ninety seven point eight

As I looked this morning at my plummeting basal body temperature and realized I’m once again not pregnant, I also realized that it’s no longer something to keep secret.  So like any good millennial, I began to plan my social media post. Which turned into a blog post. Which turned into (so far) three blog posts.

So here it is, one of many.

I am interested in the topics of pregnancy and childbirth and parenthood both personally and professionally. I purposely follow accounts, read books, and eagerly talk with friends and strangers about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and pregnancy loss. I don’t follow accounts or read books about fertility, however, because that’s too fucking hard.

Right now, today, and most days- I don’t want to consider what might be wrong with my body, my husband’s body, or what issue lies within or without that is preventing pregnancy. I just want to be pregnant.

I have not always felt this way, it’s not how I prefer to feel, and I probably won’t feel this way at least two days next week.  As much as I’ve hidden from this topic over the past several years, I’ve also managed to intentionally address potential concerns within: increasing my intention around food (antibiotic free meat, less pesticide exposure, watching caffeine and alcohol), and adding in extra yoga and stress relieving measures. I am deeply grateful to say that I am doing these things for my life and my body, aside from the fact that I’d like this body to be someone’s first home. This is the only way they are emotionally or logistically sustainable.

We have also had initial fertility testing and been told that everything seems to be working as it should. And I even have trust in a higher power and a bigger picture of things that allows me to trust the timing of what is unfolding in my and my husband’s life. But this is fucking hard. And we will continue to cycle through the stages of grief and hope, attention and avoidance, hoping it comes to an end one day.

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As I am with most things in my life, I have tried to be very thoughtful and intentional about this part of my and my husband’s life. At least whenever I can bear to touch it with a 10 foot pole (because did I mention that it’s fucking hard). But it deeply pains me to say, embarrasses me to say, that more often than not I have not been able to bear living in the same space with this topic. For every extra yoga session there’s been weeks of avoiding my body, too confused and emotionally tired to figure out how to be friends. I stop drinking during the 2nd half of my cycle some months, only to drink some (or more than some) the next month because why the fuck not. I talk with my husband about it some and then act like there’s nothing to discuss for months. If you know me at all, I always have thoughts and feelings to process….so this means I’ve done a lot of pushing down and avoiding. This has wreaked havoc on our marriage at times and most certainly made things harder than it would have been if I’d been able to live with my eyes wide open a bit more often. But as I keep saying…it’s fucking hard. Harder than anything else I or we have ever done.

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But lately, I’ve been sitting with the teachings of Pema Chodron about becoming comfortable with uncertainty. She writes: “We ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We fail to see that like the weather, we are fluid, not solid. And so we suffer. ….When we stop resisting and let the weather simply flow through us, we can live our lives completely. It’s up to us.”

I’m ready for this part of my life to flow.  Or more accurately, I am ready to not resist quite so much the flow of this part of my life. Because it’s flowing whether I want it to or not. The snow falls even if the flowers have started to bloom and yet their beauty remains. Perhaps they are even the more beautiful for it.

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Because my husband and I been pretty private about this topic, I don’t have a lot of horror stories yet about the difficult/insensitive/glib things that people can say when confronted with the reality that we are trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. I recognize that writing this post may open me up to some and I think I’m OK with that. Because I also recognize that the words that I’m saying might somehow help someone else’s heart be a little bit more honest that this is fucking hard. And if they can admit that, then maybe they can join me in considering that it’s also something to be engaged with intention and loving kindness. It can shape and mold us in beautiful ways even as it cuts a hole in our heart.

Own where you are now. It’s the only place you can be.

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I’d love to hear what thoughts or feelings this post inspires below. If this topic hits home for you, consider following my blog so that you receive an email alert of future posts.

And please, please, please remember: my story is not your story. My life experiences and thoughts and feelings are not commentary or judgment on your experiences. So please don’t make comparisons in judgement of you or myself. Just take what serves you here and leave the rest.

 

4 thoughts on “ninety seven point eight

  1. Thank you for your vulnerability and courage here. I think it’s a topic so many can relate to. In my own way, though certainly different, I remember the first year we were trying to get pregnant. That roller coaster of hoping, waiting, and disappointment is so brutal at times. I opened up to a midwife about it at my annual exam, and she recommended a book which talked about cervical fluid and temperature (sounds like you’re familiar with this unique charting :)). It helped, and I’m grateful. But it’s not so simple of a solution for everyone, and it’s a complex struggle. Making us feel and question a lot of things about ourselves, struggling to trust in God, timing, etc. I appreciate you speaking to the purpose and beauty that can be found in that process, while continuing to be honest about how it’s fucking hard.
    Your voice and story are valuable, thanks again for sharing ❤️

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    • Thanks for reading and sharing your experience, Becky. While I’m sure there are a lot of books on the topic, you may be referring to “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Tony Weschler. I got it on the recommendation of a friend about 2 years ago and yes-so incredibly helpful. I learned so much about my body and have gone on to share with many people. If I get to have a daughter one day, she’s gonna learn this stuff far sooner than I did! As you said, it’s not so simple a solution for everyone….I sure was hoping it would be enough for me. But it’s allowed me to feel more empowered within my body and to respect it tenderly, even as it’s not doing what I’d like it to do.

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      • Yes, that’s the book! I agree, girls should learn this stuff sooner. It should be in our health/sex ed classes!
        It was so helpful to understand my body better, and definitely empowering like you said.

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  2. This is a beautifully raw and real post and I’m so sorry that I’m just reading it for the first time now. All of this stuff is so difficult to process and another one of your posts, Notice, is really something that soaked in for me. Noticing is also how I tend to “deal with” most troubling situations. Noticing what you notice can be such rewarded meditation that allows us freedom to stop focusing on the problems in our life and rather look toward the richness. Well now I’m just rambling and I really want to do coffee with you soon. You are lovely and beautiful inside and out and I pray for all of the most wonderful moments life has to offer for you.

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