Before I got pregnant in 2007, my cycles were up to 2 years apart and there was no rhyme or reason to them. They were heavy but they might last 2 days or 10 days. There weren't symptoms or changes in CM that led me to believe my period was on its way. Nothing.
Life today is SO different. In some ways, it is nice... feeling like a "real" woman with natural menstrual cycles. In other ways, it is crazy. Like I'm trying to learn what's going on, like a teenager (or preteen as it may be in today's world).
After Bobby and Maya were born, I waited but didnt expect a cycle. By the time I went in for my annual in February, no period had made an appearance and Dr B wrote me a prescription for Provera, with instructions to take pills for ten days every three months, in order to have quarterly periods. So, March 1-10, I took my pills and, magically, my period started 2 days later. Since then, I have had a monthly cycle, ranging in 21 to 35 days and averaging about 31 days. Pretty normal. (all this without any additional Provera). I have cramps. I have PMS (poor Peter). I have cervical mucus- that changes throughout the cycle. It's insane. It's normal.
And then, there is a little bit of sorrow too. We dont practice NFP or any type of birth control. We have sex when the mood strikes (sorry Mom!) or when we arent falling over from tiredness, and dont really plan around "fertile" times. And, when I figure things out afterwards, it's clear that we've been intimate during some fertile windows. And, as you can assume, I'm not pregnant.
Even with normal cycles and even when I "feel" ovulation, it seems that my "hostile mucus" impedes the normal routes of family building. And that kind of makes me sad; and it really pisses me off.
Now, lest anyone think I'm nuts, I'm not jonesing to be pregnant. I mean, I'd be thrilled. But it's a rollercoaster that I cannot even imagine being on with young children. I cant even imagine the whole cerclage-PTL-NICU rollercoaster with older children. But I'd be lying if I said that my heart would love to be pregnant again... would love to feel those kicks... would love to imagine things like Bradley classes and VBACs and breastfeeding... would love to try and pretend life could be normal. My mind even says things like "If you got pregnant without ovulation induction, you'd probably only ovulate one egg and have one baby and MAYBE you wouldnt need bedrest and MAYBE the cerclage would hold until you were full term and MAYBE you could do a VBAC with no drugs and MAYBE you wouldnt even have to step foot near the NICU." It's funny... Hope and warm fuzzies slip in, even when you realize that, realistically, pregnancy wouldnt be a funtime. And that loss is always possible.
It's a little sad, isn't it? How miscarriage and PTL and losing babies changes you and your entire view? How you cant even imagine getting pregnant without realizing, with great hope comes the greatest of risks? How you know that each ultrasound would be full of fear? Is there a heartbeat? Is my cervix short? Am I dilating?
And yet... It's the hope. It makes you think "This time could be different..."
I'm 30 years old. Young in the grand scheme of things, aging older in terms of my fertility. While I have no designs on returning to Dr. Lee tomorrow, I realize that if we thought of trying again when I was older, we'd be running the risk of simple ovulation induction (even if we pared it with IUI) wouldn't work. And I can't imagine the heartache of hearing that word "negative" on the other end of the phone again. I dont want that. I dont want to cry because I'm not pregnant. I dont want to worry about Beta numbers rising and doubling and how long it took for this and will there be a heartbeat. I dont wont to worry about premature dilation and hospital bedrest and preterm labor.
And yet... I'd love to have more children. I'd love for Bobby and Maya to be a big brother and big sister. I'd love to have a house full of children running around to love and watch grow. And, while I believe that to be possible through the joy that adoption is, I'll be honest in saying that I would so love to feel life within my womb again. And, I think the knowledge that that probably isn't meant to be without some serious Divine intervention, hurts my heart a little.
I'm grateful for the pregnancies I've had and the lives that I can call my children; I dont want to risk losing another child. But it weighs on you... It haunts you. That "what if"... That "what IF".
Why is this coming to mind so much recently? I think some of it has to do with taking the crib down with our impending move and knowing that it will go in storage and not be put back up. Some of it has to do with getting rid of baby stuff. And some of it has to do with us planning a visit to Dr Lee in early November, just to say hi and visit with the staff again (which we do when there aren't patients expected because I remember those feelings and that pain and wouldn't want to inflict that on someone else).
I accept that.
And, in some ways, it one of the things I have to move on from.