I have been trying to conceive after loss (TTCAL) for YEARS.
Not constantly, mind you. There was a breather when we actually got pregnant with our son, and the year or so after he was born when we were focused on living with a new baby and not on having another one.
But except for those two years, the world of TTCAL has been our world since 2009, when our daughter Naomi died and one of my early questions was, “When can we try again?”
It’s a lonely world, because everyone seems to have advice, but no one really gets what you are going through. Half the time, you don’t even get it because the emotions that go with TTCAL are all over the place. At least, that is how it has been for me.
So what does TTCAL look like? Here is a glimpse into my life.
It looks like a bottle of progesterone in the bathroom, to sustain a life that might be conceived, just in case.
It looks like a calendar with appointments written down, not prenatal, but pre-pregnancy, in the hope that this one will make the difference.
It looks like a box of ovulation tests, so you know when you might be able to conceive.
It looks like a thermometer sitting on the bedside table, and an app on the phone to record all of the parts of your cycle from month to month.
It looks like a box of pregnancy tests, because you have to take one every month whether you think you are pregnant or not, so you can stop taking any other meds and bring on your next cycle.
It looks like shaking hands when you take the pregnancy test, because no matter what it says, you will be a ball of nerves, either crying that you aren’t having a baby, or filled with anxiety because we all know that getting pregnant is just the first step in a marathon and staying pregnant is, mostly, so far out of our control.
It looks like another negative pregnancy test in the garbage can.
It looks like boxes of clothes your living children have outgrown that your brain says should be donated, but your heart says, “What if?” so you put them in your attic instead.
It looks like a birthday on the calendar, reminding you that you are another year away from when your other baby lived, and another year older, and that matters when you want to have another baby.
It looks like a daughter wishing out loud that she had a sister and you grieving, again, that she almost did, if only, and that even if you do conceive again, that close-in-age sibling relationship will never be.
It looks like a small baby outfit hidden in the back of your closet, just in case.
It looks like two identical pregnancy journals on your bookshelf, one for your baby in Heaven, and one for the baby you still hope to have.
It looks like bins of maternity clothes in the attic, just in case.
It looks like hope, and fear, and frustration, and anger, and hope again because when this is part of your journey, you embrace it with courage, just like you have since this journey began.
It looks like love.
What does TTCAL look like in your home?