Happy Birthday, You're Not Pregnant

I wake up and look at my phone. My app tells me I have 3 days until my expected start date. There are also 3 days until my birthday.

I sit up and rub my eyes as I begin the usual, monthly battle with myself. My mind fights my heart, even though we know who will ultimately win. My damn heart always wins out over logic.

I walk into the bathroom and sigh as I unhappily unwrap one the many pregnancy tests I keep on hand. I look at myself angrily in the mirror, wishing I could stop myself from such self destruction,

but I sit and pee and wait.

*Rule number 1 of taking a pregnancy test: never look until all 3 minutes have past.

I wash my hands and face, brush my teeth, and spray dry shampoo in my hair. Finally, I chuck the stick with its single, strikingly pink line into the trash can.

"Happy birthday, you're not pregnant, again." I mutter to myself as I brush my hair.

In 3 days I will be 27 years old. I used to really like birthdays and getting older. I've always loved aging, growing wiser, gaining more smile lines that proved my life was happy. But this year, I want to pretend my birthday does not exist. I want to turn back the clock. I want to be 25 and pregnant again; not turning 27, childless. This is not how I ever imagined my life.

Why, as little girls, do we imagine such detailed plans for our lives? It must be how filled with hope we are when we are young, and that Carpe Diem project Mrs. Breaux had us do senior year. We hope for our futures by planning them in such a strict way that can only lead to disappointment.

Among planning to live next door to my best friend, and swapping last names by marrying each other's brothers (HA!), I would graduate from FIDM at the age of 21, start designing, find my perfect man and marry at 25, and be done having kids by the time I was 30. Well, my best friend and I got over our crushes on each other's brothers and haven't lived in the same state since high school. Upon learning that the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising cost about $20,000 a year, and realizing I could NOT draw or sketch, I gave up my dream of becoming a fashion designer. I got married at 22, and didn't graduate from Weber State University until a year and a half later. And at 27 years old, I am nowhere near knowing when or how Tyler and I will have children.

Suddenly 27 feels so close to 30, and 30 haunts me as the age all the books say it will only become harder to get pregnant. And I am left wondering, How can it be any harder than it is now? 

Because it is so hard.

It is hard to know what to feel, what to do, what to plan. I feel heartbroken every month that I throw another negative pregnancy test in the trash can, but when I pray I don't feel good about going back to the fertility clinic. I feel like our home is hollow and empty without children, but I love our life together right now. I feel anguish at others' pregnancy announcements, but I feel excitement for them too. I am constantly in emotional turmoil and, I must admit, I am exhausted.

This week I do not feel brave. I do not feel like I have any divine wisdom to share with any one who reads this. I feel weak and vulnerable and exhausted. I thought about keeping it to myself, but I thought I should share this side of the story, too.

I mean, I am real. And I feel.

I feel broken. I feel happy. I feel despondent. I feel positive. I feel hopeless. I feel conflicted. But I FEEL!

This life is about feeling things: good things and bad things. This life is about discovering feelings, overcoming feelings, being empowered by feelings.

Today is hard. This birthday is hard, and I have no idea how much harder is still ahead of us. But we have each other, and we endure the hard days, birthdays, holidays, all the days together.

Happy Birthday, you're not pregnant. Keep feeling.