since it is on my mind, i will go ahead and write it
I was good on Sunday. As all our guests left, I was tired, but not sad. Sunday didn’t bring the tristesse of so many other days the past week (and this) and for that I am happy.
We had two babies and one belly over for brunch. I cooed over the babies along with all the other non-mothers, you have to, but not once during the many hours we enjoyed the company of our friends did I have the “I hate you and I want you to go home because you have something I don’t” feeling, I could have had. The belly’s owner had kindly covered herself in something loose fitting and this made me respect her, although I doubt she thought of my feelings when she picked out her outfit.
I read somewhere about a woman who gave up everything fun when she and her husband started trying for a kid, everything that you give up once you are pregnant. I remember one night shortly after we had started trying, when J suggested gin-and-tonics. I said yes and started mixing the drinks – one with gin for him and one without for me. I knew already then how silly I was being and I have only done it that one time. I want a baby, but I also want a life and I am not giving up on champagne, beer and gin-and-tonics (lovely Sunday) until I see two pink lines and know that our struggle is over. (If this makes me sound like someone who is a heavy drinker, let me assure you that my intake is minimal.)
Good things have come from the waiting and wanting. I have a newfound knowledge of my body. I should have started listening to it many years ago. I am impressed by the things I am able to tell just from listening to it. One thing I have gotten from this whole thing is a strengthened want to be healthy. Not that it hasn’t always been a priority and believe me, I still indulge in salty liquorice, pizza, french fries, chocolate (lots of chocolate) and other things one is recommended to not eat too often, but it is just becoming more important to me to feel well and healthy. Last summer my chiropractor told me that bad backs didn’t just come from bad physique. “Everything matters,” she told me, “what you eat, how well you sleep, how you are feeling, if you’re stressed, sad, happy.” Back then my bad back was mostly a case of having just begun working and suddenly sitting down all day, but when I returned to her clinic in December, my answer to her “so how are you feeling?” was a “not very well” and I knew that I could no longer blame my back problems on sitting down alone. (This was in the very early trying and my “not very well” didn’t have to do with not being pregnant, but was work related.)
Some medical people say you’re infertile if you’re not pregnant within a year of trying. We’re not there yet and naturally we’ll get tested and looked at if we get to that point (fingers crossed, we don’t), but I don’t entirely believe in it. For the past months our everyday life has been stressful and far from average. J was working on the PhD and setting everything aside – no running, no relaxing, little being with me. I was sad and eagerly anticipating the end of it. Also, this winter and spring my body has been recovering from a temporary breakdown it had last summer. Why shouldn’t all those things matter? Feel free to think I am just trying to fight off a diagnosis I am afraid will hit us one day – I am, of course I am. But what I am also is trying to keep up hope and allowing for stressful days and a period of a different and rather fucked up everyday life to have an impact on the pregnancy chances.
I sometimes wonder whether our firstborn will coincide with the second time around for our friends. So much has changed during the past year. A year ago we had pregnancies here and there. This year they’re everywhere. And those who now have one year olds are beginning to talk about buying a house “for when we have number two”. I want a house and a baby number two, but most of all I want a baby number one. I want nine months of waiting and getting to know the thing while it grows inside me.
The other day after work, I sat in our sun filled living room closing my eyes and suddenly found myself looking forward to the day I am able to tell people of our struggle. I won’t ever tell them the whole truth, but I am kind of looking forward to expressing just a tiny bit of the sadness it brings when people make getting pregnant a piece of cake. Maybe at that point I won’t even tell them, I will be wrapped up in a new world thinking telling them will do no good. What is the point in telling this one couple how much I hated their “don’t expect it to be long before we have kids” and their baby being born 10 months after they said this? I kind of wish I had some of that optimism, but on the other hand I am so grateful for not telling anybody about our wanting to get pregnant (except for you).
J sometimes wipes away my tears and asks me what mother a baby would prefer: the smiling, happy one or the teary, sad? Both of them are eagerly waiting, but number one might have an easier life along the wait. I am both, but I fight to believe, to hope, to want, to try and I refuse to give up. I am – we are – in this game and not giving up.