Even once we had Atticus, we never really got off the infertility roller coaster. In fact, we started trying for Baby #2 before Baby #1 even made it home from the hospital. Since Atti took eight years to conceive, we knew that time was not on our side. Oh how I laughed and laughed when the discharge nurse gave me a contraception lecture. Yeah, not really an issue, thanks though.
Over all those years I’ve done all the charting and graphs and measuring of mucus viscosity and waving burning sage over my womb, but right now the easiest thing for me to do is use one of those ridiculously expensive ovulation predictor kits. The kit cost me about $80 used off of ebay, and that’s at a discounted price to get over the mental ickiness of knowing someone else’s pee was inside a plastic wand that touched the inside of this contraption. But after eight years, you’ll deal with the ickiness and the cost just for a measure of convenience.
The predictor measures your hormone levels on a scale of 1 to 3, and on Monday it declared that this was the big night, complete with a little LCD picture of an empty womb with a little egg floating inside and a big fat flashing ‘3′. The big night does not come around every month, so this was a red letter day.
As luck would have it, Bear and I got in a **HUGE** fight on Monday. He’s a big muckety muck at work, work that is very important and has been steadily encroaching upon our family time for years now, I took umbrage to how it had been encroaching, blah blah blah, same fight couples around the world have been having since the first caveman wanted to go back out for another try at the mastodon while cavewoman whined about how she never gets to leave the cave anymore.
The problem with this is that we do not have one of those feisty marriages where people have a little fight and then enjoy the making up. We have a ridiculously sappy shmoopy woopy marriage. So when the blue moon shows up and we actually get cranky with each other, it takes us time to mope around and feel our feelings before we’re ready to come back for more ridiculous sap.
To make it through eight years of charts and graphs and doctors and the big fat ultrasound wand, you have to do all you can to protect your relationship from clinical insensitivity. It’s all too easy to wake up one morning and realize that you can’t remember when it happened but somewhere along the way your loving act of intimacy morphed into a medical procedure no more remarkable than a throat culture. It takes a careful balance to get the timing of optimal conception lined up with all the warm loving feelings that are supposed to be there. So on Monday, after the fight, when I discover that The Big Night was upon us, I called Bear and told him, “I don’t really know what to do. I’m a three.”
He didn’t have a ready response, being sensitive to my feelings and letting me make the call, so we dropped the subject and went on about our day. I brought it up a couple more times throughout the night. “What do you think Bear? I’m a three.” “I don’t really know what we should do, I’m a three.”
Finally he put his hand on my face, looked me in the eyes with all his earnest devotion and said, “I know I can’t get you back down to a zero tonight, but I’m hoping you can at least get down to a two.”
Wait, what? “What do you think I’m talking about?” “A three means you’re really mad, right? I wasn’t really familiar with the scale, but I figured it must be really bad if you assigned a number to it.”