My husband gets sad when mother nature shows up and it's another month where he didn't knock me up, but I don't think he understands the roller coaster that I go through. How could he? He is obviously a very active participant in this process, but he is not physically feeling it. He isn't watching for symptoms or paying attention to every pain or pang. He's waiting for me to tell him what's next.
Here's the best way I can explain the very emotional reaction that I get to an unsuccessful cycle. It's the most accurate way that I can liken what females go through and why it takes up so much of energy and emotion. I get irritated when my husband "just doesn't understand", but how could he? What experience could he have that he could naturally liken to this long and exhausting process?
Also, the following imagery is a little graphic, so, you know, don't puke. If you don't like talk of gross stuff, stop reading or put on your big girl panties or whatever.
Imagine there is a promotion that you desperately want. It would change your life. It will probably take up a lot of time and energy, but it's the path that you're on and you know that you want it. There's nothing else that you want. There are moments when you think that things might be okay without it, but then something comes up and you are reminded why you need this. When the desire comes back after waning for a few days, it's stronger and sometimes can feel like desperation.
Then you don't get the job, but instead of a phone call, email and a pat on the back, the only indication that you get is that your body starts to hurt. You start feeling physically sick. Then, you start to bleed. It's not like a little cut. It's a wound that requires multiple bandage changes over several days. There is no warning. This is just the way nature tells you that you weren't right for the job. When you stand up, you start to bleed more heavily. Every move you make is a reminder that you didn't achieve your goal. You can't blame it on politics or the interviewer not liking you. It's just luck of the draw. Your life isn't yet where you want it to be because you didn't make it happen. For several days, you get a physical reminder that you're not yet on the way to where you need to be. Sometimes it really hurts. Sometimes it's lighter. Sometimes you stain your clothes. Regardless, there is no soft let down. You go from hopeful to bleeding after two endless weeks of waiting for more information.
Does that sound like it sucks?
Good, because it does. It sucks a whole shit ton.
I won't say it's harder for women, but it is different. The pain is the there whether you're the potential mother or the father, but it is definitely not the same. Mine isn't worse, but I feel like it's starts out more intense because I get the physical warning. It's almost like pain that reminds that you've failed. It hurts physically and emotionally.
If you don't get why your wife/girlfriend/partner seems to never get used the big fat negative on the pee stick, this may be why. It's not a "Don't call us. We'll call you." It's a "OHHHHHH, you'll hear from us, and it won't be pretty."
I hold on hope to the idea that it might be pretty soon.
As always, it's hip to be square (and emotional!), kids.