“It’s simple, just do the math” a co-worker had said to me, as he was boasting about how him and his wife had planned that all three of their children would be born in the summer time. It’s actually not that simple. Not everyone can just “do the math” and get pregnant whenever they feel like it. For every person, for every pregnancy, it’s different. Some people don’t have to think and they become pregnant right away, while others can find it to be quite a struggle.
Alyssa was a Honeymoon baby. We weren’t even trying really, just came home after the honeymoon already with child. It was something we didn’t even have to think about. So my assumption was that with my next pregnancy there would be no problem, no problem at all.
As Michael and I began our journey into parenthood, we started to talk about having another one sometime in the near future. Michael and his brother have a seventeen month difference in their age. They grew up as close playmates and had shared a wonderful childhood. My brothers and I have big huge gaps in our age difference. My older brother and I share 5 and a half years between each other, and my younger brother and I have 11 and a half years. We are very close but still had a bit of a distance between us because we hadn’t grown up together during the same stages of life. I felt that it took me a very long time to catch up to my older brother and only had our age even out somewhat after I had entered adulthood myself.
It was quite exciting thinking about our children having a smaller age gap between them, and each other to play with. And so when Alyssa was almost a year, we had decided to start trying for baby #2.
I thought it would be easy, it wasn’t. Month after month my period would come and if it was late by even a day, I would suddenly get excited, and then have my hopes up when yet another negative would appear on my pee test. Michael kept insisting that we weren’t really seriously trying, but I was.
I started counting my cycles off and trying to pin point the exact day I was most likely to ovulate. I was so sure my calculations were correct, that my heart would just sink when it wasn’t the case. I started to feel depressed, especially when I had so many women around me at work pregnant. I wanted so badly to join them, but it just wasn’t happening. And of course there was always the people all around asking and telling me that we ought to have another one soon. People again tend to forget that it’s not simple math, unfortunately women don’t get pregnant whenever they feel like it, sometimes it does take time.
I found these conversations about wanting to get pregnant or trying to get pregnant very uncomfortable, especially around people I’m not particularly close to. I would tend to avoid the subject or brush it off quickly because it would often appear as though I’m either not interested in having another baby, am weird about it, or probably have some sort of complications. I found that people really didn’t understand pregnancies and how they are very complex, and often assume that, they have the authority to state their opinions without any sensitivity. Making the decision to have a baby is a private one that a woman and her partner make together. Whether it takes them a month, a year, or sometimes some extra help, is no one’s concern, and hence, people should just be aware and sensitive to the subject.
I wasn’t ready to go to a fertility clinic for help because I knew the possibility of getting pregnant was there, but I started to feel silly that I was getting worked up about all of it as well. And then I gave up. I got tired of trying. I decided to put all my energy into something else. I started to diet in hopes of losing a few pounds. I began to concentrate on my career and had began to make plans to take a summer course to update my teaching certificate and to update my resume so that I can get another job, come September.
I had all these big plans that didn’t involve another baby, and then around Alyssa’s second birthday, my body started to change. At first I was too scared to react, but I got a pregnancy test right away. After taking it, I had insisted that a positive line was visible, but it was so thin and faint that I could have been wrong, so I took two more tests, using different brands. Each test showed a more visible positive line. I finally went to my doctor who had confirmed the news, I was finally pregnant!
It took us a year of trying, and only when I had given up, did we finally manage to get pregnant. I am sure that I am not a special case and that many women have similar stories to share. I have learned several things from this experience, one being that getting pregnant is not always something that occurs based on schedual, and it can be quite a frustrating and stressful thing to deal with. Often women are stigmatized if the people surrounding her are expecting her to get pregnant and it just doesn’t seem to be happening. It doesn’t always mean that a woman is infertile or that a couple is necessarily “taking their time”; sometimes it’s just our bodies response to stress and pressure.