Posted by: Kate | September 25, 2008

Nine Months

As the month draws to a close, it marks nine months of trying to get pregnant.  I was arrogant enough, back at the start of it all, to imagine a fall baby, to have a vague concern that the due date would interfere with the back-to-school chaos.  To think that I would get pregnant as quickly and easily as I did the first two times, though even quicker and easier this time because we’re actually trying, instead of just rolling with a new surprise.

Yeah, not so much.

I haven’t given up hope yet.  I started taking Clomid last month, and will take it again this month.  And this current cycle’s period… well, I’ll leave the details out so as not to damage the delicate sensibilities of the squeamish, but suffice it to say I’ve felt decidedly uncomfortable and am beginning to have a vague concern about my iron levels and red blood cell count after the events of the past few days.  So something is happening, something’s different, and we’ll see where that leads.  If I’m not pregnant by the end of next month, then I return to the OB-GYN for a new round of tests and plans.

(I never did write about Willem’s, er, contribution to the whole process, did I?  Poor guy.  At least he was able to carry out the necessary actions in the privacy of his own home, and only had to bear the indignity of walking into a lab staffed by Scandinavian bikini models for a few moments one morning.  He checked out just fine, and my sense of balance in the world was restored a bit by the requirement that he suffer a little embarrassment in a process that had, until then, been entirely focused on the destruction of my own dignity.)

So, we’re trying.  We’ll see.

Meanwhile, we’re planning for a birth, anyway.  There’s a new baby, due in January, whose arrival will be met with a wide array of emotions and thoughts.  There will be all of the typical joys and hopes that come with a newborn, but there will also be ambivalence and fear and resentment, loneliness and heartbreak and exhaustion.  Because the mother-to-be is L, who stayed with us for two months and has gradually been moving into her own apartment over the past few weeks.  X will be a big sister.  They’re both healthy and looking forward to the new baby, and L is terrified of her estranged husband’s reaction.

He is the father, though right now – and in court – he is publicly expressing his doubt about this.  L is encourging this, is planning not to put his name on the birth certificate and to make him pay for DNA testing before he can push for visition rights.  He hasn’t proven to be a good husband or a good father to the family he has that already exist, and this new child was not conceived in an act of joy, or even one of consent.

L found out late – she has a chronic illness that has been known to alter her cycles anyway, and so by the time it occurred to her that she might be pregnant, she was alone with X and too close to the end of the first trimester to be willing to consider termination.  So she has struggled, and has wrapped her brain around it all enough to welcome this newcomer, and has begun making preparations for the January arrival.  She’ll get through this with as much grace and determination as she can possibly dredge up, and there will come a day when she can’t imagine life without two children – two sisters, as she found out a few weeks ago that she’s carrying another girl.

It’s hard, at times, to think about how Willem and I have tried to conceive without success, and meanwhile, living under the same roof, was a developing fetus created with no plan and no love.  She’ll be loved and cared for once she’s born, but she certainly wasn’t started that way.  And I know I have no right in the world to whine about it, because we already have two healthy children and so this current inability to conceive is no tragedy, no cosmic unfairness.  Just a disappointment, and one that I’ll shake off, with time, if I never do “pass” a home pregnancy test again.

L has asked me to attend the birth.  I’m honored.  And I hope to be able to put aside my own ambivalence so as to properly welcome and cherish this new little person when she joins us.  She’ll need all the love she can get.


  1. Ahh, those Clomid memories. Watch out for the hot flashes – they’re brutal.

    Also? My Hubby had to go through the same “testing”. Only AT the fertility office. We both went in that day – me for bloodwork, him to give a “sample”. Once I was done, I went back to the waiting room. And waited. And waited. And waited for him.

    When he finally came out, I asked him what took so long. He said he felt compelled to scour the room first to make sure there were no hidden cameras. And also? He was too skeeved out to sit (or lay?) on the leather couch they had.

    But, like you, I was glad he was able to share in some of the indignity of the whole fertility procedure!

  2. Those of us who have trouble conceiving understand exactly how you feel. Whether you’re hoping for your first or tenth it’s still not easy.

    I wish you fertility.

  3. Someone else beat me to the punch, but I second. Fertility issues are painful whether you have given birth already or not. I hope this resolves for you easily.

  4. I’m sending fertile thoughts your way. I seem to have plenty to spare.

    And while I can’t imagine how hard it must be for L to go through all of this, she is fortunate to have a friend like you by her side.

  5. Great big ((((((hugs)))))), my dear.

  6. Fertility issues suck regardless of how many children you already have. I know that getting the Caboose was NOT an easy matter and I almost gave up (but so glad I didn’t)

    And I have to agree with hokgardner. L is very lucky to have a friend like you. Although unplanned and right now uncertain – she will love that baby and be so happy that something good came out of all the trouble.

  7. good luck to you and willem and the kids. and for your friend and kids. i will be thinking happy thoughts for each & every one of you.

  8. Life plays out in a cruel way doesn’t it. L with her ill conceived pregnancy and you plugging away . . .good luck sweets.

  9. I already love Y. or Z. whatever it’s name is to be in Jan.

    For you, yours in coming to grow up as best friends with L, Y. or Z., E. and J. too. I’m confused.
    For Willem? I don’t see the down side here. Except, maybe, that one day…

  10. I had no idea you were trying to conceive, Kate.

    I can’t think of anything to say that won’t irritate you so I’ll just say nothing. (Don’t expect that gift again anytime soon!) 😉

  11. It’s already been said, disappointment and difficulty when your heart is set on a baby, is never easy.
    I have no doubt your heart will be ready and willing to love your friend’s baby graciously.

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