I just took a look at my blog to see when I last posted something. It was on Friday. Today is now Monday Wednesday shit, what day is it? Tuesday. I am clearly losing track of the days. Time is slipping past me and I'm barely noticing, even when I forget scheduled appointments or nearly forgot to call my mother on Mother's day.
And why is that? It's because most of my brain cells seem to be focused on One Thing, and One Thing Only, despite my efforts to think about more important things (like how in hell did Joan Rivers win Celebrity Apprentice and whose stupid idea -- Donald, I'm looking at you -- was it to create such an idiotic TV show in the first place?). And that One Thing is baby-making. I have heard it said that when a woman is pregnant, especially as she nears the end of her pregnancy, that she tends to be distracted because the delivery is near and she's thinking about getting through it in one piece; my mother, a former nurse, calls this "turning inward".
But what about the woman who is trying to get pregnant? With rather long odds and a variety of risk factors? I think there's a turning inward here, too. My mind is noticeably elsewhere. Every so often, Georges will look at me and ask if I'm feeling okay and of course I am feeling fine, but I think he is looking at his wife who is a million miles away, wondering what is going on in her head. While she in turn is wondering what, if anything, is going on in her uterus which is not a million miles away but might just as well be, for all it feels like an alien planet to me at the moment.
Because of course I'm wondering. For two weeks out of every month for the past five months, I have spent the time just wondering. (For the other two weeks, I live normally and look forward to the fact that I can have a drink once in awhile without guilt.) I am on mental hold, so to speak. I go through the motions of everyday life, making the morning coffee, doing the food shopping, conversing with clients, even getting a bit of writing done (on my own book, too) at odd moments. But I am waiting, and wondering, with a stream of consciousness that goes something like this:
Am I pregnant? Will I just "know" like some women say they do, or will I have to wait until I miss a period or can't keep my breakfast down? Am I pregnant? What will it feel like to have a "baby on board" for nine long months? Am I pregnant? I'm afraid of pain; will I be able to cope with labor? Am I pregnant? At 48 (next Tuesday) I am already tired and achy; how tired and achy will I be when I can no longer see my feet or bend over to pick up that pencil I dropped? Am I pregnant? What will the baby look like... a he or a she, and whose eyes will s/he have (I'm hoping the baby will have Georges' eyes, he's hoping for mine). Am I pregnant? I love holding a baby. When was the last time I held a baby? Two years ago? What will it be like to hold OUR baby? Am I pregnant?
The wondering never really seems to stop, now that it's started. And then there is the monthly roller coaster.
The first month, January, I really thought we'd done it. Seriously, it might be naive of me, but I really did. I mean, I was totally convinced. For one thing, my body completely "felt different" to me. So when I took that first pregnancy test, my disappointment was palpable and it's the only time so far that I've cried about it, seeing that big blue MINUS sign on the stick. I guess the "feeling different" was due to the changes in my body and cycle after coming off the Pill, because PMS and the early signs of pregnancy seem to have a lot in common. Oh well, we said, there's always next month.
The next month, February, first I got the flu and then Georges did, and at the worst possible time of the month for "trying". We did our best but the freaking flu was stronger than our desire to procreate. We were disappointed, but too busy trying to get over the flu to worry about it too much. Oh well, there's always next month.
In March, I thought we did a pretty bang-up job (pun intended) with the "trying" and that our chances were probably pretty good. I had hoped to be able to go back to New Jersey in April with some wonderful news to share with my family. But, nope, not this time either. In retrospect my calculations might have been off by two days or something. I found a different on-line ovulation calculator, one that seems to be more precise, or at least I hope so. Oh by the way, there's always next month.
April had a different sort of fertility challenge for us: how to get me pregnant when we're several hundred miles apart. Georges had a business trip and I decided to take some of the same time to visit my family in the States. Our conception window was slammed shut when he had to go to Montreal on one plane and I went to New Jersey on another, and by the time we were reunited it was too late (not that we didn't have fun making up for lost time, though). We had thought about me taking a turkey baster and a little jar of... well, you know... but decided against it because of airport security; can you picture me trying to explain THAT to a husky, suspicious, female airport security guard as she pulls me out of line for a full body search because I had my carry-on "liquid" concealed in a jelly jar inside a plain brown paper bag instead of in a regulation 3 oz. plastic bottle and clear plastic baggie? Well, bien sûr, there's always next month.
So here we are again: it's Next Month. This time, the window was wide open, everyone was healthy, we had no travels, and we even managed a weekend with a lot of alone time and no kids to take care of (the oldest one can feed and dress himself now. Usually.) And now, we wait. And we wonder. Because I know I am not alone in the wondering, any more than I am alone in the procreating.
We have "tried" our little hearts (and other assorted body parts) out. And I must say, we have had a hell of a good time in the process... one thing I have noticed is how this experience is bringing us even closer together on all levels. And here's a new discovery: our ages may play an unexpected role in making it a bit more challenging to conceive than a couple 10 years younger than us. Most people want to tell me that age is a factor because my eggs might be too old.
But no one bothers to tell you that after several straight days of "trying" you might, just might, be too old to CARE if you have sex or not. Even though you like having sex together and even though having sex is kind of critical to making a baby (and the Baby-Making Manual clearly states: Step 1 to Making a Baby - Have Sex. Step 2 - Please refer to Step 1). Yet because you are "of a certain age", there will come a moment when you will look at each other, realize you are both just too effing tired for effing, and sleep suddenly seems like a much better idea.
After all... there's always next month. Although I'm hoping not. Sure would be wonderful to see that magic little "+" and move on to wondering about something else. Like picking out a crib.