Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Pre-IF Self

Way back when, when we were first married and I hadn’t given two seconds of time to thinking about possibly not having children…I was such a different person. It’s really interesting to me now to think back about things I used to do before TTC became agonizing and “infertility” become a regular word in my lexicon. Before I joined the ranks of people to whom childbearing does not come easily…all that seems so, so long ago.

Anyway, in the first few months of our marriage, after peak day, I used to go to those websites that predict your due date and find out when our baby we maybe conceived would be born. And then I would daydream about summertime outfits or bringing the baby to Thanksgiving or what feast day s/he would be born on.

I would plan up elaborate or simple ways to tell our friends and family “the news,” picture their faces, feel the joy…before our first Christmas, I had no doubt that we would share the news at least by then, and get to talk to our nieces and nephews about their new cousin, get to open baby gifts on Christmas Eve…

I also used to go to the library and check out books about pregnancy and fetal development, just to “get a head start.” I remember sitting on our couch one cycle during the post-peak time and looking at the early, early pregnancy photos and thinking how wonderful it would be if that little two-celled immortal soul was inside me.

And the baby names…even before getting married, I would doodle girls’ and boys’ names in the margins of my notebooks. One name we discussed on our honeymoon was “Giulia” (pronounced Julia) – that was the name of the street we stayed on during our honeymoon in Rome. My husband’s half-Italian and our last name is Italian, so it would work =) Until my first period as a married woman came, I daydreamed about telling little Giulia how she got her name…

There are other names that are dear to me, but that I’ve tucked deep within my heart. We’d love to name a son after my husband, with the middle name of his maternal grandfather; we’d love to name a daughter after our mothers and his grandmother (their names overlap somewhat!). And of course there are some dear saints’ names too.

I also have a few baby items tucked away. They’re in my parents’ basement, to be specific. I have two winter outfits, those one-piece snuggly outfits with ears. One is pink and one is brown, just like a baby-sized teddy bear. (It’s the ears…they get me every time.) I also have an old wooden child’s potty chair, complete with a toilet paper holder and a magazine rack! I saw it at a yard sale and couldn’t resist. And I have a hiking baby carrier that my mom encouraged me to buy at a yard sale. I hemmed and hawed and finally bought it, mainly because it was such a good deal. I feel a little silly having this stuff, but God knows I’ll use it if we are ever so blessed!

And I have two baby books: one to be filled out by the baby’s parents, and one for the grandparents. Once after IF became real, I filled out part of the book, which asks about my background and my husband’s background, how we met, and so forth. It actually was pretty therapeutic, although it seemed somewhat like a pointless exercise…but I think it helped me be grateful for our marriage a little more.

So yeah, these are things I generally don’t tell people. Things I used to do. Stuff I have for no apparent reason other except that giving them away would feel like a total defeat… I tend to clam up or walk away whenever the conversation turns to pregnancy and baby-raising. It’s just interesting to me to peer back in time at the person I once was…I miss that innocence, that feeling that every cycle could be “the” cycle, that anticipation and wonder. I’ve more or less shut that door of my heart at this point. But the memories are still there.



  1. (((HUGS)))
    I have done the same things ... day dreaming about names, telling family, buying baby items to use someday. It depended on the day as to whether I felt hope or anger or sadness. Especially buying the baby stuff (I still do love good bargains / garage sales). Like you, I miss the innocence before IF.

  2. I've been thinking of that daydreaming a lot recently. Is it worse in October? There's something about the holidays right around the corner that makes you say "If I met someone (or conceived) right now I could tell my family about it over the holidays". I read all the books about marriage so that I would be good and prepared. It is interesting the difference how you feel when you are waiting for something that you think is a given vs. waiting for something that you know could happen, but might never happen. Praying for you!

    1. I think you're right about October! I wouldn't say I feel "pressure" from family for some "news" over the holidays...but "expectation/anticipation" might be accurate, and it stresses me out to think of having no "news", again...so yes, I think the holidays do add to sadness when you know you'll be with you family and you want so very much to say, "I met someone..." or "You're going to be grandparents..." etc.

  3. I can certainly relate, often I daydreamed how I would tell hubby if I found out before him. The first year we were married some friends who had one child, and had experienced several miscarriages, gave us all their baby stuff: strollers, pack n play, exersaucer, toys, books, etc, etc. It was all in my MIL's attic, we just finally passed it on last year, so someone else could use it. I figure if we ever do have children, we'll have fun getting all new stuff.

  4. This describes me to a T. I bought the book "Pregnancy 411" the month before we started trying. And I started a google doc (shared between me and my husband) of baby names long before that, almost all the names based on saints' names. I wonder if all women go through this once they start TTC. It's just so hard to imagine now buying those books or baby toys or making baby name lists and instantly getting pregnant after. It's almost like we jynxed ourselves by preparing too early. I know, a silly, un-Christian thought... but still. I hope we get to use all of these items/names/dreams some day.

  5. Oh my goodness. I can relate to every word you wrote (even down to the details of having a 1/2-Italian husband with an Italian last name and talking about baby names while honeymooning in Italy!) Beautiful post.