Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Old College Try

Several weeks ago, I was talking to a friend, one who's been on this boat, bought the t-shirt and lived to tell about it. I was telling her that my cycles have been more or less regular since delivering H (and the post-baby surgeries to correct my banged-up uterus), and that we were "trying" for #2 but I wasn't quite sure about ovulation. That I had tried to use an OPK one month but I got tired of peeing on sticks and stopped doing it before I ever got a positive.

She sort of looked at me sideways. I think she saw right through it. She asked me: Didn't I owe it to myself to really try? Didn't I have as good a chance as anyone else? And even though really trying might bring disappointment, wasn't a chance of success worth that gamble?

I consider myself a pretty self-aware person. I exposed my every emotion in a raw and real way, put everything out there on the Internet, as I worked on baby #1. It didn't exactly take Freud to figure this out but I really didn't see it before this conversation: I was afraid to give it a real try. Afraid of going all in. Afraid I was pushing my luck. Afraid of what it would mean to hope again. Afraid I couldn't stay detached if I allowed myself to hope. And afraid of feeling foolish if that hope was ultimately in vain.

Afraid, afraid, afraid.

There are times when fear is unavoidable, and there are times when it just isn't practical. In this case it's both, and I need to feel the fear and do it anyway. Because as in H's much-loved book about the family bear hunt, there's no way around this one but through it. There's no way to try for a baby except to really try, and that will bring both possibility and the possibility of disappointment.

Having recognized all of the above and realizing that my RE appointment at the end of August is nearing steadily, I bought myself an OPK early this month and peed dutifully, every day, beginning on day 12. On the evening of day 16 I got a positive result. This is good, because as we all know you can still get your period without ovulation, even though I went for months without one before H so I figured the presence of a regular one was a good sign.

Anyway, we -- um -- timed everything accordingly, so this month I would say was the first where I could say a genuine, full-hearted attempt was made. I've seen that some of you have had positive HPTs starting 9 DPO so I tested yesterday (negative). So I guess there's still a possibility this month, though I'm certainly not putting any money down on it.

How am I feeling? A good question to ask. I liked to think I was above the whole "thing" this time -- the whole getting swept away by it thing. I am learning that the reality is it's impossible to want another baby, try for one and have a decent chance at it, and then not be at least slightly disappointed to see a single pink line. I want to believe in the possibility of this, believe that the whole concept of natural reproduction can be redeemed by the way this one plays out for me.

I would love it if this would work, but have promised myself not to dwell on it if it doesn't. Because I've got a napping toddler upstairs, living proof that there's hope beyond the old college try.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Change Will Do You Good?

I'm having an odd existential moment that reminds me, not in an entirely pleasant fashion, of my college years. Having just turned 35 on Saturday, you'd think this would be welcome, but in the end, the thing that's supposed to be so nice about 35 is that you can finally unload all the angst. So, not really.

But before I go on, I just need to tell you the song that's going through my head, because of course when you're having an angsty moment, you need a soundtrack from those eight years of high school and college. The song is "I'm trying to tell you something about my life, maybe give me insight between black and white...the best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously...it's only life after all. (Yeah.)." Name that tune! Maybe now it will stop playing over and over, although to be fair, if you're going to have a song on mental repeat that's not a horrible one to have.

Anyway, when last I whined to the Internet, I was trying to sell our house and thought THAT was the stressful part.

The house sold. I was wrong.

The stressful part is actually trying to figure out where the hell to live when you have a child whose entire future seems to hang in the balance of that decision. Where will he get the best education? Where will he find really good friends? Where will he be happy?

So basically, when faced with the above questions, one option is to totally shut down and not make the decision at all, which is essentially what we've done. We're in temporary housing for the summer, ostensibly while we figure out where to live and actually buy a house, but for now, it seems, to buy us time to agonize about it some more. We're really good at that.

Meanwhile, one of our cats, who was adopted just a month after we got married nearly 11 years ago, died on July 4. Losing a pet absolutely sucks. It feels horrible and sad and helpless and is strange to mourn. There's really nothing else to say about that other than that it's contributing to all the change that is making me so angsty.

My husband's job is sort of in a weird time and place since his company was bought by a major, household-name company. His group seems to be coming unraveled and we just don't know what that means for his future there. Another possible change.

Oh, and I've got baby #2 on the brain. Not anywhere near in the same way that baby #1 was on the brain, but it's there. I'm 35 now officially, and I get that people have babies much older than that, but as established before, we're already dealing with a known fertility issue. So I've been trying to figure out my cycle (which continues to be regular, miracle of miracles) and really give it a serious try (more on this later) before we meet with my doctor in late August.

And last but not least, there's H. He changes every. Single. Day. Another word, a new awareness of something. A whole new way to interact with him, really talking to him and having him listen and communicate back. At 17 months he really feels like a little person now, and it's thrilling and scary and joyful and sad all at once.

So all this change is adding up to major anxiety, because unlike most evolved humans I am terrible at dealing with it, even though my easily bored mind would seem to welcome it. That's why I've been a little MIA, a little paralyzed by all these things I need to process and decisions I need to make and therefore a little driven to hibernate and try to figure it all out.

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