“But my mom says that you’re not patient.”

I had just asked my five-year-old nephew — who was pestering me for my phone — to be patient while I finished ordering my dinner. That was when he let it slip that I was my sister’s Cautionary Tale for patience.

I admit it’s true — I’ve never been known for my patience. I’ve gotten better in the past few years, but not enough to keep me from being a Bad Role Model.

That’s one reason why this “no pregnancy” dance is so frustrating.  It’s one ginormous test of patience.

In a typical 28-day cycle, the egg is viable for about 12 hours. If you’re thinking, “12 hours?! Then how in the hell does ANYONE get pregnant?!”, you’re not alone. But swimmers can live inside a gal for up to 5 days, which is how most people get pregnant. The swimmers are sitting there bored, starting fights and tail-wrestling, when the egg finally arrives. Those buggers are patient. Then again, what else are they going to do? Search for a date in your appendix?

Regardless, if you miss your window (or worse yet, like me, don’t even know when your window IS), you’ve got to wait 4 weeks for another chance.

And that’s with a “normal” 28-day cycle.  Mine is 35.  A friend of mine lost an ovary, so she has to wait 52 days between eggs. My cousin ovulated every 75 days. Yes, the average is 28, but there aren’t a lot of women with perfect cycles. And to those of you with less than 28 day cycles, I hate you. But so does Mother Nature, because she made you have periods waaaaay more often than everyone else. Take that.

The worst is the “two week wait” (abbreviated as 2WW by fertility peeps with way too much time to post in online forums). That’s the time between ovulation and the date when a pregnancy test will show an accurate result. Or, if you didn’t get the job done, when you can expect Aunt Flow. It sucks.

Waiting in line for IVF

I/slash/we are currently in a 3-cycle holding pattern, waiting our turn for IVF.  I told people back in early June, after insemination failed, what the next steps were: IVF late August at the earliest, probably sometime in September — but just like me, they forget the details of everyone’s life but their own. Then they ask me for a baby-making update.

I always have a little flash of anger when I’m asked that, but then I relax and remember that I am the Queen of Forgetting Stuff My Friends Tell Me. So I can’t judge anyone. I remind them that we’re waiting for IVF, on schedule for mid-September.

That’s 3 months of sitting around, wondering if perhaps I’m ovulating on my own, watching for signs of ovulation and on high alert for any twinges of pain from my ovaries. And when that happens, calling my husband to tell him to light the candles, baby, because we’re going to give this a shot the old-fashioned way, just in case.

Sidebar: That actually happened this month. His voice got all whiny: “But you didn’t tell me to be ready! I can’t do it tonight!”  He was aware that he shouldn’t ejaculate within 24 hours of “showtime” if he hoped to produce a super amount of swimmers, so his admission was basically TMI. 

He tried to defend himself. “It was Brad’s fault! He sent me this link and–“

“That’s enough detail!” I shrieked. “Unnecessary! Just behave until tomorrow, ‘kay?”

But I digress.

In short, trying to get pregnant is 10% actually “trying.” That’s the supposed ‘fun’ part, but you tell me how much fun it is to have sex on a schedule set by some weird Turkish dude in a white coat. You just hope he’s not getting any mental pictures from the homework assignments he hands out.

The other 90% is waiting, a.k.a. torture.  During which time you still get to field questions about how it’s going.

The answer: “It’s not going. I’m waiting. As usual. But thanks for asking.”