I’ve written a bit about our attempts at trying to have a baby. Status update: no luck yet.
There is something profoundly lonely about infertility. Granted, there is the waiting room at the clinic, full of other hopeful souls. There are the online chat groups, which use acronyms I’ll never master. And of course, there is the trove of advice and love from friends and family. At times there is so much of this last category that one piece of wisdom cancels out the next.
Chart everything. Stand on your head!
Forget you’re trying. Go on vacation.
Don’t eat gluten!
Eat everything you want. (More my speed.)
Let yourself feel what you feel.
Kids are the best!
Do you want one of mine?
And God bless the one friend and mother of three who said in all seriousness, “Don’t stop drinking. I didn’t stop drinking until I found out I was pregnant and look!” pointing to a bubbly, happy 3-year-old, “She’s fine!”
The side effects of fertility medications are no joke. To push my body to create a child, I am taking a medication that makes me deeply, miserably depressed. It is a common side effect, yet not one mentioned by my doctor or the pharmacist. I woke up one day and didn’t want to shower, go to work, eat—I knew something was not right. The other cruel aspect of this process is that signs of early pregnancy are easily confused for signs of menstruation. You think you’re pregnant one moment and you are most definitely not the next.
There is nothing more maddening than realizing what you thought was a child was actually just your imagination. And in that moment, rather than having a good cry, you have to immediately phone the doctor because menstruation starts the clock. Again. You’re now “day 1” and things start all over on “day 3.” You’ve got about 48 hours to mourn and beat yourself up for being so optimistic before you start all over with the drugs that make you feel like you’re pulling your (heavy, mean, emotional) shadow around with you everywhere you go.
But don’t forget to be happy! Be optimistic! Maybe it’s your attitude?
I’m struggling. I’m writing this because I want to remember this time of life. If it works, I’ll look back and think, “We did this. We pushed forward.” And if it doesn’t, I hope with time, I’ll look back on these words and see that we did everything we could. The money, the time, the countless doctor’s visits. The barrage of strangers who poked and prodded me like a science experiment.
I’d say none of this has been easy, but that isn’t true. My husband has been nothing but wonderful and kind in just the right dose. He knows when to come home with flowers and when to leave me alone. I’ve never been more thankful that he’s my partner.