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Saturday, August 13, 2011

How do you stop trying?



So I find myself in unexplored territory, and to be honest...I'm flailing. But I'm getting ahead of myself already, so let me back up for a moment.

When my husband and I got married on March 30th of 2009, we got married believing that we would never have children. I had had an endometrial ablation about a month and a half before, and was under what was apparently a mistaken impression that I could not have children. So our relationship, and in particular our sex life, was completely and totally stress free. We weren't worried about trying not to get pregnant, and we weren't worried about trying to get pregnant. There was no trying. There was no chance. There was just me and him and zero stress sex. And while I had my moments when that made me a little sad, we had had "the talk" when we got married, he assured me that he was fine with not having children as long as he could be with me, so I just put it out of my mind.

And then, about a month after we got married, I found out I was pregnant. Now, to say I was shocked is an understatement. But I was, most definitely, very happy, as was Shaun. I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy, a pretty uneventful delivery, and 38 weeks after we were married, I had one perfect baby boy.

Now here's where it gets tricky.

Before I got pregnant with Jameson there was no "trying". There was no paying attention to what day you started doing this and what day the two lines were the same color or you got a little digital smiley face or your temperature went up by a degree. There was no hyper-awareness of every little pelvic twinge or flutter. And there was no timing your sex life to coincide with all of these things. When I was pregnant with Jameson, I was two weeks late before it even crossed my mind to look at a calendar.

But now...the possibility is out there. I can't just say "oh it's not possible so I'm just not going to worry about it." It's possible. I have a 34 inch tall walking babbling reminder of it being possible every minute of every day. And now that we're trying to repeat our little miracle conception, I can not for the life of me stop "trying". You hear and read stories every day..."Oh we tried for one, two, four, 6 years and finally when we just gave up, we got pregnant." But I can't give up. It's apparently not in my nature. I think I can safely say that I obsess now. I'm taking the tests, I'm feeling the twinges, and I'm texting my husband at work telling him he needs to come home NOW because it's TIME! And I'm second guessing everything. Maybe I got pregnant before because of this or because of that. Maybe that perfect constellation of events that resulted in my son isn't possible again. Maybe I'm wasting $40 a month peeing on a stick every morning for two weeks to find the right time, but it's still not going to work.

So please, someone tell me, how do you stop "trying"? If it were the New York Times crossword puzzle, or running a marathon, or reading Moby Dick, I could easily tell you how to stop trying. But I don't know how to stop trying to bring another child into the world when I was so amazingly blessed with the first one. When you wake up every morning and see this adorable fat face smiling at you and your heart just explodes, how do you stop trying to do it again? And even more unimaginable, how do you stop trying when you've yet to experience being a mother at all. I have friends who have been to hell and back, planning and testing and timing and having procedures and taking drugs and scrimping and saving every dime they get their hands on for things that insurance won't pay for, and I hear people say things like "Why don't they just give up?" Clearly, CLEARLY, these people have never had an unfulfilled dream. And good for them. Because if they knew, if they had even a vague idea of what it feels like to want something with every fiber of their being, then they would be just like me and so many others that I know that can't stop trying.


2 comments:

Nancy said...

Jennifer, it's ironic that your name is the same as my adopted daughter. Don't ever stop trying, but don't make it the ultimate focus of your life, my dear. We went through all of "the tests" and were told that while there was really no good reason we could expect to have children, and our doctor recommended we investigate adoption, hence our daughter. When she was 4, we had moved, had different careers, and the last thing we expected was to have a child of our own. But, there I was, pregnant. I miscarried at 8 weeks and thought that I had lost my only chance at having a baby of my own. Then almost 2 years later, I found I was pregnant again, had a better doctor, and successfully delivered our first son. At 18 months, I was pregnant again, but miscarried on Mothers' Day weekend; how ironic. Long story short, I waited the recommended time and we tried again, to eventually have our second son. We consider ourselves very, very blessed.
There are many reasons to give up, I guess. But if this is something you truly believe can happen, you never give up. Just don't make it all your life centers around...it will make you crazy. Plan what you can, then leave the rest up to God, and good luck. If it's meant to be, it will. I promise.

Jennifer said...

Nancy,

Thanks so much for your comment. My husband tells me all the time that maybe we should just stop stressing about it and it will happen, since when we got pregnant with our son we obviously weren't "trying". And my mom and I have talked about this at length, in particular about the fact that since I'm currently a stay-at-home mom, I have nothing better to do than stay home all day with my son and obsessively google things about getting pregnant. She's recommended that I find something else to focus my energy on, like writing or some other type of hobby that would take my mind off of baby making. And the rational side of me totally understands that my stress and worry over getting pregnant is probably completely counterproductive. But then there's the completely irrational side of me that can't seem to stop worrying. I think there are a lot of reasons that it has become predominant in my life. I worry that the longer it takes, the older my son gets, and the further apart they will be in age. Also, my husband will be deploying to Afghanistan early next year, and when he's gone, well that's puts the big hiatus on getting pregnant for about a year. And then, of course, there's my 38th birthday looming in the very near future. It's like I took my own biological clock and gave it steroids. I am, however, going to make a real effort from this point on to stop obsessing and just start having fun. I think in the long run it will make life a little more enjoyable. Thanks again for your insight and for sharing your story. It really does help to hear from people who understand. :)

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