September, 2013 – September, 2014
Going off the pill meant nothing for us, at least not in the ways we were expecting. Nothing really changed… aunt flow came at the same time as always, I didn’t have more acne, my cramps weren’t any worse – all these things you hear about changing after you go off the pill didn’t happen to me. The other thing that didn’t happen after going off the pill was conception.
The first year of trying was a lot of positive thinking, sometimes forced, but for the most part it came naturally. It went something like this… 3 months of trying = Any day now and we will be pregnant. Will we be blessed with a boy or a girl?… 6 months of trying = They say 20somethings conceive within the first year so we still have 6 months, but let’s change some of our habits (diet, drinking, cigarettes, etc.) just in case that might do the trick!… 9 months of trying = At this point, we started trying our best to not think about it and just let things happen… but when I did that, my brain seemed to magnify and zero in on how badly I wanted a child of our own. Have we really not conceived yet?! We must be doing something wrong. Let’s start using those ovulation predictors (so not sexy, by the way – oh hey honey, let me go pee on a stick and let you know if NOW is a good time to make love)… 1 year of trying = This is when the positivity abruptly stopped, and the freaking out and panicking began… we can’t help but start thinking – which one of us is preventing us from conceiving?
In the meantime, during this year, we had started avoiding the question like it was the plague. You know what I’m talking about… this question can come at any time, from any person, and asked in many different ways. Co-workers, sisters, in-laws, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and even people you just meet…..
Have you gone off the pill yet? (um, excuse me, what did you just ask me?!)
So, when are you going to have a child? (why is that any of your business?)
When are you going to start your family? (I didn’t know I could snap my fingers and choose when to make this happen)
What are you and your husband waiting for? (a positive pregnancy test!)
How many kids do you want? (right now in this moment, one would be great thanks!)
We of course always handle these questions with dignity and class, always being polite and smiling – because it’s kind of unheard of to be open and honest about the truth of the matter. It became “our secret”… we started to romanticize the fact that we were the only ones aware that we had been trying for a baby for a while… and we were going to keep our secret sheltered and safe and let no harm get to it… Our typical go-to response became “We just really enjoy being an aunt and uncle for now. We aren’t in a rush.” — yes, we lie through our teeth, time and time again… and I often wonder if people we say this to judge us as being selfish, because that response we give them is usually followed by “So you like being able to give them back to their parents after you’ve had them long enough? Ha-ha-ha!”… and I respond by laughing… because they expect me to.
I can’t help but think about how many people I have asked similar questions to… & I feel awful. Even if they weren’t struggling, it’s not my business. It’s personal. Why do people (myself included, in the past at least – not anymore) automatically think that this is a subject anyone & everyone has a right to know? They probably don’t feel comfortable asking me how my sex life is – I know I wouldn’t ask everyone I know about their sex life… so why do we ask each other when we’re going to have a baby? Is it really all that much different? I mean, they both involve a very intimate act between two people…
I never thought about any of this in the past, didn’t even realize or know just how many people have issues or struggles with conceiving. And now that I find myself here, on this “other” side, it boggles my mind that it’s SO normal and expected to talk about getting pregnant… but SO NOT normal or expected to talk about NOT getting pregnant…