Trying to conceive

My two attempts at becoming pregnant went something like this:

Pregnancy #1: Got married, starting trying to conceive (TTC), started to think that I most likely had hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA), was diagnosed with HA, underwent fertility treatment and became pregnant almost 21 months after we started trying. Those are the facts. The reality is that it was an emotional rollercoaster Рhope, anxiety, disappointment, anger, sadness. And most of all, terrible fear that I would never be able to have a child.

Pregnancy #2: Oldest was 11 months, period came back naturally (hurrah), and the next month it didn’t come. I naturally thought my HA had returned (especially because I had a negative pregnancy test at 35 days), but I was actually pregnant. Second hurrah! I literally had to do nothing and I pretty much worried 0% about getting pregnant that time around.

And now, here I am. 16 months post-partum (!) and I had expected to be pregnant by now. Although I initially thought my second should have a few more months of being the baby than my first did, I really did want them fairly close together. But now, if we do get pregnant, my last two would be >2 years apart. This bothers me.

It probably bothers me because I am a Type A person and want everything my way. But it also bothers me because I am afraid that maybe it will not be easy for me to become pregnant again. I’m conflicted on this point. First, I feel somewhat selfish for wanting a third child. Is this normal? I have two perfectly healthy children! Our lives are FULL. It’s not like we have oodles of time to fit a third child into the mix. I think about people who are going through infertility struggles for the first time, and I feel terrible for having this blessing and wanting more. How greedy of me! Second, it’s giving me more time to think about logistics, and I don’t want to be dissuaded from our decision to have a third. Financially, emotionally, etc., does it make sense to have a third child?

What it boils down to is this: if we can’t become pregnant naturally (and if we are not able to, I am not sure that I know the reason because I am nowhere in HA land and cycling naturally), would we go down the infertility work-up/treatment road? I don’t know the answer to that.

But this third attempt is bringing up a lot of emotions from my first attempt, and the synopsis of my month is as follows:

Week 1: period is here, wah(!), lots of negative emotions closely followed by attempts at positive thinking and planning for the upcoming cycle (fertility window is X and baby would be born on Y)

Week 2: TTC

Week 3: More TTC, then the 2 week wait begins. This week feels like the calm before the storm – anything is possible but nothing can be done to change what’s coming down the pipeline.

Week 4: Time to type every symptom into Google to see whether it could herald a pregnancy (AND I’m a doctor AND I’m been pregnant twice!). Is nasal congestion a sign of pregnancy? How about back pain? Cramping? Bloating? What about spotting for 5 days…oh wait, that’s just my period.

And the cycle starts again. What else can I say except that¬†it sucks. I think about myself ~5 years ago, feeling so dejected and low. I remember sitting on my “meditation” mat where I was supposed to relax with incense and practice Yoga for Fertility, except I was sobbing. It was a hard, hard time. This time, it is not as hard because the stakes are lower and part of me does feel crazy for wanting to add a third to the chaos of my life. I also do feel incredibly fortunate to be cycling naturally (without birth control) for the first time since high school!

But I am still sitting here wondering whether the new acne I’ve noticed and the low-grade back pain I’m experiencing could have anything to do with pregnancy…and what will I do next week if it is instead a sign of my period?

On the eve of your third birthday

On the eve of your third birthday, I sat besides your crib*, singing to you and rubbing your back because you had a cough and a runny nose and were so frustrated that you couldn’t get the ‘boogies’ out and were having a hard time breathing.

This brought me back to all of the days** and nights I spent besides your crib, rubbing your back and singing. I remembered your last sleep regression, when you were 18 months and I was 8 months pregnant and sleeping on the floor besides your bed just to get a bit of sleep. I remembered how long it would take me to put you down for a nap because you would wake up the moment the hardwood floor creaked as I tried to sneak out of the room. I remembered the months of you waking up between 4:00-5:00am, how sometimes I would just load you up in the stroller when you got up and head out for a (slow) run and then to grab some coffee, letting your dad sleep. Although most of the time I would try to coerce you to fall asleep again and, when that failed, I would make some coffee and bumble through the morning like a zombie. I could go on and on – so many memories of little you.

When you wake up tomorrow, you will be 3. I can hardly believe it. Where did the time go? You have zoomed into toddlerhood before my eyes. Your words, your ideas, your compassion – I have no idea how the helpless newborn I brought into the world in 2014 has grown to be this loving, imaginative, and awe-inspiring child. You amaze me every day, little nugget.

Love,
Mom

*We are not quite ready to move X to a toddler bed. Mostly we’re afraid that he’ll recognize he has the freedom to roam outside of his room in the middle of the night/early morning.

**Naps were also not easy for this kid.