The amount of times I’ve had to Google “what is ovulation” is embarrassing. If I would have known how difficult it actually is to get pregnant, I wouldn’t have spent the past 10 years of sexual activity in constant, certain panic that I was indeed “with child”.
I always thought I was pregnant. Since my first time, when I was 15 and my boyfriend and I lost it to each other in the passenger seat of his beat up Toyota, at the local park, after-hours. I used to make him wear a condom AND pull out, god bless him. Poor thing. And I would STILL think I was pregnant. I took so many pregnancy tests. I would convince myself. I had no idea how it actually worked. I didn’t understand the science. Anatomy, biology, none of it. Sure I was taking AP science classes, but no one told me the basics.
So, here are the basics. A woman ovulates for about 4 days in between periods. If you have sex a couple days before and/or during those days, you have a chance of becoming pregnant. A CHANCE. Why aren’t they teaching that in Health classes?!? Maybe they did, but I was too busy scribbling my boyfriend’s name into my notebook and freaking out about how I was definitely pregnant with twins and what would I name them and how would I raise them and where would we all live…
After we got married, Gani and I started trying. Talk about a mindfuck. Up until that very moment, I had finished every sexual encounter with the very distinct prayer that I was not just impregnated. Oh please god don’t get me pregnant right now. But that morning after our wedding night, we tried. We actively tried to make a baby, having sex with the intention to conceive. When we finished, I started crying. I couldn’t place the emotion, but I’d say it mostly resembled an out of body experience that didn’t complete. I kept trying to tug myself out of reality and look down on myself, but I was too rooted in the reality of the moment. For the first time ever, EVER…in a situation I had been in many times…I rolled over to my side and said a little prayer. But this prayer was different. It wasn’t desperate. It wasn’t drenched in fear. It was said with a smile and tears rolling down my cheeks. “We’re ready when you are”.
That first month I was convinced I was pregnant. So getting my period was absolutely devastating. Again, a reversal from my usual experience with my period. Usually I’m praising all the gods when I look down and see that spot of red. But when you’re trying to get pregnant, the last thing you want to see is blood. So my brain did the same gymnastics it used to when I would convince myself I was pregnant in high school. I concocted every kind of story and scenario in my head to prove I was actually pregnant. Yes, I am. It’s implantation bleeding. Its normal. It’s it’s it’s…
The second month I downloaded an app to track my cycle and know the exact days I was ovulating. We tried. I had my usual PMS symptoms which, according to the lengthy reading I had done, are exactly the same as early pregnancy symptoms. Because of course they are. Again I saw red. Again I tried to reason it away. This time I took a test and got one measly line. I took a second test with the same result. No baby.
Third time’s a charm, right? That’s what they say. So on our third try I tried to keep my head out of it. Everyone was telling me that the more I thought about it the less likely I’d be to conceive. It’s a mental thing (another note they don’t mention in health class…I don’t think). So I had a vague idea as to when I was ovulating. We did it when we did it. And one of the times we did it felt very, very different. We finished and I started crying again. I knew it happened. I felt it in my bones. I felt this overwhelming force and this warm, sweet presence visit. It sounds crazy, but it’s what I experienced. I knew we were pregnant.
But, I really didn’t want to get my hopes up. I had tasted the defeat twice before, and I didn’t want to be disappointed. So I just went about my business. We took a trip to California for my birthday. I was going to take a test that day but I couldn’t bare it if it said negative. So we waited until a few days later, Cinco de Mayo to be exact. That evening after a game night with our neighbors, Gani and I sat in bed. I told him I was definitely late. I had some tests in the drawer. Should we check?
I peed in a red solo cup and stuck the tip of a clear blue digital pregnancy test into the warm yellow liquid for 1 Mississippi, 2 Missippi…Five seconds of dipping and 3 minutes of frantic waiting later we both looked over at the test to see (+ Yes, Pregnant). We stared at each other. Smiling. Silent tears dancing down our cheeks. He held me and said “we did it!” All I remember doing was smiling. It was the best feeling of confirmation I’ve ever known. Because I knew it. I knew I was. So seeing that reponse was so validating.
Finding out I was pregnant was the best news and scariest news all at the same time. Its everything I’ve wanted but also I felt completely and totally unprepared and uneducated. I’ve promised myself not to go crazy. I am embracing the unknown. I can never know everything. I certainly can’t control everything. For the next nine months I’m just the vessel for our teeny seed. She’s going to grow and build and my only job is to give her the best place to do that. I need to be healthy and happy. I need to exercise and make sure my blood is pumping and make sure she has everything she needs. Take my vitamins. Eat right. Be the best vessel for her journey.
Let the momming begin.