Phases of the Menstrual Cycle of a Woman Trying to Conceive

the-other-side-of-infertility
Sometimes I am amazed at these three little creatures that are frolicking and laughing and fighting and biting in front of me. My days weren’t always filled with this much sunshine. There were dark days filled with anger and resentment and hopelessness and fear and for a long time, Lexapro.

There were sad blog posts written by a lost soul wanting so very hard to live for someone else. I read them now and I don’t remember those days very much. I just remember they were days filled with waiting. I don’t even recognize that girl anymore. It was a lifetime ago it seems,… three miraculous little lifetimes ago, in fact.

I’ve told the story before about how I met my husband. We met in high school. We had been dating for less than three months when I told him how I imagined my life would play out. I wanted to go to college, graduate, get married and have kids. That was it. He didn’t understand why I would want to go to college only to spend my days being a stay at home mom. But I suppose that the reasons didn’t matter so much to him. That young boy took me with all my faults and all my hopes and made me his wife. Just as I had planned.

Except, I hadn’t planned to spend 4 years trying to conceive our first child. Nobody tells you when you first start trying that it might take a year to get pregnant, statistically speaking. But after 6 months, when you start to panic, that’s when you start to research the statistics only to find that nobody can really do much for you unless you’ve been actively trying to a year.

Your romantic dates and nights become less romantic and they start to become very planned and timed, and charted. There is this cycle you start to dread. A roller-coaster ride, if you will.

Day 1 : You get your period. It’s light spotting. Some people have light spotting when they are pregnant. It’s called implantation. There is still hope! So you pull out one of those gazillion pregnancy tests you keep on hand and you pee on that stick. You hold your breath for one very long, intense minute while you think how you will react at the sight of those two pink lines. Yes,… a November baby. Now doesn’t that sound swell? What a perfect Christmas gift! Maybe he’ll come early and in time to share his birthday with my dad and grandmother. You realize time is up and you shake as your approach the pee stick because you know your life will change when you see it. There’s no turning back the clock. You’re either in the club, or you’re not. And 48 times (give or take four years), you’re not ;(

Day 2 : You’re eyes are puffy. You’ve been crying all night. You’re mad at your husband for a million different reasons. That he isn’t hurting like you are. That he isn’t as concerned as you are. That he isn’t on Google every waking moment like you are trying to find something you must have missed. That he’s killing you with kindness and love when all you can think is that you don’t deserve it. Isn’t it obvious? The one thing that sets our gender apart from theirs is that we can bear children. You can bear his children. Except that you can’t.

Day 3 – 13 : Things have calmed a little by now. Life goes on and your faith is renewed because your time will come. Your ovaries will release those eggs and there is renewed hope.

Day 14-18 : It is on! Your husband is called home for lunch everyday and you lay in awkward positions after the baby-making session for 30 minutes (or an hour if you’re an over-achiever like me) hoping to help his little soldiers make their way to your little damsels in distress. You buy ovulation test kits by the dozen too and on the days it tells you you are most likely to be fertile, you enjoy your husband instead of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 19-27 : You start buying tests and when you get the urge to pee or you feel a little bubble in your tummy, you pee on one. Because as much as you’ve wanted it you crazily start to believe that you will know the moment that egg and that sperm make contact. And they’re negative, but then again, those test aren’t really made to detect the hcg hormone levels at such a small amount. Unless it’s twins. And as hard as you think that will be you will take two and even three or four or five if it means you never have to feel this hopeless again. Because you plead with God that you totally know ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’ and you are willing to take whatever he is willing to hand you. Except, you’re not, really.

Day 28 : With trembling hands, you pull out one of those gazillion pregnancy tests you keep under your bathroom sink and you pee on that baby. You hold your breath and for one very long intense minute while you think how you will react at the sight of those two pink lines. Yes, a November baby. Wouldn’t that be nice? What a perfect Christmas gift! Maybe he’ll come early and in time to share his birthday with my dad and grandmother. You realize time is up and you shake as your approach the pee stick because you know your life will change when you see it. And there’s one line. But you can see another line there too. It’s so faint. Is it wanting to turn pink? So you show your husband. “One line. I’m so sorry Honey.” He says. But you know how men are. Most are color blind and pink isn’t really their color so they aren’t really programmed to see it in all it’s hues. It was so silly to even ask him. So you LOL and you shake your head and you hop into bed and you think to yourself He’s going to feel so silly tomorrow when I surprise him with a Father’s Day card and show him the new pee stick. You decide to sleep on it so that overnight your hcg levels can double enough to make that other line change it’s hue.

Day 1 : See above for approximately 3 more years.

Infertility is a long hard road. And for a long time I didn’t know how I could help myself, much less how anyone else could help me. It wasn’t until after struggling with infertility the second time around that a dear friend of mine shared a book with me. It’s called Hannah’s Hope : Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss and it is written by Jennifer Sake. This book truly was a life-changer. It helped me see my struggles in a whole new light. And it gave me immense hope when I thought I was losing my mind. I’ll be honest with you, I think it gave my husband immense hope when at times, he thought he was losing his wife down this dark road.

If ever you meet a soul who is struggling with infertility, share this book with them. And if you know someone who is very near and dear to you who is struggling, you might benefit from reading it too. Every chapter has a section at the end that is devoted to how you can help. It really is a great read.

And if you’re a fellow struggler, I’ll see you on the other side of this 😉

How did motherhood come about for you? Were your babies planned. Were they surprises?

*Disclaimer 1 : One of the links (Hanna’s Hope book) in this post is an affiliate link. If you click them and then purchase from that company, I will receive a small commission. That commission is used to pay for this site.
*Disclaimer 2 : Every one hurts in their own way. This is only my account of our struggles with infertility and though I do make light about it in this post, let me be clear, it is no laughing matter to someone who wants more than anything in the world to be called “Mommy”.

 

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