I hear a lot about how you should “just relax” and “not stress” and “it will happen when it happens.” That’s bullshit. In the first place, millions of stressed out women get pregnant; getting pregnant is stressful if you have a functioning brain. It is even more stressful if you are one year behind where you hoped to be because your baby died.
In the second place, I am, actually, pretty freaking relaxed. Really. It’s a little unreal, how relaxed I am, how I am enjoying my life and the process. The thing is, there is a point at which you have ovulated, and you are then either going to get pregnant or not and nothing else you can do will change it, and waiting to find out is the most crazy-making time in the history of the world.
So for those who want to be amused or enlightened, I have kept for you, a real life log of TTC (trying to conceive). Be aware that this post is a little bit TMI (but not too bad, all things considered). Stop reading now if you don’t want to hear anything at all about things that come out of vaginas.
A Real Life Log of TTC
There are two weeks between ovulating (the last time you have any control) and finding out if you are pregnant. The first week, I am more or less still a sane and rational individual.
I know that at 8DPO (days past ovulation), I will begin daily pee stick tests, because daily injections are supposed to start the very second I get a second line. I also know that it is nearly impossible to get a positive pregnancy test before 10DPO, and that in my last pregnancy I didn’t get one until 12 DPO, and that the range for first positive test is reasonable 10-18DPO.
So sometimes around 7DPO is when insanity begins.
6:30 PM: “what the hell, I’ll take a test.” Is negative. Unsurprising as even the feistiest of fetuses is unlikely to have even implanted by then, but have a little side of woe sauce anyway. No one likes a negative test.
Decide, like rational person, to skip pee test. Last rational thought I will have all week.
7:00 AM: Negative. Would be sad, but temperature is 98.1 degrees. Become overly optimistic about chances of being pregnant.
5:00 PM: Take temperature again, just to make sure.
7:00 AM: Negative. Absolutely no pregnancy symptoms. Become incredibly morose and defeatist. Wonder if it is even worth trying to get pregnant again. Wonder if womb is broken. Wonder if sperm is no longer awesome.
7:00 AM: Negative. Of course. Why do I bother taking these tests?
9:30 AM: Regularly scheduled examination of used toilet paper shows small amount of pale pink spotting. Return to bathroom three more times in next hour to confirm. Freak the fuck out, hopes wildly high again as this happened with previous pregnancy.
12:30 PM: Discuss spotting with husband, both take turns being depressed and overly optimistic.
4:30 PM: Take temperature. Mysterious drop to 96.5. Depressed again. Surely period is coming and am not pregnant. Grope my own boobs to check for sensitivity. (None, btw. If you have to grope them to check, they’re not pregnancy-sensitive, in my experience.)
7:00 AM: Negative. Still negative. However, decide to cling to absurd hope from spotting yesterday that implantation just occurred, since temperature is high again and pretty sure thermometer is malfunctioning. Tomorrow could be the day. Take ovulation test for good measure – negative.
8:30 AM: Combination of Facebook and parenting forum posts regarding new babies and new pregnancies pushes me over the edge. Am now super, insanely ragey at the world. Why, why, why.
1:00 PM: Seriously going to punch someone in the face. Husband trying very hard to cheer me up. Convinced I am not pregnant and never will be again. Wonder if rage is sign of impending period.
1:45 PM: See adorable little girl’s knit dress pattern on the internet. Cry because Amy would have been adorable in it. Wonder if being overly weepy is a sign of impending period.
2:15 PM: Give up and go home. Take pregnancy test again to make sure it is still negative before pouring some rum into a Diet Coke. Hope, if wrong, that the phrase “drink ’til it’s pink” is actually valid.
8:30 PM: Booze excellent decision. Hope it doesn’t give future sprog flippers, if it turns out I am pregnant. After several hours of knitting, Bridezillas, and a very sympathetic husband, am actual pleasant human being again. Worth it.
11:00 PM: Going to bed, suddenly get the HungerNausea. Previously only experienced when pregnant. Try not to get hopes up, fail. Barely sleep anticipating taking pregnancy test in the morning.
7:00 PM: Negative. Despite rampant pessimism, rage and woesauce, can not really believe it. Spend excessive amounts of time imagining shadowy lines on clearly white, negative test strip. Take photo of strip just to make sure there’s nothing invisible to the naked eye. Continue staring at test at regular intervals. Take ovulation test for good measure again, which is so much darker than yesterday I am now no longer sure if I even ovulated yet.
9:30 AM: Teensiest amount of spotting. Only someone who spends too much time inspecting toilet paper would have even seen it. Temperature has not dropped. WHAT DOES IT MEAN??
10:30 AM: Third bathroom trip since 9:30. No more spotting, but now having mild cramping. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?? New plan to take another test in the evening after holding it for four hours.
12:00 PM: On what is probably 18th bathroom trip since 9:30, another teensy amount of spotting. What.the.
2:30 PM: Just took temperature. 98.8???? Do not feel feverish at all.
4:00 PM: Maybe thermometer is crazy, will use another. 98.7???? I have no idea what this means. Did I just ovulate? Am I pregnant?
5:00 PM: Take second set of tests. Ovulation test is more negative, pregnancy test also negative. Still imagining shadow line. Can not, in fact, stop seeing shadow line. Hope I have best eyesight in the entire world and am not just a raving, TTC lunatic, which is more likely. Take temperature again, still 98.7.
8:00 PM: More spotting, still only a bit but more. Stomach sinks, sure this is my period starting and I’m out. Take temperature again to confirm – 98.6! Dare I continue to hope?
7:00 AM: Temperature 97.8. Test still negative. I give up. I don’t even know if I’ve ovulated yet, anymore. Trying to figure out if you’re pregnant before you’ve actually missed your period is like if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a fricking sound? I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s a sound. I know I don’t feel pregnant, and I know the test agrees.
9:00 AM: Yay, someone else who started trying after Amy died is pregnant, and I’m still not. Muster up adult abilities enough to congratulate her. Then mope to husband and demand french toast.
1:30 PM: Aaaand here’s my period, right on schedule. Good news: correct about ovulation date, cycle continues to be very regular. Shitty news: NOT PREGNANT. STILL. Plan: consume adult beverages this evening, return to normal life for next four weeks, until the worrying begins anew.