days scarily obsessing over what we can do next month to improve our chances.

Anyway, we argued. We went to bed still wary of each other with nothing much resolved. I came to work angry, bitched to my colleagues about it all, then sat down and tried to rationally figure out what’s actually going on.

So far I have….

The Boy’s side:

  1. You know I’m still smoking… but only on nights… so why all the yelling?
  2. I am quitting… sometime.
  3. OMG I married this? You know what I feel like now? A whole freaking PACK of cigarettes. Yeah, that’s right. The second you leave I’m gonna smoke those m*ther f*cking bitches like a caterpillar on a mushroom.

My side:

  1. Smoking decreases male fertility. We’re trying to make a baby. How can you not see the problem here?
  2. When you see me running around charting temps, not drinking tea, coffee or alcohol, exercising every night of the week, giving up sushi, analysing bits of my body I’d rather not be thinking about and stuffing my face full of vitamins every day, and then ultimately getting worn out from not succeeding despite doing all this, I don’t understand how that has zero effect on you.
  3. You said you’d quit when I got my driver’s licence (done), when we got married (done), and when we started trying to have kids (done). What else do I need to do here?
  4. Now I am upset. There is no coming back from me being upset, no matter how rational you think your argument is.

Right. To be fair, The Boy has cut down on his daily nicotine intake. I am immensely proud of this. I think it’s great. And maybe I’m being too hard, but I figure if he can not smoke for days on end, which is truly awesome, why ruin it by smoking when he’s working a night shift?

What gets me is that while I knew he was still smoking, a part of me just hoped he’d see how much it hurt each month and just… stop. It’s not as though he hasn’t quit before. It’s not as though he doesn’t want this kid as much as I do. So I don’t get it.

I know part of him is thinking that the effect his smoking has is miniscule. Yes, the bogans down the road who drink like fish and smoke like chimneys and still have more kids than Centerlink can afford might be fertile despite their continued substance abuse. Or they could just be boinking like rabbits because they don’t have much else to do.

But what I don’t get is that even if he thinks there’s a tiny chance of him smoking affecting our ability to conceive, why do it? Why let me, someone you love, get hurt month after month if (and I’m totally not saying it is) that’s a contributing factor?

Now we’re at a stalemate. He won’t quit now because I’ve nagged him, and I think he’s being stubborn and selfish. I’ve tried not saying anything about it. I’ve tried being supportive. I’ve talked about how his smoking affects me and other people who care about him and I’ve tried to make him feel guilty. Nothing. And honestly, I can’t try anything more except try to not resent the broken promises.

Sigh. Disappointment’s a bitch.

Oh, it’s you.

17 Sep

 Of course it is. Never late for a visit, are you.

I’m going to come right out and say that today is not one of my better days. I’m in a shitty mood, ready to pick a fight. I just haven’t had found a suitable target yet. I’m sure when I get home and see The Boy this will be resolved, as he’ll have undoubtedly left a cushion skewed on the sofa and we all know that a baby rhino dies every time you leave a cushion out of place.

Because, yes, it’s that time of the month. I fully understand I turn into a monster when I get my period, more so now because I’m not taking my regular hormones and as such am in incredible amounts of pain. Top that off with another non-pregnancy and you’ve got one seriously ticked off chic.

Thankfully, The Boy knows better than to point out that I’m being an unreasonable bitch. Probably because he knows that I will slowly and deliberately tear him apart if he even so much as looks like he’s thinking it. He picked this up pretty quickly; it only took a few hysterical months for him to catch on that you don’t mess with the PMS monster, no matter how right you think you are.

So aside from today’s disappointment, I’m bored as f*ck and seem to be stuck in life’s waiting room. I don’t want to leave in case my number is called, but I’m really quite hungry for adventure. I need something to work towards. The thing is that without study, a wedding, a new job, or a round-the-world trip to plan, there’s nothing much going on in my life. The Boy is busy with study and work, and I’m… well. I’m at home, keeping the house clean. Ish.

I’d book a holiday, but the only places I want to go are China and Kenya, the only time I can go is January, and I can’t go if I’m pregnant. I’d start my Masters but the one I’m leaning towards requires me to quit my job and undertake a 17 week practical placement. And I don’t really want to quit my job because we’re supposed to be saving for a baby. And, no matter how bored I am, there is no way I ever want to plan another wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. But I’m quite happy with my current husband and all memories.

What to do, what to do.

One more day

16 Sep

One more day until I get my period.

Of course, logic tells me that it’s going to happen this month, just like every other. I’ve had the same damn symptoms – sore boobs, cramps, and uncontrollable moments of sobbing at the Huggies ads – but there’s still this glimmer of hope on the horizon that I’m able to torment myself with.

Because, you see, my temperature hasn’t dropped. It probably will tomorrow, but I was expecting it to today. So when it didn’t my heart caught in my throat and I’ve been left with the thought all day that maybe, just maybe, we hit the baby jackpot. That the stork has finally figured out our address. That the baby blanket I’ve been crocheting is actually for me this time.

Of course, tomorrow I’m probably going to be an emotional mess. This has happened before – right before the wedding my predictable-as-a-Swiss-train period was a couple of days late because I’d managed to get myself so worked up my body simply lost track of the days. And it hurt. Because then, like now, I’d got myself completely wrapped up in the excitement that things were actually happening down there.

Sigh. Silly me.

While I know the chances of me being pregnant this month are slim, I can’t help but feel we’re in with a shot. I’ve been taking my temps, I scored some lovin’ on all the right days, and there’s nothing wrong with either of us (that we know of). And I want it so much I’ve given up tea, alcohol, sushi and soft cheese, just in case. I’ve given up TEA, little microscopic egg. That’s how much your would-be mother loves you.

So I know I’m going to wake up disappointed tomorrow, and I know that this tiny little scrap of hope I’m living on is going to make me into an emotional wreck, but I simply can’t stop myself. It’s so hard to try, and fail, and not know what you should be doing differently to make it all better. The days grind to a halt as you wait for yet another morning of elevated temps, waiting and waiting until you can reliably test for two little red lines. Friends around you get pregnant in a heartbeat; have babies, plan their second, moan about the vomiting, sore boobs and lack of sleep that you’d so dearly love to have. Anything to avoid another two week wait of hope, nerves, and eventual heartbreak.

I never thought it’d be this hard. I never thought we’d have any trouble conceiving. I never thought it’d hurt so much each month, that I’d want it so bad it would feel like I could hardly breathe. I never thought I’d be so wrapped up in the idea of starting a family that I’d spend my days willing that little microscopic egg to just stay, stay¸ for one more day, and then another, and another. I never thought I’d get upset when I saw my friends have kids before me. I never thought that I’d never want to talk about it.

But for today, there’s one more day. One more day of anticipation that I can hang on to. I just hope that that little egg is holding on as tight as I am.

The two week wait

6 Sep

So the whole trying to get pregnant thing? Totally does your head in.

I spent years actively trying not to get pregnant, convinced that I was so fertile just kissing a boy would get me with child before you could say Holy Mother Mary (thanks, Mum). But turns out all that worry, all those fretful moments, were a complete and utter waste of time. Now that I’m actually trying to get pregnant, I’ve learned that:

  1. There’s only a 20% chance that you’ll get pregnant in any one cycle
  2. That’s providing you have sex on the right day before ovulation
  3. There are any number of ‘pregnancy’ symptoms that you can torture yourself with that are also suspiciously (exactly) like the symptoms you get when you ovulate, or when you get your period
  4. There is nothing as utterly crushing as getting your period when you’ve convinced yourself that those phantom pregnancy symptoms you’ve been experiencing  are actual pregnancy symptoms
  5. The two week wait is enough to make any woman offer a sacrifice to the fertility gods to deliver her with the lucky two red lines, ten days early

If you’ve got an irregular period, or you managed to luck and get pregnant first try, good for you. You probably haven’t experienced the torture of the two week wait and I honestly wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

As for me, I’ve joined the sad ranks of those who obsessively pore over Google search results trying to find confirmation that the latest twinge, tingle, craving or mood swing is a reliable indication that there’s a bun in the oven. And I’m not alone. There are thousands of us out there, some who have been doing the whole temperature taking/abstaining from anything enjoyable like chocolate, soft cheese and alcohol thing for over a year. A YEAR. We’ve been vaguely trying for the past three months and I’ve already let my imagination run loose to the point that I know exactly what the first day of school is going to be like for my adopted children, Pandu and Lila. And I’m getting really freakin’ cranky without my daily six cups of tea.

Anyway today, Monday, was the first day that I realised I had actually ovulated (based on the 0.3C raise in my temperature that I detected at 6am this morning) and could now start obsessing over whether I felt pregnant or not (I don’t). Already I’ve stalked out a few baby-making sites and have found out that I should/shouldn’t be able to feel something by now, and that if I can/can’t then I’m definitely/not pregnant. Sigh. And to think, I now have 12 days left of this before I’m either a) devastated or b) committed to freaking out that something indescribably horrible is going to happen for the next, oh, say, rest of my life.