Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Trying is So Overrated

When Marla said that trying for a baby was overrated, I got it, but couldn’t imagine how true it really is. Trying to get pregnant? Really: Not fun at all.

I know… We’ve only tried seriously for a couple of months. We have no reason (correct: almost no reason) to believe that we can’t conceive. Yet, that is the constant nagging thought in my mind. Can we? How come I’m not pregnant yet? I mean, seriously: When I was 18, my mom convinced me that getting pregnant was sooooo easy, I refused to have sex with my boyfriend until I was out of college. What a fricking waste!… I’m sure R (ex college boyfriend) would laugh his heart out if he read this (he’s a mean ex).

For whatever silly reason, I had assumed that Joey and I would score on our first try. After all, I’ve been off the pill for several years. Of course, it doesn’t help that I put pregnancy on my calendar and we’re now pushed to the deadline. So, on the first month of trying, I became ultra-sensitive to “symptoms”. I started logging every weird little thing my body felt, 65% convinced that I was maybe pregnant. At the same time, I didn’t want to believe it fully for fear of disappointment. And yet, I didn’t want to believe I wasn’t for fear of giving energy to negative thoughts. Something very unusual happened to me. Something that forced me to sit down, breathe, and think “Oh, I must be pregnant”. I didn’t want to tell Joey about it — he would laugh at me. But I couldn’t resist and ended up telling him. He looked at me with infinite tenderness. With a smile and look that said “Poor little pajarita. She thinks she’s pregnant. How CUTE!”. I hated it.

When I told my mom that we were trying to conceive and unlike our first phony attempt, this time I did want to get pregnant, she told me not to get all psyched and intense about it because that might prevent me from getting pregnant. She said she knew of many couples who had only been able to conceive after they had given up and were ready to adopt. “Be calm”, she said. Don’t think about it. Dang! Like she knew I was already going nuts about all this.

So this month I’m making a conscious effort not to notice or write down any weird symptoms. I do have them, but they’re not consistent, and I also have very logical reasons to experience them:

  • Hunger that hurts and I can’t ignore?… Well sure: It’s 2 pm. I should be hungry.
  • Upset stomach?… Must be a side effect of the cold I just got.
  • Episodes of bipolar behavior?… Stress, I’m sure.
  • Sudden disgust and inability to eat the sandwich Joey just made for me?… That turkey must be funky. I’m not vomiting, so I can’t be pregnant.
  • Hungry again? So soon?… I always get hungry when I’m bored.
  • Ah yes: My boobs feel perfectly normal. If I were pregnant, they would hurt. They would look bigger. They would look different.

So I’m not giving importance to symptoms this time… What sucks about this month is that I’ve started charting my morning temperature, and the chart looks nothing like the perfectly clean and serene BBT chart my doctor showed me. I’m a volatile stock. Temperature spikes up and I go all “Oh shit! I’m ovulating… Must have sex tonight”. And next day the temperature is down. I’m disappointed: I *should* be ovulating by now. I take three or four readings every morning because the piece-of-junk digital thermometer reads something significantly different every time. My temperature is finally up where it should be after I have ovulated, and guess what: I missed it. Of course, if the chart is right, it means that this cycle will be the longest I’ve had in 2.5 years. Obviously I was not expecting that.

Talk about stress and intensity! No wonder I’m experiencing deep emotional lows followed by frenetic highs. That’s weird though, but I don’t want to believe that I have early-pregnancy mood swings. That got me last time. Seriously: Trying is soooo overrated.


  1. On , Kim Rodriguez wrote:

    There’s a lesson in this……Many things can be perfectly programmed and planned and scheduled….Babies are not one of those things…your mom is right…I also can tell you lots of stories of people who planned their rendez-vous to the second and never conceived only to find that as soon as the intent had left them, the seed sprouted ( I am one of those babies myself!)…..You get to decide when you will stop impeding the process of conception but not when conception actually occurs…for that you have to be content to just go with the flow and be pleasantly surprised when it happens….it will…..just hush the Rodriguez über-control genes..I know it’s easier said than done…;-)

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    Finicky seeds!… and… and… Damn über-control genes!

    It’s so hard to pretend I don’t want it to happen soon: I’m old!… I’m finally ready!… I don’t want to have to wait another five years and be a granny mom.

    But I don’t wish I had started this process earlier. I had reasons for waiting this long. Valid reasons…

  3. On , mandarine wrote:

    I am sure it’s the same brain process as desperately trying to find one’s glasses or one’s keys when in a frantic hurry. You find them easily when you do not look for them. So maybe you should invent some kind of obstacle (professional or whatever) that would be a good reason not to have a baby. This would probably do the trick…

  4. On , Joey wrote:

    I really miss my hot baths too!

  5. On , Maria wrote:

    Awww… My poor little pillín misses his old routine. Just wait for when we do get that baby :)

    To Mandarine…
    He! he!… I am familiar with that old trick: I play it when I’m driving and I hit a red light. Immediately I’ll get involved on some frantic activity, like checking a map, or something… anything that I would not want to be doing while driving, and sure thing: the light turns to green right there to interrupt me.

    Just a few months ago when I was so dubious about the whole pregnancy thing I thought I would try, and if I couldn’t get pregnant, oh well… I couldn’t lose.

    Just wish I had stayed in that frame of mind. For now, I’ll have to be content with one more month of sleep, one more month of beautiful flat tummy, and one more month of revenue. Lame, I know.

  6. On , Petie wrote:

    I wish I had some sage words to give you. You’d think we were experts, but when we delved into trying I didn’t even really remember how my ovulation cycle went, despite my biology degree.

    I hesitate to tell you about this, because I do believe that it can stress you out and I have one friend who has suffered through this for over a year, but there is an ovulation monitor that will work a whole lot more efficiently then taking your temperature. You just pee on a stick every day and it tells you exactly when you are ovulating.

    Chris read in Men’s Health that the best way to get pregnant is to just have sex every other day. Easier said then done, if it takes awhile, but this is what we tried… and it worked.

    Good luck! Enjoy your beautiful tummy and note when I’m writing this comment…

  7. On , Maria wrote:

    5:16 am! Good Lord!

    Joey found that device you’re talking about when we were looking for better thermometers. I told him not to buy it. I was kind of frustrated because we have tried the “every other day” thing which is a lot of work when your cycle length varies so much. You end up trying every other day for almost 2 weeks attempting to hit ovulation: whether you’re in the mood or not. Exhausting!… And then, when you realize you’re not pregnant, it’s like “HOW? WHY?”

    The temperature game had me so frustrated early this month… It was looking like I wasn’t ovulating, which my doctor said is the case with some women. Just I never thought that could be me. I said I didn’t want the extra pressure of getting a more precise device. An evasive move, I know, but my thoughts were: Great! So if the monitor determines conclusively that I’m not ovulating they’ll give me some horrible hormones that will grow a beard on me. Super!

  8. On , Petie wrote:

    Yeah, I got the “fun” shift with tiny one last night. She was up from 3:30 am until her next feeding at 7 am. Lovely, eh? Luckily, Chris had pity on me and relieved me at 6 so I could sleep a bit before little one got up at 7am. She hits the one month milestone on Saturday and has been doing a bit better now that I cut out the breast milk. Here’s hoping for better times… although, I’m not optimistic about any additional sleep at night any time soon.

    tiny one = Elise
    little one = Joelle

    We actually bought that monitor on ebay when we started trying to get pregnant with Joelle. When it came in the mail, I was already pregnant. I was saved that torture. I do believe that it can be evil because I think it really does stress you out and gives you a false sense of “if I have sex tonight I will get pregnant.” Getting on hormones isn’t fun, but they won’t consider you for that before you try a little longer. It hasn’t been long at all! I think 50% of couples are pregnant after 6 MONTHS. Something like 80% after a YEAR. No worries… ;)

  9. On , Marla wrote:

    okay. Was SURE I was pregnant this month. Went through everything you talked about.

    Now that I’ve had my time, I’m equally sure there is NO way to tell you’re pregnant until you miss because it can all be misinterpretted. The might be’s will drive you insane!

    So just reupholster another piece of furniture until you’ve counted the days and there are too many.:)

  10. On , Maria wrote:

    Or, as mandarine suggests, I should get on some kind of project that would be completely ruined by pregnancy…. I don’t know… Maybe plan to start painting that mural I want for my office.

    Patch the whole wall, make a Feng Shui MESS so I’ll have a real urge to fix it, and then, as soon as I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on latex paint in all colors, and tons of time designing something so intricate and involved that I would only want ME executing: TA-Fricking-TA! I’ll be pregnant and shouldn’t be dealing with paint fumes.

    The things that stubborn life makes us do…

  11. On , Marla wrote:

    sounds like a plan!