Riding It Out

When I was growing up I LOVED amusement park rides. You know the ones that Krusty the Klown from The Simpsons would deem an “upsy, downsy, spinsy roundsy, teen-operated thrill ride”?  Yeah those.  I loved ’em.  I especially took great pride in being able to ride these crazy death contraptions consecutive times in a row. When the rest of girls were getting off the ride, I hung in with the boys.  I was tough. I was fearless. I could handle it.  Boo-yah!

Cut to me at age 21: sitting on a rock at the edge of the carnival parking lot gasping for clean air in order to stave off nausea… all after one ride on the Spider. What happened?  My tolerance for the turbulent motion of those rides seemed to dissipate with age.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  Boo. Yeah.

Now at forty-(garble) going on forty-(garble-even-louder), I’m still riding the ride called trying to conceive (or TTC in weblog speak).  It is quite possibly to most insane ride ever.  If you don’t believe me, here’s a list of fun facts to consider:

  • With the number of ovulation and pregnancy tests under my belt, I’ve become incredibly adept at peeing on sticks, so much so that I’m considering listing it as a skill on my resume.
  • I no longer think of time in terms of months, but instead in terms cycles
  • If you want to get a drink or sushi with me, you need contact me one month in advance, so I can schedule it at the appropriate time.
  • I would have never thought it, but after detailing out a month-to-month… I mean cycle-to-cycle view of my life, it appears my tolerance for crazy is pretty damn high.

My “Cycle-to-Cycle” Life

7 days into my cycle







Take pre-natal vitamins and pray like mad!

  • Stop any alcohol consumption
  • Taper down caffeine consumption to ½ cup per day (only if necessary – who am I kidding?)
  • Put the more challenging cardio workouts into my routine
  • Begin using ovulation strips 
During the “window of ovulation”
  • Stop caffeine entirely
  • Um… “it” obviously
Week one of two-week wait
  • Maintain exercise schedule
  • Try to keep my mind on other things
  • Cut out soft cheeses, shellfish, deli meats, sushi and other fun stuff from my diet
Week two of two-week wait
  • Modify exercise schedule to lighter cardio, ideally  machines that allow me to monitor heart rate
  • Over-analyze every twinge, cramp, tenderness, headache, etc.
3 days before period is due
  • Start thinking that every twinge, cramp, tenderness, headache means what I want it to mean, and simultaneously freak out and get excited
  • Resist the urge to run out and buy pregnancy test OR resist the urge to use the second test that was in the first test kit that I broke down and bought last cycle
First day of my period
  • Open a bottle of wine
  • Cry 

Honestly, what kind of life is this?  Am I insane?  I know eventually this ride is going to come to an end some way, somehow.  But I’m starting the question the way I’m limiting myself.  In the last six months, I know of four different opportunties I’ve shied away from because I wasn’t sure if I’d be pregnant or at least into the two-week wait at the time of the event. Yet on the flip side, I still yearn for motherhood so badly that I am clinging blindly to faith.  How long will my tolerance hold out?

So my newest challenge is figuring out how I’ll ride the rest of this out.  I want my decisions to be whole-hearted and fearless, yet wise and balanced. I can’t put everything on hold for something that may never be, but I want to do what’s possible (within the realm of reason and our resources) to create the conditions in which, by some miracle, it could happen. I need to get this resolved, because that last thing I want is to find myself once again gasping for air wondering what the hell happened.

My life should be more, “Weee!” and less, “Stop this thing. I want to get off!”