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Don’t Count Your Chickens, or Eggs, Before They Hatch

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Jews are a very superstitious people. You may notice Jewish women knocking on wood a lot, or saying “poo, poo, poo” when talking about someone’s good fortune. We don’t like to jinx anything, and the “poo, poo, poo” is supposed to ward off the Evil Eye that comes with envy. This is also why when a woman is pregnant, we usually don’t tell anyone but our partner for the first three months, until all of the tests are run and we’re totally in the clear. Mostly because we want to be sure everything is okay with the baby, since about 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage within the first 13 weeks. We believe it will jinx things to announce the good news too early, and we also don’t want to have to tell everyone the bad news in case things don’t work out.

I broke this rule, of course, by telling my parents the day after I found out I was pregnant with Preston, because I was totally freaking out (in a good way)…I had a million questions to ask, and my OB couldn’t see me till I was 8 weeks along (I found out I was pregnant about a month after we conceived). That was way too long for me to wait, so I begged my husband to let me tell my parents so I could talk to my mom about it, whom I talk to about everything. I couldn’t imagine keeping this secret from her for three months, much less for one day.

But I didn’t tell any of my friends for the first three months. I basically hid out in my bed for 12 weeks when I wasn’t at work -- I missed birthday dinners, girls’ nights out, casual get-togethers. I’m the worst liar in the world; I can’t even tell a good white lie. Keeping my pregnancy a secret was the hardest part of the whole thing for me. After that first trimester was over I was sooo relieved; I embraced every part of the experience. I was one of those annoying women who loved being pregnant: the growing belly, my new big boobs, that first time you feel the baby move, all the changes my body was going through. All of it. Even now, I see a pregnant woman and swoon. I literally can’t wait to get pregnant again.

I haven’t been keeping up my personal blog lately, but I was just looking at it and found this post, about how ready we were to start trying again, before Preston’s first birthday in August. Because of my age, I wanted to start trying within the first year, since that’s when women are most fertile. I’m trying to stay positive about it because I know how important that is to the whole process. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply disappointed that it’s taking us longer to conceive this time -- we’ve been trying for about seven months now.

Everyone, including my husband, thought it would happen for us immediately, like it did the first time. We got very lucky. Deep down I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy; but deeper down I didn’t think it would take us this long either. One month quickly turned into seven months…

We haven’t been trying for a full year yet but I’ll be 37 this April and I know how much my age plays a factor in this. A big factor. I started taking prenatal vitamins two months ago. I’m doing things differently this time, to help my chances… The first time I literally blinked and got pregnant, three months after we got married. I didn’t take prenatal vitamins before my pregnancy, and I didn’t take them during it either (they made me nauseated). Heck, I was drinking just a couple of weekends before I found out I was pregnant; I had NO clue.

I don’t even remember paying attention to when I was ovulating when we conceived the first time -- and now I’m totally obsessed with counting the days in my cycle and watching for my LH surge, taking ovulation tests every month, following them up with pregnancy tests, and the roller coaster of hopes and disappointments that go along with all of it. It’s why watching shows like “Giuliana and Bill” and “Grey’s Anatomy” is so heart-wrenching for me. It’s very easy to tell a woman not to think about it so much, but when you’re trying to get pregnant it’s all there is to think about.

This will probably be my last post about this -- because I’m superstitious myself, I don’t want to make this a totally public experience. Don't want to jinx anything! But I’ve gotten some questions from people so I wanted to address it. I am not pregnant, but hopefully the next time you hear from me about this topic I will be. Knock on wood…

My great cousin Marcy, who’s in her late eighties and like a grandmother to me, told me I’m too uptight (ya think!) and that’s probably hurting my chances of getting pregnant. Not to mention all the stress I’ve been under lately… She’s probably right, but stress is a hard thing to control, um especially when you're trying to get pregnant, as this Parenting article points out, which I've read twice now.

Thirty-something moms: How long did it take you to get pregnant when you were over 35? I would love to hear if there’s anything you did, or didn’t do, that helped -- even if it’s just for my own peace of mind. I haven’t gone the route of fertility treatments yet, but I’m certainly not opposed to it. The most important thing to me is family. My husband and I both always said we wanted three kids. But at this point, I’d be perfectly happy to have just one more, a sibling for Preston. I long for the day that I see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test again. Next to my wedding day and birth of my child, it was the best moment of my life when I saw them the first time.

Follow me on Twitter @thecosmomom and friend me on Facebook (Sarah Preston Gorenstein) to hear more about my adventures in parenting.