I’m twenty-six years old and I still hold my breath through every tunnel. We could all use a few more wishes, right? There are tunnels too long for this trick–but I give it a shot, gasping at the last instant before I start to get dizzy, or holding my breath just a little longer if I can see the light.
The past few days, I’ve been stuck in one of those longish tunnels. I’m holding my breath, not quite sure I’ll make it to the sunshine. Even worse, this tunnel curves, and I have no way of guessing how far away that opening in the mountain is. I am anxious that because I can’t see the end, I’ll let go of my breath just a second too soon, and my wish won’t come true.
The sad part is, this is a monthly occurrence. Of course, the happy part is this is a monthly occurrence. Let me back up.
I have Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). (That’s a different post entirely, but suffice it to say the condition makes it difficult to conceive). We’ve been trying for almost four years now, in various stages of effort (at first just quitting birth control, then going on a diet to lose weight and increase ovulation chances, then taking temperatures and ovulation tests, etc.). This is the third day before my expected period, after the second month in a row of timely ovulation (longest normal streak yet)! This is a great victory in itself, one I keep trying to remind myself of as I continue to wait.
So I’m waiting. I’m emotional, irritable, and anxious, all of which could be a sign that I’m not pregnant (PMS). I know that an at-home pregnancy test could give me an answer right now–but they are most accurate from the actual day of expected period and if I get a negative result I’ll just be trying again every day until I know for sure one way or the other. Waiting. I am having an irrational fear about running, because I’m worried that the exercise will cause my abdominal muscles to start contracting and trigger my period. I’m stressed, because of totally unrelated work issues, but also because running is my stress release and now I’m not doing it. My stress/anxiety makes me want to sit at home and eat chocolate and Doritos (which I did last night). I’m annoyed at myself for not running or eating right, because I don’t want to backslide after thirty two pounds lost since August 1st, 2012. Plus, one of my deepest character flaws is great impatience with waiting. Which, clearly, is very helpful right now. I am all-too-aware that my mental state does contribute to my physical well being, and so I am only more concerned that stressing out is determining the result here. (I’m also aware that I’m probably overthinking all of this, either I’m pregnant or I’m not and probably none of these factors has an immediate effect on this month’s outcome). I’m spinning from all these intellectually laughable considerations, and I’m embarrassed to talk about them because I know how unscientific they are.
Thank goodness for Cash, who gently wheedled the truth out of me and offered comfort and support last night. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have the courage to write this now. I think it’s important to capture this moment, before I know the outcome, before my narrative is colored by joy or defeat. This curve in the tunnel is pivotal (ha! metaphoric pun! In a few days, I’ll post again with a significantly different perspective and my feelings on this moment will change. But for right now, I feel like a strung wire. Tension vibrates physically in my body, and also in my soul. I am keyed up and psyched. the hell. out. That’s what this post is about.