Ethan's Age

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A not-so-brief appearance

I typically don't post on this blog. It started out (if I remember correctly) with the purpose of the two of us documenting our experiences through conception, pregnancy, birth, and possibly even the early years with a new kid. If you go far enough back, there are even a few spare posts of mine from the beginning (unless they were mercifully deleted by Julia). However, as our situation changed, and we stopped taking easy conception as a given, and eventually surrendered the idea altogether, it became Julia's outlet to document our efforts (and hurdles) towards conception. I am also impatient to conceive, and wish it had already happened as well, but it affects Julia much more than it affects me. The way we deal with things like this is different as well. I tend to talk more and process things verbally. Julia is more thoughtful and reflective, works things out internally, then processes and shares. The blog works with Julia's process a whole lot better than I could, and thus the blog became her domaine. I also tend to be more guarded in general, whereas Julia tends to be more open. It made sense.

I'm making a brief appearance here (then ceding control of the blog back over to Julia) to voice my feelings on where we're at. It's a tough spot. We've been trying to conceive for 8 months, but for a variety of reasons (which have been well documented in the blog by Jules), we haven't had a shot until last month. It's the worst of both worlds. We've gone through the emotional strain of wanting something so much, and trying to get it for 8 months, with no success. Couple that with the fact that we never had a chance to conceive during the first 7 months, although we didn't know it at the time, and thus every failure over the first 7 months was just as devastating because we though we actually had a shot. In hindsight, we discovered that our timing was off - during the first 7 months we stopped trying to conceive before Julia ovulated, meaning there was no possibility of conception. Last month we finally got things figured out, and it was the first time we were able to coordinate trying to conceive with ovulation. We were both excited (and hopeful) because we finally timed it right. It didn't happen.

It's hard to separate the first 7 months from last month. It feels like we haven't been able to conceive for 8 months, which makes it feel like we never will. However, we are really only 0-for-1 (since we've only had one shot at it due to the fact that conception the first 7 months was impossible due to our bad timing). 0-for-1 is pretty normal. I don't feel like it's time to give up hope, and I think the situation feels worse than it is.

Julia calls me a pessimist, but I'd say I'm a prepared optimist. I hope for the best, and don't give up hope on the best happening until it's certain it won't. However, at the same time, I recognize the fact that things might not turn out the way I want them to, and make peace with that possible outcome. That way I'll be okay if things don't happen the way that I hope they will, but don't accept that worst-case-scenario until I have to. That has served me well in this situation. Every month I hold out hope that we might have conceived, but make peace with the fact that it may not happen as soon as we'd like. I expect that we'll conceive at some point, but accept that it may take a while. If it happens sooner, I'll be thrilled; if it happens later, I'll be prepared. Julia doesn't see things this way. She openly embraces her emotions and feels more intensely than I do (like I said, I'm more guarded), and that's one of the things I love about her. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, I can see how it tears her apart.

I don't know what to say or do to help her through this. I honestly feel that hope isn't lost. I truly believe that it will happen, and actually think we're not even at a panic point yet. I wish we could just erase the first 7 months of our mistimed trying, and start count at last month since it was the first time we actually had a chance. We now know how to time it right. We have the experience and the tools that will allow us to time it right from here on out. Yes, we have some things working against us (it's possible that Julia only ovulates every other cycle, and it's possible that my sperm count is slightly below normal), which makes me feel even more that being 0-for-1 isn't a sign that we'll never make it. It may take time, but we'll get there. Unfortunately patience isn't either one of our strong suits (especially when it's something that we want so badly). I just wish I could help Julia feel impatient instead of hopeless. I'm used to working off logic first, then emotion second (thanks law school), and I think looking at the facts first, logic says we don't have to worry yet. Julia works off emotion first, and emotionally it feels like - after trying and hoping for so long - it's never going to happen.

The worst part is that I have to see Jules going through this while I don't feel so hopeless, and there's nothing I can do about it. I wish I could get her to see things the way I do and not give up hope. At the very least I wish I could trade spots with her and let her feel hopeful and I'd take the disappointment and hopelessness. In some ways, that's harder to deal with than the fact that we haven't been able to conceive (yet) in the first place.


  1. what you wrote sounds much like the way my husband feels. I don't know what is worse sometimes, the way I feel or that fact that he has to watch me suffer and can't fix it. We just hold out hope that it will all work out in the end and this will only make us stronger.

  2. I know I've said this, or maybe I haven't... but you are much more articulate than you give yourself credit for.

    This post really helped me understand you better, and I know there are guys out there who feel the same way.

    I love you lots.