Friends are asking me if I’m okay. They are looking deep into my eyes and wondering if I’m going to fall apart or have a psychotic break. Neither are true. I am sinking into my reality and am remembering the woman I was before all this baby making nonsense began.
I am writing my YA book. I am exercising hard trying to get a rocking bikini body. I am wondering how long it will take me to unpack all the baby/infant toys, the crib, bottles and clothes and have a garage sale releasing them all and untethering myself from my baby #2 goal. I’m not sure how long that may take, but I think it may happen sooner than later.
I don’t like ghosts or reminders. In my past, when a guy broke up with me or hurt my heart, I typically shredded all photos of him and us and threw away anything he gave me or at least buried it deep in my closet. Who needs reminders of pain?
I hope to be more articulate about my emotional process soon. But for now…here’s a little essay I wrote months back, before I believed I could try anything like IUI. Hope it makes you smile, just a little.
I DON’T WANT TO BUY A NEW BOX OF TAMPONS
I don’t want to buy a new box of tampons. I’m praying that this month will be the month I get pregnant. I’m doing my best not to obsess on the fact that my period did not arrive on day 28 of my cycle. I am reminding myself that my period came on day 32 last month. I am telling myself to wait a few days and see what happens. I am reminding myself that buying early pregnancy tests has become expensive. I am comparing the tenderness of my breasts to the last time I was pregnant. I am staring at my body in the mirror before I get into the shower to see if my belly is rounder than the day before. I am excited that no blood appears when I pee. I want the fact that my period is late to mean I’ve succeeded.
If I buy a box of tampons it means that I failed, again. It means my body swelled with water retention, not a growing embryo. It means my uterus shed a potential child instead of nourished one.
I imagine the tampons waiting in my bathroom cabinet beneath my white porcelain sink judging me. Waiting there silently inside a blue cardboard box, in their white paper wrappers, cotton bodies trapped inside cylindrical applicators waiting to tell me I failed again.
“Told you so!” they’d say. “Told you you’d need us. Why not just give up already?” Tampons can be so callous.
It’s been a year and a half since my last miscarriage. It was my second. Since then, I have become more industrious about getting pregnant. Starting on day ten I pee into a cup and dip an ovulation strip into it, then anxiously await for the pink double line signaling ovulation to appear. It is elusive. I also check my spit under a small lipstick shaped magnifying glass. According to the box the microscope came in, my saliva will fern when I am most fertile. I have witnessed the ferning, it’s really cool.
“Honey, we’ve got fernage!” I shout at my husband. He tries to be as excited as I am. He has grown weary of the process and the failures.
We’ve been successful in the past. We have a beautiful, perfectly healthy three-year old daughter who keeps us on our toes. I can’t understand why having another child is so challenging. I think its bullshit.
At ten o’clock the following night I get my period.
I think tracking the time I get my period may help me get pregnant next month. As if by controlling the exact time my husband and I have sex while factoring the speed and velocity of his sperm and the time it takes for them to reach my awaiting egg will increase my chances of insemination. In my mind I imagine it as sexual skeet. Sperm number one through five hundred are racing up the left fallopian tube, oh no, seventy and eighty-one are going the wrong direction. It looks like there is contact with four-hundred ninety-four and seventy others are wiggling wildly trying to be the first to break through. Which will be the lucky sperm?
Who knows? I am forty-two and although many women in their forties successfully have children, I may not be one of them. It’s hard to imagine that I may have to obliterate the belief that I will have two children. I’ve had it since I was in elementary school. I waited until I was in a good marriage and knew myself before becoming a mother in the hopes it would make me a good one.
I’m not one for medical intervention. I think the fertility industry is cruel and I’m not up for the emotional, financial, or physical journey that fertility procedures require. I am going to an acupuncturist. And this week I am going to have blood tests to see if my hormone levels are out of whack, but I’m not sure what if anything else I’ll do about it.
Now before you start expressing your political views, or reminding me about how lucky I am for having a child, or telling me my miscarriages were my body’s way of purging an unhealthy baby, I know all that and agree. That is not the point.
The point is I don’t want to buy any more tampons because I want to be pregnant. I want to feel another soul grow inside of me again. I want to nurture the person once he or she is born. I want to love that person. I am willing to deprive myself of sleep and sanity, as every parent knows we do for our children.
Maybe I’m going about it the wrong way. Maybe I ought to go to Costco and buy a mega box of tampons and stuff my bathroom cabinet with them. Maybe I’ll fool my body into thinking I don’t have the hope or expectation of getting pregnant. How could I with one hundred tampons waiting to do their job?
When will that timing be right? Will it ever? I’ll have to wait and see until next month, but for now I have to go to the drugstore and buy a box of tampons.