My Reproductive Nightmare, Pregnant

Changing Paths.

You know — the TTC (Trying To Conceive) train is a rough one to ride. Even if you don’t have any solidly diagnosed issues, just a few months of the hope and failures can wear on your soul. MrZ and I have had that “hope” for years now. After we finally had NikkiZ after actively trying for a couple of years, we opted to not use birth control, but also not try every month. I needed a little of an emotional break but we didn’t want to block any chances we might have. We got pregnant one month, miscarried, got pregnant a few months later, and here we are. 8 weeks from bringing in AndyZ to our krazee little family.

After he gets here, we are going to actively use birth control for the first time in five years. We are coming out and saying, “Under no circumstances do we want another child for a few years.”

God – it feels so WEIRD to say that. But – we are at that point where if we have no more kids – we’ll be okay with that. So, we’re taking a break. We’re going to wait until 2011 to consider having more. That’s when NikkiZ will start Kindergarten (Free School!) and it will give me two solid years of having my body back. It’s tough to never be able to look into your own future and plan 100% because there’s always that chance/hope that I might be pregnant. Even the entire time I was training for the marathon, there was a part of me thinking it’s okay to miss this mid-week run because I’ll probably be pregnant next month and will have to stop training. This decision of ours will give me until 2011 to plan all of the drinking and extreme sports I want because we will not be hoping to be pregnant. We’ll actually be going about life assuming we won’t be. Very weird.

I think I’ll actually be a little depressed for awhile. The hope to be pregnant has defined my state of mind for so long, I think it will be a little sad to lose that. I’ll have to get in touch with the me who doesn’t want to be pregnant again. It’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with her and I don’t remember if she’s cool or not. I remember she drinks a lot, that’s a plus! And sometimes she actually goes out to concerts in smoky dank clubs and dances her ass off. I’m not sure how much of that stuff I’ll be doing with two kids under 5, but it will be interesting knowing I could do it if I wanted to.

Have you made that transition? What was that like for you? How much sushi did you eat to celebrate? Did you face any extreme depression or anxiety over not having a medicine cabinet stocked full of Home Pregnancy Tests? Or did you find yourself taking them every month just because old habits die hard? I’m betting that’s what I’ll be doing.

33 thoughts on “Changing Paths.”

  1. Tomorrow I am having my first ultrasound for what we think are probably twins I am carrying. We’ve spent two years, and countless dollars, getting to this point — and a whole lot of medical intervention.
    This is it for us, provided that these little embryos are still doing well. No more blood tests every other day, no more injectible drugs, no more counting the days of my cycle.
    I’m still having a hard enough time coming to terms with the fact that the RE does not want to monitor my beta levels every three days anymore. I don’t even remember what life without ttc was like anymore.

  2. Somehow in the back of my mind as I was reading that I thought, she is going to get knocked up within a year. I hope you do get to spend some time getting to know the old you, and getting used to your body!! Hopefully you will be too busy to let the thoughts creep in too much. I know…you can send all those baby thoughts my way!! Oh wait…send all that energy to helping me find a man, so then I can have a baby!! πŸ˜‰

  3. The husb and I tired for two years to get pregnant. We finally did and I’m now the proud mama to Girl! The 20month old light of my life. I always thought growing up I’d want two or three kids, but after our struggles, and after the most severe depression I have ever battled, all while pregannt, no less!, we decided Girl! would be our only child. Sure, every pregnancy is diffrent, and I would have been more apt to use medication the second time around, but what if I couldn’t or what if the depression was worse, or what if I had PPD issues next time around? We waited for Girl! for so long, I personally just could not risk putting her through THAT ME for 40 weeks.

    After having her I cried a lot knowing she was my only baby, espically as she outgrew another outfit, and wondered if maybe we made the wrong choice, but now, almsot two years later, our family just feels SO RIGHT. Girl! has lots of friends her age (well, like 5, but that’s a TON for a toddler, right?) and LOADS of love from us and our family and friends, I truly feel we made the very best decision for our family.

    Plus, i won’t lie, I love knowing that proivided I dont’ eat ALL the mini donuts in the house, my pants will fit next month and many, many months to come. I missed my body, and eventhough it’s no longer the same as it was before her, I’m still SO HAPPY It;s mine again. and ONLY MINE.

  4. Wow! Well written. Again! I too have spent years of my life on the am I pregnant…I could be pregnant…I am SO pregnant…oops, no I’m not, AGAIN, train. I think in some ways, that changes you in some way that stays with you forever. After my DD was born, after desparately wanting her FOREVER (5 years), I immediately went on birth control. Then, when she was 5, I went off “to see what happens”. I was forever thinking I might be pregnant. Two and a half years later, I was pregnant. Then, back on birth control. A year later, “let’s see what happens”…boom, two MONTHS later, pregnant. Now, we use birth control, and probably always will, but it’s a door I can’t shut forever. Even so, even with the pill, I still find myself thinking, “could I be?”. Old habits die hard, I guess.

    I’m so glad that you are having this baby. It sounds like you have a wonderful plan for your future. I know what you mean about being a little sad though…it’s a wonderful adventure, sometimes, wondering “should I be having this drink?” Is that why I’m not feeling well? Good luck channeling the old you. I hope your future brings you peace.

  5. My first husband and I tried for 7 years before I got pregnant, then I lost the baby, got pregnant again, and lost that baby too. We tried for another 3 years without getting pregnant before we divorced. During the time I was single, it was a huge relief not to get upset everytime my period started. When I met my new husband we tried for about a year, this time without the injections and bloodwork every three days. When I didn’t get pregnant we started the adoption process and now we have a son. He turns 4 in two weeks. Gosh, I can’t believe my baby is going to be 4! But that’s off-topic…sorry. Anyway, once I adjusted to the fact that it was no big deal when my period started because I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, it was very freeing. No more letting my ovaries control my life. Woohoo!

  6. It took 8 years to conceive my first – now 25 months old. SHe is the little girl I was told I would never have. After she was born, we didn’t worry about birth control, because it was so hard the 1st time, it couldn’t possibly be easy the second. Ha! When Emma (the 2 year old) was 6 weeks old, I had major surgery (non pregnancy related). 2 weeks later I was pregnant with Anna (now 13 months) – my girls are 1 year and 6 days apart. Apparently Emma “fixed” whatever was wrong.

    Oh – and I am a walking billboard for “it only takes once”. πŸ™‚

    Fast forward 13 months. While my heart is screaming for another, my body is saying NO NO! Haven’t slept in 13 months and am just physically exhausted. I know we want more, just not this month! We are using condoms (uhm, yeah, usually) – so while we are not being 100% safe, it wouldn’t be the end of the world getting pregnant, it just would certainly not be planned for.

    It is possible Anna will be my last – so I do get sad everything she moves up a size in diapers, outgrows her old clothes, etc. I wonder if I will have more, and if so, when. I am so lucky to have the 2 I have.

  7. I remember those feelings. My youngest is going to be 4 this summer – but for an almost 7 year period of time I was either pregnant, trying to get pregnant, suffering miscarriages, or dealing with treatment from a molar pregnancy (also a lost pregnancy). My first and last pregnancies were the ones that stuck. After my last, I was so ready to reclaim my body that I even stopped breastfeeding at 2 mo’s. We knew we only wanted two, but each month I still took the tests…like you said, habit I guess. Even now at 39 – and having had a hysterectomy 2 years ago – I still wonder everytime I feel dizzy or nauseaus…”maybe I am pregnant!”. Ha!!
    Fortunately, most women will never know the long, brutal road that some of us have taken to have our sweet babies. Great post! Brought back memories πŸ™‚

  8. While I haven’t struggled with infertility, I have spent the last three years or so in various stages of hoping for and having babies. Today, I’m going in to have an IUD placed. And it is strange to think that I won’t be having any more kids in the foreseeable future.

  9. I never really had to “try” to conceive. My mom always called me “Fertile Myrtle” because it never was an issue with me. Which actually can cause its own kind of anxiety. I always had to be doubly sure to not miss a pill or have some extra something around in case I did.

    So, when I they thought I had Endometriosis and went in to surgically investigate and diagnose me, my GYN asked if I’d be having any more children. It wasn’t a question I had been asked, but I thought about it for a second and said, “Heck no!” So, while he was in there he did tied my tubes and that was that.

    I had been on the pill in some form for over 20 years and my body wasn’t happy about it anymore. And was very relieved to not have to think about it any more.

    Of course, I have younger friends having babies still and part of me really would love to have more. But, I know that I am done and am okay with it. Now I get to hold other babies and then give them back at the end of the day! πŸ™‚

  10. It’s kind of bittersweet. I love being pregnant, but it’s also nice to have my body back. I would like more kids (we currently have 2 under 2) but maybe not for a few years. In that time I have so many plans: start running again, maybe train for a tri or a half-marathon, go out and get wasted πŸ™‚ (Quite frankly, all I feel like doing when the kids are sleeping is sitting on my butt and relaxing!) I still do wonder if I am pregnant every once in a while, even though the odds are very very slim. I guess it’s nice to know that I could be. I can relate to how you are feeling.

  11. Eight weeks?! Hopefully you’ll be so occupied with the little ones (and the drinking!) you won’t have much time to be depressed. I imagine it’s weird to think NO MORE BABIES EVER even if you haven’t been TTC.

  12. My path to pregnancy and birth was an easy one. I am still in shock with how easy, but am also v. v. grateful.

    We are done with this Birthin’ Babies Business. And I am actually pulling out baby things to sell in our garage sale in a few weeks – swing, bouncy seat, bathtub, etc. Hell’s bells – we are even getting rid of the crib. To get rid of forever. FOREVER.

    So yes, I am going through this a little bit.


    So here’s where we stand now — if this baby is a girl, we are done. Totally, emphatically done, and we agree on this. He’ll get the snip and everything. We don’t really have the room or the money for three kids, I’d like to get back to my career and I’m sooo ready to be done with the “am I pregnant or not?” dance every month.

    Or am I?

    If we have another boy (which is what I think we’re having), technically I’m still ready to be done. But Jason thinks he’ll still want that girl, and I know that I could probably be pretty easily persuaded to get pregnant another time, because it’s like, the biggest goal I’ve had for the past five years now and it will be so weird to not pursue it anymore. But oh my God, the testing and cycling and obsessing has worn me down to a nub.

    So right now I am continuing to tell myself that we are done, this is my last pregnancy so pleeeeease try to enjoy it, and quietly thinking about how cool adopting our daughter would be.

  14. OMG, you’re freaking me out. How did you know that I am planning to write a post about this VERY THING this morning? So instead of espousing my thoughts on the subject I’m just going to make you go read that whenever I finally get it posted. The general gist is: I feel the exact same way.

  15. I had my son by pure accident…deployment baby. Anyhow I am not sure when we will be having our next baby or if it will be as easy or what..but I think IUD’s are the best way to go right now for BC, you don’t have to take a pill everyday to remind you that you are “not” having a baby. I know it helped me just not to think about….maybe if you get one placed right away the less you will think about πŸ™‚ That is what I did and I think it help me to not think and worry about things happening or not happening.

  16. Its so weird. I never had to try to get pregnant. The third one was certainly an oops. But, it feels so odd to be finished with having children. The Bee will turn one next Saturday and I can’t even talk about it. It literally brings tears to my eyes to even acknowledge this, and I told the MOD to plan on me having some kind of nervous breakdown in the near future.

    I really think three is (more than) enough for us, so I don’t know why I feel this way. Some kind of primal urge, I guess.

  17. Our 4th was a “surprise” so we knew after her, we were TOTALLY done and I was OK with it for the most part, even happy to know that I could sell baby furniture and move forward because she was the end of the line. But, part of me I think will always be sad about my favorite pregnancy thing: getting kicked (the mid-term kicks, not that last 4 weeks variety that break your ribs) because there’s never going to be any more people in there. So, there’s a touch of melancholy with those lovely things about pregnancy and how nice it is to hold a newborn baby on your chest, but I celebrate moments later with the thought that I haven’t changed a diaper in ages, I get a few hours to myself when the “baby” is at preschool, and pretty soon, I might even be able to pick stuff up and have it stay that way for hours! That last one might be a lie though.

  18. My kids are 13 and 15. I’m 38. My marriage is sort of rocky. I’m on my second 5-year IUD. No periods.

    And yet I still sometimes get emotional thinking that I’ll never be pregnant again. Never again look down at a tiny baby blissed out on a tummy full of my own milk.

    But I’m grateful for the smart, beautiful, funny daughter and son that I have. Every year with them is better than the one before.

  19. ok, so like everyone else I’m all OMG! LIKE TOTALLY. But you know, I heard once that when you’re done, really done, you’ll know. I was feeling the exact same way until just recently, maybe two months ago when Baby O was about 8 months old that I’m really complete and finished and happy with that. I was wishy washy until now. But now? I’m so farking finished I’m stocking my cabinet with Jack D.

    But I’m keeping those pee sticks around just in case because I don’t know if I can get over peeing on the anytime soon.

  20. I did not have a hard time conceiving. My oldest is 7 and the 1st time we actively tried, I got pregnant with her. Then we divorced and I was single for awhile. I met my current husband in January 2005 and we were actively NOT trying since we were newly seeing each other and not married and what not. I had surgery on my cervix on 4/8/05 and got pregnant at the end of that month.

    We said then that we was finished having kids, but the closer delivery got the more I wasn’t so sure. After my youngest was born I knew I wanted another one. But, I still don’t know if I will have one or not. We would love to have a baby boy, but financially, we cannot do it. It’s hard watching my 26 month old do, say and learn new things because it makes me so sad to think that this might be the last time I experience this.

  21. I didn’t think pregnancy was in the cards for us. We adopted our beautiful daughter and 6 months later – surprise! After yearning for a family for so long, I think we are done at 2. My hubby has started talking about getting the big V…but I get a little panic every time he mentions it. What if I’m not really done? Not that I want to do this again…but what if? It is weird to suddenly do a 180 on the issue.

  22. My kids are 10, 8, and 6. The first was conceived the first month we tried, second was conceived the third month we tried and the third was a complete surprise! When the youngest was about 1, my husband got snipped. Although it took me awhile to get over the whole “I’ll never have a baby again” stage, I did come to a point where I was perfectly OK with it. It is a weird emotional switch to go from making/having/nursing babies to taking care of the kids you already have. But it is so freeing to not have to worry about all the what-if’s and just enjoy your family as it is.

  23. My husband and I always agreed that we’d just have two. And we have those 2….and damn I’m broody! I think it’s partly that feeling that every time the baby (will be 2 at EOM, yes, she’s still a baby, she’s my baby!) does something new she’s moving away from being a baby & it’s happening too fast! I’m not ready yet!

    I know some of our decision to only have 2 was based on the idea that we wouldn’t have room or $$ for more; well guess what? We were able to purchase a 5 bdrm home 2 yrs ago in a great neighborhood and this month I’m able to quit my job to be a SAHM. We never in our wildest dreams thought we’d be comfortable enough to have all this. (And we can still retire at 60 and the girls college is already paid for; we invested well & go lucky.) There’s a voice in my head that keeps reminding me those reasons don’t exist anymore, so why not have another? Or two? Maybe cause I’m about to 40 and I’m blessed already to have very healthy, happy girls.

    It’s funny cause after my 1st one I wasn’t like this at all, I wonder how much of that might be because I always knew we’d have another. It doesn’t help that love being pregnant. Love it, love it, love it! When I started my period this last go around my hubby said, “better make the appt to get the snip!” He was all game, I wouldn’t let him. It’s so final, you know.

    I am one of those girls who you would’ve hated, I think about getting pregnant & I do. Seriously, both kids, first try, no practice for us. I got one of those 5 yr IUDs this time, cause we can always take it out right?

    I have trouble believing I’ll ever really feel done, I think I’ll just get to a point where I know it doesn’t make sense for us now.

  24. That would be odd, switching mindsets like that! I guess I’m sort of happy for you to be doing this though, because I hate seeing you go through the pain of miscarriages. Anyway, you’re an awesome mum πŸ™‚
    Oh, and only 8 weeks til AndyZ? OMIGOSH! It’s coming so fast! (Or rather, he is!)

  25. Once you start on the baby train it’s hard to jump off no matter how hard the ride.

    I have two beautiful children. Both conceived with intervention — one lucky first-ever IUI and another after a lotta failed IUIs and two IVFs. It was a tough road. Still I have no idea what the problem was.

    I’m not the type to say “I can’t” do anything. But while sometimes I think I’d like another baby, I have had to accept that I really don’t think I can handle the uncertainty of TTC and the emotional/physical stress of IVF in particular. Even if we could justify the exhorbitant cost.

    While I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything, it all takes a lot away from living the life you have. I feel like I was on a treadmill for several years… waiting to get pregnant, going from cycle to cycle, planning around TTC and treatments, weaning #1 before I’d have otherwise chosen so I could TTC #2. Etc. So what you said resonated with me.

    Now I think my family is complete. Mostly, I’m OK with that. I’m sometimes sad that I’ll never be pregnant again, never have that “perfect” labor that I got so close to last time, never hold a tiny newborn all my own again. But I know that my real regret is that I can’t CHOOSE to be content with two. I can only choose not to go through the struggle and expense at the attempt at another.

  26. I’m right where you are now. My daughter just turned 2, and my son is due in June and then we’re done. I’m so exhausted right now I can’t imagine chasing 2 around, much less 3! But it took us a few months to get pregnant this time around, and the last month I got a false negative so I went out and stocked up on ovulation tests and HPTs. What do I do with those now? Is is weird to give them away? I don’t know why I haven’t just thrown them away, I see them every time I open my bathroom cabinet, like they are saying “are you SURE?” – but I AM sure. It’s just – strange, thinking that this is it, no more thinking about getting pregnant or being pregnant, again, ever.

    I hope your cough is getting better, I’ve had mine for 7 weeks now, so I definitely sympathize. But mine was never so bad I had to sleep in a recliner, so you’ve got me beat!

  27. Lovely post.

    I don’t know how I feel about quitting TTC myself. My mind tells me we do not need any more babies, but my heart says I want a million.

  28. BTW… Just so you know the old you was super duper rockin’ awesome cool!!!

    I like the new babified you as well…….. but just so you can rekindle those memories you were right on!!! Just ask LilZ…. πŸ™‚

  29. Alas, I don’t know if or when I’ll get to have the joy of not wanting any more kids for a while because my husband and I are having a tough time trying to conceive for the first time. But since we’re both grad students/ college teachers and nine months from March is Christmas break, I’m coming to the end of the last cycle we’ll be actively trying until August or so. So unless I’m pregnant right now (a possiblity, but I’m sort of sick of getting my hopes up), we’re staring down the barrel of a few months of trying not to get pregnant. My husband will be relieved to go a few months without me weeping in bed for a day when I start my period, but even though I know it’s just a hiatus, it feels like giving up, and that’s kind of tough to stomach. I have a strange urge to use up all the home pregnancy tests I have in the bathroom before I’m due just so they’re not there taunting me during my months off.

  30. It took us 4 years to conceive my daughter, but we didn’t want to have a second kid right away (we were both starting new careers, it was tough enough as it was). Going back to birth control was weird. It was like we forgot what to do? I was worried it would be depressing, but it was actually kind of a turn-on. It was like we were our young, naughty, unmarried selves again.

  31. We made the no more kids decision shortly after our second baby it’s kind of freeing. I feel like you said, that I have my body back (only it looks more like my mom’s body now). And that is a good feeling it’s hard to describe to people what it is like to be pregnant and then post partum and then pre partum…it sort of like a body image merry go round or roller coaster and I was happy to have it over with. I really don’t like being pregnant so I am happy with our decision, and if we ever regret that decision there are plenty of kids out there that need homes. So I don’t look at it as the ‘end of the world’ thing, although my husband might have a different opinon….NO honey! I don’t want anymore babies right can start breathing again.

  32. hubby got a vasectomy, i did a happy dance. of course, three infants will make you pretty sure you are done.

  33. My husband had a vasectomy after our last and it was bittersweet. I was ready to get my body back but I was sad that I would never be pregnant again.

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