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I Had to Have Cornbeef on Rye

By Courtney Kendrick

A couple years back I used to spend a large amount of time and emotion on internet infertility forums. Women would write in and ask questions, admit defeat and discuss radical treatments. You know how it goes, you lurk on a forum like that and the next thing you know your really concerned that Babyorbust21’s hormonal therapy might go awry if she doesn’t stop obsessing over coffee. 

There was a certain thread though that none of us baby-seeking females could stop reading. It was called the Pregnancy Signs thread. Women would explain in almost scary detail, the physical and emotional symptoms they felt after conception, before they took pregnancy tests.

Like this:

Day 1 after conception: Gassy

Day 2 after conception: Breast Tenderness and gassy.

Day 3 after conception: Brushed my teeth, wanted to puke.

Day 4 after conception: Still gassy. And ornery.

You see how it goes….

The whole concept was of the devil. I am sure there was a whole load of us hopefuls that would be driving down the road, feel twinge of pain in our chests and know it was though an angel had personally announced the arrival of motherhood. Before our cycle was up, we had branded ourselves pregnant judging by the thread. It wasn’t that we ate beans, it was because we were in the family way. When the devastating day arrived and we discovered we really weren’t pregnant–the thread had fooled us–the disappointment was intense. No, really that whole idea was cooked up in hell’s kitchen by the devil.

Eventually I stopped reading the thread and turned away. I haven’t stopped asking people in my life their stories though. My older sister gets eye twitches. My mother would get bored. My neighbor feels bloated. Knowing that one never knows how babies will come, I’ve started asking those in my life how they knew they were going to become a parent. My friend had a dream about adoption. My visiting teaching companion prayed and knew she was to try for an IVF.

If you’d like to write your story in our comments, I’d love to read it. And I promise I won’t obsess. But if it includes gas, feel free to leave that part out. I think that’s a given.

About Courtney Kendrick


27 thoughts on “I Had to Have Cornbeef on Rye”

  1. I have done the same thing. About a week before we got the call for Jooj I found myself cleaning like crazy. I am not a clean person, by any standard, but when I looked back on it I thought "I must have been NESTING!" So about once a month I start doing the dishes and things so that I will get another call. Apparently it was not the nesting. I was just tired of living in filth.

    I knew that a baby was coming because Heavenly Father told me. And I took him far too literally and cried my eyes out and had a tiny crisis of faith 9 months to the day from my special visitation when she didn't come. It was a good lesson for me in the promise keeping of our Father. The next day there was a double rainbow outside of our house and I remembered the story of Noah.

    And there was another rainbow the day after we adopted Jooj–a year and a half after my sign.

  2. I am a mighty night owl–or, rather, it's not the time, it's that I don't like to sleep. Waste of time! So many other worthwhile things I could be doing! I'll even wake up in the AM ready and rearing to go–just don't want to piddle away time sleeping.

    I knew this time because it was 10pm and I was so exhausted I had to go to bed before 1am. When this pattern repeated itself three days in a row I knew something was up. Indeed, it was.

    With the first one, the one that took us years to find, I knew something was different because I kept having pre-period cramps and thinking that I really needed to get to the store as I was out of products. After two weeks of warning cramping failed to yield a result, I decided to pick up a test instead. Positive and I knew it was a boy.

  3. Immediately upon conceiving my firstborn, a small, skin-colored mole sprouted at the top of my forehead. It disappeared when she was a few months old. When it came back not quite two years later, I knew. He is now nearly one year and it has not gone away yet. Not sure what that means. I will tell you though that it took nine months to get pregnant the first time and I was so obsessed I bought pregnancy tests in bulk at Costco. I had a friend who had a period while she was pregnant (just the first month), so I was convinced that that was no indicator of failure to conceive. I took an EPT test about every 10 days for all nine months and drove my husband crazy.

  4. Oh man alive, I saw those same boards when we were trying to get pregnant. Eeee gads. When I was pregnant (before I knew it) I swore I was having the worst PMS of my entire life. I even went to Target the night before we found out to stock up on more Advil because I was sure this month was going to be a doozy. I cried about everything and anything. And the boobs? They even hurt when I rolled over in bed at night. Good grief, they hurt.

    Also, with Jacob, I just knew he was a boy about a week after we found out about his existence. I honestly think God was preparing me, since I'd wanted a girl SO badly. And still, when we went to the ultrasound at week 20 or 21, my husband acted shocked! suprised! thrilled! Because we found out we were having a boy! Yeah, like I hadn't been telling him that for about 4 months.

    Josh was a different story. I had problems after Jake was born. We knew a #2 was going to come soon, but the idea of becoming/trying to become pregnant ripped me to shreds. I couldn't imagine it. After a lot of prayer, a very clear answer came that we were to adopt #2. We had planned on adopting – one day. After we'd had all the bio kids we wanted. Ha. So much for plans. We're pretty sure at this point that #3 will be adopted, but who know about any possible kids after that. I've learned to take them one by one, and make each one a matter of big time prayer.

  5. When my husband and I wanted our first child, I was convinced I had given myself a stomach ulcer instead. When I went to the dr. for my stomach ulcer, they enlightened me that I WAS indeed pregnant. So, when it came time for baby #2 and my stomach felt utterly in KNOTS, I said to my husband, "Well, I really have given myself a stomach ulcer this time, or maybe I am pregnant again." I was pregnant again. Apparently, feeling like I have a stomach ulcer is the right sign for me. (The stomach ulcer feeling stopped about 5 weeks in both times.)

  6. When I'm about to drop a huge sum of cash, I know I'm about to get a baby. Unfortunately, that's the only sign I've had. They've both been worth every penny.

    For about 2 weeks a couple of months ago I thought I might be pregnant. It really was just a change in medication that made my period go away (that has never happened before because with my condition-pcos-I usually have a period for about 2-3 weeks). Anyway, to the point. I was SO SCARED because now that I have my kids through adoption, I don't want to be pregnant! I made myself sick just thinking about it. Nausea, *no gas*, forgetfullness (like…hello, you're infertile…not pregnant!), and cravings for boxes of Nilla Wafers.

  7. the last two weeks i've been craving broccoli with vinegar, butter, salt, and pepper. i ate more than two pounds in one week… I thought maybe i was defficient in the good 'ol Folic Acid(!)- but we checked into it- not preggers- maybe someday!

  8. It has been different every time…breast changes, funny about smells, wanting to rip my husband apart for merely existing. But this last time I knew when my jewelry starting turning my skin greenish-black.

  9. Hubby and I were on our way to my "surprise" birthday party when, in the parking lot, I told him we shouldn't go because I felt flu-ey. No boob issues (I had a reduction years prior so maybe that's why I didn't feel ANY change in them), gas or cramping. Just flu-like symptoms (as a side note: backtracking to find out the conceived date it ended up being THE DAY, a Sunday, Russell M. Nelson spoke at our stake conference in Redmond, WA — almost gave our son "Russell" as his middle name but with his first name it'd make him a dog, so we didn't).

    The 2nd and last time was in Utah and I felt flu-ey again. Went to the Dr. (I'm clueless sometimes) and the nurse asked if I could be pregnant. Well, maybe, because we have sex since we're married and all. The Dr. came back in and said I didn't have strep or a virus that it was a baby instead. So, flu for me.

  10. My husband would be the one to tell me I was pregnant. I didn't really have any early signs but apparently he could tell for some reason (the glow maybe? 🙂 who knows!) He would say, "I think your pregnant" and I'd just laugh and then a week or so later…sure enough! Maybe he's psychic? It was kind of a bummer because I always wanted to tell him in some cute way that we were going to be parents — like the time my mom announced she was pregnant with my youngest sister in testimony meeting. My dad was in the bishopric and he turned white and his jaw dropped in shock! I'll never forget that!
    For me, I didn't really have any real "signs" of pregnancy until about two months into it and then BAM! the typical nausea, tiredness, etc.

  11. First time it was when I (who have been conditioned since a child to not ever vomit) threw up the stuffed mushrooms I had made for a double date when I set up my brother with a co-worker.

    Second time it was after I signed on the line at the oral surgeon's where I state emphatically there is no possible way I could be pregnant so they could give me all the anesthia they wanted to.

    After that I was too busy to worry if I was or if I wasn't and the next 10 years were all a blur. On most days, it's still all a blur.

    All I know is that I've never taken a home pregnancy because I just knew and I have never had an ultrasound to discover the gender because I don't like to open my Christmas presents at Thanksgiving and I always just knew what I was having anyway.

    This from someone who generally has to be hit on the head or struck by lightening to know anything.

    So I'm sorry. I have absolutely nothing of use to offer. The only glimpse I have had of the pains of infertility are all vicarious. But my heart goes out to my sisters, SILs and friends and even complete strangers nonetheless.

    Prayers, too.

  12. My husband calls it every time. It's freaky. 4 times and never wrong. He also knows when I'm not pregnant, even though I might be suspecting it. Never wrong.

    Also, he can make street lights go out with his mind. I realize this might take this running conversation in a different way, but it's true.

    I also have an unnatural, obsessive craving for root beer.

  13. Since my challenge seems to be HYPERfertility, I experience it a little differently. The Spirit tells me when I am supposed to have another baby, and then I get brave enough to brush against Don in the hallway again (which is all it seems to take for me). I don't really agonize over "this month? nexst month?" because I know that it will happen quickly when I'm told that it is time. I have pretty minor pregnancy symptoms, mostly just feeling tired, so it can take 3 or 4 weeks for "feeling pregnant" to become noticable.

  14. I stood up to answer the door and almost fainted–massive head rush. That was #1.

    For #4, a LADY IN THE WARD SAID I LOOKED PREGNANT. And this was BEFORE I HAD EVEN MISSED A PERIOD!!!!!!!! I still can't get over that one. (Darn lady.) Then I had to explain a few months later why I lied to her when she asked earlier.

    I had trouble conceiving (it took a year for #1; I have trouble ovulating) and the first test I took once I was pregnant was a dud! So I went to the store and bought two more (thinking it was just another negative and I'd be retaking in a month). Even when we got a positive I went out and got a blood test just to be sure. But I kept that positive wand for a while, and I had spent so many hours before that trying to will that second line to appear that I really had to restrain myself NOT to take a few more tests just to see that positive result pop up. I ended up saving that other test until #2 (but had to buy several more then, too).

  15. one day at work the scent of the columbian blend coffee brewing next to my office- like it had brewed each morning for the IT department for the past 2 years- became so repulsive of a scent. as if my mouth was packed with copper and coffee beans. I had to either throw away all the packets each week before they came into the office or keep my door shut.

  16. Exhaustion. I felt like I had the flu, but with no other symptoms except lack of energy. And I could tell within a week. With my first, I had no clue. I even went to see a PA who suggested I might be, but the test came back negative because it was too early.

    And this will sound gross, but my husband could tell the morning after we conceived #3 because I "felt different" when we had a quickie that morning. Even thinking about it makes me go "ewwww!"

  17. We were on the last step of adoption. It was Christmas time and I was watching Oprah. I started crying…about an Oprah that wasn't sad. I was on medication that made me take a test every month…I took the test…routine and was pregnant. I almost fell over.

    We have since adopted two more kids and I have been pregnant since then..it just never sticks. I never know until the test tells me. Fertility quest can make anyone feel gassy, irritable, bloated, etc. 🙂 As for the symptoms. I did two years of that. It is such a relief to know that I don't have to stress about it anymore…. best of luck to you on your quest. 🙂

  18. Oh…by the way. I LOVE Christie's post. We always know when we are "pregnant" when we are filling out the paperwork to refinance the house so we can pay "the stork".

  19. I'm most like Angie of all these stories. As soon as I admit out loud that I feel like it's time to have a baby, I'm pregnant my next cycle. The first signs for me are frequent urination, and we're talking frequent, and inexplicable fatigue. The other stuff, (nausea, tender boobs, emotinal . . .I actually can't ever pin anything to emotional, because you know me, I'm always emotional. I tried to use the PMS excuse at a visiting teaching visit when I was crying over a seemingly casual conversation and my companion said, "Whatever! You cry all the time!") comes a bit later.

  20. I never know. Seriously. I'm completely clueless, although I always THINK I know. I have been pregnant 6 times, and only once did I puke before I actually found out. But even then, I thought I was just carsick. And maybe I was, who knows.

    I'm also the person who used to buy pregnancy tests practically in bulk. When I got pregnant the first time, I actually went out and bought another pregnancy test, just to see the positive result again. I had 4 positives before I called the doctor. What a freak.

  21. I was sure I wasn't, because my doctor had told me earlier that month that it would never happen without IUI or IVF. After a year and a half of trying, I had just had surgery and an HSG and was diagnosed with stage 3 endometriosis.

    So I gave up.

    Imagine our surprise when the pregnancy test turned positive before I could even pull up my pants. Ha ha ha.

  22. When I was expecting our first, I had a craving to drink laundry detergent. My husband had to disentangle me from the Downey bottle and gently tell me he'd be doing the laundry from now on. I was grateful until he ruined most of our clothing–I had to be stronger than my craving and go back to being the main laundry maid.

    "PICA" is the term used to describe odd cravings for non-food items, usually in pregnancy. Has anyone had this?

  23. I had a next door neighbor who would eat dirt when she was pregnant. Same kind of thing, Heidi.

    Have you ever had that craving since?

    The only cravings I have involve chocolate. and day spas.

  24. No, just with that one pregnancy. The doctor said that perhaps I was low on a particular mineral and so my body "unconsciously" tried to get it through making me crave detergent. I have heard of women craving chalk, too. My chocolate cravings are pretty consant. I think I'll go have a Fudgecicle. . . . .


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