Monday, July 23, 2007

Full disclosure

Jenn's story reminded me that I have one I need to tell y'all, too.

One evening, about two weeks ago, I was getting ready to make supper when I suddenly started feeling nauseous. Now, this *never* happens to me, unless it's hormonal. I have a cast-iron constitution -- I've never once had motion sickness or car sickness, and I almost never catch stomach bugs. Even when I was pregnant (with twins!), I only actually tossed my cookies a couple of times, although I felt queasy relatively often. So for me to feel sick, well, hmmm.

I laughed at myself, because, hello, infertile! And honestly, just to overshare, breastfeeding has really done a number on my libido. Still, I couldn't quite shake the what-ifs out of my head. Maybe the pregnancy and the breastfeeding had finally kicked my endocrine system loose, and things had started to work right. I haven't had a cycle yet, but some women do catch that first egg. Theoretically, it was possible, and I went to bed with it still in the back of my head.

I woke up at 3 AM, probably in response to a baby sleep noise. I couldn't get right back to sleep, and as I lay there, I swear to you, I felt something flutter in the pit of my stomach. In that instant, I was absolutely certain that I was pregnant, maybe as much as three months pregnant, and I lay awake for hours pondering the idea.

At one point I considered getting up and going to Wal-Mart for a pregnancy test, because it's not like I was sleeping anyway. I decided to skip it, because I didn't want to go to that trouble for a negative test. The next day, however, found me ginning up an excuse to go to Target. My six-year-old niece was staying with me for a few days, but happily, she doesn't read well enough to know that I lied about the "asthma test".

So, anybody want to guess what it said?

...

Negative. Blank. White as the driven snow. Of course it was negative. Honestly, how delusional was I to expect anything else? How stupid could I be, to just forget that it doesn't work like that for me? What made me think I could be something other than a pseudomenopausal freak?

Yeah, some issues there, maybe.

It's not like we were really trying. Had it been positive, I would have been happy, yes, but I think I'd also have felt a little shocked. We're approaching the point where we intend to get serious about it -- the girls' birthday is a mere six weeks away, and that's the point at which we'd always said we'd officially be ready to work on #3. I don't know that we're ready to book the RE appointment just yet, but I am working on weaning, to see whether my cycle will return naturally or whether we'll need to go that route. I'm just beginning to shift back into the TTC mindset, and it would probably have blown my mind to find myself already through the first trimester, with the girls not even a year old.

That didn't stop me from crying about it, though. I threw the test away and said a few bad words, at the stupid test and the stupid test-taker and the whole stupid thing, and then I cried standing in the shower. I looked at the test again later, just in case, and I told myself how stupid I was and cried a little more.

I have taken precisely one pregnancy test that didn't make me feel like a complete failure, and this one sure enough did. I'm not even really sad about not being pregnant, not yet, but it's the principle of the thing. Every negative test is the tangible evidence that I'm more or less incapable of executing the most basic female function, simple menstruation, without medical assistance.

It's still possible that my cycle will magically return when the girls are weaned. We're going to give it at least a few months, maybe as much as six, before beginning active treatment, and who knows what will happen. I have to say, though, that I don't have much hope. I don't believe that we will conceive another child without medical intervention. I'm reasonably sanguine about our odds with ART, and let's not forget that I have been blessed with two perfect daughters, but that doesn't entirely erase the disappointment I feel toward my body.

7 comments:

Stacey said...

You know all those obnoxious bitches that told you that the second you didn't want to be pregnant, you would be? (Sorry about "obnoxious bitches." But seriously. Assvice.)

With me, they're right. No, I'm not pregnant, but I've had regular-ish cycles since Ace was 4 months old. I ONLY have normal-ish cycles when I don't want to be pregnant. I spend days 30-45 of my cycle fairly freaking out, praying for my period because of my terror of pregnancy. I'm on CD 38 and I've taken one test so far, but you can bet I'll take several more. Sigh. I can't run away from pregnancy - I'm either obsessing about getting pregnant or not getting pregnant.

I hate my body.

Stacey said...

Wow, sorry, my ranting got in the way of my caring-friend-ing. Big hugs, honey, I'm sorry. Another girls night out soon, this time with chocolate?

Nico said...

I'm sorry about the disappointment. But, I really think, as long as you haven't gone too far with losing the baby weight, that you have a very good shot of getting your cycle back once you wean. I know another woman with HA who got pg with injectibles and recently got AF, about 2.5 months after stopping BFing when her babies were 6 weeks old. And I'm down to BFing 2x/day and having copious amounts of CM which I haven't seen in a long long time... I have my fingers crossed that we'll both be regular again in a couple of months!!!

LeftLeaningLady said...

I am 40 years old with an 18 year old son and my fiance' has had a vasectomy. The last thing I want or need at this point is to be pregnant. But the last time I was late, I took a pregnancy test and of course it was negative (HELLO, VASECTOMY) and I cried. I was devastated. I'm pretty sure a lot (not all) women would have reacted the same way.

Jody said...

I have to take those *O&*(^&D(*^ tests before I take my every-other-month provera, and every single time, I feel disappointed. Even though I haven't had unprotected sex in three years.

They're the devil.

Eva said...

I'm so sorry. Those darn pregnancy tests are just torture for women dealing with some form of IF. I'm sorry that even after all your joy you have to keep suffering the disappointment of that. I hope you have a chance to treat yourself to something great soon.

What Works For Us said...

The mind can play the meanest tricks!!