“How long have you been trying?”
When you’re trying to have a baby (or when you’ve been married for more than a week), this question gets asked by every doctor, fertility questionnaire, nervous family member, and concerned friend. And my answer is a well-choreographed dance of “I’m always within the normal timeframe” and “I’m definitely not worried.”
But the truth is – there’s no graceful way to answer. And depending on how I answer, I’m either considered totally fine or totally screwed on the fertility timeline. So it’s important for me to break it down.
Are you asking how long I’ve been trying since the last miscarriage?
13 months, subtracting 4-6 months due to interruptions (vacations, recovery from miscarriage, illness, etc.). No serious illness, but God bless the women who still do the deed even if they’re ovulating during a stomach flu. More power to you, but I am not from your country.
Are you asking how long I was trying before the first miscarriage?
6 months half serious, 3 months serious with the occasional interruption. Those were simpler times.
Are you asking how long I was trying in-between the first and second miscarriage?
7 months by the date including miscarriage recovery. Miscarriage recovery is a pretty way of saying how long it takes for you to completely expel all the evidence you were ever pregnant (up to 2 weeks) and waiting 3-8 weeks to get your next period. So even though 7 months went by, about 2 of those months were spent just waiting to be on a schedule again. Oh, and suffering from crippling grief and depression.
So the answer – if anyone is still around to hear it after I’ve sufficiently freaked them out – is either “about 7 months,” or “about 3 years.”
3 years. 3 years is scary. 3 years is judgmental. 3 years sucks. 3 years will make a procedure-happy fertility doctor salivate and oh-so-gently tell you that you should’ve had your baby by now and more tests are needed and drugs should be introduced to speed you up, pump you up, help you along, or any freakish combination of the above, even though every other test has shown it’s not necessary. But go ahead and stress out about whether or not delaying using those drugs will push your delivery date further and further away from your desperate hands.
So what do you do when it’s been a year (or really 2, or maybe 3) and the cold, judgy, arrogant pregnancy tests tells you your answer is about to get that much longer?
You punch it in its stupid face. And you feel better.