one pink line, and the problem with maybe

This weekend, I got my period.  Again.

Friday, I was sure I was pregnant.  I planned to test on Saturday morning, because then we would have some time to revel in it before getting back into real life. How could I not be pregnant?  We used a different donor, the donor that we thought we were meant to have been using all along, but originally had not chosen because he was an open donor.  His numbers were much better!  I had the HSG test, and my tubes were clear.  My prolactin levels were down (still not in the normal range, but very close).  We timed it right, finally, for our two back-to-back inseminations.  I would surely be pregnant this time, lucky try number six.

There are lots of women who feel nothing, less than nothing, no pregnancy symptoms at all, before they are late.  So I could be one of them.

When I woke up Saturday, I knew I was not pregnant.  “Are you going to test?” my wife whispered.

“It’s going to say no. Give me just one more minute to hope.”  But I had to go to the bathroom, and eventually I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I set the test on the nightstand and put my head on my wife’s shoulder for three more minutes.  I was right.  It was negative.  I stared for a while at that blank, white space next to the one pink line before I got up and threw the test in the garbage. I crawled back into bed and cried, for kind of a long time.

This was the worst loss.  The other times, I knew it might not work.  I really, really thought this time would work.  I let myself read week 3 on Amalah’s zero-to-forty pregnancy calendar (and week 4, and 5).  I had a dream that I had a baby, and it was a boy, and BT was happy about it.  I avoided brie, and smoked salmon, and drank sparkling water, just in case.  I hoped.

On Sunday, I had the worst fucking cramps I have had in a decade, and got my period. I spent a good portion of the afternoon sitting on the couch with a heating pad, feeling sorry for myself.  I discussed Clomid with my wife and my sister, who is a consultant that works with pharm companies and knows things about drugs.  I talked with my wife about how long we would do this, and how hard it is on me emotionally.  We talked about Clomid, we talked about IVF.

The thing about not being pregnant, month after month, is that you start to think that it’s you.  I am starting to lose faith in my body’s ability to become pregnant without some further assistance.  I look at my lifestyle, and I think, maybe it’s because I refused to give up drinking.  Or even drinking coffee.  Maybe I should do more yoga.  Maybe I should not have skipped acupuncture. Maybe it’s all the late nights of work.  Maybe it was staying home to care for my son, and catching his cold.  And you know what? Maybe it is.  Or maybe it’s not.  I don’t really know.  I don’t know why I’m not pregnant yet.

In the end, we decided that we are going to try one more “natural cycle,” and I am going to really give it a go doing all the shit they tell you to do in books about fertility.  I am not going to eat crap that’s bad for me.  I am going to cut down to the four drinks a week they recommend when you are trying to conceive.  I am going to re-give up the second cup of coffee and the diet coke that has been sneaking back into my hands on the weekends.  I am going to do better with remembering both the prenatal vitamins and the B-6.  I am going to diligently try to get to bed earlier, even if that means no Downton Abbey for me.  If it works, so much the better.  If it doesn’t, then there are worse things than being super healthy for a month, and it will give baby a little head start on having a healthy mama, when I start the Clomid in March.

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