Finding Laughter in the Midst of Infertility

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It was a Friday evening. I had already done 9 days of ovulation testing, all to face a negative pink line each one of those 9 days. I knew based on the physical signs of my body that if ovulation was going to occur, it would have already happened. As well, not only are the ovulation tests expensive, I have never once experienced a positive result from testing with them.  Regardless, I thought “I have this one test left, I will just use it, and see what the outcome is.”  I have learned of so many “tips” throughout this journey on trying to conceive a baby and ovulation tests are probably one of the most practical ways to help determine the most optimal time to try and conceive.  However, for myself, trying to detect if ovulation even occurred has always been very difficult.  Eventually, the ovulation tests became just another reminder of how my body was not functioning properly-negative after negative.  This only resulted in a fear that my body wasn’t even doing one of the most important things it needed to do in order to create a baby. I was sure this would be the last ovulation test I would use and I knew it may read negative.  However, I was optimistic.  I thought it might be worth a shot just to make sure. After all, it was the last test I had left and if by some miracle it was positive then we would undoubtably try to make a baby.

I waited patiently as I glared at the stick on my bathroom countertop. Like a pregnancy test, your results read in 3 minutes. Any results viewed after 10 minutes must be discarded, as they may give you a false report. Sometimes when you wait for these types of tests 3 minutes easily feels like 3 hours.  As the seconds went by suddenly the door bell rang. A friend had stopped by and asked if I could come down to her car to pick up something. I kept thinking “No, I have this important test on my bathroom counter right now and I don’t want to miss the results. The outcome is crucial in baby making.” But of course, I wasn’t about to tell her that. Instead, I whispered to Ryan, “If I am not back in 2 minutes I need you to check the results of the ovulation test.”

“No problem babe,” he said as he laid comfortably on our couch watching a friday night movie.

I tried everything to get out of the conversation I was in. After 15 minutes went by I knew my only hope was that Ryan checked the test before the allowed time had passed. After all, he said he would.  Finally, I walked in the door. Ryan laid spread out on the couch as if it was a comfy Saturday morning with no plans for the day, except movies. “Honey, did you check the test?” I knew what his answer was just by evaluating the scene.  “Oh no, I forgot- let’s go see what it says.” At that point it didn’t matter what the test read, as we wouldn’t have been able to fully rely on the results. But of course, when we glared at the outcome of this final test, it was indeed the first time that we had ever seen a positive on any ovulation test prior to this moment. Even though I knew the results were likely invalid, I was actually happy to see a “positive” result for once.

Immediately my mind went into baby making mode,  I thought, “Well, we need to have sex!!”

Sex.

Sex deserves an entire blog entry all to itself, but for now, this will do.

Sometimes when you are trying to coceive a baby, sex can become all about making a baby. There is nothing quite romantic about “I’m ovulating–right now!” Unfortunately, sometimes through infertility or any season trying to conceive a baby “I’m ovulating” can just become a stand-in for seduction and romance. Sex becomes all about the sole purpose to make a baby rather than making love and sharing in physical intamcy the way I believe God also designed sex to be. The truth is as the months and months went by where Ryan and I tried to conceive and still my womb remained barren, we too, would have moments like this, where sex was primarily about making a baby-no lingerie, no candles, no romance, no intimacy…just sex.

That day when I saw the positive on the ovulation test, even though the results were technically not valid, I knew as much as I wanted for us to conceive a child, I wanted more for this night to be romantic and intimate for us. I wanted to share in a deep level of intimacy with my husband and let this moment be special and all about making love, and not just his sperm. I set up some candles all around the living room and put on some romantic soul music. This moment called for a little bit of lace too, so I of course, put on some lingerie. I kissed Ryan as we laid on our living room floor. His lips to mine.  Everything about the moment seemed just as it should be. The glow from the candles lit up the room. I loved being close to him and being able to share in romance.  As I kissed Ryan, suddenly, I heard some footsteps coming up our stairs. I didn’t think anything of it at first until the steps got louder and louder.   As I laid on Ryan’s chest, I could see my friend from across our living room through the crack in my curtains. If she just slightly turned her head, I was certain we would make eye contact. I remember thinking “Is this really happening right now?!” Inevitably, the door bell rang…   Of course, I frantically jumped up and ran to the back of our condo.

“Tell her I’m not home!!!,” was all I knew to say to Ryan at that point.

I stayed in my bathroom doorway, still dressed in my laced lingerie, trying to hear the conversation Ryan was sharing with our friend. Things were already passed awkward. The scene was set-candles out and Boys to Men playing in the background. Things couldn’t have gotten any worse… But they did. Ryan forced himself through the gawky conversation, until she asked “Is Des home?” I waited for him to answer. There are about a million things he could have said: “She’s taking a nap” or “She is in the shower.” What I was not expecting to hear was: “Oh yeah, let me go get her.” Right away I grabbed whatever clothing I could find on my bathroom floor to look somewhat presentable.  There was nothing I could do about the fact that my hair was a mess or that I didn’t have time to put on a bra.

“Hi!!!!”

Honestly, I don’t even remember what we talked about because I was so mortified that she may have seen Ryan and I.  All I kept thinking was:

“Oh my God, there are candles everywhere. Is “I’ll Make Love to You” seriously playing in the background right now? She knows she interrupted us. Oh my God, this is so awkward!!!”

My friend was just dropping by to give us some frozen fruit she didn’t want anymore that she thought we could make use of. The minute our front door was shut and we were in the clear, Ryan and I, instantaneously burst into laughter.  What I thought was going to be a romantic and sexy evening, with hopefully a perk of a positive pregnancy test, certainly did not turn out to be that way. Everything about our evening was comical and taught me to embrace some of the moments along this journey to parenthood.  It would have been easy to be upset with Ryan for not checking the ovulation test like I asked him to or the fact that our romantic evening ended abruptly.  I truly believe that laughter brings healing to the heart.  I know it will not change my circumstance, but it will help me through my circumstance. Infertility sucks. It is an unbearable and a truly, brutally heart-wrenching experience.  It is not something I asked for.  However,  I know that if I choose to, I can find joy in the midst of my deepest heartache.

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