Before we got married, we both agreed that we wanted children eventually. But that eventually seemed very far away to both of us. The truth was that while we both wanted children in the abstract, neither of us were really emotionally ready to take that step. So we waited.
A few years into our marriage, I was about to finish my Ph.D. and start a new job, we were moving to a new city that was closer to family, and my sister had just given birth to a new nephew and DH had his first chance to see a newborn. The confluence of these events made us move from thinking about children as an abstract concept to something that could actually be real in our lives. We decided that once we settled into our new city, we would start trying.
Now, we are both planners by nature. It seems like the IF community is filled with natural planners, which is funny since this process is a lesson in what can't be planned. But we are planners and once we settled in, our first move was to get out the calendar and figure out when it would be best to have a baby and then work backwards to see when we should start trying. We thought we had a real shot at getting pregnant our first time trying, or at least in the first few months, and even worried that it would happen too soon according to our preferred due date.
I started charting my cycle a few months before our "go" date. From that point on, I always had an expected due date in the back of my head. I bookmarked a due date predictor on my computer. I thought the distinction between a due date based on the first day of AF or based on ovulation was a big deal. Every month when AF came, I figured out a new due date, and after I ovulated, I figured it out again, secure in my knowledge that this due date was more accurate. It's not that I thought babies were always born on their due date; I considered the normal range of when babies came with a certain due date. I started hoping that the baby would come a little early to be here by Father's Day. Or even if the baby was a little late, I could still count it as a great birthday present. Over time, I saw my due date pushed back. March 30. April 29. June 9. As we moved past our preferred to time have a baby, I thought about how I would make accomodations for each new due date.
But none of those due dates ever came to fruition. Indeed, none of those cycles ever resulted in pregnancy so there was not even a reason to ever calculate a due date. But I did. Every month. Usually multiple times a month.
Slowly my attention to the due date waned. When AF came I just waited until I ovulated to figure out the new due date rather than calculate it twice. A few months later I didn't bother to find the due date until I had reason to hope that this time the due date would actually matter.
I realized yesterday that now I don't remember the last month I calculated a due date. I no longer feel the need to figure out each new due date. Worrying about how I will accommodate a maternity leave into my work schedule has taken a back seat to worrying about whether there will ever actually be a due date and maternity leave. The idea that this cycle would actually be successful seems like such a faraway proposition. I am starting to feel like I did in the early days of our marriage, where us having children and being parents is more of an abstract concept. It's not that I want to be a parent any less; I do very much so. But after all this expectation and constantly changing expectations, it feels less real.
So I decided to calculate a due date should we be successful this cycle, just for the heck of it. June 11. I don't want to hope that this date will actually have a big red circle around it on our calendar. But there it is.
2 months ago