It’s bad during the daily reminders. Choking down my early morning Chinese herbs. Remembering to take my evening vitamins, listening to the beep…beep…beep of my thermometer doing its work. In those moments I am forced to remember where we are, where we aren’t yet.
The weekly reminders are worse. Filling my pill tray with the myriad vitamins, handing over my VISA bill at acupuncture, wiping red, or checking CM or peeing on OPKs or idling in the two week wait. These are the moments I’m reminded how long I’ve been doing this, and that I will probably be doing it longer still. These are the moments when I mentally take stock of how many bottles of B6 I’ve plowed through, how many BBT charts I’ve sketched in FF’s digital database, how many hundreds of dollars I’ve already spent on acupuncture. It’s also when I wonder how much more of it all lies ahead of me.
The monthly reminders hurt my soul. Throwing away used pads, scheduling sex on the shared Google calendar, stocking up on Preseed, counting how many months it’s been, how old Isa is now, how old she’d be if we got pregnant that month. The waiting, and wondering, and waiting some more.
It’s hardest when I think of my friends who started 6 months after us and are already three months pregnant or my cousin who also started after us and is due at the New Year. It’s hardest when a “Best Big Brother” shot pops up on Facebook or someone comments on a friend’s burgeoning belly shot. It’s worst when I want to invite my friends over but then realize I can’t stand to see her pregnant belly or hear her commiserate about how hard two under two will be. It’s worst when I think how long it has been since I originally wanted to start trying, looking back on the six months of counseling, the fighting to have a second child, the waiting after that, the ten months of trying. The ten months of failing.
It’s worst when images of my old family, the one I used to imagine, pop into my head. When I see other families that look like the one I always assumed I’d have, two little girls two years apart, playing fairies at the park. Sometimes I forget and imagine my own family like that. Then I remember.
I think there is a part of me that still doesn’t realize, I will never have that. I can never have that. Not that particular dream. Maybe no part of that particular dream.
My daughter is 2.5 years old. Already.
It’s worst when I let myself despair. About everything. About all of it.
It’s best when I quiet my mind. When I’m meditating. When I listen to books on tape while washing the dishes. It’s best when Mi.Vida wraps his arms around me and tells me it’s going to be okay, that we’re going to get through this. It’s best when Isa does something wonderful and I see only her and not the emptiness beside her. It’s best when I remind myself that age difference doesn’t make or break a sibling bond, that my sister and I were seven years apart and quite close (at least when we were growing up), that you never know how they’ll get along with each other.
It’s best when I pack something away of Isa’s and feel SURE we’ll be able to use it again (there are despairing moments when I’m sure we won’t). It’s best when I find the strength to let go, even for a second. It’s best when I fixate on the actual reality of having two children, when a moment has me particularly overwhelmed and I try to imagine managing two children in that place and I feel panicked and afraid. It’s best when I am faced with our finances and I see how incredibly difficult it’s going to be, how it could very well break us financially. It’s best when I remember what the day to day will be like, what the week to week and month to month will feel like. It’s best when I envision how grueling it will be, how much more freedom I have now, how it won’t all be unicorn farts and fairy queefs. It’s best when I see things for what they are, what they will be and not just what I want them to be.
It’s best when I have my thoughts and I see them as just that, thoughts. When I don’t judge them as good, or bad, or overwhelming or scary. When I just acknowledge them for what they are, ideas or feelings my brain created.
It’s best when I feel I can manage it. When I believe it will be okay.