Sunday, December 2, 2012

trick yourself.


It is not nice, what you're doing right now. I'm trying to be respectful of you. I'm trying to trust you. I'm trying my very best to just have fun with this - and it has been fun so far.


The rule is that if I'm trying to get pregnant, my predictable-to-the-hour period is not allowed to trick me and show up three days late. That's just rude.

So. Four months into trying to conceive (or "TTC," the irritating Internet abbreviation). The first month we tried, when my period showed up right on schedule, I was definitely bummed. I had already calculated a spring due date and how my maternity leave might be scheduled (what? I'm neurotic and a planner. Just bein' true to my anal self). The second month, when Aunt Flo arrived, right on schedule again - always - of course, I was disappointed, but less so than Month One. We were having A. Lot. Of. Fun. trying, and anyway, it usually takes a few months; no need to worry. The third month, I tried an ovulation predictor kit, in part to make sure I was actually ovulating. Ding ding ding, but a couple weeks later, thar She was, and (wait for it...) right on schedule - and right when a couple of the moms at my work (a child care center) announced their pregnancies. I gained a new appreciation and sympathy for my co-workers who are TTC while watching our parents' pregnancies pop up and out in heavy rotation. Slightly torturous.

Which brings us to month four. I was surprised when my Dark Passenger (file under Strained "Dexter" Reference) came fairly early, but it was just light spotting. I consulted the Web and discovered that it was happening right when implantation spotting would occur. It lasted two days and then went away, and I dared to let myself hope. I've trained myself for 32 years to hope for mediocrity and prepare for the worst, which is how every pessimist-mascarading-as-a-realist operates. But trying to get pregnant? This is a big dream. Huge. With this endeavor (every endeavor?), it's better to hope for the best, expect the best, and prepare for the best. The downfall of this mindset is the crushing disappointment that settles in when, three days late but unmistakably, the Dark Passenger starts a-flowin' and I feel like I've been tricked. RUDE. Would the sadness have been lessened if I'd allowed myself to doubt that it was actually happening? And maybe it did start to happen - maybe it was a chemical pregnancy. But neither of the tests I took - day before I was supposed to start, and four days later - were positive, so who knows.

Each time I've taken a pregnancy test (AHEM more times in the last four months than I care to share [seven. Seven times.]), I've convinced myself that it's going to be negative. It just seems easier than allowing myself to hope. Hope is...scary. Leaves me vulnerable. So, if hope is too scary, at least I'm having spontaneous surges of gratitude. 

Yes, gratitude. For one, J.J. and I are closer than ever, and I fell for him all over again when he came home from the grocery store one evening with foods that he read were good for boosting sperm health. omgggg. Adorable. I'm definitely savoring this pre-parenting time in our relationship. There's freedom, spontaneity, and expendable income, and I'm not taking any of that for granted. After all, even though it's upsetting to try to conceive and not succeed immediately, I still maintain a certain level of ambivalence about motherhood. So I'll relish this time for what it is.

The disappointment does take over sometimes, though. So, to soothe myself, and to sideline the anxieties that inevitably spring up as time goes on, I've decided to start "rewarding" myself with each arrival of the Dark Passenger by partaking in some pregnancy no-nos. Par exemple:

:: Gorging on goat cheese
:: Indulging in a long massage (which some consider risky in the first trimester)
:: Checking out a trampoline play park
:: Visiting the Hot Tub Gardens
:: Snorking down raw cookie dough
:: Splurging on just-for-me stuff (before that cash is earmarked for Baby Stuff)
:: Painting fun crafts without fear of poisoning a fetus

I'm starting the reward system this month: Tomorrow, I'll schedule a 90-minute massage at a new-ish place on my side of town that offers unbelievable Happy Hour deals. And I'm definitely open to any other ideas for rewards!

Off to bed for now, though, because ironically, we'll be up in the middle of the night with our three-month-old temporary roomie. I'll fill you in on our accidental puppy parenting adventure soon...complete with squee-inducing pictures and details on how I am sooo not a dog person.

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