Today, I peed on a stick (POAS in the online trying to conceive community) and got a BFN (Big Fat Negative, or Big Fucking Negative). Mixed feelings abound. I became well-versed in the TTC (Trying To Conceive) acronyms during my six months of “trying” (translation: having frequent, well-timed, unprotected sex) to get pregnant. I hate internet acronyms. As an English teacher who fights the abbreviation revolution of my beloved language every day, I find the DH, DD, DS, LOL, IMO, et al utterly intolerable. Any one of my Fertility Friend dot-com friends can look in my chat threads and see that I have always taken the trouble to type “my husband” and “my daughter.” I don’t judge the women who abbreviate. I just cannot join you. I’m sorry.
But if I were in a FF chat room right now, I’d be telling them I am 10 DPO, even though I haven’t been “charting” and today was the earliest possible day I could test. It was also Odie’s first day of teaching the 2010 school year (they started so late this year!), so I promised myself that if it WERE a BFP (Big Fat/Fucking Positive), I would keep this morsel to myself until he got home. Instead, I shared the happy news that we will not be having another baby in June. He wanted to be relieved, but he told me that he wouldn’t completely relax until “AF showed up.”
That’s Aunt Flow to you and me.
One of my recent commenters made some excellent points about having another child. If I’m a good mother (she’s from the UK, so she said “mum” which I find so delightfully charming), then I should bless a second child with my talents. If I’m a terrible mother, then my poor “DD” is going to need a sibling to help spread the crazy. I’m paraphrasing.
Odie and I have discussed this at length. I have written about it here before too. In spite of all his reservations and the logical reasons why we shouldn’t procreate a second time, I have always wanted to do it anyway. And Odie’s like, “Myeh, if it means more sex, I’m down.”
I am an optimist. Did you just spit your wine all over your computer? Believe it. Life is a goddamn adventure. Children are one of the best parts of it. They are the only shot most of us have at leaving something lasting on this earth. Great teachers and writers are lucky to leave legacies of learning and words. I should be so lucky, but if I’m not, I did meld DNA with my beloved, and we’re pretty tickled about the result. Why not roll the dice again? See if we can get my nose this time.
My optimism has faced some wicked challenges of late. My district has cut my health care benefits in ways that take my breath away. I also have the aforementioned 10% pay cut that is likely to be permanent. It will take many years of little raises (frozen indefinitely due to budget issues, according to my union reps) to get back to the salary I was earning TWO YEARS AGO. I have almost fifty grand in student loans to pay back. The news about the U.S. economy looks bleak. Teaching used to be a sweet gig for a small family. Benefits, shorter hours, summers off, tenure, a comfortable pension. With the recession and the wars and the gulf oil disaster (I can’t call it a “spill.” A “spill” is something I do on the kitchen floor and clean up with the hem of my sweatshirt), the world is looking less and less like a place for two public school teachers to try to raise two children.
Maybe Odie’s genetic predisposition to gloom is finally wearing off on me after seven years together.
We’ve been lucky. For the most part, we have what we need and what we want too. I can’t afford a new car, but we can make do with what we have for now. We don’t get to take vacations or eat out at restaurants often, but that’s ok too. Recently, however, I went online looking for some toys for Baby V. The kid LOVES “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and I wanted to get her a set of the characters. They used to carry this stuff at Target and Toys ‘R Us, but I’d been to the stores and found nothing but OTHER Nick Jr. merchandise. When Baby V picked up a “Wonder Pets” cell phone that sang the theme song to that infernal show, I nearly threw it and ran screaming from the store. It’s that sewious.
I found the YGG! toys on-line, but the set I liked was over $150 dollars. We simply don’t have that kind of “extra” cash in the budget, and it pained me a little. They’re just toys, and my 16 month old doesn’t really care either way, but I felt for the first time that I couldn’t get her something she’d really love to have. The trials and tribulations of the bourgeoisie. Next I’m going to complain about how my maid is always hiding shit, right?
It’s a good life. It really is. But maybe it’s going to be just the three of us.