Obviously, I am not pregnant, or you would have already had 13 posts between the end of the two week wait and now, with me gleefully holding positive pregnancy tests and over analyzing all the goings-on in my body. No news is bad news, I guess.
December was our fifth try. I realize in the world of trying to conceive, that is not technically a long time. But we aren’t in the ordinary trying to conceive world. We are in the fertility clinic world. And five months is a long time, in that world. I know that statistics are thrown around, which say that a normal, healthy, heterosexual couple can take a year to conceive. But I can’t help but feel like those normal, healthy, heterosexual couples aren’t really trying all that hard for the first few months. Like, I am sure, for example, that they are not getting ultrasounds to make sure they are ovulating, they haven’t had their hormones checked, they aren’t even necessarily peeing on sticks. They’re just sort of having sex on day 14 and hoping for the best. We’ve really stepped it up a notch from there since day one. You know? Which makes the five months a long time.
Then I think about the months leading up to our first try, and I realize that we were meeting with the RE nearly a year ago. And suddenly, the heart-wrenching devastation each time it doesn’t work seems a little more normal. It’s sort of agony.
Also, as one of my friends pointed out, what kind of cruel trick of nature makes you find out you are not pregnant and HAVE YOUR PERIOD AT THE SAME TIME? I am already an irrational, weepy mess when I get my period. Then nature was like, I know, this is the totally perfect time to let this person know she is not pregnant. When she’s a fucking walking train wreck and has house guests. Good idea, nature. Although, technically, nature did not force me to have house guests when I got my period, but still. Nature knew they were there, and let me not be pregnant anyway. So I had like 15 minutes to silently weep in my room before getting dressed, blowing out my hair and going to Cafe Wha with what felt like 900 in-laws.
Which, I guess, is what led to the New Year’s Day Explosion, where I broke down the door of our bedroom. I hate New Year’s in general, but everyone was finally gone, and the kids were at their father’s for the day. So, I was all “YAY, we have a day to ourselves, let’s watch football on TV and order pizza and stay in pajamas all day.” And the Wife was all, “We can’t, it’s our friend’s birthday and we said we would shower ourselves and go to her house for a party.” Why, why, why do we have to have friends at times like these? Friends with birthdays even. Ugh.
So we decided that, since we were getting out of bed anyway, we might as well clean up some of the Christmas that was all over our house, and my wife let me know that she did not like the Christmas presents I got her. Not any of them. The sweaters were too casual, and also like one she already had, etc., etc. with all the other presents too. She didn’t hate the presents, she just didn’t like them. So could she exchange them, please? Which is totally rational, but anyway caused me to flip the fuck out. It was like some kind of angry animal was unleashed in our house. I was a screaming, sobbing, mess of feelings. All wild and negative feelings, like angry and sad and miserable.
Wife was kind of, shall we say, overwhelmed by the strength of my reaction to a request to exchange a sweater at the Gap, and went into our room. In all honesty, she was pretty pissed at me. You’re supposed to be gracious, I guess, when someone wants to exchange a present you got them, which I decidedly was not. So she went into our room, and she locked the door. Now, this is against the fighting rules. Every couple has fighting rules, I think, and this is one of ours: We aren’t allowed to lock another person out of a shared space during a fight. Partly because it’s so totally infuriating to be locked out of your own room, and tends to cause the fight to escalate. Also, one of the loathed presents was in the room and I needed to get in there so I could examine it. When I tried the knob and it was locked, I could have done any number of things; for example: (a) asked her to let me in, (b) gone to sob on the couch some more instead, or (c) put my shoulder into the door as hard as I could and try to break it down. I went with (c). I just football-style rammed my shoulder into the door, which, yes, got me into the room, but was also a totally insane thing to do. I popped the trim off and split the doorjamb in half. Shards of drywall went flying. Without a word, I walked in and got the present, and just sat on the floor and stared at it. “Um, you broke our house,” a small voice said from the other side of the room.
It was like the splitting doorjamb split open something inside of me, and all the real feelings came out. Why couldn’t we have a baby? And why did there always have to be so many people around that I didn’t even have one second to be sad about that, before I had to bop off to hear a cover band and make small talk? And why, why, why on our one day at home, did we have to go to our friend’s house for her birthday, where there were going to be a bunch of other suburban women that totally intimidate me and make me feel weird for wearing a hooded sweatshirt that I have had since I was 16 instead of grownup people clothes? It’s New Year’s Day! I don’t want to wear grownup people clothes. I am tired of being grownup people. I am mostly, though, tired of putting on an act, and pretending I am fine when I am so totally not fine.
I don’t really know how to cope with the not being pregnant thing. It’s not a concrete loss, that people understand. I didn’t lose a baby, no one died. It’s just a slow, slogging, low-grade kind of stress and misery.
So, then, I did what I had to do. I cried for like 2 more minutes, then I pushed our non-baby out of my head, got in the shower, got dressed, and went off to my friend’s party and acted like a grownup. Although I did wear the hooded sweatshirt from when I was 16 and drink Bud Light, so not a total grownup. She is my friend, after all, and knew what she was getting into when she asked me to come.