PRE-conception?! Still? The Waiting Rant

When I started this blog, I knew ZERO pregnant women. Now, I know… let me count… at least SEVEN women who have announced a pregnancy since August. One of you is having twins, so that makes EIGHT babies arriving between now and next August. To be fair, I know two of you from online only, but I followed you on Twitter because you are hilarious and adorable. You weren’t pregnant, then. At least one of you unintentionally became pregnant. Our upstairs neighbor claims to have become pregnant the “day after a miscarriage” (no, that’s not possible, I don’t know what she’s talking about or why she would share this during Nathan’s second ever conversation with her). Feelings about these pregnancies seem to range from joy to contentment to ambivalence to anger to frustration and back again. Oh, and those are just my feelings about them. I don’t pretend to know what all these pregnant ladies are feeling anymore. It seems to change on the hour.

Joy: Babies! I love babies! Especially before they want to be put down! Bring on the cuddles.

Contentment: Smart, healthy women (except the upstairs neighbor, but I’ll get to her) are having babies. With smart, healthy men. With any luck, this will result in more smart, healthy families. This is my #1 favorite method of making the world a better place. Go mamas! Go dads! Keep growing a better world!

Ambivalence: Yay, babies, but… some of you don’t feel ready, even if this isn’t your first. You, Upstairs Neighbor, have told my husband that the father of your child probably “won’t be around” much longer. Unless you know someone is planning a “hit” on your boyfriend, K, apparently you have serious doubts about this relationship. And yet you claim that this was an on-purpose pregnancy. Basically, I am concerned about all of you who are concerned. And you have good reasons. You worry about your health, your bodies, your relationships, your families, a loss of control over time and personal space and life. And then I worry. Which makes me feel ambivalent right along with you.

Anger: This takes two forms. Let’s address the easy one, first.

  1. Upstairs Neighbor, I admit it; I can’t look you in the eye anymore. You insist on holding a leash while your over-enthusiastic and terrible-at-leash-walking pit bull drags you down four flights of fire escape stairs, because “it takes too long” to take the real staircase. You dog was afraid of those stairs when we met the pup. But maybe I’m being overprotective. That’s not why I’m angry. I am angry because you smoke like a damn chimney. I know how hard it is to quit. I quit about a year ago because I know I wanted to have a kid. Is there some universe in which it is possible to avoid knowing that smoking does terrible, terrible things to fetuses, infants, children and people in general? I loved smoking like alcoholics love drinking. If I learned tomorrow that it posed no health hazard, I’d go out and buy a pack of American Spirits immediately. If this was, as you say, a planned pregnancy, then I am confused. And angry! Stop it! I want to yell at you when, every time I see you, you have a cigarette in your damn hand! Also, you are leaving your carseat in the garage, where it is getting full of dust and spider webs. And, I am almost sure, mold. Bring the carseat inside the damn house! Put it in your car? Do something other than keeping it on a shelf in a “garage” that is actually a 100+ year-old horse barn with no doors on the front! You are already ensuring that your baby will have trouble breathing. Do you really want to put it in a dusty, cobwebby, moldy carseat the very day you come back from the hospital? Oh yeah, and STOP SMOKING!
  2. This one is not so easy. In fact, this one is really, really, hard. I am angry that I am not pregnant yet.
Before you ask, no, we haven’t even tried one time. We’ve never even taken a risk. (Sorry, family, if that’s too much information.) But my point is that I am irrationally and overwhelmingly, fire-in-my-gut angry that not one of these unplanned pregnancies is mine. Yes, we are being so careful for good reasons. Yes, the timing of my pregnancy is supposed to be planned for all kinds of good, sane, healthy reasons. But people, do you know what? I am going to go insane if I have to wait much longer.I literally have to pray for patience. Because I have always been terrible at waiting. I suck at being patient. When I was about ten, I found a step stool and went to my mother’s closet to pull down the box I knew contained my Christmas presents. I found that American Girl doll and hugged her, while she was still in the box. I smoothed her hair, put the lid back on the box, and put it back. I just could. Not. Wait. Couldn’t do it. (My mom, adorably enough, knew that I had done this and said nothing. I love her for that.) If Nathan didn’t force me to wait every year, I’d give him his birthday present a month early. And then buy him another one to give to him a week early. And then another–you get the idea. Do you remember the blueberry girl in Willy Wonka (the old movie)? “But Daddy, I want it now!” Well, I’m not a spoiled rich girl, but I’ve always wanted it now. Whatever it is.

I don’t mean to imply that a baby is this year’s “it” gift. I want a baby like I have never wanted anything in my life. I am telling you, the wanting has a physicality to it. It literally hurts. There is an actual ache. I swear to God, I can feel that my baby is waiting for me, too. Probably with more patience. But our baby is there. And when everyone is ready, that baby will come. Please, can we be ready NOW?!

I am angry because in two weeks I will have made the medication switch, the last hurdle in a very damn long line of hurdles. I am angry because other couples who “slipped up once” have what I want–a pregnancy. Do I want to take the place of these women who find themselves pregnant without having planned to have a child? No. Both of you are, forgive the expression, sick as dogs, in physical pain and, even when you are excited about the prospect of a baby, these have been painful pregnancies from month one. I do not envy you the shock. I do not envy you the feeling that you have so little time to prepare to be parents and yet so much time to wait and wonder what this will do to your lives/relationships/careers–to you. The point is, I don’t want to be you. But my uterus? It wants your babies. It wants them like I used to want a cigarette when I saw someone smoking and had only been a non-smoker for about a day.

People, I feel like my uterus is taking on a voice of its own, like the Plant in Little Shop of Horrors. It is angry, because it is empty.

It’s not, by the way. I’m ovulating, which I know from tracking my temperature and other physical signs. According to even the most conservative estimate, given our age and health and genetics, we have a 90% chance of getting pregnant in the first six months.

I hear that and, and I don’t think about the 90%. I think SIX MONTHS?! I CANNOT WAIT SIX MONTHS. Because that would mean six months after trying. And we’re not trying yet, in case you missed that. So that would mean at least eight, nine, ten months from now before I would see a little “pregnant” on the digital pregnancy test I have in the medicine cabinet from back when I had a (very brief and unwarranted) scare. When I think about that, I could just cry. Sometimes, I think about that and I do cry.

Did I mention the fact that this isn’t even about “fertility issues” just about following the plan my family made after talking to three different medical and mental health professionals? This plan is to keep me sane and healthy. To keep my family as sane and healthy as possible. I am about ready to say “Screw the plan.”

I won’t. I’ll finish the switch to Ativan. I’ll wait until all three doctors and the most important person, Nathan, are comfortable with moving to the “Trying To Conceive” or “TTC” phase. I’ll wait. But I’m going to be angry about it.

And jealous. I admitted that, but not outright. I’m jealous. Envious. Whatever you want to call it.

I’m am sick to death of waiting. I am a mother. I was born to do this. Give. Me. My. Baby.


  1. Annie said:

    Hey Anne Marie,

    I was struck by your post, and I hope it is not out-of-line for me to post this comment. I just wanted to send you a hug and tell you that it’s all going to be okay. And not to cry… or faint!

    I do have a thought. Here’s my thought: you’re only child-free Anne Marie Tonyan Lindsey for another year or so, and then you’ll be a mother for the rest of your life. I know it’s all too easy to be impatient and jealous, but when you think of it that way, you are lucky. More than all the pregnant women you know, have just a bit more time to yourself, to do the things that you won’t have time to do once you are a young mom. Read War and Peace. Write a play (and write a part in for me!). Volunteer at an organization you believe in. Take a ride in a hot air balloon.

    If you can, take a trip with Nathan, even someplace close, like a B&B or Niagara Falls. And remember, as you’re on this trip, that you are only able to have such a romantic, private getaway for two because you don’t have kids yet.

    Any little bit you can do to fulfill yourself before the baby comes, will only benefit you and the baby. Cherish all the adventures, the creative journeys, and the exciting possibilities open to you, and think about all the cool stories that you’ll have to tell your children when they get here… quick now, you actually don’t have that much time!


    December 7, 2011
    • Anne-Marie said:

      Annie, you are always welcome to comment! You are absolutely right-this time is precious, for me and for my marriage. We had a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us, for just that reason. Thanks for the reminder. : / it’s easy to get carried away. Most days, I’m full of gratitude. Some days, I’m just plain tired of waiting.

      December 8, 2011

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