First, it was a story about waiting. Waiting to try - until we both felt ready.
Next, it became a story about trying - about each month that ticked past with only a handful of one-pink-lined pee sticks, 10 pounds of stress-eating weight and one stint of probably undiagnosed clinical depression to show for it.
And suddenly, it became a story about miscarriage. And that soul-crushing, rock-bottom-hitting kind of heartbreak that goes along with it.
Finally, a year of trying had passed and it became a story about infertility - the unexplained kind - and I had to do a bit of a reality check. Because my life - the desperate baby-wanting, the punishing my body with food and lethargy for its lack of cooperation, the total lack of ambition for anything unrelated to pregnancy - had become a very unhappy and unhealthy place.
And then, after one round of failed IUI treatment and Clomid, we decided that maybe we needed a break. Because fertility treatment takes a lot out of you - weekly appointments, uncomfortable side effects and the necessity to drop everything and run to the hospital at the first sign of ovulation. We had travel plans that would interrupt our appointments and the holidays were right around the corner and I just couldn't imagine how I would handle it all. So we resolved that we would wait three months before doing a second treatment. In the meantime, I would try to refocus on the things I used to love, we would ditch the ovulation kits and basal body temping and fertility charts. We would return in 2015 for a fresh start with a fresh attitude.
We started taking herbal fertility supplements, but I had zero expectations (which is really saying a lot for this girl who had managed to remain 100% hopeful and be completely crushed month after month after month...). In September, we flew to Missouri for a friend's wedding (Ryan a groomsman, me the photographer) and I stayed an extra couple weeks to throw myself into more photography projects. I was a hot mess, but I was trying, dang it! At the end of the month, I headed back to California.
Then it was a Friday afternoon, a few days after I'd returned. I was loving the fall breeze, cleaning the house like a madwoman and waiting for Ryan to get home so we could go out for Mexican. I went upstairs to jump in the shower and while I waited for the water to warm up, I had the urge to take a pregnancy test. I knew it would be negative - I mean, I knew it, I KNEW it - but sometimes you just have to see the lone line for yourself to prevent that dreadful optimism from festering up inside you. I took a test and hopped into the shower before it was finished.
Twenty minutes later, I stepped out into the steamy bathroom and saw the stick - the test I had completely forgotten existed - perched on the edge of the counter, displaying a very distinguishable TWO pink lines even from several feet away. My heart was racing - but everyone knows pregnancy tests can't be trusted after 10 minutes. I took another test (thank goodness for internet cheapies) and watched it like a hawk as it went from white to one line to two. And wow - those feelings were the kind of feelings I can't even describe.
It's been odd not having an outlet for my writing, but I just wasn't ready to talk about what was happening (or, rather, not happening), and fertility issues can be so all-consuming, I couldn't imagine talking about anything else. And a little part of me felt a bit guilty and embarrassed to be going on like this, because to those who have been trying to have a baby for 3, 5, 10 years, our wait to have a lasting pregnancy seems laughable. But now, about 24 weeks later, I'm sitting here all fat and happy at 28 weeks pregnant and I'm finally telling this story I've been trying to begin for months and months.
It's certainly not the story I wanted, but I'd like to think that maybe there's a really good reason it's the story we ended up with.