Nine things.

Stuff I knew before TTC

1. No one is guaranteed a baby when they want it. And yet, some people are able to plan like that. This makes it ridiculously difficult for them to understand those who can’t plan.

2. I really, really wanted to be among those who could plan for a baby and have it work totally correctly.

3. If you can, waiting to start trying is not the wrong decision. Having a baby is a big deal.

Stuff I realized when we started

1. Sex ed in this country is 99.9% about how not to get pregnant. For a huge percentage of the population, that makes total sense. For the rest of us, it means that not only do we not get the info we need, but it leaves the majority population totally stumped about what’s going on with us.

2. There’s actually a lot that I can know about my body by paying attention. I can figure out if and when I’m ovulating, if my basal body temperature is high or low, if it’s erratic. I can find out what my luteal phase looks like, and predict which day I’m going to get my period.

3. However, pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms can be the same. Like seriously. Heartburn, fatigue, being emotional? Yeah, that can all be PMS OR pregnancy symptoms. Really? Who decided that. I mean, it makes sense – your body can’t really tell the difference either until it realizes that nothing burrowed into your uterus, and the luteal corpus dies and you get your period. But still. Totally useless for those of us TTCing. Especially since no chart can ever tell you if you’re really pregnant.

Stuff I know now, as we’re rounding 20 cycles out

1. How much harder it would get to watch other people be pregnant. And also, how hard it is being different depending on who it is. There’s always jealousy – doesn’t matter what the story is – because they have something that I desperately want. But there’s a difference. It’s easier for that jealousy to be mixed with happiness when it’s someone I know struggled. It’s impossible when I know the baby wasn’t so planned, or the person can’t shut up about it. It has a lot to do with how much I like the individual as well.

2. I keep hope each cycle, but I’ve started planning like it’s not going to work. Early on, I’d think sometimes about “Oh, what if I’m pregnant when X happens?” And sometimes, I’d set my heart on it. And it hurt more than it was worth. So I’ve stopped saying it. Sometimes, it pulls me back in, but I’m better about it. I don’t hang a star on it. It’s just there. Milestones hurt, but there’s nothing to do for that. Going on our annual family vacation, my birthday, our anniversary. Praying that by this time next year, things will be different.

3. The grief and the uncertainty, and that they feed into each other. I feel grief about our family that we wanted. I saw a note I wrote about our ideal family, years and years ago, and I just laughed. All the dates I wrote for starting our family have already passed. So, we sit in the uncertainty, and I grieve for that timeline, and feel that I’m missing something. Not to mention, the Big Fear. The one that says I will always feel like this – that there will never be a baby for me. I can feel the lie in it, but it’s really difficult in the moment to separate it from my daily truth. Still waiting, sad and uncertain.


ETA: Expecting AF tomorrow. Think of me if it does turn out to be CD1 again.


13 thoughts on “Nine things.

  1. This is great…and heartbreakingly true. The Hubs and I always assumed that once we made all the right choices in life that we would be able to just start a family. I mourn the loss of that innocence. Hope that tomorrow is not CD1!

    • Since my mom had had trouble conceiving, I wasn’t sure what would happen with me, but I had a LOT of hope, you know? I wanted it to be easy so badly! Sending good vibes back to you as well!

  2. I could have written every word of this myself (well if I was a better writer anyway). I definitely understand about not being able to plan and grieving for what you can’t have. I mentioned the word grief once to my husband when I was particularly down and he just didn’t get it at all – it’s good to know there are others who do. Good luck to you

    • I think grief is the right word. I know it seems overblown, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it. I mean, there’s also anger and disappointment and frustration. But grief is way up there.

  3. Glad to have found this blog, although we’re not on the same journey, or not at the same point anyway… Your insight make sense to me though.

    I think you’re inspiring me to do a “what do I know / things I’ve learned” post too.

    As for “1. No one is guaranteed a baby when they want it. And yet, some people are able to plan like that. This makes it ridiculously difficult for them to understand those who can’t plan.” — I know someone who decided she wanted to have four kids close together. So she picked someone to cover her mat leave who was a freelancer and could just keep swapping in and out of her position!

    And it worked!

    While she was on mat leave with her second she got pregnant with her third. The story blows my mind. It doesn’t even make me mad — it’s just hilarious. And there is no way I would ever attempt to share with her what I’m going through… some people just will never get it. Anyway, looking forward to following your writing.

    • Thanks for the great comment – that story is crazy! I wish I were that kind of person, but clearly we aren’t. Oh well. We’ll see what happens. More updates coming soon – we’ve been on vacation and I’ve been enjoying the time away.

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