Saturday, April 7, 2007

On the Brink of Belief (Wk 11: TRYING TO CONCEIVE)

May 17, 2005

During my two-week waits on the Pill, wondering (let's be honest, hoping), that things like an upset tummy might wash away a day's hormone supply leading to my getting pregnant, I'd spend hours on the internet.

My first few searches were fairly straightforward: "Pregnancy -symptoms -early" or "first -symptoms -conception." Then they'd get more specific: "Hiccups -pregnancy" or "Sneezing -pregnancy." Eventually they'd get pretty pitiful: "Spotting -pregnancy" and "pregnancy -with -menstruation."

A girl can hope. The mind is a powerful thing.

During these pseudo waits, I'd watch every twitch and twitter of my body. "I'm so fatigued! That's a sign!" Nevermind that I'd been up for 16 hours. "I keep having to pee! That's a sign!" Nevermind the pitcher of water I'd finished off. "My toe hurts! That's a sign!" Nevermind that I'd stubbed it. You get the idea.

Then there's the infamous Tootsie Pop Symptom. A friend of mine was convinced that her sudden craving for a tootsie pop that had been in the house for months was the craving of her would-be embryo. She at it, of course. But alas, it was for her own enjoyment.

Cynic's Guide to the 2-Week-Wait

It's taken several waits, both real and imagined, to gain a little patience and realism.

My intellectual knowledge that early pregnancy symptoms are easily attributed to PMS is finally starting to sink in. Sore boobies, changes in appetite, fatigued... While being hyper-tuned to my body makes me aware of every twitch in my abdomen, I've now come to find that I have these all cycle long.

What's to be gained by the constant obsessing? Will it change whether or not I'm pregnant? Will I know definitively any sooner?

No. So I've given it up, cold turkey. My boobs are sore. Well? They were sore last month and, if I'm not pregnant, they'll be sore again next month.

This has been my easiest wait yet!

I do have my moments, now and then. Like last Sunday, when my temperature dropped 1/10th of a degree. "I can't take it if I'm not pregnant this month!" I sobbed to Tom. "I just can't. I want it so badly. All these people who aren't even trying get pregnant, why can't we? Things I used to enjoy, I don't enjoy them as much. Because what I really want more than anything is a baby."

Tom's response, "Gosh, I didn't realize how strongly you felt. I wish we'd started sooner." What, Mr. Patient Logical?

Still, emotional outbursts aside (c'mon, you've got to have at least one per wait), I'm doing well. Really well.

An Optimist's Guide to the 2-Week-Wait

Meanwhile, a memory has brought much comfort.

From the time I learned what a period was, I wanted it to happen to me. (No, I wasn't smoking crack.) With the biggest boobs in the 5th grade, I began to watch eagerly for her arrival.

No luck that year. A vigilant wait continued through 6th grade. I began to worry that it would never happen, that perhaps something was wrong with me. "I'll never be so lucky! Getting your period is something that happens to other people, not me!"

Well, as I sit here and write, I can assure you, she came. By the end of 6th grade, no less! The mysterious gift, so out of reach, arrived.

So now, as I so often think that getting pregnant is something that happens to other people, that it will never happen to me, I have evidence to the contrary.

I'm beginning to believe.

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