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Susannah Lewis Headshot

Trying Not to Conceive Self-Pity

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I've had a fever for six months.

And the prescription is more baby.

I don't want to want another child. My husband and I have a beautiful girl and boy. We look like the bicycling family on a prescription medication commercial. We've achieved the perfect boy to girl ratio in our home. A third baby would cause us to rearrange bedrooms, car seats and our entire lives.

But the overwhelming desire to have a third child just won't leave me be. I can't pass a stroller without looking in. I've even started watching A Baby Story again.

I want to be pregnant, but I don't look forward to another pregnancy. Through both of my pregnancies, I suffered with preeclampsia, chronic nausea and psychotic hormonal episodes when Chick-fil-A was closed on Sunday and all I craved was some freaking poultry and waffle fries.

I wasn't a beautiful and glowing pregnant woman, either. My once soft, smooth skin became riddled with hormonal acne that caused me to resemble Pizza the Hutt from Mel Brooks' classic, Spaceballs. My waistline expanded like a sumo wrestler on a sugar IV. I developed a wingspan -- the top of my arms actually looked like the anatomy of a Falcon. I was also chronically fatigued and had more baggage than Samsonite under my eyes on any given day.

But the moments that both of my children were born made it all worth it. The acne went away, my hormones leveled out, I finally fit into clothes that didn't look like tarps and my energy somehow resurfaced as I washed poop from crib sheets and soothed colicky babies while watching the sun rise.

So my husband and I agreed not to dwell on the unattractive witch who would grace our home for nine months, and we decided to start trying. I was confident that after a margarita or two, I'd be all good and knocked up with baby number three.

Conceiving children has never been a difficult task for me. My daughter is a souvenir from our honeymoon to Nassau. Our son was the best surprise I've received since passing Biology in the ninth grade. It seemed that my husband and I didn't even have to think about having a baby to have one.

There was never a need to do disgustingly weird things like chart mucus consistency or Google terms like "BD" and "TWW" when TTC message board terms produced mass confusion in my simple little mind. There was never a need to ask my DH what the hell "DH" meant and if he was mine.

But, we've been doing the "BD" more months than I care to think about. Oh, Lord. Do we have to do that again? Do I have to pee on another stick? I pee on sticks every week- whether they are OPK tests or pregnancy tests. I have a calendar that's marked with every color in the Skittles bag. I know what luteal phase means.

And nothing.

Nothing but six bucks worth of urine-soaked plastic in the trash can every month.

I've heard every cliché imaginable. If I stop stressing about it, it will happen. Everything happens in God's perfect timing. I'm not 35 yet, so a few negative months are NO big deal. Most women conceive within a year. The Enquirer said Betsy McBabymaker was 73 and had a healthy bundle of joy because she ate guava berries and drank Sprite every morning. Shut up and be patient. It'll happen. Just shut up. Shut up.

I personally know people who have struggled with infertility for years. I've held the phone to my ear as a good friend cried over the line that the stick on the bathroom counter had announced another "BFN" -- the 12th negative, the 15th negative, the 30th negative.

That sobbing conversation and the women on the message boards with stories about failed IVF, frustration, sadness, longing and grief make me feel incredibly guilty when I cry at another useless egg. I've only been disappointed for six months -- not six years.

I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm too impatient. It'll happen. In God's time. Stop stressing. It'll happen. Just shut up. Shut up. It'll happen.

And I hope it will.

This post was originally published on Whoa! Susannah.