March 2021 marks one full year since the virus brought everything to a standstill. The reminders are everywhere you look — reflections on how a person has changed since this time 365 days ago, memes about our new personal hygiene and socialization habits after months of isolation, and of course denial that the last 12 months actually happened.
I honestly wish they hadn’t. Not because of anything related to the pandemic or endless quarantine, and not because anything unrelated happened either. But because nothing has happened.
What I mean is March 2021 also marks one full year since Drew and I began trying — really trying — to start a family.
Yeah, we got married in 2019, and yeah, we took steps to not not start a family pretty much immediately, but we also gave ourselves a little slack as we settled into our new life in a new city.
We’d also planned our honeymoon for the following spring and I really wanted the option to enjoy plenty of drinks.
Since then, we have been TRYING — tracking apps, test kits and more googling than I ever thought possible. A few months into it, I went to my doctor just to check some more boxes and ask about anything else we should keep in mind. It was there she mentioned the 6-12 months considered standard: For most couples, it can take anywhere from six to 12 months to get pregnant that first time. If I got to that year mark, we’d talk about next steps.
At the time, I didn’t sweat it, especially considering we hadn’t even hit the front end of that timeframe. We went about life as normal, tackling house projects, planning outdoor adventures whenever the weather allowed, responsibly socializing with pals — all the while keeping a close eye on the calendar.
I’m not sure when all the months began blurring together, probably when Seattle’s rainy season set in. When it’s hard to tell the days apart, the weeks are no different. Especially when that fourth one rolls around and the signs make it clear this isn’t it. First you eat everything, then you cry over everything, then it’s your back and the cramps and finally the deep depression and general disinterest in doing just about anything.
All confirming those two words you’re really fucking sick of acknowledging: not pregnant.
And the extra fun thing about being a woman with a laughably regular cycle is this has now happened 15 times in the last 12 months — 15 hard nos by the time that looming one-year mark came to fruition.
Sorry if this is TMI but also not sorry because I don’t think it’s any more intimate than someone telling you they are pregnant, right? Like, we know how that happens and what doesn’t happen to tell a woman it’s happened, right? It’s all the same.
So I hit the year and had my appointment where we talked about everything that could happen next, the first and easiest of which would be Day 3 testing—getting blood drawn on the third day of my next period to make sure all my hormone levels are normal.
When my doctor talked me through it, a little tiny part of me was like, “This is what my body needed to hear to be like, ‘Nah, we don’t need that. All’s good. Here, we’ll prove it!'”
But here I am, nearly two weeks later, with a dull ache in my lower back and that sneaky discomfort that always precedes cramps, confirming I’ll probably end up going in this week to get those levels checked.
Having a next step is great, yes. I’m equal parts anxious and excited to see what we learn, but I’m also a little skeptical/not planning to learn much—my doctor mentioned things will probably come back normal, considering I am really, truly, laughably regular. So this feels more like a formality than anything.
I don’t know why I’m writing this now. Maybe it’s to set the stage for any worthwhile updates? Though I don’t know if we’ll have any, and if we do, who knows if I’d even want to share them.
Maybe it’s to issue a blanket “FYI and I’m sorry” to anyone who may not know, but has noticed the aforementioned depression or disinterest.
Or maybe it’s because for every new baby announcement I see on social, I assume there’s at least one other woman thinking and feeling the same million things I am. First and foremost, at least for me, is absolute joy for that mom and dad. I mean that sincerely. If our wait has taught me anything, it’s that every healthy pregnancy is truly a miracle. That is absolutely worth celebrating.
But somewhere in the mix of “boy or girl?” and “frick, that’s a cute name,” I think, because they’re due X month, they conceived around Y time, when we were also very much trying. I also think how, because I’m not pregnant this month, I won’t have a baby in 2021. Period.
I’m frustrated because this year has felt so long. I’m sad because we don’t know any more now than we did then. And I’m just really tired of this being literally all I think about. All the time.
That’s probably why I’m writing this — not even for other people to read, just to get it out of my brain. Maybe then I can make room for other thoughts and distract myself with other things. Maybe then it will happen.