The first year of trying, I only told a few people we were on the trying to conceive bandwagon. For the most part, we silently endured month after month of disappointment alone. Eight months after our wedding and six months after having my IUD removed, we went on our honeymoon. The week I was ovulating, we had sex Every. Single. Day. Sometimes twice a day. I was sure that we were pregnant. How could we not be? We returned home and waited for the positive pregnancy test.
One evening, we went to talk to my husband’s grandma. She couldn’t wait to hear about our trip. She had known that my husband had always wanted to go to Ireland and was thrilled he finally made it. She was alert, excited, and peppering us with questions about our adventure. I had not seen her in such good spirits in a very long time.
The next day, we received word that his grandma was found unresponsive, and she was taken to the hospital. Two days later, she passed peacefully with two of her sons by her side, shortly after we went home for the evening. My husband and her were very close – he was her favorite grandchild. I enjoyed visiting with her and hearing her stories from her youth. Upon graduating high school, her father told her to stay home to learn how to take care of a home before being married off. She didn’t do that. She got a job with the railroad, went to school, and traveled. She loved it! She married in her mid-twenties, she referred to herself as a spinster, that made me chuckle since I didn’t marry till I was 30. I could look at her old pictures and hear her stories over and over again. She was simply an amazing and strong woman.
When my mother was four months pregnant with me, my grandfather passed way. I grew up hearing all these stories about him, how I looked like him, and how I had several of his qualities. I always thought that when he passed, part of his soul entered me inside the womb. I developed this childhood belief that when someone passed, their soul entered a fetus. It helped me cope with never meeting my grandfather. It allowed him to always be a part of me. When my husband’s grandmother passed, I felt that I had to be pregnant, and that part of her soul had entered our child. Even as an adult, I still held onto that basic childhood coping mechanism.
A few days later, we were going to have a family dinner to honor his grandmother at a local restaurant. Following the dinner, I was going to get on a plane to go to L.A. for two weeks for work. As with most people trying to conceive, I had been peeing on pregnancy sticks for days. They are not cheap, so I had bought a bulk supply of cheap ones online which dropped the price down to 10 cents apiece. Pee away! Granted, I figured they were not as good so figured that was the reason my pregnancy never registered. The morning of the dinner and my flight, my period started. That was the most devastating menstrual cycle I had ever experienced. I spent the entire day crying; I was inconsolable.
It doesn’t end there. I have to finish packing and slap on a happy-ish face for dinner. It is a grieving dinner, so I don’t have to be super chipper. Part way through dinner, my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law asks me if we are going to have children. My nieces would love a cousin. This is not the first time she has asked me. This is not the first time that anyone has asked me. No one has ever asked my husband; it is always me. Even his co-workers ask me, not him.
My husband looked at me from across the table with a look that said, do whatever you need to do. Cry. Fly into an uncontrollable rage. Whatever. You have my blessing and I’ll stand by your crazy-ass side. I was leaning toward uncontrollable rage followed by tears. Luckily, I had my big girl panties on and been practicing for months an appropriate response to these inappropriate questions. I said “Nope, we have dogs, geese, and ducks. We are good.”
We are good.
What a fucking lie.