trying to conceive. and still trying.

what follows is something i wrote a month ago and never posted, because i wanted to wait and see if i could rewrite it from a better emotional place. now, rereading it, i've decided to post it anyway, because it points out to me how rapidly my emotions and perspectives shift (trying to catch a representative snapshot of my thoughts about it isn't likely as it's a moving target). a month ago, i felt frustrated but not terribly worried. this month, i'm taking it more in stride and have calmed back down, despite feeling a far greater concern. here's last month:

. . .

i've been meaning to post about this for a long while, but it's a fine line between talking about something and flat-out whining about something you can't change, so that probably explains my limited comments on the subject thus far.

we started trying in december. should i get pregnant next month (this month, it seems, is yet another no go), that will have been nine months since we started. enough time to have gestated an actual baby, which seems like an awfully long time all of the sudden. somehow the nine month thing is messing with my head, and i'm losing my resolve to be patient and just wait.

at first i had that giddy impatience, not really bothered that it didn't happen immediately, but kind of hoping it would (as it did with eva). that moved into actual impatience, long before such a thing was justifiable, yet there it was. i then came around to some semblance of resolve to be patient after i realized (despite all the signs) my body was only going through the motions of ovulation. i gained that resolve because it seemed ovulation would not happen until i weaned eva, and i wasn't ready to accelerate that process yet, so i had no choice but patience. now, however, that resolve is waning as i start to feel beat down by the months and weeks and days of waiting and waiting. approaching nine months in, i'm starting to feel betrayed... i guess maybe by my own body and even by my own emotions.

i hesitate to even say such things, since i know there are countless people who long for a baby they'll never have and here i sit with my beautiful little girl. and there are people who try much longer and have to go to greater lengths to end up with the children they have, so my relatively short amount of waiting is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. but it's still a big deal to me, in my life. (try as we might, i think we all have to fess up to the fact that knowing someone somewhere has it worse than you do doesn't in your heart of hearts make you feel all that much better.) i have more sympathy than ever for people with *actual* fertility problems. and in the mean time, i'm feeling more than a little bit sorry for myself.

so there we are. i'm mad at my body for deciding that nursing eva once a day means i don't have the resources to foster a pregnancy, and i'm mad at myself for having emotions that are at best counter-productive to creating a new life. i'm struggling with my own impatience, jealousy, fear, self-pity, and guilt over feeling all those things in the first place.

i know a lot of mamas (really, a lot) -- relatives, friends, acquaintances -- and literally every single person i know with a first kid eva's age is pregnant (barring the people who are having no more children). hell, even mamas who were trying *not* to get pregnant yet are pregnant. mamas with first kids significantly younger than eva are pregnant. i'm starting to feel like i don't know anyone who *isn't* pregnant. (my apologies to the 5 or 6 of you pregnant mamas who will be reading this. by no means does your happiness diminish my own, i just don't know how else to explain my frustration. but i promise, this is my own issue and it's really not about you. :)

all this emotion, and i don't even have a legitimate right to be worried yet! i guess i'm just disappointed that it's taking so long, and also disappointed that i'm not handling it with more grace and calm. it's hard, among other things, to let go of the false sense of control we all have over our lives when it comes to such things. we all know intellectually that we have little to no influence over our child's gender or our child spacing or whether we'll even have children at all, but how this plays out in reality is more trying than i had anticipated.

. . .

i feel differently now. all that emotion is still there in my darker moments, but i feel more open and accepting of the situation. that said, the real worry sets in. it's becoming extremely unlikely that nursing eva once a day is preventing ovulation and that begs the question, what else could it be? many of the "simple" things that are easy to fix don't apply to me. that leaves me with a big looming void of a question. basically, i've moved from "when will i get pregnant" to "will i get pregnant". and actually, that's okay. i think that's how i mentally prepare, just in case. (ever the planner, my wandering thoughts have already taken me past the fertility treatments i don't want and on to wondering how one explores adoption possibilities... i know, i know, that's premature, but that's how i process. with brute force preparation!) who can say where this journey will take us? it's still trying, don't get me wrong, but i'm feeling a bit more calm.

here's a cute exchange from a few weeks ago that made me a little sad. eva sat at the table having a snack while i finished making dinner.

"i sharing my food with my sister. my sister eating tomatoes with me."
oh really? what is your sister's name?"
where is bohp?
"she sitting right there. here ya'go bohp. here's your tomatoes. you like them?"
(then, 30 minutes later, she ran around singing "yea! bohp bohp bohp! bohp boooohp...")

eva is so very interested in her friends' baby siblings, and she talks about mamas with babies in their bellies, and how the baby grows bigger and bigger and then comes out. it's not like i drill her on this, she just clings to the information. i think a part of her knows she's ready to be a great big sister. hopefully soon...


Eliza said...

I just read this. I know you wrote it a while ago, and clearly things have changed since then.

We're on month 2 of TTC. It's not something that I know I should worry about yet-- these things can take a long time and we're merely at the beginning of our journey-- but it is very tempting to wonder whether I'm someone who will be dealing with infertility issues.

Anyway, thanks for writing about it in such a clear way. It made me feel better.

Kristy said...

hey eliza... how exciting! i'm sure there's a baby making his or her way to you right now. :)

but you know, i was thinking about this a bit since i wrote this (as i sit here now with my almost 7 month old) -- i wonder if part of the emotion and stress everyone seems to have about their own fertility is a natural reaction to just how amazing and improbable the whole process of producing a new life is in the first place. by which i mean, if you're not at least a little stressed or emotional about it, maybe you haven't really been considering just how nuts it is that we can make a whole new person just like that, easy as pie? crazy.

best of luck to you on your journey.