Our frustration behind trying to conceive


Last year, 2014, my husband and I decided that it was time to expand our family and bring a little one into our lives. We had already been married for 5 years, so it was pretty clear that it was about time. However, it had always been a dream of mine to have a little one born around the same month that we got married, and for that, we had to get pregnant during January or February. Since the year was passed those months, we chose to take advantage of the time until the next January and February to start saving, researching for the best baby items, and to learn as much as we could about pregnancy and baby-related things; Thus, I created this blog. Since economy isn't still in the brightest of days for us, we had to just think it through and think it right. I thought that starting to buy things this ahead of time would be very clever as the expense would be way less by the time we actually got pregnant and/or the little one arrived.

At the beginning of the year 2015, I went to have my routine check-up and I thought of asking something out of the blue to my OB/GYN. I was gaining some weird weight and getting extra facial hair. Yes, I am having the guts to say that I was getting harrier than I was used to, and for a girl that is very vain, this was already a struggle since I come from a hairy family. So after comparing myself to Chewbacca, the OB/GYN decided to check my labs, which I had taken a few months before after having an ocular migraine. I mean, I knew that my body was changing, after all, I am in my 30s, and I figured the hairy thing must be hormone related. However, I was not expecting to hear what she had to say.

It appeared that for some strange reason, my thyroid was not working the way it was supposed to. That would explain why the days between my period were totally off, when I used to be so regular, and why my hormones were creating the weight gain and extra likeliness to our favorite galactic wookie. She diagnosed me with hypothyroidism; I was shaken up! I had never taken prescription medicine before, aside of when getting the occasional laryngitis that required antibiotics. Nonetheless, her words were sort of; “If you don't take the medication and you get pregnant, you can have a miscarriage.” Oh no, how could this be? It scared me to think that in our first attempt to get pregnant we could risk loosing the baby; I felt broken. The good thing was that there was a fix to it, however, I was always scared to think that I was going to forget not to take it, and with my super-paranoid powers, stress was just building up those first months.

So the quest into parenthood started. I do have to confess that we did not have a good start, since we were very, VERY stressed about the whole situation with my medication, and my husband was actually getting over a very nasty cold. My hormones started to regularize with the medication, which was a great thing, since it would help with timing ovulation and it proved that the whole thing I was dealing with was hormone related. Nonetheless, at the beginning I was very grumpy, and emotional about everything. Valentine's day was coming and I was hoping that we were pregnant just to be able to feel like the announcement was special. I know, a little selfish in that matter, but when we found out we were not pregnant, we thought: “Well, it was just the first try. It is rare to get it the first time.” Still, we were sad. I never realized how saddening the results in a pregnancy test could be whenever you are trying to conceive. 

The second time was dragging me into full tension mode. I felt like I needed to get pregnant or else it was never going to happen. Yes, the drama again! You have to consider that though this sounds very selfish, since other people have been trying to get pregnant for many years, my hormones were going through a “rebooting” process. So in a way, my subconscious was making me very dramatic. I was scared to want this so bad, that I was going to end up having a phantom pregnancy, and I truly did not want to go through it and end up with a broken heart. For the second time, we were not pregnant--again.

For someone that had been wanting to become a mommy ever since she was 12, and waiting 5 years after getting married, every cycle that passed was completely torture. I was 34, and the OB/GYN had already warned me that after 35 everything could end up being more complicated. I knew that, because I went into billing and coding for a while and there, I learned that after 35, a first-time-pregnancy is considered high-risk. So healthy or not, the chances were not very promising and I felt insecure about it for the first time in my life. I honestly felt vulnerable and angry at myself for waiting so long.

Try, wait, period, wait, try, wait, period, wait, repeat.

Month after month, and soon I started feeling helpless. Was this what the universe wanted? I did say that I was starting to get dramatic, right? I can't really compare my frustration to those that have been trying for years, because we have only been trying for one. However, that builds into guilt, because that is the point; we just started trying, and we are not getting any younger.

I grew up knowing that in my paternal side of the family, 1 male per generation is sterile. I don't know how true this is, but you usually believe adults when they say such things, and since my dad's youngest brother couldn't have kids, you just grow up wondering. I know that one of my paternal grandmother's sister had a lot of trouble getting pregnant and she got pregnant finally when she a bit older than expected. I mean, my uncle was just one year older than me. But then, the thing was that it was only supposed to affect males, and that is why my brother was all mortified. Like if it was a rule of thumb, and he could be the next childless relative of our generation. I remember feeling relieved just for the fact that I was not a male, and that most of my dominant genes comes from my mom's side of the family. However, after being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I did not know what to think anymore. I even thought that it could be the reason behind some of my paternal side of the family's issues with weight and men loosing their hair at a very early age. Funny little things those hormones, little craziness that can change your whole life.

Try, wait, period, wait, try, wait, period, wait, repeat.

Another month, another “Not Pregnant” result. How am I not to get angry? Was I the creator of my own predicament? When do you even get to the point of “that's enough”! I honestly don't know how other couples bare this month after month, and then for years. We've only been trying for a year and I am ready to pull my hair out. Of course that passing half the year, we decided to stop stressing about it, and pretend that it wasn't our goal. Just to avoid the same stress that could be causing us the harm. Every time I felt my breasts bigger, I just pretend it wasn't happening. Every time I felt sick to my stomach, I pretended it was just something I ate that didn't agree with me. I did not want to get excited and then disappointed when my period came.

The OB/GYN said that if we didn't get pregnant in a year, that we had to follow-up to see if there was something going on that required looking into. I am scared, because our time is almost up and next month it will be “that year” she talked about. I truly have to find courage to face that other than having unlucky odds or bad timing, there could be something else that could end our journey right before it starts. I have told my husband many times during these last months that; maybe it's just not meant to be. I do not feel good about thinking this way after just trying for about a year. However, it does help getting through the next cycle. We are not giving up, but I am not going to brainwash myself anymore thinking that because my great grandmother had 12 kids, and both my mom's and dad's side have 4 to 5 siblings, that the odds should be in our favor.

The reality is that we live in a different time. We live in a time where both the man and the woman live under so much stress, that it has become the new “norm”. If you are not stressed, it's like, there is something wrong with you. We live in a time where the food quality is not what our parents and grandparents were used to, and trying to get quality food means sacrificing almost everything, just because prices are so high. We live in times were unlike our parents, who had us in their mid 20s, and our grandparents, who had our parents in their late teens-early 20s, we are having our kids really late in life. It just makes me wonder if society is changing for the better or for the worse.

I am still left with hopes. I hope that we, as human species, can adapt our physical bodies to the demands of our social endeavors that do not affect our biological goals.

I love my husband so much, and I can only imagine how sad he gets every time I tell him it was a no-go. I know that he feels pressure in a way, because technically only him and his brother will carry their last name to the next generation. Almost as much as my brother and one of my male cousin; I do understand. I guess in a way it is a cultural thing, and one of the reasons why it can also become frustrating. However, my dearest husband has been so very supportive throughout this year. For obvious reasons, getting pregnant requires teamwork. He has been there throughout my ups and downs, and totally a team player when my hormones get out of wack, and start over reacting within my same frustration. He has exceeded my expectations as my one and only true love; I already knew he was. However, during these types of struggle, I think it proves how strong love can be.

After all this time, in a way, I realized that the wait to get pregnant has been almost like a grieving process.

  • First you are like; "Well, no-one gets it the first try--or second." Denial. 
  • Then you are like; "Not pregnant again? Graaaaaa. Maybe it's my fault." Anger. 
  • After that you are like; "Okay Universe, I think that it's about time that we get pregnant. Pretty, pretty, please!" Bargaining. 
  • Then it's like; "Oh, okay. My period again... I'll tell hubby it's a no-go again. *Sigh, Cry. What if it is not meant to be? *Sigh, Cry."Depression. 
  • Finally, you debate the final stage of Acceptance; "I guess if it is not happening, we can focus on other things. Wait, but we haven't been trying for that long. Yeah, but how much torture should one take before you say 'that's it'?"

I wonder if subconsciously we do grieve the child that could have been, but wasn't. I guess we never do know. At least that is our experience so far.

It's the season to be grateful for what we have. So, I will be patient, though I won't expect anything. I will just wait and hope it happens, and have decided to take it one cycle at the time. I've heard people say that babies come when they want, not when we want. I will only pray that they are right, and that this little one is just taking it's time, because it want's to arrive fashionably late.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Have a lovely start of the week.

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