The seemingly insurmountable peaks and valleys of ‘trying’

I have known forever that I want two children. Friends shake their heads at the living embodiment of a cliché that I am and it is true too; if I had been raised in the West, I am sure my idea of an ideal home would include a white picket fence. So I’ve always had this picture in my head of two kids, ideally one boy and one girl. Sometime last year, I brought up the topic of a second child with the husband. He likes the idea of a sibling for Rumi too and he would really like to adopt. I would like to adopt too, but then I would also really like to conceive again. It was so indescribably beautiful carrying Rumi for those 9 months; those kicks and fluttery movements, the thumb-sucking in the ultrasounds, the galloping sound of her heartbeat, I just loved every single moment of being pregnant. Even when it got hard and complicated and we got scared with preterm labor, I got an undying trickle of courage and peace when I placed my hands on my belly and asked her to stay inside for just one more day, one more week.

I am convinced that the birth of Rumi is truly a miracle, a gift that I will go down on my knees and be grateful for all my life. I have lost track of the number of hours spent with the radiologist monitoring the size of my follicles, the number of shots I took without a sound (and I’m petrified of injections!), the pills I took before just giving up and saying I could not possibly do it again, only to find out that our lil wormy had nested in the walls of my uterus as ‘naturally’ as ever. As it was meant to be.

Wanting to birth a child a second time over means opening those painful gates again. Of waiting every month and hoping and saying a prayer on the bathroom floor, only to find one pink line again. Of being petrified of finding blood on my underpants every time I use the bathroom. Is it worth it? And my PCOD has just gotten worse. I get my period once in three months. That means 4 chances a year? And the chance that I ovulate in those cycles is also quite low. In spite of knowing this, in spite of agreeing that adoption is completely right for us and for the earth and for the population, in spite of knowing how a second child will pull our finances paper-thin, I cannot stop hankering for those two pink lines.

I sometimes feel like a spoilt and petulant child who will ignore the hundreds of beautiful toys around and cry for something totally worthless in the shop window. My life has given me everything I ever asked for, even more than what I ever asked for. Then why am I hell bent on crying over that one thing that won’t come easy, or may not come at all? Why do I obsessively buy those stupid pregnancy tests and take them furtively and pray and almost believe for two seconds that this time it is going to be positive?

I don’t know why. I only know how it amazes me and makes me gape with alien wonder when I hear how someone conceived immediately or even accidentally. Like a missed period is enough to know. I keep wondering how that must feel like. Having PCOS is having my body plays these mean tricks on me. My breasts feel fuller and hurt. I feel nauseous and sick in the mornings. And I miss my period. And then I fall for these things and allow myself to hope, only to see that one pink line and spend a day crying and feeling sorry for myself.

I don’t know what the best way forward is. To just stop trying and adopt? To keep trying for the event that we will conceive, miraculously and unexpectedly like we did with Rumi? To be content with the joys of raising one child and look to find that same joy and spark in other dreams? I oscillate between these options like a lost soul. I really do not know.

What I do know is this: this is my burden to carry, my load, the tiny crack in the perfect, glazed porcelain of my life. I beg my mother, my husband, my close friends for answers and they can hold me close and comfort me as they know how but they cannot answer this for me or make this sadness their own. Whether I have to go through a thousand one pink line tests more, or get a ‘heart’ baby or raise Rumi as an only child, I have to carry this weight the best I can. A trivial burden as compared to the horrific tragedies in the world, but my burden nonetheless. I know that it passes. Sometimes by spending an afternoon in bed with a book. Sometimes by crying loudly into my husband’s chest wetting the front of his super-soft T-shirts. But mostly by praying. And whenever I go through these hard days and pray, I always remember a story about Jesus that was told to us in school about the crosses we all have to bear, and it sort of gives me strength. Here’s the link:





Two pink lines!


Well, that’s what this blog was supposed to be called. Two pink lines for that much-awaited (much-dreaded?!) sending-a-shiver-down-your-spine outcome on a bathroom floor that turns your entire life upside down for better or for worse. I got mine more than a year ago, on a rainy August morning, in a test taken sneakily while the husband (whom i lovingly refer to as Monkey) was dozing outside in our mango colored comforter, blissfully unaware of what was to come.

After months of doctors’ visits, pills and disappointing one pink lines, we had mutually decided to forget about babies and parenthood for a while and just “enjoy life” (read: start those late night drunken escapades again!). A mad weekend road trip followed, where we took the forgetting part extremely seriously by wholeheartedly reveling in vodka, dives in the pool, and strenuous adventure activities.

Back at home with a missed cycle, the wishful mother in me could not resist and i bought a home pregnancy test on the sly (by telling Monkey that i needed a toothbrush – not wanting him to go through what was sure to be another disappointment) and hid it in the bathroom. Next morning, i tiptoed into the bathroom and watched the strip with eyes half shut and bated breath as i brushed. And slowly but surely the magic happened, as two lines appeared. Whaaaatttt???! I did a double take. Blinked. Those two lines were still there. I trembled from top-to-toe as i came out of the bathroom in a daze. “What happened sweetheart?” was Monkey’s first reaction as he helped me sit on the bed, worried sick about what had happened to me inside. “Sweetie, i think I’m pregnant” i could barely whisper. He bolted out of bed and ran inside to check on his own. We read and re-read the instructions. Called the doctor (who screamed in joy and shock herself!). Got a blood test done. And started on a very wonderful, tumultuous and overwhelming adventure called parenthood.

The journey from conception and pregnancy to parenthood is filled with twists and turns. Just when you think you’re sailing smoothly, a rough wind shakes your sails. Just when you think you know what’s coming, an unexpected outcome compels you to step back, reassess, reconsider and realign, much like the naming of this blog. But that is the best part about this whole journey. The ultrasound where you unexpectedly see a tiny worm that is your baby, amidst the black and white graininess. Or that afternoon, where you’re feeling hot and grumpy because you can’t turn over on your tummy and a determined punch on your right side suddenly reminds you of the life present inside.

Because the best surprises in life are the unexpected ones.