Let’s Talk TTC


Let’s take a minute to talk TTC.

What’s TTC?  It’s the medical acronym for “trying to conceive,” or actively attempting a pregnancy.  So acronym-y.  So sterile (no pun intended).  Unable, in these three small letters, to hint at any of the emotional pain they contain.  Not empathetic to the process you go through trying to conceive, unsuccessfully.

You use the ovulation predictor.  You’ve got your ovulation down to within hours.  You get the timing right.  You know it.  You wish.  You hope.  You pray.  And the countdown begins.

The first couple days, it may not be on your mind.  You may actually be able to distract yourself with work, with fun, with anything.  But it pops into your head every now and then.  As the days keep passing, you find it harder to distract yourself from.  Could you be pregnant?  When would you be due?  Who would you tell first?  How would you break the news? Your hopes start to rise, but knowingly, you tamp them down.  Sometimes aggressively.  You’ve been through this before.  You know the heartbreak.  You can’t get your hopes up.  It’s not good.

A few days before your expected period, you overthink everything going on in your body.  A little bloated/gassy?  Is that your period coming or just the bean burrito you ate for lunch?  A sudden sad spell?  Is that PMS, or just being bummed about a bad work day?  A bit nauseous?  Is that super early morning sickness, or just a reaction to the strong chemical odor in the cleaning aisle?  You go back and forth; one minute sure you’re pregnant, the next, sure you’ll get your period.

By the day before your expected period, you’re afraid you’re going insane.  You dread going to the bathroom for fear of what you’ll see.  But then you make an excuse to go when you don’t have to, just to check.  You start to play games with time.  “If I don’t get it by tomorrow morning,” you think, “I’ll take a test.”  Then the next morning: “If there’s still nothing by eleven, I’ll take a test.”  You’re not sure if a definitive no from a test is better or worse than the waiting.  At least waiting, you can keep hope alive.

You keep your anxiety to yourself.

Eventually, it happens.  You see the telltale signs and know that you’re not pregnant—again.  The waves of hormones and emotional letdown wash over you.  You cry.  You couldn’t help but get your hopes up.  You knew not to—you knew it—but you couldn’t help yourself.  You would’ve had the baby in September.  Your spouse’s face would beam as you told them the news.  You’d start making doctor’s appointments, grin and bear the morning sickness, start searching FB marketplace for clothes.

But no.  Not this time.