The Pregnant Pause

July 27, 2009 at 8:56 am (Uncategorized)

My Man Town writer friend L has changed her writing day to Monday, so today was the first time we’ve started the week together. It suits her so much better because her hated but extremely lucrative job hasn’t had time to sour her mood and soil her creative inclinations, both of which kept happening by the time each Friday rolled around, which of course put the whole idea in jeopardy. And it’s really all the same to me, although today was good. I do really love starting the week well, and, as you know, I am very spurred on when she’s here. This week promises to be a double whammy in the productivity department, since Darkling C is also planning a day’s work at Chez J, so it’s all systems GO.

That’s at least true for the MS redrafting. All systems seem determined to fail where the fertility train is concerned. I know, I know, I shouldn’t expect anything to happen so soon after the laparoscopy – or even at all, at this rate – but then again, why the hell not? INSTANT PREGNANCY stories abound for everyone else who’s had the big spring clean, so why not me? Well, I don’t know. But ‘not me’ is where we’re at. So it was a crap start to the week in that respect. There were tears. I’m quite frustrated. And the psychosomatic aspects of this are amazing, almost alarming. I thought there was a chance I was pregnant, I really did. I’ve even been able to convince myself I’ve been feeling a little nauseous. I’m the least nauseous person in the universe, so the failure of any actual nausea to materialise just seemed consistent with my long-held suspicion that I’m an unlikely candidate for morning sickness. But wasn’t I perhaps feeling just a little bit queer? Why yes, I told myself, I believe I am. Except I’m not. Pregnant, that is, which means it was all in my head.

Stuff this for a joke. Next stop, IVF. The only thing that’s happening is that I’m getting older. I say bring in reinforcements, embrace medical science, and get on board with technology when the Nature Express leaves without you. I’ve put things like signing up for the City2Surf completely on hold in the hope that I wouldn’t run because I was pregnant, because after three super early miscarriages, I just wouldn’t be comfortable running a difficult 14 km course in the early stages of a pregnancy. But hey, lucky me, I’m not pregnant, except now it feels like it’s too late to run. I hate that aspect of all this fertility bullshit. It places you in a really unenviable, perfectly perverse pregnant pause. You so easily, too easily end up putting your whole life on hold for something that never shows. I could give up coffee, stop drinking, avoid soft cheeses, say no to raw fish, watch the sugar, wind back strenuous long-distance runs (like the half-marathon I missed earlier this year because I was consumed with doubt), get my meat overcooked, deny myself oysters, for God’s sake, and still it may not happen. In the past month, I’ve done all these things to a certain extent. I’ve been on my very best behaviour, and very conscious of all these little decisions all along the way. What if, what if, what if I am pregnant, then could this, or this, or this be harmful? Could this, or this, or this happen because I did – or did not do – that, or that, or that? You end up paralysed, paused in a cruel phantom state, whereby the mere possibility, the outside chance of an actual pregnancy renders you incapable of conducting your normal life without it. This thing that hasn’t eventuated – and may never eventuate – is still so omnipresent, seeping into every conversation, every meeting with family and friends, every intimacy with my husband, every day of its ongoing non-arrival.

I don’t like living my life like this. I resent it. On this issue alone does a life of contingency open up before my eyes, a life in which decisions are made around things that haven’t happened, particular things that very particularly haven’t happened to me. It’s a fucked way to live, and I’m not a fan. So yeah, I’ll stick with it until my birthday in September, mere weeks away now, but there’s an IVF information evening at IVF Australia tomorrow night, and we’re going.



  1. Lilian Nattel said,

    It’s a rough roller-coaster. I’m glad at least the MS is going well even if the fertility stuff is difficult.

  2. Grad said,

    Things often happen when we least expect them. In the meantime, might as well learn as much as you can regarding your options, and the information evening will help you do that. Hang in there. It might be just around the corner.

  3. doctordi said,

    Me too, Lilian, me too… and who would have thought that the eighth draft of an unsolicited and structurally flawed manuscript would prove to be the good news?!

    That’s a very sensible perspective, Grad, and I guess that’s our attitude, along the ‘knowledge is power’ lines. It might be just around the corner, true, but part of me also believes it’s precisely that kind of thinking that leads people to play lotto every week for forty-five years. I know I am a control freak, which clashes with all the things in life that simply can’t be controlled, but I really don’t like dedicating time and energy to things that are maybe just around the corner, because it’s just as likely they’re not.

  4. Pete said,

    Sorry that the fertility thing sucks and good luck with the info gathering. I just read a book about living with bipolar and the author had triplets after IVF (against pretty strong odds) so there’s always hope. But the frustration sucks.

  5. litlove said,

    I really do feel for you, but one thing I’m pretty sure about is that monitoring and controlling your life like crazy is destined to prevent pregnancy rather than encourage it. I mean, let’s think about the most powerful force on the planet – sod’s law. Or maybe irony. Do all the wrong things, throw caution to the wind, live you life the way you want to; all the babies I know have come into the world in that atmosphere and they’ve been fine. I agree with Grad – get all the information you can, that’s only sensible. But otherwise, write your undoubtedly marvelous manuscript and try not to let the frustration get to you. It WILL happen, and most likely at the point when you decide that it doesn’t matter if it happens or not. Hugs to you, my friend.

  6. doctordi said,

    Pete, optimism, hope – I’m a believer in these things. Always. But you’re right, it sucks and sucks good.

    Litlove, I am so excited you’re back, it’s been ages and ages and ages. Yes, I agree one hundred percent, and I’ve actually been very careful not to become obsessed. But it’s hard when everyone is so chock full of opinions about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Seriously, everyone has something to say, about coffee, about chocolate, even about exercise, which I am pretty sure is a GOOD thing. It’s exhausting even just trying to stick to my own instincts. And yeah, so many little people I know are the direct result of a big night out, so… to hell with it.

    Undoubtedly marvellous? [Cue hysterical laughter]. That’s very kind, but grossly inaccurate. There’s doubt aplenty! Doubt abounds! But thanks, I am going to just keep on keeping on.

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