Monday, July 22, 2013

Be Gentle

I have struggled with how to write this. How do I say this without sounding bitter, or desperate or angry. I'm feeling just fragile enough to write this and just brave enough to say it.

What is it like living with infertility???

What can I say? It's seeing your life on hold, while you watch everyone's flying by. It's wanting something so precious, but increasingly elusive. It's wanting to hold a baby in your arms. Not someone else's baby, but your baby.

It's wanting to be pregnant. To be sick. To have swollen ankles. To stay up all night, rocking a screaming newborn.

And trying to conceive, at first casually, then slightly worried, frantically, desperately, and devastatingly, numbingly.

It's trying everything, absolutely everything. It's being on prenatals, just in case. It's thinking about what you will be doing next year for Christmas, you know, when you have a baby. And then next year. And then the year after that.

It's planning how you will announce the news. For Easter we will put the good news in an Easter Egg, around Mother's Day we will give a rattle as a gift, for Halloween we will dress up as a Bun in the Oven.

It was maybe silly, but you spent hours thinking about it. And hours thinking about names. Writing them down. Trying different spellings. Then realizing that the name you picked had an unfortunate acronym anyway.

It's mourning the life you dreamed. It's trying to adjust to the might nots. It's protecting your increasingly delicate heart. It's sobbing every month, because you were a little late, you thought maybe this time. Month, after month, after month. 134 months of trying, 4,380 days of hoping.

It's being poked and prodded, and giving up blood, and urine. Tests that hurt, tests that are embarrassing, tests that are scary.

It's bolstering your heart, preparing for the worst, and hoping, in the tiniest place in your heart, for the best. Because if you don't, and a babe in arms isn't waiting, you know you could lose yourself.
It's being desperate to give all your love to a child. Children. It's imagining picnics, soccer games, vacations.

It's wanting to comb curly hair, or wash freckly skin. And sing songs about boogie monsters, and smell fresh washed hair, falling asleep with a warm body next too you.

It's being afraid to say things out loud, because you might make them true.

It's uncertainty. Deafening uncertainty. Overwhelming fear, that you put into a box. And try not to look in to.

It's lonely.

It's rejoicing in other mothers, other babies, other lives. But still not wanting to hear about the ease of others conceptions.

It's constant guilt. Guilt for those 5 years you waited. Guilt that you went to school first. Oh, how naive you were, that you thought you could control this. That you had your life planned out. You're guilty for your age, for the time you have waited. If only you did this last year, you would have had a baby now. Your eggs would have been one year younger. One year more awesome. It's the fact that you even talk about eggs. That's weird.
It's staying quiet when told, "Adopt, then you will get pregnant. Think positive, then you will get pregnant. Try acupuncture, then you will get pregnant.

It's being positive for others, because they want you to be happy, but you really just want to say,"I'm devastated. I'm heartbroken."

It's shots, after shots, after shots, after shots. It's bruises, in various places, your heart being one of them. It's money that you don't have, but don't regret spending, but still don't have.

It's recognizing that nobody really understands that your dreams, although not quite dead, are at breaking stage. It's a limbo between joy and sadness, happiness and pain.

It's realizing that the treatments you are now doing, are the end of the line for pregnancy. And here you are 11 years older than when you first started this, when you thought you would be done, but really you are just beginning.

It's knowing that you can put everything you have left, into this last ditch effort, all your money, all your emotions, all your walls, and recognize that you can give it everything, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Only 40%.

It's putting your faith in God. Completely. You have no other choice. You have been completely
humbled. But you recognize your way isn't God's way. And Faith is a hard road sometimes.

Be gentle. Infertility is a lonely valley, traveled by two people, clinging to each other with all their might.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It just plain sucks.......

Infertility sucks.

I could end the blog post here and most of you would understand. Those two words encompass everything there is to say…

About the inability to get pregnant—or, like me, stay pregnant longer than three months—and give birth.

About the tears you shed every month along with your useless uterine lining.

About the cramping in your heart you feel when see that woman at church with five kids waddling along, full with another child. Couldn’t God spare just one for you?

About the twinge you feel in your uterus when you hold your neighbor’s newborn, and how for a brief moment, you imagine escaping across the northern border with this precious bundle to finally realize your dream.

About the way friends withdraw and stop including you in plans because they don’t know if you’re going to be sad or mad or if they will say something to offend you.

About the cousins who continually invite you to their baby showers and first birthday parties, and the obligation you feel to attend even while your heart breaks with every coo and waah.

About the blood tests and sonograms and that painful dye test they do to see if your tubes are open, the one where the technician says, “This will cause a little cramping.” Yeah, the same way my foot in your balls will cause YOU a little cramping.

About the hormone injections that turn you into a weeping, raging bitch on wheels for an extra week a month.

About the daily heparin injections that really don’t help you get over your fear of needles. And now you have more track marks up and down your thighs than a junkie on a bender.

About the way your sex life becomes a series of business meetings, scheduled based on your ovaries most convenient time to release eggs.

About the bargaining and praying you do constantly: “I’ll pray”, “I’ll pray more”, “I’ll be more religious”, “I’ll be a better person”, “I’ll give more to charity”, “I’ll call my mother more”, just “pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease make me a mother!”

About the tens, hundreds, thousands of extra dollars you spend on specialist appointments, services not covered, home pregnancy tests, and booze after the HPTs (all six of them) show a Big Fat Negative.

About the excitement you feel when you finally get the Big Fat Positive, only to have it dashed moments later when you realize you tested too soon, and really it’s just the test’s reaction to that HcG shot you received ten days ago.

About getting a genuine BFP, only to spend the next several weeks panicking whenever you use the bathroom, afraid you’ll see that smear of red on the toilet tissue that signals the end of the dream.

About hearing the heartbeat for the first time and then being told at your next appointment that they can’t find it.

About dodging questions from strangers and casual acquaintances regarding your parenthood status. As if it’s their business anyway!

About suffering through another story from your well-meaning mom/grandma/aunt/friend/co-worker about someone they know who tried this, that, or the other thing and now has ten kids. Or worse—that they decided to give up and then it happened for them; all they needed to do was relax.

About enduring endless assurances that this is all God’s plan. That may be true, but why can’t people understand that you don’t yet have the distance and perspective to wax philosophical? All you want is a damn baby, and considering the crack whores and teenagers that are able to pop them out like Pez dispensers, if this is all “God’s Plan”, he has a seriously warped sense of humor.

About how your mate wonders where the vivacious, confident, SANE, person they married went and can she please come back because this obsessive, depressive, broken shell of a woman is scaring the crap out of him. Not to mention, he is less than enthusiastic about doing his business into a cup yet again and no, he will not cash out his 401K to pay for IVF.

About the endless cycles of optimism, hope, dread, and despair you go through every month.

About the fear, then the pain, then the depression, and finally, grudging acceptance that this just may never happen, and how all that leaves you so hollow, so fragile that just the wrong look could make you fall apart.

About being part of this exclusive club that no one wants to be a member of, but for which you are at least a little grateful, because it means you aren’t alone in the dark.