New Kid on The Block

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Do you think we did it?" he asked, his eyes wide.

We were sitting in the Phoenix airport, sharing a basket of chicken strips and sweet potato fries.

"I don't know," I replied. And I didn't. Every cycle I knew it could go either way. I honestly didn't know if my body could even make babies. "Maybe?" It was another week and a half before three pregnancy tests answered his question. Strongly. +++.

Up until then, I'd been to the doctor. Many times. We were in a relationship, the doctors and me. It was basically a weekly coffee klatch only not nearly as fun and kind of invasive. And I'd been doing my research, wayyy more research than was probably healthy for any human, let alone a soon-to-be-30-year-old who was recently laid off and in a dark "Who am I and what is my purpose?" life place. In my most melodramatic moments, I'd call my mom and tell her I was unemployed and barren. She would Pollyanna me and I would tell her to let me feel how I wanted to feel. Then we'd move on to family gossip and she'd invite me to come visit her and I'd try to remember there's more to life than being employed and fertile. Right then, though, it felt like there wasn't.

I was starting to try things they recommended, the doctors, but I had learned from my dad's cancer that YOU are in control, not them. I wasn't going to jump to the drugs and extreme measures just yet. It'd only been a year. A long year. You may feel like they are omnipotent beings who know lots more things than you do, but they are not and do not. YOU know your body. YOU know what's best. Even when I had a little bit of imposter syndrome, I reminded myself of that. They are not in charge. I am. If I want to figure out how to make a baby, that's mostly on me. Besides, it's not like they spent much time with my chart anyway.

So, this is what I'll tell you, because I don't really want to give my whole "how we figured out how to make a kid despite how easy they say it is in high school health class" story to the internet. When it comes down to it, unless you're doing IVF, we pretty much know how this whole thing works:

  • I did not relax, and if anyone is telling you to, I hope you take a deep breath and forgive them for what they don't understand.
 
  • I started going to acupuncture, at first for seasonal allergies I couldn't shake, but also to see if there was any merit to it helping with fertility. It was holistic, and if anything, it was a 45 minute nap. I had nothing to lose. And, if you think acupuncture is expensive, you're ill-informed: there is a community acupuncture place right down the street from my house that has a sliding scale of $20-$40/session, dependent on what YOU feel comfortable paying that day.
  • I focused on fulfillment versus achievement. I was unemployed for much of the spring and summer, and it was the first time I really had a moment to take a step back and start thinking about how I defined myself and my worth. I've always been a financial contributor and a straight up anal-retentive perfectionist achiever. I had to let that go, and I had to really work hard to shift my mindset from cashing checks and looking cool online to what really mattered: taking care of my family, making life a little easier on my husbro while he carried the financial load, and investing time and energy into things that filled my soul.
  • I took my vitamins. Prenatals. Fish oil. Sunny walks.
  • I paid close attention to my body. My bff gave me those smiley face OPKs. I figured out how my cycles worked off of BC (it took a long time to adjust) and then I used them strategically. 
  • I tested different ways of answering "So when are you two going to have kids?" The worst question. The most ignorant, insensitive question, always with a smile and good intentions. "We're working on it," I'd tell them, with a wan smile right back. I found that answer to be the most effective. It usually got them to quit bugging me. "Ohhhhhhh," they'd say. No one wants to know those details. ;)

I wanted to keep it as simple as I could. Actually deciding to try to make a baby is such a strange experience, and it can get to you quickly if it's not working the way you want it to the first few months. But when the tests said I was normal--above average, even--I found it easier to work to have faith that it would happen when it was supposed to, which we all know is the most frustrating and annoying statement.

And yet.

It's always right, isn't it?

Let's also not forget all those melodramatic phone calls to my mom.


Some people don't have to try very hard. Others do. Looking back, I'm glad I got to really figure out my body, learn to trust it, and to truly appreciate this little dude we're bringing into the world.

We're stoked!

And this is just the beginning.

 
If you want to know more, or have specific questions for me, I'm happy to answer them. My goal is always to share as much as I'm comfortable with publicly and to open my experiences to you so you can be better and know more because of them. If you're interested in getting on the baby train and feel some type of way about anything at all, hit me up: whitneytbnd@gmail.com. All I can really offer is the way things worked for me, along with some good old fashioned "yep, it sucks, but it's probably not forever." And sometimes that's enough.
 
Big thanks to Sullivan & Sullivan Photography for capturing these special memories

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