With the boy, it took forever to get pregnant. Wait. Did I say forever? Because what I meant was a couple months. But they felt like forever. I simply expected it to happen as soon as we made the decision to try. Since I had very irregular cycles, it made the whole process difficult. I was never sure when I was ovulating or when my period was due. This meant I took pregnancy tests all the time. No time or place was sacred. I took them at home. In the morning. At night. In the bathroom at work. I had no limits whatsoever. I was, in a word, insane.
I had no idea the difficulties that other people had conceiving. To me, if it didn’t happen right away then there was something wrong. I was completely obsessed with imaginary symptoms. I was feeling a little nauseous – take a test. I was spotting – was that implantation bleeding? Take a test. I think my boobs hurt – take a test. Thank goodness it wasn’t the rabbit test, because there wouldn’t be a bunny alive today.
Finally, one morning before work, I decided to take yet another test. I was so used to them at this point, that I didn’t hover over it anxiously anymore. I went about my morning, getting something to drink and feeding the dog and cat. And when I came back into the bathroom, there it was. The positive test. Finally, after all this time (not) I was pregnant. Mr b’s very romantic reaction was to yell, “Get down with your bad self, mama!” I took the day off work and stayed home to celebrate.
With the girl, it was quite the opposite. When the boy was about three and a half, we decided to start thinking about having another. I went off the pill and we started “letting nature take it’s course”. We weren’t actively trying, but figured if it happened, it happened. Besides, it was so fast last time (I finally had a clue), that it would be no problem this time, right? Wrong. For 18 months we did it this way, until we decided to start counting. My cycles were regular now and I learned all about the signs of ovulation. We did everything we read about to increase our chances, to no avail.
I saw my doctor and she told us to give it a little longer, so we kept trying. More temperature taking and cervical mucous checking and counting and trying and praying. More negative tests (though I didn’t obsessively take them like last time – just once a month, unless my period beat me to the punch. I thought I was pregnant a million times, though. After having a child and being on the pill, my body changed. My menstrual symptoms changed. I would feel nauseous, my boobs would hurt, I’d have what felt like the weird early pregnancy cramping. I’d be sure I was pregnant until I found out I wasn’t.
After about a year of trying this way, I was starting to get really discouraged. I worried that my weight was the problem. I worried that my advanced age of 34 was the problem. I worried that it would never happen. I made an appointment to see my doctor and discuss options. The week of the appointment, I started getting sick. That day, I woke up with the flu – the knock you down and stomp on your head I can’t breathe and have a fever and I’m aching and kill me now flu. I dragged myself in to work because I was NOT missing my appointment and if I was driving all that way, I may as well hole up in my office.
At the time, my GP was right upstairs from my office, so I decided to stop up and get checked out. She was getting ready to write me a prescription when she said, “Wait a minute – you’ve been trying to get pregnant, right?” I said yes, but don’t worry, I wasn’t. It was the only month in almost three years that I didn’t have nay symptoms. I was definitely not pregnant, I lamented. But being a rational person, she decided to test my urine just in case before she gave me any drugs. Her face when she walked back in the room told me that it was the best flu I ever had. I went back to my office and the second I walked in, my friend Flip took one look at me and mentally compared me to the ass-dragging death creature that had walked out 25 minutes before and said, “You’re pregnant!”