New Year’s Resolutions are reserved for those who, unlike myself, prefer to better themselves only once a year. My method of betterment occurs around when I’m next going to be seen in a bikini, or when I realize I went up a size in pants – again. I prefer to dive into cleanses biannually, only to claw my way out a week later, sputtering about how fad diets are more unhealthy than carbs. Bettering yourself doesn’t always have to do with discovering the new, thinner you but…doesn’t it? I’m too old and set in my ways to pretend I’m going to attempt to “not overthink that awkward conversation I had five years ago” or “learn to sleep without taking a pill”. And I’m not even going to bother lying to myself by saying I’ll stop obsessing over trying to get pregnant. Constant pregnancy thoughts are my new OCD.
I tried to bargain my way into this New Year. “Okay…I’ll let it be 2018, but only if you let this be The Year of Pregnancy! But not a year long pregnancy, that’s not a thing. Also, pregnancy for me please, not just The Year of Pregnancy…Announcements By Other People – that’s mean. Thanks!” While slurring over champagne and vodka waters, I quizzed my husband over how this just had to be the year now, right? And that he had to promise to impregnate me this time, as if last year was a practice round. This is my consolation prize for 2018. All roads lead to the same end goal, whether it’s natural or through IVF, there should be a pregnancy this year (can we all knock on wood for me please?!). February feels like it’s breathing down my neck – reminding me that my one year is around the corner. It was the same reason why I wanted to dig my heels into 2017 and refuse to enter the one year (but not really anymore) mark. Though it’s not necessarily considered a year of trying, that’ll be May now (HOORAY!), it’s still imprinted on my mind as one year since birth control went out the window and I was consumed by knowledge of cycles and sperm lifespan. I didn’t think ‘easy’ was going to be for us, but I had hoped that ‘year’ wasn’t going to make its way into my vocabulary either.
Since I have been on this ride longer that I would’ve liked, I have started laying out some new 2018 TTC guidelines such as:
- You can only look at your tracking app to enter the day you get a positive OPK and the day your next cycle starts
- Symptom spotting isn’t allowed, but you can enter any out of the ordinary symptoms so that you can learn that ‘being really hungry one morning’ does not mean pregnancy
- Only one pregnancy test can be used per cycle. Choose your date wisely.
2018 is already draped with pre-planned fertility appointments as well:
- HSG in February (my doctor said I could flush out my tubes if I didn’t conceive after three months of trying post ectopic, plus – my right side does hurt every other month, so I’d like that to stop)
- Check out the men in March (this isn’t all about me after all!)
- Initial infertility consultation in April (cause why should I wait?!)
- Demand IUI in May (I don’t hear a ton of IUI success stories, but it’s a step that insurance companies or fertility centers might make you take, and it did actually work for my sister-in-law on her second round, so sign me up!)
- Cry in June, July, August, September, October, November, December if I’m not pregnant (or, if I am: hormones.)
Impatience isn’t what I’m going for – I crave order in my life, and since there’s so little I can control during this process, I have to make the most of what I do have power over. Otherwise, I’m basically sticking with what hasn’t been working so far. Optimism!
Suffice it to say: 2017 didn’t go according to my plan, including the deranged genie who thought that an ectopic pregnancy counted as my wish to be pregnant during Month 6. Every step I’ve taken post-college went against “The Plan”. Besides marrying my highschool sweetheart, everything else has been off. Younger me had a plan: to be married by 25 and, preferably, on 5/10/15 (because the number lover in my squealed with delight at the multiples of five). Baby by 28 (which, mathematically speaking, is no longer possible – even if I got pregnant right this second). House in the suburbs. SAHM (stay at home mom) status. The Plan is slowly crumbling at my feet.
Twenty eight years old and I’m stuck in a basic nine to five office job, living in an overly priced box of an apartment in the city, and babyless so close to my 30s. Here’s the thing though: May 10th, 2015 was a horribly cold, rainy day. Our actual wedding day (the following May) was outside in the Midwest and it was BEAUTIFUL (a combination of words that you don’t often hear). Life didn’t give me the wedding date (or even year) that I wanted, but in exchange gave me an incredibly gorgeous day that I’ll cherish forever. Maybe that should be enough encouragement for me to stop volleying between “this could be our month!” and then “why would it be any different?” each day. That would be resolving to change my mindset though, and I mentioned above: too old. too set in ways.
Not to mention that just as I was deciding to accept the path that has been chosen for me, a resolution came to me, unbidden and unwanted, in the form of a text.
A (younger) friend who told me back in June, the same month she got married, that she was going to start trying in February. A punch in the gut even back then, knowing that she could end up being more successful around my year mark. She doesn’t know that her suggestion came off as insensitive and cruel – that her words curled off my phone screen and constricted themselves around my heart. This is my resolution, but I’m not ready to hand her an invitation to my pity party. I can’t imagine being so nonchalant about trying to conceive that you don’t fear sharing your plans with everyone – to be excited and expectant when it comes to the next step in your life. My mind has already conjured up images of tears welling in my eyes as she beams, exclaiming that she’s pregnant, while I’m knee deep in phase three of my 2018 plan. A resolution easily made and achieved. How can I resolve to change something when I don’t even know how to fix it?
2018. Either going to be my year or just a year.