watching people fall down is free!

it’s another beautiful day in lawrence, kansas! the tulips are in full bloom, jared is wearing seersucker, & the weather is perfect for kicking back on the porch with a handle of rum & “don’t fear the reaper” on repeat. all those suckers that haven’t visited us yet because they think we live in a grass hut with goats on the roof a la little house on the prairie are really missing out. there hasn’t been a plague of grasshoppers in days!

it’s so warm today that i decided it was time to bust out the capris. & then i immediately busted out of them. they served me faithfully for three long summers, but my fertility meds are making me bloat up like a corpse in the sun. i think it’s karmic retribution for all the hours i have spent stationed in front of the plate glass exhibition windows at fancy gyms, praying to jeebus that someone wipes out on the treadmill on my watch. my apologies to all who work at maintaining their fitness. (i still hope you fall down. while i’m watching. a leopard can’t change its spots, okay?)

this reminds me of a laurie notaro story. i am generally not a big fan of her humor essays, as they tend to belabor the joke & end up about as funny as a gilbert gottfried routine. but she had this one about the time she visited a friend in san francisco & they decided to spend a day at the japanese garden. laurie ducked into the bathroom to put on her favorite corduroy pants, which she had owned for many years & through many weight fluctuations. she loved them because she felt that they grew & shrank along with her body & always maintained a perfect fit. she put on her magic pants & then did a couple of lunges in order to marvel at their elasticity. & that’s when the pants exploded into a cloud of dust with an audible BOOM, finally pushed beyond their limits. her friend rushed into the bathroom to make sure no one was dead & discovered laurie standing dazed with nothing but a waistband remaining. every time i think about this story, i laugh. & it actually continues from there: laurie & her friend went to the garden, which features several winding riverways filled with koi, crisscrossed with elegant handrail-free wooden bridges. her friend managed to actually walk right off the edge of one of the bridges & land on a big pile of koi. & best of all, she had worn a long wool skirt, which became comically waterlogged & heavy. boy, do i ever love it when people fall down.

anyway, guess who’s still not pregnant!

yeah. me.

i took another pregnancy test on monday, twenty days post-ovulation, & once again, it was negative. i called my doctor & openly begged for a blood test. she finally consented & i rushed off to the lab at 10am. i was then on pins & needles for the rest of the day, awaiting the results. i tried to distract myself by curling up with a 600-page biography of catherine the great, inventively entitled catherine the great. finally the nurse called me at 4:30pm & asked, “has your period come yet?” i know what that means. negative.

so i stopped the progesterone (after i wrote my fierce manifesto about how it was just an exercise in throwing money away, i talked to jared & he prevailed upon me to continue it “just in case,” & i guess he has some say in this process too, so i stuck with it through the weekend) & now we move on to cycle nine.

i’m feeling okay about it. this is the first time i didn’t spend all day crying upon getting a negative result. i think i’m getting used to the disappointment. at this point, whenever i do finally manage to get pregnant, i’m going to immediately lose my mind & be all, “oh my god! what have i done? how can i have a baby? i still think it’s the apex of entertainment to sneak up on charlotte & push her over!”

to cheer myself up, i made a trying to conceive advent calendar. every day of this process, i’m going to do one fun/positive/supportive/relaxing thing for myself. yesterday i went out a bought myself a new hoodie (see above about how i’m turning into a big fat glowworm so none of my clothes fit properly anymore–thanks, artificial hormones!). today i think i’ll lay around & read harry potter & the sorceror’s stone again. for literally probably the 78th time. i have library books that are due back in a matter of days, but harry potter sounds a lot more appealing than some dumb french novel right now.

making this calendar has been a challenge because usually when i think of treating myself, it involves going out to dinner or buying a ridiculous new hat i’ll only wear like ten times a year or ordering a stack of new zines from a distro or something else that costs money. it’s not so easy to think up exciting treats that are free. especially because the other requirement is that they have to be things i can do by myself. i don’t want my daily treat to hinge on the reliability of another person, as other people tend to be pretty flaky. my one exception to this rule is that jared offered to make me breakfast in bed once a month. all i have to do is ask…presumably on a day when he has time to whip up some oatmeal & bacon.

but i’m pumped about this idea because the hands down worst part of trying for so long to get pregnant is the fact that i feel i have put my life on hold, waiting for a baby to finally make its triumphant debut. i’ve been reluctant to commit to stuff or put effort into projects & friendships because i keep thinking, “well, my life is going to be really different once i get pregnant/have a kid, & i really don’t want to make promises i can’t keep.” but that means that i’m just slogging through the days, pinning all my hopes on this big thing that could conceivably never happen. at the risk of sounding like a hippie, i really need to be nicer to myself because this constant waiting is not sustainable.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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