"You'll probably have a good many more and worse disappointments than that before you get through life," said Marilla, who honestly thought she was making a comforting speech. "It seems to me, Anne, that you are never going to outgrow your fashion of setting your heart so on things and then crashing down into despair because you don't get them."
"I know I'm too much inclined that, way" agreed Anne ruefully. "When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts. . .it's like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud."
"Well, maybe it does," admitted Marilla. "I'd rather walk calmly along and do without both flying and thud. But everybody has her own way of living. . .I used to think there was only one right way. . .but since I've had you. . . to bring up I don't feel so sure of it."
—Anne of Avonlea, "Chapter XVII: A Chapter of Accidents" by L. M. Montgomery
DISCLAIMER: This post is entirely TMI (and uses words like "blood" and "infertility") but I don't even care because I'm grumpy right now. Reader discretion is advised.
That line by Anne—"When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud"—has been swimming in my brain for some time now.
I tried so hard not to hope, and I did a good job, too...for a while.
Every month I think this could be the month. But it never is.
I'm coming to terms with that, slowly.
Oddly enough it helps to say the words out loud, to say the things my brain is screaming but in a calm, deliberate way.
I am not allowed to be tired or sick or emotional without anyone wondering aloud if I'm expecting.
"You said on Facebook you were 'so tired' yesterday? What's got you so tired? What's that all about?" a well-meaning friend asked me this morning with a wink and smile and a quick glance at my abdomen.
Not that. But perhaps that. Or at least the absence of that.
The absence of that keeps me awake at night, wondering.
Oh, and Benjamin had croup for a week and it completely botched whatever sleep pattern he had going on so he now thinks the hours between midnight and 7 AM are the official "hang out with mom" hours.
As if there's no other valid reason for being tired. Pregnancy is the one and only.
"So, are you thinking about having another one?" seems to be a question I field regularly. I used to smile and shrug and lie through my teeth, "Oh, we'll see," as if it's any of anyone's business but I decided that perhaps, if they were asking, they should get the truth so I've started telling people, "We've actually been trying for a year now, so..."
And usually people know what that's code for: infertility.
It feels good (almost) to watch them reel on the spot a bit, suddenly aware that they have just entered the lair of a sleeping dragon (or at least a very awkward conversation) and there's no elegant way to tip toe out. Most squirm and try to change the conversation. A few will genuinely apologize. But mostly people just squirm.
My friends who had babies around the time Benjamin was due? Nearly all of them have already had another baby. But not me. I just get to be miserable for 50% of the month. Why? Because I'm quite positive I don't produce enough progesterone and thus I bleed for a week before I actually start my period. Because that's super fun. And because life isn't fair.
So I try not to hope because, oh, the crashing aches.
But this month was different.
I didn't hope when I was a day late, because that's normal.
I didn't hope when I was two days late, because that can be normal two.
Three days late. Don't do it. Don't dream. Don't wish. Just wait. It's coming.
Four days late. Maybe I am more tired than usual? Am I? No. But maybe? No.
Five days late. Five. Whole. Days. Surely this is it. Another baby would be wonderful. Due right before Benjamin turns three. I won't even be 30 yet! It would be here in time for us to make it out to Utah next summer. But stop. You can't be sure. You can never be sure. I'll take a pregnancy test in the morning. That's what I'll do.
But no need for that. Not anymore.
My wings of anticipation have once again been clipped mid-flight and I have crumpled to the ground.
I was typing out a family history today—one of my mom's cousin's—and they managed to have eleven children in fifteen years! I've barely managed to have three children in nine years. Not that that makes me a failure. It doesn't—I just wonder how people can even get pregnant that quickly because I can't, not if I'm nursing (I realize that nursing isn't fail-safe birth control for everyone, but for me it's pretty darn effective...obviously). And not that I have any desire to ever have children born in consecutive years, because I definitely don't. I just hoped that my kids would be close enough together to feel like they were all raised together.
And maybe they are. The first three certainly are. If my first three are also my last three (and sometimes I tell myself that they will be because the best way to keep wings of anticipation at bay is to be a complete and utter Debbie Downer),* then they still are.
But if they're not my last three, then whoever else comes will feel like the caboose, for sure. They'll feel like they were raised in an alternative dimension of sorts. I know because that's how I feel sometimes about my family. Josie and Kelli are separated by eons. Josie has no memory of ever sharing a home with Kelli.
We wanted a baby in 2014 and soon became fairly obvious that wasn't going to happen. And now 2015 is halfway gone as well and there's still no baby in sight. "The best laid schemes o' mice and men..." or however that goes.
* And also try to and make myself comfortable with the idea that my three kids are great and wonderful and all that I'm getting.