Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Fertile

Cycle Day 22 
Not fertile

Those words blinked at me today. I was standing in the bathroom, sensor poised on my tongue, children clamoring and jabbering in the background. I looked down.

Was that moment, that feeling, that almost indiscernible jolt what people feel everyday when they battle infertility?

I mean, it certainly wasn't a reasonable sensation for me to feel. I'm nursing three children right now. My youngest turns 3 months old on the 5th. We're trying to avoid a pregnancy, not achieve a pregnancy. And infertility isn't my cross in this life, at least right now, unforeseen future pending.

Welcoming children into our family occurred seamlessly. We started right away with our first born. And we quickly had our result as one afternoon I heaped a pile of pickles onto my plate. DH laughed at me. We smiled at each other, knowing we were right, fully expecting our baby.

And then there was the day I woke up thinking about babies. 

"I'd like a baby," I told DH one morning.

"Really, another one?" He eyed me suspiciously.

"Yes, a baby boy. We'll name him Ian, after your father. Ian Daly." I was excited. Presumptive. Of course we could have another baby. Without a second thought or trouble or any adversity whatsoever.

We did go on to have that baby. We did name him Ian, after DH's father.

Ian's birth story:
We were even granted another baby. He entered our hearts and our lives like lightning, different from his two siblings who were so carefully expected and unsurprising in their arrival. His presence was like opening a door and finding a beautiful gift, left there for you without any strings attached. It's not your birthday, but there you have it. A gift, perfectly intended for you in every way, waiting for you to accept it. 

Ciaran's birth story:
But there was I was, today, standing in the bathroom, looking at a monitor that told me I'm not fertile. For one nanosecond, my shadow was lined up with the many other people who expect this from their bodies every day. They see the monitors and the test strips all blinking: Not fertile. They hear the doctors and the healers all saying: not fertile. They hope and pray, light candles and sing, eat special diets and drink certain herbal teas all to one day see that red line melt onto the white strip of a pee test or that cheerful smiley face that indicates, YES! You are pregnant! You are fertile!

That line I took for granted. That line I didn't even bother with for Ciaran, refusing to pee on a stick to learn something I already knew.

It was only a moment. Yet I felt a drop in my stomach, as if I had run to the edge of a cliff and looked over the edge, peering down into blackness, my mortality represented by darkness and an eternity of black. I can't take my fertility for granted anymore.

When I began this fertility journey, committed to blogging about my experience and originally wanting only to compare various charting tools for my crunchy friends, I didn't know I was starting on a journey of such stark self-awareness. The discovery of what could be and what might not be has begun.


My beginning post:

Naprotechnology uses NFP to assess and begin treatment for infertility and other female issues:

This institute is dedicated to finding answers:

50 top infertility blogs for support and understanding:


  1. This made me tear up. I struggle with this very thing every month. I've been struggling for 7 years now waiting for those double lines, waiting for the fertile lines, taking my herbs and drinking my teas, standing on my head and doing nothing short of a miracle to get my babies.
    One term baby, one half term (passed) baby and multiple miscarriages. Those words "not fertile" those empty pregnancy test strips.. each time it tears me to pieces.

    Thanks for this post <3

    1. **hugs and empathy** Hang in there...

    2. In the past when I've taken pregnancy tests I've ALWAYS been disappointed when they come out negative. I've been pregnant 3 times, only the 3rd one was successful (and boy was it! my little girl is a gem :) I've since had a couple of "scares", due to nursing and an irregular cycle, and even though I know I'm not ready for a second child, and I don't know if I even want a second child ever, the human in me, the primal matriarch, always suffers a tiny heart break to learn that I'm without child each month. No matter how rational I am, no matter how logical, there is a deep seated biological place in me that longs to be popping out kidlets left and right :) It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who feels like that. Totally avoiding, but at the same time totally wishing for a pregnnacy.

  2. I'm going through this now. I had one son easily at 19 while single. And now, married and trying, doing it the "right way"'s been al most 2 years of trying. I chart, temp, feel, take supplements, seek advice...I haven't even had a miscarriage, so, I'm not sure we can even begin to get pregnant. Sadly, sometimes I wish I could even get that far so I'd know we aren't completely broken. :(