When I was in college, the night felt magical. I would sit on the balcony and smoke cigarette after cigarette, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone, but either way it was my favorite time to be alive. Anything could happen and, usually, anything did. I remember staying up all night talking to good friends and returning home long after dawn, sneaking in just before my mother arose to avoid her disapproving stares.
I’ve long since quit smoking and no longer have the stamina to stay up and watch the sunrise. I do well to make it to midnight, unless a good book has my attention, of course — then I might make it to one or two. However, this week, my husband started working the mid shift, which is midnight to seven a.m. He leaves the house just before I make my way to bed and returns home just as I’m waking up. We sit in the living room and talk while I have coffee and he eats dinner, then he crashes for the day. I sit in the living room, worried about disturbing his sleep. I thought about adjusting to his new schedule to make it seem more normal, but that was a short-lived idea.
The only upside to this is that I get our giant bed all to myself.
Fair warning, this contains some info that is considered TMI to most. Unfortunately, the infertile don’t have the luxury of not knowing about things such as cervical mucus.
I don’t know when having a baby became important to me. I can’t remember anything that triggered my biological clock; I just know that for the past four years there have been very few things that have held my attention like my futile attempts to become pregnant. It started in 2010 when, upon the realization that my husband was going to miss six months of the following year, we decided I would go off my birth control pills and attempt to have a baby. I laugh now at how naive I was. After three months, I still hadn’t had period. My doctor refused to see me until it had been six months. After six months, he proclaimed that it was a combined result of being on birth control for 9 years and my weight. He advised me to lose weight and come back when it had been a year. After a year, he finally did blood work and diagnosed me with hypothyroidism. It took six months to get my levels within normal range. Six months later, I still hadn’t had a period. My doctor insisted I just needed to lose weight. After two years without a period, I switched doctors.
My new doctor ran multiple blood tests after my first appointment. She was concerned with my hormone levels and sent me to an endocrinologist for follow up testing. He diagnosed me with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) within fifteen minutes of talking to me. I’ve now been on Metformin for over a year, along with a much higher dosage of Synthroid for my hypothyroidism. My wish to have a baby has now become a temp-taking, sex-timing, medicated nightmare which inevitably ends with me crying every month when I discover blood in my cervical mucus.
That’s where I am today. Nine days past ovulation, heartbroken over blood-streaked cervical mucus, and far too cynical to let myself think it might be implantation bleeding.