When at first you don’t get pregnant, try, try again

I woke up a little bit nauseous. My first thought “am I pregnant”. Then I quickly try to dismiss the thought because the hope the eventual disappointment is too much to deal with at 5 am.

We have been trying to get pregnant for over two years.

Every month we start out on this rollercoaster of emotion. Tracking dates of cycles, ovulation, temperature, and symptoms have become a habit.

My cycle begins as a wave of disappointment. A visual reminder that my womb is empty. As the week goes along the disappointment fades into acceptance.

                           Still not pregnant

One week later the magic window of ovulation is upon us and we are renewed with hope and possibility. ‘This is it’ we think to ourselves, ‘this month it is going to finally happen for us’.

Inevitably something goes awry during that window of opportunity; someone gets sick, my back goes out, his back goes out, one of us is busy at work requiring extra hours, a family emergency, the list of reasons is long and varied. But this what we want, so we jump the hurdles.

Over the next few weeks, we let our imaginations entertain the idea that maybe this will be the month. I think of cute ways I could tell him I’m pregnant. Sometimes we talk about possible names.

With anticipation, I consider taking a pregnancy test but quickly dismiss the idea. There is nothing a test will tell me that I won’t find out for myself if I just wait a few more days. We have spent enough on ovulation and pregnancy tests already. Besides a few more days of not knowing is preferable to a negative test.

In the few days leading up to my cycle, I begin to mentally prepare myself. “You’re probably not pregnant. Don’t get your hopes up”. The problem is that hope springs eternal. As much as I try to lay the groundwork for defeat, my mind (and heart) plot against logic with hope.

Then it starts, my cycle. Initially, I tell myself, “yep, I knew it”. I try to shrug it off. And at first, it works. I go about my day as if nothing has happened.

Slowly, the sadness, frustration, self-doubt, begin to sweep through me. “Geriatric eggs”, I remember what the doctor said about women after their 35th birthday. “Why do I keep doing this to myself. Maybe we just weren’t meant to have a child together” I think to myself.

My husband asks why it seems so hard for us, why everything seems so hard for us. We put in the work, we follow the rules, we plan and follow through. I assure him that it’s not just us.  Although sometimes I feel the same way.

It’s when I begin to doubt, that my husband, with his infinite wisdom, reminds me (and himself) of all that we have overcome. He tells me that he is grateful that I am alive and we are here, together. Our story could have been so much different. He is right, he usually is.

I bury my head in his chest and wrap my arms around him. He quietly says “Even if I cannot have a child, you have already given me two sons.” The hot tears begin to fall. In this moment, I know that regardless of what happens, everything is going to be ok.

Then I remember my niece woke up getting sick the day before. I was snuggling and loving her two days before. Most likely I have whatever bug she had. Chances are I’m not pregnant. How do I exit this rollercoaster?

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