Sick Day Sunday

January 27, 2013 § 8 Comments

Today is Sunday. For the last 5 years, since I started my doctoral program, Sundays have been work days. They are typically the day when I panic and start worrying about all of the things that I haven’t gotten done yet: the ongoing qualifying exam (which is only a couple of months from being done), several manuscripts that are in preparation, clinical reports that I haven’t finished, the dreaded DISSERTATION. By Sundays, I’m in the position where the anxiety of not getting enough done in the previous week is all but crippling and the knowledge (from hundreds of Sundays of experience) that I will not get enough done in the coming week is downright frightening. But.

But today I feel like I need a sick day. A mental health day. A trying-to-conceive-for-over-a-year-and-in-the-second-half-of-the-two-week-wait day. Today I am 9 dpo. I have a headache (don’t worry, this morning’s test came back negative). I woke up two hours before I wanted to. At 5 AM. On a weekend. Probably in anticipation of taking my temperature.

See, if I get pregnant on this cycle, I’ll be due in October. My birthday month. The month I lost my first pregnancy. And the month that I have to submit applications for my clinical internship. Friends, this internship process is a mess. I will very likely have to move to some other part of the country for it (there is only one of these positions in my whole state). It’s a year long appointment. And then I have to do a two year fellowship (which will likely be in a totally different location). But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For this internship, there is a matching process. You send out applications in October and go on interviews from mid-December to the end of January. There is really no way around it. You can’t not go to the interviews. You can’t reschedule them. There are specific “interview days,” so a site might give you 2-3 of these days to choose from. And you’ve gotta show up or else you’re not considered. People are basically out of town for as much as that 6 weeks as they are in town. Then you submit a ranking of your favorite sites, and the sites submit a ranking of their favorite applicants. And a fucking computer program decides where you’re going to have to move for the next year.

If I get pregnant this cycle, I’ll be due in October. I can manage getting my applications out early in preparation for an impending lentil. But I can’t imagine traveling for several days of every week for 7 weeks (if I get lucky and get a lot of interviews) within a month of giving birth to a baby, so November would a far from ideal due date. December-February would be even worse, though, because most airlines won’t let you fly when you’re in your last trimester. And, of course, being visibly pregnant at a job interview is never on the list of things you should do to increase your odds of landing a job.

We’re not going to stop trying. It’s taken us so long that I don’t want to miss any opportunities to create this child for us. But if it doesn’t happen this cycle, my immediate career plans might take a bit of a hit. I’ll have to see if sites will allow me to do phone interviews. And we all know that if everyone else is interviewing in person, and you’re interviewing on the phone, your odds are probably not as good. I’ve got a pretty warm smile, and I can’t let it do it’s magic through the telephone wires, y’all.

All of this is to say that I’m having a very bad day as far as two week wait days go. I usually don’t test so early, but I’ve tested every day for the last three days. They’re all glaringly white. Negative. Nada. Going into this cycle, I felt really good about it. Like weird intuitive good. Like this was IT. (I’m usually not so optimistic.) And now I just have my negative tests, an unproductive Sunday, a headache, significant irritability that is being directed at The Artsy Engineer (poor guy), and my empty womb.

I know, I know. It’s still too early to count myself out. But in my head and in my heart, it ain’t.

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§ 8 Responses to Sick Day Sunday

  • Risa says:

    Hi! I’m 9dpo too! Though I have been too cautious to take any tests. I recently started a new job and was terrified at the timing of our treatments and not having to take off work. So I understand this dilemma you are facing. I decided to charge ahead with both and so far, it’s working out. Things just seem to fall into place. Thinking about you..

  • Romy says:

    Hi! I recently came across your blog and like it because I too am in grad school and dealt with infertility (currently 17 weeks pregnant after IVF).
    I personally agree with what you’re saying about continuing to try; for the first 1,5 year of trying, I constantly had the possibility of getting pregnant this cycle and the corresponding potential due date in my head. As a result, I would not book trips, not get a snowboard season pass, not enrol in certain classes, not apply for another job etc. Finally I decided that I had been putting my life on hold for long enough and I started basing decisions based on my current situation – which was not pregnant at the time. I think you’ll make it work either way – I never planned on being in a graduate program while pregnant but it’ll still work out fine and we are resourceful enough to just make it work!
    And who knows, if the situation you describe actually happens, you’ll either happily take a year off career wise or the interviewers might surprise you by agreeing to Skype interviews instead? What are you doing your doctoral program in? Good luck with everything!

  • Sadie says:

    A fellow academic and babyloss survivor here. I totally hear ya on the timing issues. Ah, just one more thing to overthink in the wonderful land of ttc, IF and loss! I finished a post-doc 1.5 yrs ago, and really wanted to take some time out to focus on baby making and letting my husband (he’s a PhD student) progress with his stuff, since that’s the kinda deal we had. But that’s presenting new challenges for timing, should we be lucky enough to conceive again. In the end, I think it just is what it is and no amount of worrying will change that…even after all I’ve been through, I’d still like to believe life has a way of working itself out. I wish you all the best!

    • You’re absolutely right, the worrying is a poor substitute for actually being able to control anything. All it does is make me sick and sad. You’re right. I still believe that things always work themselves out. They become the right thing even if they didn’t feel like the right thing in the beginning. And thank you for the well wishes! Every single one of them is appreciated beyond belief.

  • Hey- I totally get the timing thing. I work in politics and the election is this May. Depending on which party wins, my colleagues and I will all be fired summarily (am not partisan, but it’s part of the job). We’ll then have to interview (grovel) our way back into a job.

    My skill set is geared specifically towards politics in this area so if I lose my job while pregnant well that would suck, but at the same time I am at that point where I don’t care! Which is probably a great way to incur more debt, but I’m at the point where I’m ok w/ the timing if I have a LO 🙂 We’ll figure it out!

    Sounds like you’re in the same spot: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    • It sounds like we are in absolutely the same spot! I think I have yet to kind of roll over and accept the fact that I’m not going to have any control over the timing of this whole thing. Which I need to do. I’m close. I’m definitely losing this particular battle with the fertility gods. They’ve got my arms pinned down trying to get me to submit to whatever timeline they see fit. But, your right. We, too, will indeed figure it out!

  • […] that this coming December-January is also the time that I will (hopefully) be interviewing for internship positions all over the country. Yes, I could probably arrange phone interviews for one or two if absolutely […]

  • Ugh! Ack! I got stressed out just thinking about that FOR you! How about this-I will wish you serenity. Like Sadie said, it will work out. Keep trying (because you really can’t NOT try) and keep going as if your interviews will go just as they should. Good luck and deep breaths. And definitely take a Sunday or two off once in awhile!

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