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.