When we were expecting our first child, everyone asked us how many kids we were planning to have. For us, having one kid seemed so much easier and smarter financially. My siblings and I aren’t close in age, so I grew up as an only child. My mother-in-law did foster care so my husband grew up with a bunch of kids in his house. Our very different childhood experiences brought us to the same conclusion: one and done. Everyone said, “Wait and see, maybe you’ll change your mind.”
I should mention that I like to be in control. I like to be organized and I like to know what’s coming next. I don’t like surprises and I like to plan…everything. When we decided to try for baby #2, I talked with our daycare provider to see when she’d have openings for an infant. I also mapped out when to get off of my birth control so that my body would have time to regulate itself. We were all set, it was time to make this baby!
Spoiler alert: one thing that you can’t control is getting pregnant. We realized this pretty quickly when it didn’t happen as easily as we thought it would. We’ve had no luck, but we’re still trying.
Although I like to be in control, I try to make my life as easy as possible, and as long as I don’t have anything major to stress out about, that’s not a problem. Enter: the year 2020. Like it had so many others, this year was going to test me. They say that while trying to get pregnant, keep your stress level low. What they don’t tell you is how you’re supposed to do that while the country is divided and in the middle of a pandemic. Not to mention the everyday stressors of raising a toddler boy and working full-time. I’ve had to take a good look at my self-care. I’ve talked to others who have had issues getting pregnant, I’ve talked with my doctor, and I’ve also used some holistic practices. But it hasn’t been easy.
Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows about the “two-week wait.” If you don’t know, it’s the two weeks between when you ovulate (aka baby-making time) and when you find out if you’re pregnant or not. Each time I wonder, will I get my period or get a positive pregnancy test? Period symptoms can be extremely similar to early pregnancy symptoms. So each month during those two weeks, every ache and pain makes me think: “Is this it?” Every month so far, I’ve been disappointed. At this point, it’s hard to not think about.
Another feeling I’ve experienced is guilt.
How dare I be upset about not getting pregnant when I already have a child?
How dare I be sad when so-and-so has been trying for so much longer than me?
How dare I be annoyed when some women can’t have a baby at all?
I had to recognize that my feelings were valid. This is my struggle, and that’s OK. I have every right to feel the way I do. Between the stress and the guilt, I’ve had to give myself grace. I’m so thankful for our healthy and happy family. My husband is amazing. He’s the polar opposite of me, which is exactly what I need. He calms me down. “It will happen,” he says.
And I’m keeping hope that it will.