The shift

Sometime in the last hour my outlook on the day changed dramatically. That happens to me frequently, as I’m sure it does to most women trying to have a baby. That dramatic, sudden shift – the certain to uncertain – is a source of fear and loneliness for me, not to mention it can physically hurt.

This month I had my first fertility treatment – a five-day round of Clomid, paired with intrauterine insemination (IUI). These past 24 days have felt like some of the longest in my life. Never have three plus weeks crawled so unbearably slowly. In fertility lingo there’s an acronym – TWW (the two-week wait), of which I am more than midway through. TWW refers to the void of time between an insemination and the pregnancy test.

I’m scheduled to take my test this Friday, but about an hour ago, in the restroom, I feared that I wouldn’t have to wait out the calendar for another few days. Now my heart hurts. The last few days I had essentially convinced myself that I was, in fact, with child. Headaches, fatigue, nausea for no discernible reason… classic pregnancy symptoms. It’s a strange thing to be happy about feeling bad. Yesterday when I felt like I could barely keep down some fruit for lunch, turned my nose up at my large iced coffee, and then sat most of the afternoon at my desk with a box of crackers in my lap, I was feeling elated. When I packed my crackers in my desk drawer at the end of the day I thought gotta get used to this…with a smile on my face.

Yes, I know that a successful round one of fertility treatments isn’t that common. Tries three and four are more likely to work. I know. But, you see, I did some simple math and it added up to a sign. Insemination (and therefore conception) took place on my father-in-law’s birthday. We would find out if it “stuck” on the 13th – my mother’s birth date and (deceased) father’s lucky number. Then, 40 weeks later would take us to November 6th. A lucky six dead in the center of my husband’s lucky five and my lucky seven. That math just couldn’t lie.

Since that moment I’ve treated every second as though I’m carrying the child that I’ve waited for. The nurses tell you after insemination that while nothing is restricted, you should behave as though you are pregnant – stay away from alcohol, take good care of yourself, and the like. I have. I will. Until that little stick shows me one line or two. That stupidly small piece of technology that determines if I get the job as “mama.”

Right this second I’m less sure that I will get that job this month. I want to go back an hour and unsee the spot of red that suddenly, like a shot, made me feel hopeless and helpless again. Just as I have every month before.

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