This is not the point in which I type out that I am pregnant. This is the point in which I no longer feel not pregnant even though I am not pregnant.
If I were to pinpoint a time when this shift began, I would tell you at some point after 2 pm on Tuesday, June 17th. We met with a fertility specialist that, long story short, told us to have sex on such-and-such days, buy the ovulation kit with a smiley face and head down to the lab to test my AMH levels. Afterward Ben and I went to Elevation burger, and as I ate my cheese-free, lettuce-wrapped, grass-fed burger I told him I could not do it anymore. I just could not keep trying. And so I quit acupuncture and quit taking my basal body temperature every morning and quit tracking my cervical mucus and gave Ben two months of peeing on a stick to see if we could get the smiley face nod followed by a plus sign a couple weeks later. And over the course of those two months we got the nod once and a plus sign never and I quit taking my supplements and I started keeping the parts of my diet shift that made me feel better and let go of the rest.
I think some of it is time and choosing to grieve and I think some of it is yoga and reconnecting to my body in a way that is appreciative and nonjudgmental and healing and I think a lot of it is God, though that is part of a mystery beyond my vocabulary and comprehension.
I feel peace. I was tired of fighting my body. That is what it felt like, like our bodies were saying no, and I was trying to peacefully protest my womb into submission. And so even something as benign and noninvasive as Clomid seems like a step down a rabbit hole I have no intention of entering. It is a wonderful option, just not for us, not right now.
I still have acute moments of feeling not pregnant, but they are fleeting and grow farther and farther apart. I feel it at the beginning of yoga class when the instructor asks if anyone is pregnant and for a moment it’s as if there’s a giant spotlight on my barren uterus. I feel a brief fluttering sometimes when I run across an image of maternity clothes. And I feel it when we hear about another pregnancy.
I worried I would feel jealous. I haven’t. As Ben so eloquently articulated it, I feel left out. Like I didn’t get picked for a kickball team or there is no room for me at the lunchroom table or I am the only person standing against the cafeteria wall that hasn’t been asked to dance. It is this incredible vulnerability of my youth – fresh and raw and open and resilient, both lonely and hopeful at once.
I would love to attribute my lack of jealously to some beautiful reflection of my character. It is much more simple. I would love to be pregnant. I do not need to be pregnant. Pregnancy, labor and birth are one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, but they are not the only amazing experiences.
I am careful not to qualify or undermine my infertility with “just” or “at least” in order to sit in gratitude. I have learned that gratitude and grief can coexist and after time the chasm between the two narrows and sometimes overlaps. When I think about pregnancy, I am both grateful and grieved not to be experiencing it.