Superstitious

I’m a superstitious person. Not always. Only when it counts.

When I was running races each month back in 2012, I had my routine. I wore the same thing. I ate the same dinner the night before. I did the same stretching routine the morning of. My breakfast never varied and my races were always a success. Except for that one time I didn’t do all my little rituals.

That race was a disaster and it was because my good pants weren’t washed and I skipped my pre-race coffee.

I’m not running races any more but I’m seeing my superstitious side rearing its head when it comes to our trying to conceive.

This cycle I’m late. Not super late but later than usual. After so many failed attempts to conceive, just the hope that springs from this delay is making me ill with anxiety and fully superstitious.

I’d usually be chatty about this delayed start of my next cycle but instead have kept mum. Other than my husband (and these readers) I’ve not said anything to anyone. Not even my mom. Normally I share most everything with my mom but my worries that if I speak I will break the streak of missed days is keeping me silent.

By now I would have blown through a few Clear Blue tests to confirm my suspicions but not this time. I happen to have run out and instead of rushing to the store for a new pack, I’ve stayed away and refuse to pee on any pregnancy sticks. It’s almost as if I believe that having them in my house with jinx the way things are going. That just seeing one will instantly make me not pregnant.

So I wait. No tests. No talking. No nothing. We ignore it like its the big pink elephant in the room. I get up in the morning to use the bathroom and I hold my breath. So far, no signs either way. When I return to bed, I feel my husband release a breath he had been holding with me, anxious to hear if my cycle is still late or if it is starting over.

Together, each morning, we hold our breath and wait for a week to pass. Together we anxiously ignore any signs or changes in me and hope beyond all hope that this time we’ll get the news we’ve been waiting breathlessly for.

And alone I’ll continue my little superstitious rituals in hopes that something works.

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Unending Cycle

It’s Sunday. A day of football and relaxing. Time to reset for the week and enjoy your time off before starting over again on Monday.

It’s Sunday and here I sit in an apron, smelling strongly of bleach and cleaning supplies, sipping a mild tea meant to help boost my ability to conceive this month.

This month marks a year and a half of trying to have a baby. That’s 19 months or about 82 weeks. Roughly about 575 days of the same thing each cycle: hoping, wishing, trying, logging, monitoring, and then nothing.

My job changed recently. I left the high stress job sitting at a desk Monday through Friday, 7:30-4:30 to a little less pay but a much larger reward. I’m stressing less and I’m home more. Plus I’m doing what I love and have passion for. I’m in the classroom teaching and touching lives.

Even with this change, each month is the same. We try and hope, crossing our fingers for a positive. Then nothing but the silence of one single pink line and another month gone.

We’ve done a lot on our own. We’ve changed our lifestyles, we’re keeping healthy (as we can) and we’re adding natural supplements to help boost our chances. But I’ve got to be real and accept that we may need the help of a doctor.

It feels silly to need help. Jake came into my life so easily and without even trying. But this struggle after having had a healthy pregnancy years ago is real and painful. I feel I’m failing and that something is wrong with me. And in some dark corner of my mind I also feel that I’ve done something wrong and this is my punishment.

Thanks Catholic upbringing.

We’ve been open when people ask about our goal to have more kids and we’ve been even more open about the fact that we’ve been trying for some time. This tends to be met with incredulous stares and confusion. They look at me and ask “But you’ve been pregnant already” like I don’t remember or that the thought hasn’t crossed my own mind, too. I know they don’t mean harm but it sucks to hear.

Oddly, as open as we can be, we don’t share much without being prompted first. I doubt more than a handful of people close to us know we’re trying and have been for over a year now. It’s kept close to our vest and if asked, we’ll chat. Otherwise, it’s a battle we fight alone.

Here we start another year, 2015. Another year, another month, another day to try again.

You and Me Plus Baby and Him and All The Family Makes…Oh Hell….I Lost Count

Before we said “I Do”, the mister and I talked about kids. We both agreed that having two kids together was a dream we shared and we wanted to start as soon as the wedding was done and paid for. We had a few reasons to want to start right away but the main one was our ages: we aren’t getting any younger and neither is Jake. With one already in elementary school, we knew that we’ll practically be raising two separate families with the large age gap.

Also, our son is overjoyed with the notion of having siblings. We are thrilled he’s excited but we also know this feeling won’t last long for him once he realized how much of our time he’ll have to share and how disruptive babies really can be. Might as well capitalize that he’ll actually enjoy being around the little squirt and have one sooner rather than later when he wants to be in his room all the time.

So, riding on the coat tails of honeymoon bliss and the excitement our little one had to be a big brother, we jumped into the baby making process. We charted and tracked. We noted mood changes and any inkling of physical differences in my body. We logged time together and spent many hours planning and looking over our projected finances. I took pregnancy tests and waited impatiently for those damn two minutes to tick by for the results.

But when that initial month of planning and tracking passed without success, well the tears did flow and I found myself whining that I was broken. My husband, good man that he is, comforted me and reminded me that we’ve only just begun and we have more than enough time. This of course made me cry harder as I complained that my clock was ticking and I would soon find myself beyond the age of fertility.

All silly things really but still very valid concerns of mine.

My lack of conceiving was noticeable with all the family and friends surrounding us and soon we were being asked when we were going to have our next one or when our turn would be. At this we shrugged and I felt less and less confident that it would happen for us naturally. I started to foresee lots of stirrups and doctor’s appointments with poking and prodding galore for me.

While initially I was disappointed and bothered that nature had let us down and that we hadn’t conceived within the first millisecond of being married, soon I found myself not so bothered by it. Soccer started for Jake and school began not long after. We started having some issues with bedtime fears of Jake’s, keeping us awake at all hours and rudely reminding me what it feels like to work on disrupted sleep.

After that first month we stopped trying so hard. No more charting or testing if I had the slightest tummy ache. We let our time together be enjoyable and we finished out the summer as a happy family ready for fall and for school to resume.

It’s funny. I didn’t expect for it to be so easy to suddenly not care as much about becoming pregnant. That first month was intense and tiring. If it happened, then great! But when it didn’t happen and we moved on with our lives so easily, I guess I was not expecting that.

To be honest, I don’t know what I expected. I guess I just thought it would just work, like the teachers at my Catholic high school warned. They put the fear in us that even THINKING about sex would create a child. Plus, in my personal experience, even when you aren’t trying and you do what you can to prevent it from happening, well, it can still happen!

So with all my convoluted thinking and my past experience with conceiving, I guess I figured that when I actually tried, it would just BAM! Happen…And then, it didn’t happen. Damn teachers lied… After the disappointment wore off, we found ourselves peacefully ok with it. We stopped worrying and we’re not even really trying anymore.

And I’m honestly happy to not to be worrying about getting pregnant anymore. It’ll happen when it’s meant to. Plus it took up too much brain space and emotional energy. And pregnancy tests don’t come cheap.

We still want our family and we very much looking forward to adding to our brood. And when that time comes, there will be no limit to the joy we’ll feel.