The Poppy Seed Bagel

I stood in the bathroom crossing my fingers and repeatedly checking the clock. My five minutes were up. It was obvious the pregnancy test was negative. Even so, I held it up at all different angles thinking maybe a very, very, very faint positive line would appear if I held it just right. After 10 minutes (they warn you the results are invalid after 5 minutes, but I like to live on the edge) I decided it was time to call it quits and threw the test away (for any friends who are trying to conceive you’ll be impressed to know I threw it in the real trash, not my secret-check-it-later-just-in-case-spot). I told myself it was fine to cry, but surprisingly I was feeling okay. I guess by this point I had months of being let down under my belt so the hurt seemed a little more dull.  Was this a good sign or a bad sign?

It was still early morning, so I decided to do a few of my favorite things. I started up the pellet stove, let the chickens out, snuggled Romeo, and snuck a little cake for breakfast. I thought of all the reasons I had to be grateful: I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many amazing places, my parents/nana/family/Ryan’s family are healthy, I have a graduate degree and job–and these were just a few! My list was working, and I was effectively cheering myself up and starting to feel better. I went to clear my empty cake plate, and that’s when I saw it…

The poppy seed bagel. It was sitting there on the counter–I hadn’t noticed it before.

I should probably back track a bit to help you understand: I had completely convinced myself that I was pregnant. I was two days late, and I had even texted one of my best friends from college telling her that I thought it was finally happening: I. Was. Pumped. I kept dropping little hints to Ryan, and came up with my master plan to tell him. When a woman is 4 weeks pregnant (right around the time a pregnancy test will show a positive) her embryo is the size of a poppyseed. My husband loves everything bagels so I was going to surprise him with a bagel and then show him the teeny tiny size of our little baby. The plan was flawless!

Except that I didn’t buy that bagel. And I didn’t have the exciting news to share. And that’s when I lost it. I ugly cried for a solid 10 minutes alone in the kitchen. Staring at a damn poppy seed bagel and thinking of all it did not represent.

And I asked myself the same questions that always creep their way into my mind..why not me? is this bad karma? Is this because I’d be a bad mom? Completely irrational thoughts, I know. But sometimes struggling with fertility robs you of your sanity and you can’t help but fall into those darker thoughts.

But then I worked hard on reminding myself of all the things going well in my life. And I chose to be happy. Because for me I have found that happiness is a choice. I can choose to dwell and fall into a rabbit hole of negative thinking/feeling sorry for myself, or I can choose to find the good things in life–no matter how big or small.

Lots of people tell me “you’re always so happy!”and it’s not a mask. But it is something that I have to work hard at. Sometimes being happy comes so easily and other times I have to intentionally take baby steps to get there. And I don’t think being sad or being happy are mutually exclusive. I think both can be felt simultaneously. But I am determined not to let infertility win. In fact, I think it starts by removing that ugly word from my vocabulary. A wise friend of mine helped me identify that the language we use to define ourselves is important. And by staying hopeful we are choosing and proving to have a fertile mind.


2 thoughts on “The Poppy Seed Bagel

  1. I thought I had commented on this, but realized I didn’t. I just wanted to say I am constantly thinking about you and praying/sending positive vibes your direction.

    The end of this post really made me smile. I am so glad you are choosing to keep a positive and fertile mind. I think that will make all the difference. You are not alone on your journey and you are doing many women a big service by sharing your story. ❤


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