Friday, August 30, 2013

Self Imposed Deadlines

Self imposed deadlines. I think it's something we all do at one time or another. Thinking, "If I get pregnant this cycle, then we can tell our immediate families over Labor Day and our extended families over Thanksgiving or Christmas!" or, if you're a teacher, "If I get pregnant during X Month, then I can take maternity leave in May and have the rest of the summer with the baby!" Or even, "I have to get pregnant before my drug taking, welfare using, has 5 baby daddies, cousin has her 7th child."

These are deadlines that we put on ourselves, perhaps as a coping mechanism. Personally, since we live so far away from family, I take holidays and long weekends as signs. Like, if this cycle was going to work, we would have taken Labor Day to go tell our immediate families, and then tell Keegan's extended family when we see them for Thanksgiving.

I haven't talked much about the details of my job here, mostly because it's technically through the government, and I'm sure they wouldn't like a blog talking about my lady bits to be associated with them. However, for the sake of this post, I'm going to share a bit of information. I'm a VIS.TA* volunteer which is part of Ameri.Corps*. If you don't know about these programs, think of them almost like a local peace corps...kind of. V members are put into communities specifically to combat poverty. I was volunteering at the art gallery where I currently work for 40+ hours each week for about a year and a half because my boss didn't have the money to pay me. We worked on the V application for that entire year and a half and eventually got 10 VIS.TAs, including myself, into 7 organizations in my community. As a V, you sign a contract, giving up a year of your life as a volunteer. You get a small stipend each month, as well as having your student loans deferred for the time you're serving. You also get the choice of a $5,500 education award that can be used for paying back student loans or for furthering your education, or a $1,500 cash award at the end of each year. If, for any reason, you quit before your year is up, you lose all benefits and are not allowed to be a part of the program for the rest of your life.

What does my job have to do with infertility? When I signed my name of that dotted line last year, I put a deadline on myself. To not have to leave my position before my year was up, I had to get pregnant before November 2013. Obviously that hasn't happened yet, but just yesterday, I signed on for another year.

It was a hard decision. We don't know where our fertility journey is going to take us next. Logically, I should stop treatments until the new year, just to ensure that I don't give birth before November 2014. Am I going to? Hell no! If I do magically get pregnant and give birth before November 2014, then we'll just have to work something out. A lot of my job is spent in front of a computer, so there's the chance I could work from home. While I'm not comfortable with the daycares around here, we may be able to leave our child with a friend during the day for a few months, or have Keegan's mom, who is retired, live with us until my term is up.

Even though I know better, I have put another deadline on myself. I need to want to have a child, or at the very least, be pregnant by November 2014. But, we all know that it doesn't work that way. I just can't imagine signing on for a third term in 2014 because I'm still not pregnant. By then, two years of trying for our first child will have passed, and while I know other have been fighting for much longer, I just can't picture still being childless for another year.

While I know that putting these deadlines on myself isn't helpful, in a strange way, it gives me something to work towards. By saying that we need to be pregnant by November 2014, perhaps it'll make us increase the strength of our treatments faster. Instead of doing six IUIs, maybe we'll only do 3, realize that they're not working for us, and move on.

So what about you guys? Are you guilty of putting deadlines on yourself? Do they help you or just stress you out?

*All names have had periods added or shortened to decrease the chance of someone searching those names and coming across my blog. 


  1. I totally used to have deadlines mapped out in my head. In the first year of TTC I aimed for an april/may baby so it was good timing with my teaching schedule. We took a two month break to avoid a Christmas baby.
    Honestly we even did a few cycles of BDing right before ovulation in hopes of conceiving a girl.(the slow girl sperm theory of being the only ones left when the egg is ready).
    I made plans and trips and life decisions all based on the expectation that I would be pregnant or have a newborn. I refuse to do that any longer! I think you made the right decision to go ahead and sign the contract. I'm sure there is some maternity leave loop hole anyway...I think legally they have to!!

    1. I definitely second guessed booking our flights to Canada for our vacation just in case I was pregnant and had horrible morning sickness or something. I'm glad I didn't. I try not to let the idea of being pregnant or having a newborn take over my decisions, but it's hard sometimes!

      They do provide maternity leave, I think 6 weeks. But, if I get pregnant, say, with this cycle, we'd have a May baby which leaves 6 months of us scrambling lol.

  2. Throughout my twenties I revised my timeline about a million times, but it always had me pregnant by thirty. Thirty is now three months away and extremely unlikely, so I find myself again revising, with no idea what's next.

  3. I absolutely consider timelines. Constantly. Literally - all the time. You are not alone in that!!

  4. I did a LOT of that when I was with my ex, and even when I gave up on conceiving naturally, I did it with when I tried to think of having a treatment cycle.

    This time around, I'm ruthlessly locking down thoughts of that because for me, at this point, it's just easier to cope if I assume that I won't ever conceive, because then if I ever do, it's a pleasant surprise, but then I haven't planned my life around things that didn't happen.

  5. I am always putting a time limit on stuff.. except. Shopping. :-)
    I hate that I stress myself out over my own expectations sometimes. You are not alone! ;-)

  6. I'm glad you decided to sign on for another year. It sounds like a great job and it must make you happy :)

    I kind of have a deadline in my head about being a Mama by 30, but its's not set om stone.

  7. I do this a lot too, but really trying hard not to unless necessary.

  8. It only stresses me out. After my miscarriage, I expected to get pregnant again quickly (like the first time). When it didn't happen, I thought, "Okay, at least I'll be pregnant by my due date, for sure." When that didn't happen, my next deadline was before the anniversary of my miscarriage. When that didn't happen, I had to stop thinking in terms of deadlines, because I felt like too much of a failure.