the mermaid

I wrote the post below last Thursday, but have avoided publishing it. It seems so negative, so melodramatic. But honestly, trying to conceive is one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had, and quite frankly, I often feel pretty negative and melodramatic.  I will find out if I am pregnant over the weekend. I am sure, as this week draws to a close, I will have some hope, some optimism, and then, either some more disappointment or some elation. We shall see. But for now, I just feel overwhelmingly, decidedly not pregnant.  I don’t understand how I possibly could be pregnant, when I feel exactly the same as I always do.

***

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sunday night, we got the “light line” on our OPK. While we had agreed just a few days before with our RE that it was time to start reading our OPKs differently so that we did not miss ovulation each time we inseminated, I was nervous. I thought we’d see the light line in the morning, so we’d have plenty of time to get to “dark line” by the time we did our insemination. But getting the light line at night meant that Monday morning, when it was time to make the call, I still had just a light line. So, we hesitated. Should we ask for a sonogram before they thawed the sperm?

We finally decided to just go for it. We had two specimens left from our hot smart donor, which meant that if Monday was too soon, we could try again on Tuesday. We got in the car to head to the doctor’s office. Then, while my wife drove, I looked at our calendars.

“Okay. So you have an 8:30 meeting, a 10am meeting, and a 3pm meeting. I have a 10:30 conference call, a 1pm call, and a 4pm call. So…. Can you skip anything?”

“No. Not really. Can you?”

“Nope. What the hell.” It was 7:45. Even if they thawed the sperm right then, my wife would be late for her 8:30 meeting. “The only window we have is between 11:30 and 1.”

“Well,” said my wife, “I guess we’re doing it between 11:30 and 1.”

Our doctor’s office is basically across the street from where my wife works, but it’s a good hour and a half on mass transit from where I work. The way my meetings were spaced, there was no getting into the office if we did the insemination between 11:30 and 1.

So, I had to figure out what to tell my boss about why I suddenly wasn’t coming in. I had been out sick for a week over Halloween, I had just taken half a day off to meet with the RE on Thursday. I was rapidly running out of good excuses for not showing up to work. How much easier would it be on everyone if you could just say, “Hey, we’re trying to get pregnant here, so I am going to be missing a shitload of work. Okay great.” I only had one excuse I hadn’t exhausted. “I guess I have to say its a childcare issue. ”

“It is,” my wife said. “It’s just the child we don’t have yet.”

My wife set me up to work in a cubicle at her office, and we went our separate ways. I called the doctor’s office at 8:30, when their desk opened, and told the receptionist I needed to schedule an IUI. “Oh, well, hm. We’re really booked today. Could you do 11:30?”

I wanted to kiss her. “Yes! 11:30 is perfect. Thank you!” I could barely contain my excitement.

I will spare you the details, but the insemination was the best yet. My 10:30 call ended early, and we were actually on time for once in our lives. We didn’t have to wait. A female doctor was working, instead of the cranky man doctor who ignores my wife that had done the last 3 inseminations. When the doctor did the post-insemination sonogram, my follicle was over 24mm and irregularly shaped, indicating that I was about to ovulate at any second. The timing, for once, was dead-on. I went and got a salad with my wife in the bright fall sunshine, and then we both went back to work. It was surreal. It was like an hour out of time, when everything went right for us.

Something about the way everything lined up this time made me feel like there was a bit of magic in it all, and I want to believe this is the time we made our baby. We were both so present this time.

Then, yesterday, came the fear.

I’m afraid I’m setting myself up for disappointment if this isn’t the time. It felt so right, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t it. But sometimes I can’t help but feel like the baby has become a myth, like a mermaid. I’ve wanted this for so long. I want so badly to believe that flash in the water was something magical, but deep down, I know that mermaids aren’t real, and magic does not happen for ordinary people like me.

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