The Professor and I were married in 2008 and decided that, come the New Year, we would start trying to expand our family from two to three. Three months out, I had a pre-TTC visit to the midwife and started popping prenatal vitamins and some extra vitamin D (when we discovered I was severely deficient).
In January 2009, I felt the thrill of a new adventure as I finished the last of my birth control pills and tossed the empty package into the bin. I think I may have even waved cheerfully good-bye to it. We decided that since I'd been on the pills for so many years, we shouldn't really try too hard that first month (I hear you laughing) and I am mildly obsessed with spreadsheets, so in addition to my monthly expenses sheet and my daily calories sheet, I started a cycle tracking sheet.
For the first time in 21 years, I ovulated (almost right on schedule). I will admit to being a little surprised. To my immense relief, age seemed to have mellowed the pain to the point of being bearable without medication. My period, when it arrived, was nothing to write home about.
We were so blasé, so confident, so very naive. We were fully committed to maximizing our chances. I was carefully tracking and recording every detail of my cycle. We didn't get our groove on every day, but we came damn close! I was even feeling guilty for accepting my new job when I was sure to be taking maternity leave before the year was up.
I know how old I am. In spite of the Professor's many assurances to the contrary, I was beginning to be concerned about how many months we'd been trying, given my age. I kept seeing references to the suggestion that women over 35 should see their doctor if they hadn't conceived in 6 months of diligent and purposeful intercourse.
But around cycle #6, I started to notice changes in my body. I had put on a few pounds, my hair had suddenly gotten much curlier than usual, my skin was beginning to break out and my periods were getting heavier. We decided that the birth control pills were maybe only just clearing out of my system. Maybe that was why I wasn't pregnant yet?
Because of my fanatical tracking, I knew we were nailing the timing and every month we were just certain that we'd finally done it. And every month, we were wrong.
In the midst of all this, my boss announced her pregnancy and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and shortly thereafter underwent a mastectomy. That's when I started having the heart palpitations.