Friday, July 28, 2006

Just desserts? Part 1.

If you were to ask me if I am superstitious, I would say no. I would say no because I think that superstitious people are also likely to be living in Dickensian boardinghouses in rooms filled with cats, manifestoes detailing the occupants' conspiracy theories, and the pungent smell of urine. But I would be lying to say that I'm not superstitious at all. For example, whenever I get on a plane, I have a discreet little ritual that I perform in order to keep all of us from crashing. I shall never reveal what it is, but should you and I be on a plane together, I hope you will feel safer. I also have a hard time not making a wish whenever the clock hits 11:11. And I can't help feeling a bit doomed when a black cat crosses my path or a mirror cracks upon the wall.

Similarly, if you were to ask me if I am religious, I would say no. Although I went to religious schools from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and can still, on demand, spill forth all the books of the Bible in order and spelled correctly, I do not go to church (unless there's a wedding at one, which happens less and less frequently these days as most of my friends are older when they get married and thus are less prone to the traditional hometown nuptials and more prone to the destination wedding). Now, I am more religious than my husband, or at least I have more of a positive feeling about religion than he does. At our own wedding, I desperately wanted the officiant to boom: "Those whom God has joined, let no man put asunder!" I love that shit. And I got it, despite my husband's initial demand that the word God would not appear in our ceremony (which was going to be a tricky proposition in any event, since our officiant was a minister). Still, though, my point is that I would not call myself religious.

But my denial of any religiosity is kind of a lie, too. Throughout the course of my life, I have certainly prayed in times of fear - everything from air turbulence to driving over what I consider to be attractive-terrorist-target bridges to situations much more personal than that. And here's where the title of the post comes in. Over the course of the past, ahem, let's say many years, there were times when circumstances were such that my anxiety-prone brain worried What if I'm pregnant? I'm not married! Woe is I! Bleat! So in moments like these, which in retrospect obviously shouldn't have caused me a moment's irritation, I would pray to God that I was not pregnant. And I never turned out to be pregnant. (Maybe this should have served as a clue to me to start TTC a bit earlier, but it didn't.)

So here's where my superstitious tendencies and bad-weather religiosity combine somewhere in the recesses of my shrill brain. [An aside: I just looked at my watch, and it's 11:11.] Here's what my brain surmises: maybe I entered into some kind of contract with the powers that be, whether that's a supreme being or something more like karma, and not until the number of heartbreaking BFNs surpasses the number of oh-thank-God BFNs will I ever succeed in getting an embryo to stick around. No, I can't remember how many of the latter there were. But it seems like there were many, even though I really shouldn't have been so worried, for a long list of reasons that I won't go into now but that anyone who's read TCOYF will understand.

Yes, I'm crazy. I should be a real treat when my naturally insane personality is combined with Alzheimer's in about 40 years.

But that's not all...stay tuned for Part 2 of our continuing series.


Jane said...

Consider, however, how many times you have prayed to God in the past year or two that you _are_ pregnant.

Do they outweigh the times you've prayed that you weren't? (And were they more fervent and heartfelt? Probably...) If so, it should all come out in the wash, and the next cycle -- accompanied by please-let-me-be-pregnant prayers -- should work.

Because all this stuff is so very rational and logical that way. ;-)

So glad you are blogging -- will add you to my blogroll pronto.

bihari said...

Here's what we need: we need my mother. When that woman prays, things occur. With your permission, I will sic her on the case.

Meanwhile, rudely not waiting for your permission, I have already put myself on the case. Though knowing my past history with God, I cannot vouch for the results.

Lest you fear you are alone in your antics and rituals...I still take the stairs two at a time when I'm going back upstairs after raiding the kitchen alone late at night. Because the aliens might reach up from the cellar stairs and grab me as I go past, you see.

Anonymous said...

I have put myself on the case, too, though I've worried that my efforts are counterproductive, as God doesn't like me. That's in part because I still make a wish when it's 11:11 or 12:34, and also when a car approaches with one headlight.

Let us put our hopes in Bihari's mother.

Twisted Ovaries said...

I think we're all the same-idle dabblers in religion, but we sure can call out for help-how often have we said "Dear God, please let this time work" or "Dear God, please let it all work out ok"?

I guess when one of the altars is infertility, there's not much choice there.

Emmie said...

You can drive yourself crazy beating yourself up about the past, but this condition is not your fault. No matter what your feelings about getting pregnant were before you were ready, it didn't cause what's happening now.

When Friends had the episodes about Monica and Chandler's infertility, my husband loudly mocked the whole thing, saying how ridiculous it was that everybody is panicked about IF these days. When a friend went to an RE because she wasn't getting her period and she was worried about not being able to conceive, he thought she was overreacting. I kept telling H that these were legitimate concerns and that he better take them seriously because he might find himself dealing with them one day. So boy, does H feel like he is getting his just desserts right now. He feels very guilty for saying those things. But just because he was in so much denial about infertility being a problem doesn't mean God punished him and said, "here, see if you like it?" Right? Or did he...
I want to believe no, but it is hard.

Meg said...

MM - I just wanted to say thank you for your encouragement on my blog, really.

You know, to butt in and say, can I have a few more prayers now?


Hope548 said...

I think the same thoughts run amuck in all our heads! I had a few of those circumstances where I worried I could be pregnant when I didn't want to be.

Also, I will never forget how when my cousin had so much trouble with her pregnancies and delivered early both times, I pointed out to my husband that she wouldn't have had babies if medical technology wasn't what it is today. I said that natural selection selected against her, but I never thought it might select against me. Obviously my thinking has changed and infertility has actually brought me closer to God.

Thanks for keeping us safe on the plane!

VanillaDreams said...

I also do not consider myself to be superstitious, however, I too ALWAYS take note of an 11:11 on a clock. And, I have a couple of other things that are superstitious that I feel compelled to do: if salt is spilled, I feel I must toss some over my shoulder, AND if we say something in a foreshadowing, sort of good fortune kind of way....I feel we might jinx ourselves, so I am always compelled to literally "knock on wood" to insure that we don't jinx ourselves!!! LOL

Yes, I am clearly crazy!! ;)