I guess I never imagined that the act of procreating another human being could be so difficult. Well, the act itself hasn’t been difficult, rather the actual meeting of the sperm and egg. After all, my mom and my high school health teacher scared me into thinking getting pregnant could happen from a handshake.
So, for years you avoid getting pregnant at the “wrong” time, dutifully taking birth control pills at the same time every day. Checking off all the things you want to do as a couple before having children.
Jack Bauer and I really wanted to enjoy being married for a while before starting a family. We loved to travel all around the world and worked long and hard at our jobs. He got his MBA; I trained for marathons. We even lived abroad for a year (not that these things can’t be done with children, they’re just a little easier without). We had planned everything out pretty specifically. New Zealand trip – check; promotion - check; buy a house – check; save a little bit of a nest egg so that we could have a nest for our eggs – check.
And like so many other couples, when we decided the time was right, it really didn’t occur to us that we would have challenges. After all, all of the women on both sides of my family, including my sister, pretty much got pregnant by looking at their husbands sideways, so I didn’t think anything of it. In fact, my mom was so hyperfertile that she got pregnant with my sister with an IUD in place and my mother-in-law got pregnant with my husband in a similar manner. I just thought JB and I could decide that one day we’d snap our fingers, so to speak, and the next day I’d be pregnant. But, so far, no stork has visited our house.
It just seems so ironic that something you have tried to avoid for so long could actually be completely avoided. We haven’t used birth control in five years and it’s made no difference whatsoever.
One night JB and I were watching TV after one of our many failed artificial attempts to conceive. He seemed to have an epiphany, looking up from his BusinessWeek saying, “You mean we never had to use a condom.” No idea what prompted that thought in his head, but I thought that one moment summed up a lot of this crazy journey.