For some of you, seventeen months might be a way that you would describe the age of your child. You know, another way of saying almost a year and a half. For me, it’s the way I describe the length of time my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. Unsuccessfully.
Now before I go on, don’t get all huffy thinking this is another blog post complaining about my empty womb. This is just my way of expressing all the shit that piles up inside and needs to be let out. It will be honest and raw and probably sarcastic. It’s just what I need to do. (Side note: If you don’t want to read about sperm and babies and sex, you may not want to continue reading. You’ve been warned.)
Okay, first. How many years did I try not to get pregnant? Answer: A lot. All those years of health class and sex ed make you believe that it is so figgin’ easy to get pregnant. Like if you even think about a boy, his sperm will magically jump inside your uterus, hunt down your egg, and fertilize it.
Or the time my high school boyfriend’s mother told us this horrifying story that she swore up and down was true: after fooling around, this guy splooged on this girl’s leg, and instead of cleaning it up, she let it trickle down her leg toward her vagina and she ended up pregnant without ever having sex. (In retrospect, I’m not sure if this was a story she heard or the story of how she ended up pregnant herself.) Anyway, growing up, adults all over the place would have you believe that sperm have these special tools to break into your uterus and attack your helpless egg, knocking you up and leaving you to live as a single mother.
Well, I call bullshit. Never in my life did I think I’d be trying so damn hard to get pregnant. Do you know how many times my husband and I have had unprotected sex since we’ve been trying to conceive? Answer: Hundreds. Do you know how many perfectly good sperm, with tools intact, have been released inside me? Answer: Probably buckets full. Still, Aunt Flo comes knocking every 28-30 days, smiling and bearing flowers that I just want to bash her over the head with.
Also, I just have to vent about all the people who accidentally get pregnant. I can’t even. I know I’m not supposed to compare my journey to anyone else’s, but come on. This is just ridiculous. People who are not physically or emotionally healthy, they somehow make babies.
Or, and I preface this by saying I really am happy for you, the people who have been trying for less time than my husband and I. Again, I’m not supposed to compare. But it’s happening so get over it. There’s a very irrational part of me that thinks, wait a minute, we were in line ahead of you, we’ve been waiting for longer, how come you get to go first? That’s not fair.
And that’s when anger shows up. I expected the sadness and frustration, and even the hope and despair. The tears and the ‘I’m not going to cry again’. But anger, that surprised me. I find myself getting angry for all sorts of reasons. I get angry at people who are pregnant, who have been pregnant, who talk about their pregnancy in positive or negative terms. I get angry at people who have kids, who talk about their kids, and especially at people who talk to me about not having kids. I get angry at my body for failing me. Basically, there’s no possible way you can win. It’s irrational and it’s no one’s fault. Anger is an irrational emotion, and it comes from a place of hurt. I know that. (Another side note: I feel the need to say that I don’t hate pregnant women or mothers at all. Go ahead and talk to me about your children, because they’re beautiful. It just gets hard sometimes, you know?)
And then crazy creeps in. There are times when I think I might just, you know, take someone else’s kid and call him/her my own. That would work, right? I’m not talking about adoption. I’m talking about stalking the cutest kid at a public place, waiting for the moment that his/her parent is preoccupied with something else, and go in for the grab. Oh, wouldn’t my husband be surprised to come home and find me trying to soothe our new child (who would no doubt be terrified and traumatized). Obviously, I’m kidding. You don’t have to keep a close eye on me around your children, I promise.
All I’m saying is, this whole trying to conceive thing is hard. And it brings out the ugly. It’s one of those hot button issues that no matter what your beliefs or what you say, you will somehow be wrong. Each person and each couple experiences it differently. I can’t give you advice on how to be sensitive to someone you know who’s struggling to get pregnant. What I can do is be honest and say that there are days when I’m really, really ugly about the whole thing. It’s not rational and it’s not cute. But it’s part of the deal.
I don’t have a rainbows and sunshine way to end this. It’s another day, another try, and another load of sperm.
Such is life.