The road taken when trying to become a parent is already long enough. You weigh this and that — a new house or a child? My wedding or the birth of someone greater than a piece of paper from the state? Cloth or disposable diapers, when should I start stocking up on either? And then there’s fertility: even if everything checks out fine, you still have a 20% chance of conceiving a child each month.
I was lucky, if you can say that. I found out I was pregnant after my fiancé lost the job he loved for ten years and gained a job he’s been more than complacent with. I took a pregnancy test before heading to work and watched it develop a positive on the counter. I debated texting him immediately and instead decided to wait until payday so I could buy a cute onesie or a blue or pink tie for him to wear to work. But the morning of, I started to bleed heavy thick and red, and I knew it was done. As much as I wanted to build a memorial for the child we lost, I knew there would be many more along the way.
So I did what many women do: I talked to my mother. We spoke for an hour about her six years trying to have me, and she compared it to my one. We talked about how we both can’t stand to look at our pregnant friends, especially when they say it was a complete accident or a surprise, and how even touching a newborn brings us to tears of failure and regret.
We talked about how we feel betrayed by our own bodies.
I should be holding my stomach and feeling her settle into my pelvis. I should be putting together a nursery, or arranging the furniture. I want to be able to stock up on the things I need like diapers, bottles, formulas, and clothes. I should have been getting ready to have a child on Thanksgiving day, and not waking up crying because the kicks I felt weren’t real. I should finally realize that the baby I imagine who needs me so much is in reality the neighbor’s newborn son who sleeps in a room next to our apartment.
I don’t want to go through IVF. I don’t want to go on Clomid. I don’t want to have to be poked and prodded and testing like some kind of show and tell mare. I refuse to turn my walls into piles of charts with temperatures and cervical positions/mucus. I really don’t want anything to interfere with my pregnancy except for nature and I don’t understand what is so wrong about that.
There is something my mother did tell me, though. Something that struck close to my heart as a slightly hefty girl:
“Every mother has stretchmarks, right? They are like little badges of motherhood. Consider yours a badge of the awesome mother you’re going to become and wear them with pride.”
So although I may never meet my child in this life, although I may never hold her close, read her a story and tuck her into bed while telling her how much I love and care for her, I know she has in the long run made me a better mother by far.
Comments on I’m trying to conceive and feel like it might not happen
My husband and I have been married for a month, but for over two years we’ve been not trying to prevent pregnancy. I feel like it’ll never happen. I’m 36 and I have never been pregnant. My maternal family has had huge issues with multiple miscarriages, and I’ve always wondered if the powers that be decided just to make me infertile. My husband has similar concerns due to his time in the service.
We’re both in our mid-30’s and finally have met the person we want to have children with, and we just don’t know if it’ll ever happen.
I’m so glad I found this post.
It’s 3:30 in the morning, I have work in eight-odd hours, and can’t sleep. In lieu of sleepytime tea or melatonin or whatever might actually help, I’ve just been catching up on all the Offbeat sites.
Recently a friend of mine–a way back, bought-our-first-training-bras-together friend–announced that she’s pregnant. By someone she hasn’t been with too long, definitely on accident. I don’t want to be judgey and say he’s a jerk, but he’s a jerk. But she’s so happy now that she’s pregnant, she’s 9 weeks and has already heard the heartbeat and everything looks great and so on and so on.
And I’m happy for her. Really. Kind of. I’m trying really hard to be.
But every text she sends me, every ultrasound pic and Facebook status reminds me of my own loss. I miscarried about three days after I found out. I hadn’t yet told my at-the-time partnerish (we had recently broken up, but were discussing getting back together… very sticky situation, and as it turned out he too was a jerk) that I was pregnant. It almost wasn’t real yet, but at the same time it was the most real thing I’ve ever experienced.
And no one seems to understand.
I was seventeen: points against me, I was too young to be pregnant to start with.
It was an accident: I didn’t want a kid in the first place, so why am I upset that I lost it?
It was almost three years ago: I ought to be over it by now.
It was early: it’s not like I really had time to adjust to the fact that I was going to be a mom.
All of these things are probably true. And definitely fucking insensitive.
Though he won’t say it out loud, even my fiance doesn’t get why it still affects me. He lost a son at 3 months of age (SIDS), but still doesn’t understand why I would still grieve for a child at around 6-7 weeks gestation.
But it is what it is: I lost a child. This February I’d have had to figure out the logistics of a two-year-old’s birthday party, juggling things like potty training with my job. Who knows if I’d be with my fiance or not, though I imagine I would–he was a parent too, after all. And given my family history, this is probably only the first of many fertility hurdles (particularly with diagnosed PCOS).
It hurt, and it still hurts, and I’ve survived.
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