Similar to the dating game, the conception game appears to take a lot of preparation, but in the end, it’s just a guess.
Or at least it is for me.
My cycle is not what anyone would call regular. It never has been. That’s why I was on birth control for 14 years! The only other time I’ve willingly gone off birth control was with Connor’s surprise conception….while I was on birth control.
Also like the dating game, this conception game feels very awkward. I spent so many years trying to avoid getting pregnant that it seems now counter-intuitive to attempt conception! Sure it’s what we want and what we’ve planned for and our lives are in a very good state right now to have a baby, but there’s this little voice inside me that keeps screaming “NO! Think of all the things you’ll be missing for the next 10 months!!! Think of all that wine waiting for you!”
I do love wine.
But the bigger part of me wants a baby. The louder, larger voice sends up dozens of prayers each day asking for a baby, any kind of baby, just one for me. I bargain, I plead, I try humbleness, but really it’s all just prayers for the same thing: a baby.
So I’m charting. I monitor my cycle with the intensity of micro-biology engineers. I also run through various symptoms every day: are my boobs bigger? is there any cramping? any food aversions? nausea? unnatural tiredness? overly frequent urination?
But on any given day I seem to have all of these! My boobs appear to be larger, but then they seem larger every month when I near the end of my cycle. And yes there is cramping, but I also have cramping during PMS. I am tired, nauseous and peeing frequently on any given day, pregnant or not! I have a 4-year-old who drags home every disease known to man on a regular basis. So I could be pregnant or I could have the flu. I could be pregnant or it could be PMS. I could be pregnant or I just worked out after getting 4 hours of sleep due to my tossing and turning preschooler.
All that amounts to is that the symptoms don’t tell me anything. I have to test. So I start testing 10 days out, then 7, now 5, and still nothing. With every test my hope rises to an apex, only to crash back to earth. I have wasted more tests in the last two weeks than in the rest of my life combined! Hope keeps me going, fear keeps me from testing today. I’m afraid of being disappointed again, despite the fact that my rational mind knows that it’s still a little early to test, that I might not know for certain until the day my cycle is actually set to end.
But screw my rational mind! Seriously, I hate being rational. I just want to have a positive test today. Stupid game!!!
Ok, I’ll try rational again now. Here are the facts I remind myself of when I feel like marching into the Doctor’s office and demanding daily blood tests:
1. I’ve only been trying to conceive for two months. Two months! That’ s nothing. That’s just peanuts to the universe.
2. I already conceived once without even trying, so the chances of a second conception are good.
3. I haven’t reached the end of my menstrual cycle yet so I need to cool it.
4. It’s summer and if I wasn’t pregnant that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing what with 4th of July and BBQs and baseball games, etc. Not a bad thing at all. In fact it would be nice to enjoy some sushi and Kirin on a warm night, something I couldn’t do if pregnant.
5. I have my hands full with my ASD son. Adding a possibly difficult pregnancy (if my last one was anything to go on) and a baby to the mix will be a challenge. So there’s really no rush.
But like the dating game, I can choose to ignore the good candidates, the ones with reasonable answers and polite tones, and go for the bad boy with the attitude who makes no rational sense whatsoever. I’ll try to pick one of those nice guys and stay on the stress-free side for a while, but we’ll see how long that lasts.