Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tryin' Times

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about my training plan.

And if it includes making the baby.

I hesitate to say anything about this for two reasons. One, I don’t want to jinx myself. It’s basically a damn miracle that pregnancy happens in the first place and I fear if I talk about it too loudly I will scare the eggs right back into my ovaries and I’ll never get anywhere. Two, I feel like once you tell people you are trying to get pregnant you become dead. Know what I mean? It’s like they swear you off from being able to do anything fun, active, productive, risky or caffeinated because you’re trying to make the baby.

Listen people, I am very much still alive. And always will be! Here’s the deal – I’m not not trying to make the baby. Does that make sense? And understand there is a huge difference between trying to make the baby and actually being pregnant with the baby. Huge. Like – an entire embryo, zygote...fetus? Wait, what is the difference? And while you're answering that, tell me do I have two ovaries or one? Where is my uterus and is it the same thing as a cervix? The more I think about it, the less I know but I do know this: it could be 2 months of trying. It could be 2 years. It could be never.

And if it is never, I’m ok with that. It just means there’s a different plan for me.

I decided that I cannot change who I am and what I’m doing for a bunch of what-ifs. I told myself I would keep living life as normal and keeping doing what I love to do – because it makes no sense to do anything else. It’s not like you can put extra effort into getting pregnant to make it more likely to happen. There is pretty much one day a month where you can get pregnant and a small window of 12 to 24 hours within that day. If I shut myself down so I can get pregnant what the hell am I supposed to do with the other 29 days in the month? Sit in a menstruation hut with an Ouija board and a rosary hoping for the best?

(depends on how nice of a hut we're talking about)

I spent a lot of time thinking about this. Chances are if you are a woman in your 30s you’ve thought about this too. I’ve spent 34 years of my life doing as I please when I please. I like that. Not only that but I have survived the scorn of a thousand angry people who already have kids or want me to have kids at times on a daily basis. Being alive in your 30s without a child truly puzzles some people. What is the point of your life – you can see the look across their face. I don’t know. What is the point of anyone’s life? I just like to be alive and live. I actually quite enjoy myself and what I do with my time. Up until this point I haven’t really felt like kids would make it any better.

When I told a friend I was not-not trying she had a full blown tantrum in my kitchen which included an exchange like this:

“What? No. LIZ? NO!!! You can’t. But……you can’t give in. LIZ! NO!”

It’s safe to say I don’t need to invite her to the baby shower.

But I get it. She and I are part of that underground “30something and Childless Club”. Collectively we’ve endured thousands questions of why, when and what is wrong with you. But it seems that the longer I put it off and keep waiting the older I get. Crap. Can’t we just stop time when we’re finally having a good time? I could have accelerated my way through high school and even post-college to bank up a little more time in the 30s. Finally I’m in my 30s, doing things I like and liking myself. I’d like to ride this out a little longer. But alas I can’t. Or I shouldn’t. Because if you get pregnant after age 35 did you know that you’ll have a geriatric pregnancy?

And how awful is that? Would it kill them to come up with a gentler term like ..mature, advanced, could possibly qualify for the AARP discount pregnancy?

When I decided I might not not try I started reading. How do you make the baby. Listen, they put directions on the box for how to toast a pop tart. I’m not leaving anything to chance. And there’s nothing wrong with being overprepared. You may think you know how to make the baby and then you pick up that book What To Expect When You’re Expecting even though you’re not expecting and let me tell you something – there are things you don’t know! We spend our entire lives as teenagers, young women and finally adults fearing pregnancy. The truth is….come a little closer….put ear muffs on your teenaged daughter…IT’S NOT THAT EASY. All that stuff about you could get pregnant just by looking at a penis? BULLSHIT. Not in a hot tub either. It’s like some divine meeting of the right sperm and the right egg in the right place at the right time. There are so many things that could go wrong along the way that it’s a miracle any one is born at all. I found myself thinking: how do people get this to happen unexpectedly?

Furthermore, as a woman who (and I’ve said this before) cannot scare away her friend if I started chasing it with a flaming stick – I feel entitled to speak my mind on this: are there really women out there that don’t know when they are ovulating? …When did you draw the lucky card? And…where was I? May I also have your name so the next time I see you I beat your ovaries silly with a hammer so you get what I’ve been so blessed to be feeling once a month for the past 22 years?

Blessing or curse, I probably should have constructed myself a menstruation hut years ago. And according to my husband, lived in it permanently.

If you’re also not-not trying to make a baby, let me give you a few words of advice. Don’t tell anyone. Because nothing good will come of it. You realize that people have all sorts of advice that they are willing to throw your way like it or not. Have fun! Relax! Don’t think about it! Let it happen naturally! And, my favorite so far, courtesy of my mom:



I can see how people go crazy trying to do this. It’s like your life suddenly hangs in limbo. Someone asked me if I had race plans for 2010. I do. I don’t. I don’t know. Should I? You know how it is. Sign up for races is now! But what if I can't? What if I can? When will I know!?!? So I started going crazy trying to figure out who I was and what I was trying to do when I finally just realized – I am still who I am. That may or may not change in the next few years but I’ve got to keep on being me. Me is a busy, active, fit, overcaffeinated person. And that shouldn’t change.


So, I’m not going to go all psycho about it and start visiting a bunch of hocus pocus doctors. No. I am not going to pray nightly on a carpet square to a carton of (jumbo organic) eggs. No. I’m not going to cut out all physical activity to sit on my couch waiting to be impregnated. No. I will let things be. Because if they’re meant to be, they shall be.

And now I will return to my hut with my books trying to just locate my ovaries. Or ovary. Hey, I do know I have two boobs. Give me some credit here.


Kim said...

Why is it that you read my mind sometimes! I think about all these same things.. not that I'm even close to not not trying. You just can't help it though as you see the big "ENTER HERE" sign to the 30's. Hey..wait a minute, just yesterday I was in my 20's and everything was fine.. now I better be moving on to the next phase or I don't know.. shrivel up?! I'm going to milk it for a few more years... more races and more life. If and when I'm ready to not not're my I expect you to take notes. Thanks for the post.. made me smile!

Pedergraham said...

Great one!

Stef said...

It's a little weird for me to read this because I've never really had anyone look askance at me for not having kids.

Glenn and I decided before getting married that we didn't want kids. Most of our friends either don't have them or the kids are grown. And my parents, bless their hearts never pressured me.

I like your attitude. Once upon a time I had a friend who felt she would "die" if she didn't have kids. She got pregnant "accidentally" with a guy she barely knew. To me doing THAT is weird.

Greyt Times said...

I, a member of the 30something and Childless Club, plan to remain a member until I no longer qualify as 30something, then category up into the "Too Old to Have a Baby Club". At which point, people will just "understand" because I'm "too old, and that'd be weird", and will no longer wonder what's wrong with me.

Jennifer Harrison said...

you only need one ovary.

I have NEVER felt myself ovulate.
SHit,I don't think I did EVER w/o help....
And, you know my feelings on all of will happen when it does...and there are always minor things you have to do - like um, have sex...but otherwise, ENJOY being you and things will take care of itself.

Or get impatient like me and see an expert...and gasp, have multiples.

haha :)

D said...

I already get the, "You don't want kids? Oh, you'll change your mind" crap. I just can't wait to hear what it will be like in my mid to late-30's. Assholes.

Angela and David Kidd said...

I've had problems with my period my entire life so the doctor thought there was a chance it might not happen or it might take forever. Fortunately one dose of clomid and I was knocked up so I was spared a lot of the painful trying and waiting but I had always told myself I would be fine if we didn't have kids, and I still believe that. I love Zach like crazy and he's changed my life, but I loved my life before Zach and was happy then as well. I don't think kids make your life better (or worse). They just change it. And the grass is always greener. Sometimes I am so jealous of my friends who don't have to juggle life with a kid. So either way, preggo or not, as long as you are happy, you doing the right thing.

Kristi said...

Great post. At my advanced 30-something age, I'm pretty sure I either never had a biological clock or else it was permanently broken. Something. Now people just often just assume I have kids. Once I correct folks, I often get something like "don't you want kids". I've considered bursting into tears and sobbing something about not being able to have kids just to get people to shut up, but haven't managed that one just yet. :)

IronMatron said...

ovulation predictor kit. you may think you know, but you may not... the cramping is after--not prime time.
And it is as easy as looking at a penis--or it can be. Two of my three kids were not planned--preggers on day 8 of my cycle on number 1 (those little suckers can live for like DAYS inside you. Who knew?), preggers when nursing and no period for number 3 (okay, I admit I was stupid there).
I had a geriatric pregnancy. It's not so bad... :)Just a few more ultrasounds and shit like that.

Keith said...

Hmmm. Childless, long past age of having children. We never got pressured, or really got any flack about it. At least I didn't. But the male perspective here. You'd think our end of it is great. But when pregnancy is actually desired, wanted, DEMANDED (which it is not in your case, at least not yet) it puts a whole new strain on things.

A buddy of mine was told after several months of sort of trying, that they needed to up the frequency to increase the odds. She interpreted that as twice a day, minimum. That didn't work, so they got all pro, with thermometers and I don't know what else all. That was worse. He'd get phone calls at work. Come home. Now.

They ended up having a kid, and he always wondered if it was his. They divorced.

Good luck, I hope it turns out however you best want it to turn out. Stay strong. A childless (or child free) life has it's advantages.

Sara said...

I hate the "when are you going to quit triathlons and have a baby" question - and I'm only 28! Glad to see it's not just me.

My mother also had lots of advice on how to get pregnant - GET DRUNK was at the top of her list too.

Molly said...

Apparently another option is to just have so many dogs that people assume you (a) aren't having kids or (b) can't handle kids because of how much work it is to handle your dogs. Either way, we seem to be generally left alone these days.

Wes said...

Freakin yay! :-) I'm right there with ya though. Getting pregnant should be a natural part of yours and Chris' life. If it happens, it happens. If not, keep tri-ing!!

IAN said...

This was hilarious. Even though not female, I am 100% with you. I feel like when people say they are "trying" they say it in a way that turns the activity into a task. To me, that would just take all the fun out of it. Okay maybe not all, but some.

Beth said...

Love this post. I honestly don't get a lot of outside pressure but I think internally I put the pressure on myself. I'm a huge planner so as I am planning out my tri season for 2011 I start to wonder...oh wait...what about kids?? ;) I'm already 30... I like your plan of not-not trying. I've had so many friends that STOP their lives and live in limbo until they get pregnant and then are just heartbroken when they can't. I think that's what scares me the most - losing so much of your life to something that might not happen? I don't know. But at least it's comforting to know that other people feel the same way! Have fun not-not trying!! :)

Andrea said...

You know, because you've posted this, you've just jinxed yourself.

You're going to wake up pregnant tomorrow.

Charisa said...

Haha - I think everyone can relate to this. Very well said! Keep having fun :)

Train-This said...

While I have been pregnant several times and only been fortunate enough to have one beautiful perfect baby...... the percentage of times I got knocked up while training for the Ironman (and I am one of those who doens't know when she ovulates) 90 percent of the time.

Sign up for an Ironman. You will be with child tomorrow.

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh Liz you just wrote everything that is going on in my head ;-) I had no idea that there is such a small window to make a baby, I could have saved so much $$ in BC over the past 17 years (yes, I'm a ho). And then you do it and have to wait a few weeks to figure out if you're knocked up? Torture for impatient people.

Oh, have you discovered "What to Expect Before You're Expecting"? Seriously, that book exists.

It would be so much nicer just to get preggers now so that the planning for next year can begin. Is that too much to ask for?

Good luck in all the not-not trying!! I'm guessing your hubby is enjoying it ;-)

p.s. sorry for the book-length comment...this is a hot topic for me but I can't write about it on my blog since work reads it.

Jenny Garrison said...

I was there! Haha!!! Love this. I will never tell anyone now if I want anymore kids. I always so no and keep to myself. Everyone has an opinion or advice. I have to admit as a triathlete, I was super organized about this stuff (a little nutty if you ask Bill). I knew when and where, if you know what I mean! Let me know if you ever want to meet for coffee it would be a fun conversation:)

Laura said...

According to my mom who was a childbirth educator, it is called 'Advanced Maternal Age'.

My aunt who had her first child at 33, 21 years ago, remembers a nurse wanting to see the 'old lady who just had a baby'. She had her second one at 35. Now, I have a 38 y.o. friend who is pregnant with her first child and the only difference she sees is a bunch of extra ultrasounds and really cool 4D ones no extra charge!


Great post, as usual. I was 38 and 42 when we had our kids. We were having fun, and just didn't worry about it. Now, most of our friends kids are in college and getting married, and I am definitely one of my kids' friends' oldest moms, but I really don't feel/act my age. Enjoy all the times of your life. Things definitely change, but that does not mean for the worse. Have fun not-not trying!

ADC said...

Uh Liz, spot on. Maybe I will print this one out and carry it with me so when people ask questions I can give them some good read.

Amy Beth Kloner said...

I can't stop laughing.

You can still invite me to the baby shower, although I may sit in protest as you play all those silly little games.

This is some funny shit. Unfortunately it's all too real!!

HOLD OUT!! hehehehe....

Alili said...

Simply awesome.

We were not-not trying for a long time and figured it just wasn't meant to be. I peed on that darn stick the day my period was 15 minutes late...3 days later I found out I had a lottery slot to the Nike Women's Marathon in SF.

7 weeks from now if this baby isn't out you'll find me doing jumping jacks until he falls out. :)

meredith said...

lizzy, you and i can join pregnancy AARP. oh, "like stand on your head for like 20 minutes after, and like carro root and like um"...whatev. you know i cancelled my 2010 antarctica marathon that i signed up for 3 years ago cause i KNEW i'd be preggo by then. again, whatev. don't change anything until you have the head hangin out of you whooha.

Smithposts said...

Oh my, to birth or not to one who has popped out on the other side of the baby years without one, I somehow managed to fill up the time and had a great time doing so. Either way, your life will be full and wonderful!

TriGirl Kate O said...

I looked at a penis when I was 16 and look at me now--I have a 25yr old son. Ooops.

I agree with your mom on the getting drunk thing--that's how I got Maddy!

Katie said...

Good for you Liz. Keep being you and doing what you love - that's what I did and I got pregnant while training for an Ironman (due in 2 mos). If it's meant to be, it'll happen, and stressing about it won't make you more fertile anyway. :)