Where to begin? Well, I live in a huge city with my husband and our cat. We’re both Christians and our belief and trust in Jesus affect every aspect of our lives, especially this part. We’re in our 20’s, my husband is a performer (with a day job) and I’m an artist (also with a day job, but mine is part time.)
Up until about two years ago I had no desire whatsoever to add to our little family. I’ve never been a kid person, I did not babysit in high school and if you approach me with your child and expect me to engage with him/her I will smile awkwardly and maybe say ‘hi’. Please do not expect more from me. Yet, something changed in me, God seemed to be giving me this desire I’d never had before, suddenly I wanted to be a mom. From there, it’s been a long, hard exercise in patience to get where I am now, to the point where my husband and I are actually trying to get pregnant. I’ll begin my story here. I’ve already found a midwife (or more accurately, a midwife group) that will care for me during pregnancy and birth. My birth control pills lay forgotten at the pharmacy, and we’ve long since run out of condoms.
Trying to get pregnant is its own form of torture. I’ve read that it takes most couples 6 to 12 months to conceive. You’ve got to be kidding me right?! Six months of this! I’m trying to pray for God’s will but at the same time praying for this part to be mercifully short! Every month, on the first day of my period it begins. I have a nifty little app on my phone (thank goodness for smart phones right?) that I plug information into so I can keep track of everything. It tells me when I’m most likely ovulating and when to expect my period. I tell it when I got my last period, then each day I record my basal body temperature, bleeding, cervical mucus, when we’ve had sex, if I have a headache, tender breasts, cramps, backache, what my mood is like, and any fatigue. It can be even more thorough but I’m too lazy for all that.
Recording all that is the easy part, I also have to be hyperaware of my body. I’ve seen pictures online of women checking cervical mucus with their fingers…is it just me or does the prospect of handling mucus from your vagina seem gross? Although, I am also the person who uses a Diva Cup to deal with her period so I guess I can’t really talk. By the way, my cervical mucus doesn’t really seem to tell me a whole lot. (Should that worry me? I don’t know, everyone’s different, right?) I also have to remember to take my temperature, which you’re supposed to do the second you wake up and without moving. I often fall asleep while doing this, and this morning I had to do it over again because the beeping that tells you it’s done did not wake me up and the reading was gone by the time I realized it. Other mornings I forget until I’m already in the bathroom and then it’s too late.
While trying to make a baby seems fun because that means more sex, when you’ve had sex every day for five days in a row and then get up for work every morning, there is nothing you want more than to get in bed knowing there are no expectations. You get to put on that ten-year-old t-shirt and the baggy pajama pants with the cats on them, sink into bed and drift off. It’s heaven. Please allow me to give you this piece of advice, don’t have sex every single day, give it a rest, you need sleep too. That said, I do enjoy my husband and sex is great, but there is such a thing as too much.
So, the deed is done and now comes the waiting game. That time between ovulation and the magical test day, it’s what I’d imagine purgatory is like (if I believed in purgatory). Waiting, hoping, praying, looking for any sign of bodily changes, and Googling every minute detail to see if it’s an early pregnancy sign or just gas. When I was little I remember seeing a commercial on TV for a pregnancy test, the one that tells you 6 days before you miss your period (3 whole days sooner than the competitor!). I thought it was stupid, why can’t you just wait? After all, 3 days is not that long, I am currently in purgatory with 2 days to go, if you told me I had to wait another three days I might just rip out my hair and use it to strangle you. Three days is in fact, that long. Oh, and don’t test too soon, you’ll more than likely get a negative whether you’re pregnant or not because the hormones haven’t built up in your system yet. I KNOW it’s tempting, but you’re not doing yourself any favors, it’s a wasted test and those things aren’t cheap.
Are you ready for the longest two minutes of your life? That’s how long it usually takes for the test to work. I’ve taken a few so far and they’ve all been negative. The first one I ever took was a whopping one month into my marriage. My husband and I were naturally elated to see that one lonely little line that meant we could go ahead with our plans to move to the city. But now that we’re trying, that lonely little line looks more like a dagger bound for my heart. I bawled my eyes out the first time. I can take one in a few days and even though I feel something inside me, some nervous excitement that a precious life is growing in me, I keep telling myself there’s not, so maybe it won’t hurt so bad if it’s just one lonely little line. Everyone says it’s no biggie, you can try again next month, but I think it’s ok to be a little heart-broken and shed some tears.
I’ve crocheted a dozen hats and booties, little sweaters and blankets. I have a stack of kids books in my closet and a stroller picked out. I have a stuffed Peter Rabbit doll for my mom, a song book for my dad, and a scrapbook for my in-laws all ready to reveal they’re going to be grandparents. I am ready for this baby. No, I don’t have it all figured out, I’m not even sure where we’re going to be living when this kid’s born, but I am ready to be a mom.