Who knew how trying for a baby would take over every inch of your existence?
As soon as my new husband and I had ‘the conversation’ and decided yes, we would no longer take all those steps to prevent us getting pregnant, damn, it’s all I can think about.
I’ve been reluctant to use the term ‘trying for a baby’ as there is so much pressure as soon as you say it out loud – instead, I’ve told myself we are ‘not trying not to’. But who am I kidding – in an instant we became triers.
Now, every waking moment seems consumed with the subject. Every ache and pain could be a suggestion that I’m pregnant. Every decision I take refers back to the possibility.
Are these early signs of pregnancy?
I’ve got a headache – could I be pregnant? My back aches – could I be pregnant? That carrot tasted a bit weird, but my husband didn’t agree – I MUST be pregnant. Can I book a holiday for next year? No, as I might be pregnant then, so we’ll have to get a last-minute deal…
My period was three days late this month – OH MY GOD I’M DEFINITELY PREGNANT.
How many pregnancy tests should I buy? Should I buy a pregnancy test or will it jinx it?
Except, I wasn’t, I’m not. Gosh, the feelings! So many feelings.
Disappointment, guilt, fear, a bit of relief (are we really ready?), certain relief because I had a small glass of wine at the weekend (taking over from the guilt of having a small glass of wine), then fear that I prevented a pregnancy because of that small glass of wine.
Then, the physical side of menstruating – I am certain that my body is mocking me, saying “HA! You want to get pregnant? Well, you’re not, and we’re going to show you how much you definitely aren’t pregnant by giving you the WORST PMT you’ve ever had! HA!”
I had to take a day off work due to the intense migraine that accompanied my period, so bad that I almost fell down the stairs.
Stop asking me if I’m pregnant!
Alongside all of my internal feelings about trying for a baby come my reactions to colleagues and friends who think that our recent marriage means my fertility and the state of my uterus has become public property.
Suddenly, the subject of my potential pregnancy has become a blasé discussion point, without any impetus from me or my husband.
Everyone believes we will be pregnant immediately after getting married. Everyone thinks any tiny change in my mood is because I’m pregnant.
Everyone thinks any comment on babies or baby gear (of which there is a lot, as I work for a parenting brand) means I’m pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, or ‘getting some practice in’.
And I feel so affronted by this. I have always been sensitive to the issue – it is an intensely personal subject and not of anyone’s business apart from mine and hubby’s. Now, it takes on even sharper meaning.
As innocently as those jokes are made, as those ‘in passing’ comments are uttered, they scratch my insides. Each time I have to laugh along and say ‘no, I’m not pregnant, ha ha’, it hurts.
Every time I have to speak those words out loud is painful, as no, I’m not pregnant, but I want to be, and you’re just reminding me that I’m not.
Even though we’re not proactively monitoring my temperature and working out to the hour when I’m ovulating, I’m still watching for those early signs of pregnancy. I’m waiting for my period to the minute.
And I think about all those couples who are so much further on the trying-to-conceive journey than we are. It’s only been three months, and I know it could take months or years, and that for many friends it has been a dramatic journey.
I’m considering hanging a sign up at my desk saying “No, I’m not pregnant, and if you mention it I’m reporting you to HR”, but I don’t know how that would go down…