Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What They Don't Tell You About Trying to Get Pregnant

I'm trying to get pregnant.
Anyone who knows me knows this is not a secret.  We are hoping for that ever elusive Bouncing Baby Boy.  Since I was little I've always wanted a son. "When I grow up I want to have a boy!".  Apparently God was listening and in his infinite humor has decided to bless me with four beautiful girls instead.  I love my girls completely and would never wish that they were anything but who they are (a limited trade on some of our harder days wouldn't be totally unwelcome though). So, we keep trying.  Even if our next baby is a girl we will be done. I've always wanted a big family but five is my limit. Any more and we stop being able to buy cars from regular car dealerships. That folks, is where I draw the line.
So, we're trying.  I read somewhere once that announcing publicly that you are trying to get pregnant is like saying "Guess what everybody! We're having SEX!". And it is. I've never really tried to get pregnant before. It just kind of happened. Jane was sort of planned. The phrase "we should try to get pregnant" was used and a month later there it was. Even with Fiona, Doug and I had wanted to get pregnant, knew that we would be trying soon.  Life apparently had other plans.  This time has not been so easy. 
For a year we have been trying to get pregnant.  In December we got our BFP (that's Big Fat Positive in fertility lingo). In January we got our Big Fat Devastation. I keep waiting. I'm charting my temperature every morning at 6 o'clock. Every morning. It's the first thing I do. It's the first thing that I think about. I have a membership to a website online that puts together a fancy little graph for me and charts my temperature, our sex life and various other bodily functions that most people don't think about on a daily basis. I have peed on numerous little strips of litmus paper looking for indications of hormone surges. Women trying to get pregnant are obsessed with peeing on little pieces of paper and sticks bought in 3 packs. You start long before you know you can't possibly get a positive. But you do it anyway. I know the percentage of an accurate result based on brand. I know the average price and where to find them on sale. A million dollar market for stuff to pee on. Amazing isn't it?  I know on any given day of the month what is going on in my body. I can tell you the day I ovulated. And I do.  I have had girlfriends tell me "what are you doing talking to me? Go trip your husband!".  As women I guess they understand.
The one thing the doctors don't tell you when you start this journey is how friggin' HARD it is.  The gut wrenching disappointment when you reach for that box of tampons.  You don't realize how hard you pray that your period doesn't start on the day you know it will. And you know it will. That day or the next because you've been watching your temperature do a nose dive for 3 days.  Or the times when you dread going to the bathroom because your temperatures have remained high. There's been a slight downward arc, but nothing alarming. It's been a little chilly at night, hasn't it? Your husband stole the covers, or got out of bed earlier so of course you're a little cooler than normal. You wouldn't think that a 0.08 drop in temperature could cause such turmoil but it does! 
One week a month sex becomes something else. It's not the loving act between a married couple. It's not the carnal desire of two people attracted to each other. It's sex with a mission. With a purpose. This is it. We have this three day window. We have to make this work.  You do try to make it something more but you both really know better.  It's not like he doesn't know what's going on.  Because he knows you're ovulating soon. He knows because you've said so.  You told him last month when the period came that next month around the 10th would be it. You told him Sunday that he better rest up because Wednesday is looking good.  You've reminded him about the vitamins and he's seen the OPK's lined up so you can watch the surge.  The shaved legs, the extra time on the hair, the spruced up house, the million little things that you do to try to hide the fact that tonight we get to WORK, damn it!  Because if it works this time, you can stop all of this.  All of the madness and craziness that you put yourself through. He knows and he loves you.
You do want to stop the craziness. You do - but you can't. So you keep it up and you keep going and you try just one more time.  Because next time it will work. Right?
I am blessed with the wonderful husband that I have. Doug wants another baby, too. The act of trying is great. He says it'll happen when it's supposed to. (The nurse at my doctor's office said we just need to go on vacation, or plan something important, because that's when babies are conceived) He is tender and reassuring and calm about it. But, that's my Doug and how he is about everything.  He is supportive and understanding in his recent knowledge of everything he didn't realize he didn't want to know about the female reproductive system.  He loves me. I am thankful for that every single day.
So we'll keep it up. Maybe next month will be the last month.

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