half empty

This is my actual, current, real life water glass (well, technically it’s plastic, not glass, but we are not hear to discuss what a shitty environmentalist I am).*  As the trite expression goes, you will see that it is half-empty.  Perhaps more like two-thirds empty.  But not totally empty, because that would be too simple.

You see, floating around in the back of my head are all the stories.  You know the ones.  We totally gave up trying, because we thought it would never work for us/it was too late/it was too early/she got sick/Mercury was in retrograde/etc. and lo! and behold!  That was the time we got pregnant!

I really, really wish my glass was empty, but I can’t help holding out a liiiiiiiiiiittle hope that it actually maybe did work this month.  Even though I know it didn’t!  Still.  Which means the fog has crept back in just a little, as I try to remind myself not to be optimistic — not at all — because we actually know that this time we inseminated too early, and we therefore know that we aren’t pregnant.

This is why you actually take a month off. Hello, April, I am looking at you. Because even if you tell yourself it didn’t work, and even if you know, deep down, that it didn’t, someone keeps sneaking up and pouring just an inch or two of water in your glass when your head is turned. Which means it really sucks when the end of the month comes, and you knock that glass over, and it drenches a stack of mail that someone left on the counter.

Although we are also not here to discuss how neat and tidy I am, do you see how clean my desk at work is?  That is because I moved all my confidential lawyer-type documents out of the picture for internet posting purposes.  Note the eraser crumbs around the bottom of the glass. That is a bit more accurate when it comes to visualizing my workspace.  Yep, I’m a pencil writer.  At least they are not food crumbs.

the fog

This month, I am pretty sure we messed up the timing of our insemination (again). I was sure that my body had settled into a pattern, and that day 17 was the day. So on day 16, when the OPK line looked a little light, I assumed it was the OPK that was a little off, not my timing. I had decided we were going to step down to one insemination a month — mostly because of the money, honestly, but also because of the stress and missing work, and because I think inseminating the day after you ovulate is pointless. So when we only had one sperm vial left at our doctors’ office, I wasn’t worried. Do you see all of this ominous foreshadowing? We had our insemination on day 17, and they did the sonogram — my follicle was again on the left (apparently my ovaries don’t alternate) and it was at 21 mm. Not terrible, but not great. The next day, my temperature didn’t spike. I went up a little, but not a lot. Meh. Actually my temperature graph looks like a Picasso line drawing of the Rocky Mountains, so who know what it means anyway.

On day 18, my wife and I sat down to talk about the fact that I almost certainly wasn’t pregnant, again, and what this meant. If we try again next month, the baby would be due December 28. Not that that would be the worst thing that has ever happened, but we don’t really want a Christmas baby, if we get a say in the matter. Which, it turns out, we do. So, we decided to take April off. We are going to skip it, and relax, and not be pregnant, and then try again in May. And in May, it’s all-in. We’re going to ask for a trigger shot, to take some of the guesswork out of the timing, temp, pee on sticks, and do two inseminations. And if May doesn’t work with the trigger, it’s Clomid in June.

My wife is really disappointed, and for the first time, I think, realized how much of this is all. on. me. She didn’t agree with the decision not to bring more sperm over this month, but she didn’t even know about that decision because I just handle all of that.

It’s like a fog has been lifted, knowing I’m not pregnant, and not about to become pregnant. We decided to run a 10k at the end of April, so we’ll start training this weekend. I joined weight watchers, to try to shed some of the 15 or so pounds I’ve picked up over the past couple of years. We have spent more time being “intimate,” if you catch my drift, and less time bickering.

I knew that trying to get pregnant was stressing both of us out. But I guess I didn’t really realize the practical implications of a constant, low-level preoccupation on a marriage and a life. Deciding to take April off was the best choice we could make.

I didn’t realize how much I had been living my life in a holding pattern, circling in the air above all the things I wanted to do, waiting for that second pink line to tell me to land. It turns out, you can lose weight while trying to get pregnant, especially if its only 10-15 lbs and you do it slowly. You can run while trying to get pregnant. If you become too pregnant/exhausted to run the race, then you cancel, or you walk it, or whatever, but you can sign up. But knowing that I am not pregnant, and knowing that I have a break from pee sticks and thermometers and doctors appointments and cervical mucous is just such a relief, and it freed me to get back to living my life, rather than sitting around waiting for it to happen for me, or to me.