It is a difficult, exhausting cycle to work through: hopes high leading up to Aunt Flow's arrival (hopefully not!), complete devastation when she does arrive, hopelessness for a week, ovulation obsession for the next week, and then the optimistic two week wait again.
The whole process is exhausting! And one thing we've learned is that it is not just the woman's emotions strapped on the roller coaster alone. Chris's hopes and dreams are buckled in too.
Chris and I process differently, but both of us want to be pregnant equally. Each month, we dare to hope for a plus sign on a pregnancy test. The reality though turns into each of us resorting to our coping mechanisms; for Chris, it's running and work. For me, it's cleaning, cooking, running, reading, tv, watching... essentially anything to pull my mind away from the reality that for yet another month, we are not pregnant.
Amazingly though, we find each other, and find our commitment to each other's needs. We are open books, even when it is painful. We hash it out. We set up the new game plan.
While the roller coaster never stops, we do find moments where we LAUGH hysterically, and consequently, love each other even more deeply.
Last month, when good old Aunt Flow arrived, it was 3 AM. I tried to quietly slip into the bathroom without waking Chris. I tried to stifle a deep, pained, devastating sigh. Walking back into our bedroom, I pulled the covers back and slid into bed. Chris pulled me close, and simply said, "It's okay. I love you immeasurably, even more than you love Christmas, and even more then you love the dog."
I cried. Then laughed. And I fell asleep thankful for the man God gave me in Chris.
I clearly can't give advice on how to get pregnant. I can though, tell you that you can't experience infertility alone. Ladies: don't alienate your spouses. Communicate your needs. You think that he should know exactly what you are feeling (even though on the damn cycle coaster, it changes daily!). Tell him what you need.
And, watch out for him too.
Chris is not always Mr. Strongman. Last week, our friends had a baby. We went to the hospital to see them. I held the baby and chatted for a while. Then, Chris was asked if he wanted to hold the baby.
I saw it in his eyes. He just couldn't do it that day. He just couldn't hold a perfect, beautiful baby--- a very visual reminder of what we do not have right now.
Usually, he puts on his armor and can make it through these types of situations. But I saw it. I saw his eyes, red and trying to hold it together.
To cover it up, I suggested that Chris shouldn't hold the baby since he had just come from work and had a million little kid germs on him. For a new and overprotective mother, that worked, and no one pressed Chris's holding the baby any further.
On the elevator down to the parking lot, he grabbed my hand and thanked me for seeing that he needed an out.
So, here's the take-away: Watch out for the tough guy. He'll watch out for you if you can remember to let him in on what's happening between your ears. Easier said than done I know, but I don't know where I'd be without Chris on this crazy ride. Who am I kidding-- probably vomiting profusely from excessive cotton candy eating.