Today seems like a good snapshot of what it's like to try to conceive unassisted.
First, I got my period. Since we are trying to conceive, this is not happy news. However, my feelings about it vary from month to month. I always allow myself some hopeful thoughts during each cycle we TTC (maybe this is it! what if it is it! do I have symptoms? what month would the baby come? etc.). Sometimes I can easily let those thoughts go, sometimes it's harder and I feel down for a day or two, until I can start thinking hopeful thoughts about the next cycle.
When I saw The Period early this morning, I wasn't too upset. I was disappointed, because out of the past few cycles, this one did seem to offer the best chances. I had strong fertile signs, and not too early (starting about day 12, rather than 8 or 9). My most fertile days coincided with our week of holidays. How nice was that! Leaving aside the cliché advice to "just go on vacation and relax" it is easier to get in the mood when our schedules are freer. We made the best of the opportunity presented.
Yes, I would have liked to bring back a souvenir from vacation. But I resigned myself to move on, or so I thought. The good news: My cycle was 2 days longer than the last one. 26 days. Not quite textbook, but hopeful. Maybe the next one will be the one! Maybe the next one will have one extra magic day and that will make the difference....Meanwhile AJ is so, so cuddly....
Off I went to work. I had an early meeting. The meeting was inconsequential, but it meant I didn't get around to eating my morning snack. I don't eat much breakfast at home; sometimes I eat a little bit with AJ but I prefer to get out the door, drop AJ off at daycare and then eat some yoghurt or a piece of fruit at school with a cup of tea. Not having my snack today made me feel just a little bit less calm and relaxed.
I left my meeting and came to my classroom. One of my assistants was already in the classroom. There was a vase on my desk with tulips in it. "I got you tulips!" she said happily, "because I think I owe you congratulations on something!"
"Because I think you are expecting your second child!!"
"Oooh....Hahaha.....nooooooo......But what lovely flowers, thank you! I love tulips!"
I started a new job in September, so of course my current colleagues do not know my full history. I can't remember how much I've told them about my fertility issues. I thought for sure I had said something about it, but I may not have, and I definitely didn't go into detail. My former colleagues knew when I was going for tests, when I was doing IVF, the times of day I gave myself needles. They knew when IVF failed. During pregnancy they covered for me when I was screaming in the bathroom bleeding, and when happier days came they were updated with every ultrasound. It would be odd for me to introduce myself at my new school with these details. But there are disadvantages to people not knowing.
I don't know why exactly my colleague thought I was pregnant. Did I go pee rather more often yesterday? Did my belly stick out? Did she see me in a particularly revealing "maybe I am?" reverie? Did she think I was fibbing when I told the class yesterday I had to take the afternoon off to go to the dentist? Are there rumours flying around? Yikes. I don't know, and I won't ask.
I told my colleague that although we would really like a second child, we have fertility issues and it "may not happen" unless we do "really invasive fertility treatments". I don't know why I used that word; I could have said expensive, confusing, involved, complicated...but invasive was the word that came to mind. Hopefully that ends the matter.
I don't have any grudges against my colleague. (I did do silent "What the fuck?" scream into the empty hallway when I left the room.) The flowers are lovely. I just wish she had given me flowers for the sake of being nice, instead of using her crystal ball to look at my uterus and make assumptions. She tried very hard to be kind to me all day, which I appreciated. Still, I felt pretty down for the rest of the morning. So much for resilience.
The good part? Only half my class was here and it was an easy morning. The harder part? I happened to have the occupational therapist observing. She is a very pleasant person, helpful, easy to talk to. She praised everything we were doing in class, which I appreciate. But I thought I might lose my mind trying to focus on what she was saying. I just wanted to do my activities with the students, and curl all my thoughts around the ball of misery in my heart. Instead I tried to sound half intelligent, and hated it. I finally told her I was having a "bad morning" and "really out of it." She was all sympathy, all appreciation, talked how much she was learning, especially since she had not worked for so long because her son had had a bone marrow transplant and she had "lived in hospitals" for the past years.
In any other circumstances I would have done way more than make customary sympathetic noises. Especially since I do like this woman. But I couldn't. Sigh. It was one of those days when it takes all my mojo just to get to the basics. I couldn't handle all the unseen things lingering below people's smiles and good intentions, my own or anyone else's.
On to better days.