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Waiting

Backpacking in Algonquin
Trying to get pregnant is a giant game of waiting around for the right moment to rush. First you wait to ovulate. You count the days, you measure, you interpret, you wait. Then there is a brief moment of rushing, of inseminating (although that too involves waiting). And then you wait to see if anything happened. If hopes are growing. The waiting is punctuated with more waiting - waiting at the fertility clinic, peeing on sticks and waiting to see what they say (ovulation: yes or no?, pregnancy" yes or no). Waiting and more waiting. We are most certainly expecting, expecting good news, expecting the end of this waiting and the beginning of another. There is absolutely nothing to report, except that we are waiting.

We started this game of waiting in December. And we are still waiting. We are patient people, we remind ourselves. In the waiting we talk with each other, we build possibility, we buoy each other up, we talk with mouths full of love, we entertain hope, we feel frustration and sadness. There is togetherness, planning, tenderness, and other good things in the waiting. We imagine what might be, and then we imagine other possibilities, then we imagine some more. In waiting, it feels like you should be prepared for any possibility.

I pray, and I think about how praying for a baby must be one of the oldest prayers. Is praying for the weather to change older? I don't know. I pray, and I think about generations of people who have prayed, prayed for fertility, prayed for a pregnancy, prayed for a safe delivery, prayed for a baby. Two months ago, in the mikvah I came up out of the water, and the song on my lips was the Magnificat "My soul, magnifies the lord, and my spirit rejoices in G-d my maker. For he who is mighty, has done great things, and blessed, is the Lord..." It's the prayer of a Jewish woman, grateful for her pregnancy, praising G-d. Alright, yes, now it's heard almost distinctly in a Christian setting, but the Magnificat comes directly from Jewish tradition.

I think about how all this waiting is driven by hope. Is it audacious to hope for another small person? Our Small is damn fabulous, might the gracious thing be to just celebrate that? But I don't think hope or fertility are zero sum games. My luck does not come at someone else's expense. My loss is not someone else's gain. And strangely, in months that end with "better luck next time" I am learning to value what I have more. Wanting more does not devalue what is. I love the Small and the Teenager fiercely, celebrate them both, and feel well loved and supported by My Tender Beast. I think about friends and extended family and friends that have become family, and we are already very rich. I am determined not to let a desire for more stop me from celebrating what is. So far, I am revelling in what I have.

In the waiting I act like I am pregnant. I quit coffee in November. Alcohol only in the pre-ovulation part of a cycle, and then not after. I do pick and choose what of the other food behaviours are in or out. So many cultures have such different advice, and it is often contradictory. My body, myself, no food policing please. I act like I am pregnant and keep well hydrated, and engage in regular moderate exercise. I am trying hard to have this body be a place I want to be, because I feel like how can I invite someone else to grow here unless I feel at home here. This too is getting better. My body is strong and able to do many things, I hope in time, this.

In the waiting, Google is not my friend. It promises all manner of things, including to help predict what is happening, or to interpret what is going on. Mostly what it serves is the experiences and opinions of other people also playing the waiting game. No more, no less. Each if them with their own experiences, true, but I am not trying to get any of them pregnant, and bodies can be so varied. There are few absolutes, few guarantees but time, and so little useful well collected data. I try not to pay attention to what's happening between ovulation and what has so far been the "better luck next time" moment. Sometimes being tired is just being tired. Sometimes what you want to eat is just what you want to eat. Sometimes I wake to pee in the night because I am well hydrated. The internet people are more than willing to offer to tell you what symptoms they had when they were pregnant super early on. What they don't say, is that many of them had exactly the same symptoms when they were not pregnant. Google wants your time. It does not offer much in return.

In February, briefly, it looked like we had graduated from this waiting game to the next, from the getting pregnant waiting, to the waiting for a baby waiting, but like a game of snakes and ladders, one can go up and down. We are back to the getting pregnant waiting.

So, I am inviting people to join us in our waiting. If you are willing, to toss your hopes and prayers in with ours. Love is good too. It seems like a good idea. If you have blessings, we'd like them. perhaps it takes a village not just to raise a child but to create one. We would like our villages' love.

If this works, there will be more waiting. I know pregnancy too is a waiting game. And then, then there are many other games, and so little time in which to wait.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
deeprivermom
10th Jun, 2014 22:31 (UTC)
May your family be blessed with a healthy happy baby, and that this painful wait will soon be over.
strauss
11th Jun, 2014 01:37 (UTC)
We are also waiting. We were waiting for my cycles to regulate, as I have PCOS and was not ovulating before Clomid. We were waiting for the man who gave us sperm for our other child to make a decision about whether he wanted to donate for this one. Eventually he said no, and now we are waiting for another man to make a decision. Then we are moving several states away, and changing health insurance and providers. So then I will need to wait some more. I would like to start trying again in September, as I will be an academic and can really only give birth end of may-august, as I am contract with no leave, but I won't have insurance and can't get Clomid in time. Plus I just found out there's a 12 mo lifetime limit on Clomid, and I've already used up 6 of those cycles just trying to start ovulating.
Now I am waiting for next week, to meet with a different doctor about maybe trying metformin to see if I start having monthly cycles with it, and can avoid more Clomid.
My coworker has been trying every month for 2.5 years to get pregnant, with no luck. I have spent a year now trying to line everything up to start attempting to get pregnant; I only hope it will not be so difficult once I am finally able to try an insemination.
Best of luck to you and yours.
ishai_wallace
22nd Jun, 2014 16:21 (UTC)
Just to say good luck to you. It sounds immensely difficult and frustrating. May it all work out and soon!
ahavia
11th Jun, 2014 02:44 (UTC)
Sending prayers and blessings. I know these struggles.

I was finally blessed with fostering and then adopting my daughter who I got when she was 2 1/2 months old. She is now 29. My gift from
G-d.
diadactic
11th Jun, 2014 03:14 (UTC)
A lot of books I've read by adoptive parents imply that they adopted because of infertility- in that way, it is a zero sum game. You do have finite amounts of interest and time to spend.

I particularly got to thinking on it recently because I read a book called "Dough" by a guy who inherited millions of dollars, but up until right before it happened, had no idea that anybody in his family had more than just enough money.
He and his wife had adopted two children- they had not had the money to pursue expensive treatment for his infertility.

Throughout the book, he keeps up an angry rhetoric about how much he suffered- including infertility- that he wouldn't have if he had known that money would come easy to him. And I kept wondering, when was the book going to come around to the question of how much he gained (say, his two kids) by not knowing.
ishai_wallace
22nd Jun, 2014 16:28 (UTC)
And I'm really cautious about this - I know people who feel really hurt by this narrative, both parents and children. Too often it gets talked about as if adoption is only ever second best, and/or just for people who could not create biological children. I also know people who have chosen adoption as their first choice in creating a family, and I want to honour them. It also feels important to note that neither is guaranteed. I know people who have not been able to become parents both through adoption and conception, and either can be heartbreaking.

Also, for me there is a bit of a politic around once someone is family, they are family, and while we may honour other people who are also their family and recognize the complexity of families, it's really important to me not to rank our qualify family.

And for me, this is not a zero sum game. All of this, this comment and my post were about sharing my journey and decisions.
desiringsubject
11th Jun, 2014 10:34 (UTC)
You're such a beautiful writer on such intricate topics.
(Anonymous)
12th Jun, 2014 03:00 (UTC)
b'sha'ah tovah!!

--Sarah
magid
13th Jun, 2014 17:17 (UTC)
B'sha'a tova.
mattblakk
15th Jun, 2014 15:20 (UTC)
The waiting was so much more up and down for me. Perhaps I didn't have the loving partner support part down, back then. Here's hoping that you continue to have a life full of love and prayers for all the best.
ishai_wallace
22nd Jun, 2014 16:28 (UTC)
Thank you. It is at times more up and down. And, I do have good love and support with this. Much love to you too!
dancingwolfgrrl
18th Jun, 2014 14:29 (UTC)
I don't know you, but desiringsubject shared this with me. Thank you for writing it. I'm hoping with you!
ishai_wallace
22nd Jun, 2014 16:29 (UTC)
Thank you.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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