Possible Trigger: Discussion about “P” Test
I am infertile. While I know that some women (perhaps many) who cannot have kids do not want to label themselves “infertile,” I have found that embracing this description helps me.
Not to be too blunt, but for years, I knew every nuance of my cycle. I woke up to pee on a stick so I could monitor my hormone levels. I knew exactly when I ovulated so that my husband and I could try to make a baby. And I knew exactly when I was supposed to start so that I could take a pregnancy test. Honestly, keeping track of all that data was exhausting.
Even after Dane and I decided to stop trying to get pregnant, I still kept track of my cycle. But it became less and less regular and would play games with my mind. One month, I thought I was late. A week after my normal “start time,” I gave in and took a pregnancy test. (One of the many that I have taken in my life.) Despite my best efforts, I had let my hopes rise, thinking about the incredible way I could tell our family about our miracle baby.
But the stick said, “Not Pregnant.” And 11 days after that, I finally started. And so, I stopped keeping track.
Now, this poses a problem when you go to the doctor. On one such occasion (four years into accepting my childless life), I had fallen and had to get x-rays. Of course, the technician asked if I could be pregnant. I simply said, “No.” She countered with, “So, you’ve had a hysterectomy?” To this, I replied, “No, but I’m infertile.” No more questions.
As she got ready to take the x-rays, however, I started to get extremely anxious. I don’t know when my last period was, I thought. What if this is the month that we actually did it and now, I’m messing everything up by putting radiation into my body! My anxiety had almost taken over, about to burst forth in a panicked request to take a pregnancy test—just in case…
But I took a breath instead and rationally told myself, “You are infertile. You are not pregnant. Just calm down!” Honestly, I had to keep repeating that to myself for about thirty minutes before my angst finally left, and I was able to stop berating myself for possibly putting our child in harm’s way. (This is the first time I’m admitting that I let my imagination run away with itself. Again. Nothing like baring your soul to the world!)
So, for me, accepting (actually, fully embracing) the scientific fact that I am an infertile woman who cannot get pregnant unless God decides to give us a miracle (and I don’t think that’s going to be the case because he gave us our miracle in the form of Bruna), helps me to continue to define who I truly am—a wife, a dog mom, an aunt, a host mom, uniquely me.