This is my most current writing...
Because most couples (70–80%) get pregnant within a year of going off birth-control, doctors, especially fertility experts, don’t want to see you until you’ve passed that 12 month milestone. Not getting pregnant in the first year of “trying” doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong. It is really just an average time based on statistics, and individual couples can fall within or out of those numbers and still successfully achieve pregnancy. But for those of us who are taking longer than average to conceive, that year mark dangles out in front of you like the proverbial carrot. It signifies the date when we can finally figure out if there is something wrong or our timing just hasn’t been quite right. I don’t know about other women, but for me, the race to get to that carrot seems like the longest journey I’ve ever taken. But my OB/GYN is very busy and “highly recommends” waiting the full year before she will see us for a consultation. In the meantime, I find myself in an interesting limbo land of “trying”—not yet pregnant, not yet infertile, trying to achieve something I greatly desire and am not yet sure I am capable of. I’m a wanna-be.
When I was in middle school, a wanna-be was someone who had some of the characteristics and desire to fit within a certain social circle, but didn’t quite satisfy all the requirements for full membership. My friend Jack was a wanna-be skater then. He had the clothes, the wedge haircut, and the skateboard. He even hung out with a few other skaters. But he lacked the “bad” attitude, the dare devil antics, and irreverence toward authority. His overall studiousness, quiet demeanor, and subscription to conservative, Republican ideals would eventually lead him away from sidewalk surfing and toward a future in computer engineering. But for two years in junior high, Jack walked the line between wanting to be a badass skater and succumbing to his inherent conservative nature.
As an adult, I’m finding that women of a certain age fall into three categories: non-breeders, breeders, and the grown-up version of the wanna-be, wanna-breeders. The non-breeders have decided (or have always known) they do not want to have children, and, barring any accidents, take measures to insure that they do not procreate. The breeders, obviously, either have children already or are pregnant and about to give birth. Then, there are the wanna-breeders. These women can range from those who definitely want to have children sometime in the future (they’re not ready yet) to those who are actively trying to get pregnant. The wanna-breeders who are trying to conceive are walking a path between their emotions and desires to have a baby and their body’s ability or non-ability to achieve that. For some, it is easy to go from wanna-breeder to breeder. For others, their desire to be a mom might not be enough to overcome the realities of their (or their partner’s) reproductive systems.
Well into our 11th month of “trying,” I have many of the characteristics of an expectant mother. I have the maternity books. I know what to eat and not eat. I’ve cut back on caffeine and started taking folic acid. I have a maternity leave and return plan at work. I know where I would like to give birth. We have several names in mind and a pile of baby clothes (supplied by my wonderful sister-in-law, who is very anxious for her children to have cousins to play with). I’ve even thought about how to introduce our two cats to a new member of the family. However, the one crucial requirement I am missing for my membership into motherhood is a baby. So, we continue to “try” and work our way slowly toward that looming year mark when we can finally find out whether we are capable of meeting the final requirement in our quest for parenthood or whether we will need to seek membership in a different club.