Prior to heading off on our honeymoon to Morocco Mark and I did a lot of research, not only on places to stay, to eat, to visit, but also the culture. One of the things we learned was the term “Insha’Allah” – an Arabic phrase meaning “if God wills” that is intended to be used after any proclamation of what is to happen in the future – even something as routine as discussing tomorrow’s weather. I was instantly taken with this idea. I’m not a conventionally religious person, but I do have a real feeling that there are higher powers – other wills at work in our lives besides our own. Saying “Insha’Allah” to me is a really graceful way of reminding myself that as strong as my will for a certain outcome may be, I’m never in complete control. I find that idea both humbling and also freeing.
Fertility issues are certainly an instance in which one is forced to recognize that control is not yours alone. As girls we grow up thinking we could get pregnant at any second, like our uteruses are ticking time bombs – and when we’re ready to have kids we think the only thing we need to make that happen is our decision to do so. And for some that is the case, but unfortunately not for all. Some fight quite a battle with biology and the fertility process, never to win in the conventional way – and some come out the other end with a truckload of heartbreak soon healed by a child that though not biologically their own they can appreciate much more than someone who didn’t have to think twice before they got pregnant. And well, some just give up because all the dead ends, powerlessness and pain is too all encompassing.
As most of you know Mark and I aren’t the most fertile people on the planet. It took us seven months of trying to get pregnant with Noah, and we’ve been trying to get pregnant with a second since he was 9 months old. After a year of trying we met with my OB who proclaimed us not infertile but “subfertile” – obviously we could get pregnant but for us it was more like gambling against the house. We saw a fertility specialist in September who noted that with Mark’s slightly less than perfect sperm count and my luteal phase defect (natural - not just from nursing) that we definitely had an uphill battle. She recommended I start on estrogen or Clomid – and possibly artificial insemination. Of course I was still nursing Noah once a day and therefore couldn’t start taking hormones so at that time we decided to keep giving it the old fashioned college try through the end of 2006 and think about starting hormone treatment in January. To some our consideration of aiding nature may have seemed extreme, but after a year plus of monthly disappointment and crying jags, it didn’t seem at all extreme – just scary.
On Thanksgiving morning I found out we had another thing we could be truly thankful for – I was four weeks pregnant. After sixteen months of trying and an alternate course planned, we could barely believe it was possible we had finally gotten lucky from just gettin’ lucky. So I’m overjoyed to announce that as of today I am twelve weeks pregnant – and we are due to have a second child on or around August 1st, Insha’Allah.
And now I’ve stopped worrying about getting pregnant and started worrying about staying pregnant, having a healthy child, and juggling the physical and emotional needs of two. Stay tuned for all that noise.