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To tell you the truth, I would have been happy to return home pregnant with a honeymoon baby. I was ready. But we waited to begin trying for a few months, thinking somehow that it was going to be possible to “schedule” my pregnancy so that I wouldn’t miss part of my teaching year by giving birth during the summer.
When we did begin trying, I think I felt surprised when it didn’t work the very first month. I mean, we were young, healthy, and ready to begin a new chapter. So you can imagine my surprise when many more months came and went with no sign of success. I began reading and researching, trying to figure out what we were doing “wrong.” I began charting my cycles, buying tests from the dollar store, and feeling more concerned as time passed. After we’d been trying for over a year, we made an appointment to speak with a doctor.
The first step was testing my husband, since it was deemed the easiest procedure. He was happy to know that it wasn’t an issue with him, but it stung me to think that his normal results meant that I was likely the issue. I felt a responsibility for the failures of the last months, despite my inability to control what was happening.
When my turn arrived, we went through several tests, including an HSG, which stands for Hysterosalpingogram. It involves injecting dye into the uterus, then using x-rays to determine if there are any blockages visible. Each test showed no issues. It was encouraging and heartbreaking at the same time. If there was nothing wrong, why wasn’t I pregnant yet?
After a few more months of tests and trying, the doctor finally informed me that the diagnosis would be unexplained infertility. I wasn’t sure how to feel – relieved to have a diagnosis or discouraged that we still didn’t know what was wrong. We discussed possible options, including using Clomid to stimulate ovulation. I ended up heading home with a prescription and what I assumed was another period on the way.
I was due to start my period that Sunday, Father’s Day. I woke in the morning thinking about our future and wondering what it would hold. After a few hours working around the house, I went into the bathroom to clean up. I looked at the pregnancy test sitting on the counter, the last of a batch from the dollar store. I figured that I’d gone through part of the day without starting my period – what would it hurt? I continued to clean as I waited for the results to display. Then I stared at the test. Was that a faint line? How old was this test? Was it defective? Maybe it was the angle? I stood there, desperate, feeling a surge of hope but not convinced by the faint shadow that may or may not have been a second line.
As any normal person would do, I ran to my car and headed straight for the digital tests at the local big box store. I paid for my test, and then began walking back to my car, feeling shaky and nervous. I was partway out the door when I looked over at the sign for the restrooms. Next thing you know, I’m standing in a stall, eyes closed, counting in my head before I look down at the stick. I opened my eyes.
Now, I have no idea what any of the other shoppers might have thought about the crazy woman sobbing and jumping up and down in the bathroom stall, because I was too happy to notice. I ran out of the bathroom, straight to the greeting card aisle, where I purchased my husband his very first Father’s Day card. Nine months later, we welcomed our daughter, Annabella. She was unquestionably worth every moment I had to wait.