I’ve decided that I have to be hopeful.
Otherwise, I won’t get anywhere.
At the beginning of this journey, I excitedly read about what pregnant moms should or shouldn’t eat. I charted with enthusiasm, thrilling with each day of the two week wait. I looked into local Catholic schools. I thought about what I’d look like in maternity clothes. Husband and I moved out of our tiny 1-bedroom apartment in the city into a 3-bedroom condo in the suburbs, which we considered to be quite a lucky find, except for the three staircases I imagined us carrying a stroller, a baby, and groceries up and down all of the time.
Since we hit about 1 year, I’ve been so distressed by our not conceiving that charting has really become a challenge for me. I have been incredibly flip about what I eat and drink (ok, that’s been since well before the 1-year mark). Shopping for clothes depresses me. The extra bedrooms have become an office and a guest room. I went from hating my job to being ok with it. I was promoted, struggled to find my footing in the new position, and have just within the last month (9 months later) felt like I really had a handle on things.
Sometimes, I’m really sad or angry; mostly, I’m just distracted and let things slip all around me. I feel really let down. I had thought for months (ok, years) about when the right time to start a family would be. On our second anniversary, the date when we had decreed that we would discuss it in earnest, Husband and I talked for an entire day about whether we were ready and whether we could provide the life we wanted to for children at that point. After a whole day of discussion, the logical conclusion was that we weren’t ready yet. I got up and walked into the bathroom, then came back into the living room and declared, “I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense. I want to start our family now.” Husband looked at me and said “Me, too!” We were so tickled. The next day at work, the gentleman who delivers the mail made a point to email me after he made his rounds about how radiant I looked that day. I have not felt radiant or anything close to radiant for 10 months. I just realized that even though I tell people that I’ve not given up hope, for some reason I have.
I know that my story is still just at the beginning, and that everyone goes through this. The losses I describe are nothing new to anyone who’s likely to read this; they’re just the loss of a different kind of innocence.
I think I’ve been hopeless because it feels like protection. I don’t want to be the fool again. It’s safer to tell myself that nothing will happen, rather than to live like it will happen at any moment. But now I have to get off my duff and start again, or else we’ll not get anywhere. I need to decide how to chart and stick with it, and to figure out what dietary changes to make (yes, it’s back to avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and just in time for all those Christmas parties!). I told Husband at the end of last week that I want to take the tamoxifen as prescribed during my next two cycles. He was surprised. Frankly, I feel a little surprised. I think it’s all of this Elizabeth and Mary talk in the Gospel this week. Miraculous pregnancies left and right! I have to believe that it can happen for us, too. Or else there’s no point in doing anything at all.