Originally written on February 11, 2019
I started telling my best friends that K, my husband, and I were going to have a baby the first month we tried. This may be a bit of over sharing, but I’m going to tell you, because I tend to over share and make people uncomfortable. Honesty isn’t always comfortable.
The night of my best friend’s wedding was one of the best nights ever. We danced, we cried – lots of people cried, not just me, and we … ya know… did it. K was just drunk enough that he said “ok” as I danced all over him then pulled him into the bathroom. The second I had my dress back on I ran to tell my friends, “We’re going to try to have a baby!” I knew I was ovulating (soon) and was just sure it would be the case. The next morning, at the after party, I didn’t drink, too much, and I didn’t sit in the hot tub, too long, because I was just sure.
I started taking tests 5 days before my period, 3 days before, 1 day before, the day after my expected period, and then my period started. I felt devastated. I was sad. This was the first month I learned to ask for a little time for sadness. I just needed a little time to feel sad. K was positive and happy-go-lucky saying, “we wanted to wait a couple months to try anyways”, “now we could really consider timing and planning”, “this wasn’t the right time anyways”, especially since I would have a lot of the year to still teach. “We should be strategic and plan the pregnancy to fall right before summer.” All of this was smart advice, my husband is really smart.
We stalked up on condoms and began to plan the month we would start trying. We decided we wanted to get pregnant in June. That month would make sense for my job. That month would be the earliest we would want to be pregnant. So of course, I convinced him to start trying in May. At this point, I had been using an app on my phone, Flo, to track my cycle since October, so I knew exactly when I thought I was ovulating. I also knew my period matched the moon cycle. I remember a coworker saying her students were acting out and she said it must be a full moon tonight. I corrected her that the full moon actually happened the day before.
In May, during my ovulation time, I thought I was prepared. Turns out I was very surprised. We typically used condoms, so I totally forgot what a sticky mess sex can be. We had sex before school and the whole morning at work I felt like I was peeing my pants (I’m exaggerating), but still it was a bit inconvenient. We decided sex at night was the better option. But one night I had a bit too much cheese, I know that dairy doesn’t sit well with me, but oh how I love cheese. I did not feel sexy! No one in their right mind would want to do this farty cheese chick. But we wanted a baby. It was not romantic.
The week before my period was to come, K was away in Finland for work. I had pinterested many different ways to tell your partner you were expecting. I decided on giving K a jar with 270 reasons for why I loved him, one reason for each day I was pregnant. There are a million reasons why I love my husband, but 270 were hard to think of. I decided to include kissy faces and xxx on a couple of them, to be redeemed as coupons. I worked on this project at the library, one of my favorite places in the world. Working on the project was romantic and wonderful. At this point I had checked out all of the pregnancy books I could find. I had some for me, some for K. Though K was away, I had an amazing week preparing to surprise him and gearing up myself. I had even ordered a variety of nausea candies from amazon, because as a person who is often dizzy, I anticipated that I would suffer from morning sickness. But hey, I love candy, and we wanted a baby.
I went to the store to stalk up on pregnancy tests. From my past experience I knew I would need many. As soon as five days before my period hit, I started using them. And again, my very usual cycle had my period a day late. I saw that full moon and thought maybe I just don’t have a lot of HTC (the positive pregnancy hormone). Maybe the test will be positive tomorrow. It wasn’t positive, it wasn’t even necessary to take, because there was my period. I was devastated and embarrassed. I hid the jar full of reasons in the back of a closet by the DVDs, because I knew K would never look there. He is always telling me to put the DVDs in a case instead of keeping them in their original boxes. But I love the boxes. I have a hard time letting things go.
Then I mourned. I was so angry at my period. The next day, everything my students did set me off. I cried at work from feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately crying at work during my period would become a regular occurrence. But there was hope. I read somewhere that 60% of couples get pregnant within 3 months, 80% within 6 months, and 90% within a year. On the bright side, I could have a glass of wine. So, I drank nice wine. Gone were the days of 14 Hands Hot to Trot, which I love so much, they could be one of my life sponsors. I started drinking bottles that cost around or over $20 each, because hey, soon I wouldn’t be drinking.
Months went by, the summer flew by. Still no baby. A tipping point came in August, the 4-month marker, we weren’t 60% of couples. I had seen my doctor, who I LOVED, at the beginning of the month. I was in tears, because I cannot go to a hospital and not cry. The last time I went to a doctor and didn’t cry was when I was 21 and the most handsome doctor was removing a wart on my toe. He TOTALLY hit on me and it seemed the wrong time to cry. Anyways, my favorite doctor sat with me and my app and told me exactly what days to have sex, and what days K should “reload.” Through my tears, I held back my immature laughter. She also told me that every time she saw a patient and gave them advice, they got pregnant. She told me to text her when the test came back positive. I came home that day with a plan. I took a test 5 days before and it came back negative, and instead of trying again and again I decided to accept the loss right then and there, on my 28th birthday. But this month turned out to be different. This time my period was 3 days late and on top of that I was feeling nauseous. Maybe I would get the most amazing birthday present. Spoiler alert, I didn’t.
We were in Bend, Oregon with K’s family for their annual family reunion. On the third day of my period being late, I woke up nauseous. We woke up early to summit Mt. Bachelor. K, his dad, and I planned to hike to the top. Oh, my, gosh. It was a challenge. I stopped a couple times thinking I would puke, I didn’t! We made it to the top and I have never felt prouder of my body. I took of my shirt for a picture! I was tough and pushed myself. My body was amazing.
As soon as we made it to the bottom of the mountain, we went straight to the store to get a pregnancy test. I just knew it would be positive. My body was amazing! We were meeting K’s family for lunch, which was right next to the store so we popped over and I ducked into the bathroom. K waited outside for me. I took the test and placed it back in the wrapper so we could share the moment together. We wanted a baby. I wanted this to be a “we” experience. It was negative. My body shook with sobs I wouldn’t let myself release, because we were meeting his family just feet away at the restaurant. Luckily it was sunny, and we were eating at a brewery. Sunglasses on, pint in one hand, K’s hand in another, we joined the group and laughed about the day’s adventures. A little piece inside me broke. I thought getting pregnant would be easy.
That was the month I stopped texting friends my updates. I also started wearing an Ava, a pregnancy tracker app that you wear every night. It was much more accurate than my Flo app. It gave me another boost of hope. I had used ovulation strips and those hadn’t always matched Flo, but the strips and Ava matched perfectly. I wore Ava religiously. This month my doctor also left family medicine for something else. I had finally found a doctor I loved and she lied to me (I know I’m being dramatic) and then left me (she just had a baby and needed better financial stability, I understand).
Everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant or having babies. I felt proud of myself that I didn’t let this bother me, too much. I celebrated with friends and family and liked MANY Instagram pictures. Each time was like a little pat on the back that I wouldn’t let my life interrupt how I chose to feel about others’ lives. As my brother quoted, “comparison is the thief of joy.” I had little baby joy of my own to give away, so there was no way I was going to compare. No Instagram picture was going to steal my joy. I was happy for them.
We didn’t get pregnant in September. I didn’t get to announce a pumpkin coming in October. In November, when we went home to my parent’s house for Thanksgiving, I bawled like a baby in my mom’s arms when my period started on Thanksgiving Day. I wanted to give them a grandchild! I wanted a baby! I drank really nice wine and played cards with my family. I drank nice wine and spent time with my dad. I told him we were trying really hard. I told him I loved him. I drank more wine.
December did not bring a baby. But it did bring more pregnant people into my world. I was so excited to shop for gifts for expecting moms. There is the cutest baby stuff, I say stuff because it can’t be necessary, but it is so cute! I drank quite a bit during the holidays, because I could. I cried a lot because I missed my mom and dad, but I am an emotional human so that wasn’t too out of the ordinary. K was supportive and amazing as always. I will need to write a whole book about him and his constant support. The day after Christmas, K and I made appointments with doctors. We were past the 80% and heading towards the 90% and I needed some kind of control back. Yes, I am emotional and controlling, do with that what you will.
In January I got to meet my new doctor. She walked into the room and she was pregnant. I burst into tears. “I’m so happy for you” I squeaked out. She held my hand and gave me a box of tissues. She ordered all the blood work, she looked at all of the data Ava had been collecting, she gave me hope and a referral to a reproductive clinic. My doctor told me that I would get pregnant. She also told me that she didn’t think it was me. This was a weird and uncomfortable relief. Apparently, it is much easier to get a fertile woman pregnant then a not fertile woman pregnant. It is less invasive if the woman is not the problem. I have been a problem for many reasons in my life, but today my ovaries were not going to be a problem. If it wasn’t me though, then it was my best friend.
I was a bit anxious to talk to him that night. I cried, of course, and quickly told him the last part so he could relay what my doctor said to his doctor. K melts my heart often, and when I shared this news with him it was no exception. K was relieved that it was him and his fear was that I would resent him. How in the world could I resent him? He is supportive and positive, he is kind and caring, he supplies endless amounts of good wine, and to top it all off he is the love of my life. He started cracking jokes about his future date with a cup. I love this man.
In February, K saw his doctor, who referred him to a clinic to have his sperm tested. I sat with him as he called to make his appointment. The nurse politely told him to ejaculate 5 days prior to the appointment and we both silently giggled. We cracked jokes about K being busy on Monday because he had to ejaculate. “Sorry dad, I can’t go fishing, I have to ejaculate.” “Sorry, I won’t be able to make the meeting, I have to ejaculate.” Then Monday came. I wont share K’s experience, because I expect that he will. I loved my husband on Monday in a way that I never had before. I can only imagine how uncomfortable he must have been. I love how brave and supportive he is. I love this man.
Now we are waiting for results. 5 to 7 business days until we have more control and can start a new plan. Now, we are waiting. We are continuing to wait, hoping that the next chapter will provide us with a better idea of what comes next. What less than 10% of couples go through to have a baby. Because, we want a baby.