A New Journey

We have been blessed. Beyond what I could even imagine.

In December 2014, we welcomed the most beautiful bundle of joy. She was 6lbs10z, and 20.5inches.

We have been incredibly lucky to breastfeed well (even through a cows milk protein intolerance) and just form an amazing bond to this wonderful new person in our life.

When my cycle came back in September, we had no real thought of getting pregnant again quickly, mostly because we figured that I’m not particularly fertile. Still, I could tell when in my cycle was more or less fertile, but wasn’t thinking much of it.

Until about ten days ago, when I realized that after several cycles that had not been longer than 29 days (short for me), I was suddenly on day 32, and feeling…odd. And I kind of knew. We got two pregnancy tests in Seattle, where we were for a wedding of a friend, and got both two pink lines and those magic words, “pregnant.”

Any woman who has dealt with infertility knows that even after the first baby is here, infertility still plays a role in how you think about family, babies, pregnancy. There are two women I know who had babies right after us, and I was really hoping to get pregnant before them, and a couple other friends who I know are trying and I wanted to be before them. Petty? Probably. But it’s the way it is. And now, it’s a little unexpected to be pregnant this quickly. I’m a little still in shock. But it’s good shock. The best.

But I need a place to process some thoughts, and I thought of this blog.

We won’t announce to the world for a while, and even though a few select people know (including immediate family), it’s a lot to keep in my head. So, watch this space for baby talk.

Due date is, funnily enough, the Shabbat of Sukkot. My daughter was born erev Hannukah, so always around a Jewish holiday.

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It’s not a competition

A friend posted an article that was heartbreaking – Love, Marriage, motherhood and other uncomfortable seder talk

An article about how an unfeeling woman, married with children, basically taunted her during the seder about her being unmarried and childless. Underneath the article were two or three of her friends commenting about it, and how they have had similar experiences.

How terrible. In fact, it sounds awful. To be alone when you don’t want to be sounds really miserable.

And yet, there’s the part of me that says, “At least you can talk about! It’s not taboo!”

For every awkward conversation like that, there’s the guy on our trip who asked how long we’d been married, and then, at the end of the meal, gave us a blessing that we would be pregnant by the end of the year. It breaks my heart to think about it, mostly because he was so awesome about it. He figured it out, he gave the blessing to us in a way that was private, and he was compassionate.

No one wants that kind of compassion – it’s only somewhat easier than the total heartlessness of others.

I just have to keep remembering – my struggle is not “better” than theirs. It’s just different. We live in a community that values marriage and children, and that makes some people less careful than they should be – those who have gotten both things without trying. I’m sure that same woman would look at us and start trying to give advice rather than a sympathetic hand and a blessing.

Maybe the only difference is that their struggle is more open – their status is known. Ours is just inferred, suspected, whispered. Neither is nice.

For Real!?

Today is CD2.

I have had some stomach bug that has been going around our office since like, Monday.

Seriously, having a stomach complaint at the end of the 2WW and then having AF arrive, and then having the stomach thing continue?!? Yeah, so not cool.

Since I was home sick yesterday, I called the new RE. And got the run around because it’s new insurance – apparently, my card says one thing, but the plan is actually called something else. Long story short, the office closed before I figured that all out. UGH.

Otherwise, it’s been a crazy few weeks – we were on vacation, and got stranded at the airport trying to get home. I’m sick, my husband’s sick, work is crazy, and my grad school class starts in like, ten days. Yay.

We also lost my pseudo-grandmother.  She wasn’t really my grandmother (all my real grandparents have been dead since 2008) but she was the woman that my mom had sort of taken on as a mom, and had filled those roles for us as I was growing up, since there weren’t many grandparents and they were far away anyway. She’d been ill for ages, with one thing or another, but then she fell and broke her hip – and that was the end. Very sad. I really wanted to share my baby with her, rather than having her as someone to name after. Sigh.

Onto the next thing…

 

A “New” Family Member

So, for the last two years or so, my husband’s brother hasn’t been talking to anyone in the family. Even before that, the relationship was pretty tenuous. He would call when he felt like it. He wouldn’t answer his phone. A couple of times, he got rid of his phone without telling anyone. Etc. Etc. Until contact stopped altogether.

Around Thanksgiving, he suddenly emerged into the land of the living. Or rather, he reached out. He emailed not just his parents but my husband, and it was a really strange experience.

He’s had a rough time – he was kind of an angry kid that played into being kind of a paranoid adult, and he put a lot of blame in weird places. His life got pretty out of control, and he fell into a depression. Now, he’s reaching out to try to find help – he needed immediate assistance, but he also wants to get his life back on track and, it seems, get in touch with family.

It’s so hard – my relationship with him is that he’s been causing people I love – namely my husband and my in-laws – pain, without much benefit to myself. DH and I have been married for 6.5 years and together almost 9. His brother’s been kind of not really an active member of the family for probably 6 of those years. I’m really conflicted. On the one hand, to have a functional relationship with him would be great – I remember liking him before things went bad. But it’s not clear to me how exactly that’s going to come about.

Until we figure it out (or he vanishes back into the woodwork – I don’t trust this reappearance yet), it’s another source of stress in a life that already feels kind of consumed with stress.

(And then selfishly I wonder – do I have to tell him about our struggles? My in-laws know, but do I have to tell this virtual stranger who happens to be my brother-in-law? We haven’t yet and aren’t planning on it…but I think about it.)

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.