so now what?

7 Dec

Since my appointment on Wednesday, I’ve been reeling from this:

photo

I’ve written before about the dreaded “here are our next options” talk (which ALWAYS happens when I have a doctor’s appointment) and how much I loathe watching her flip my papers over to scribble out what are inevitably always shitty next steps.

 

One of the things that is killing me the  most is the first word on the page…”failed.”  I do not fail (except for about a billion pregnancy tests).  The last time I failed something, I was in 4th grade and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how multiplication worked.  By high school, I got that straightened out, getting a 5 on my AP Calc exam.  Maybe all of this hatred of failing dates back to my academic life experiences–honors program in school, graduating number 2 in my class, great scholarship to college, honors program while there, kicking ass in grad school and even winning a framed-by-them award for my work (framed makes it way more legit).  I am not a failure. I don’t need that stupid piece of paper/note to remind me that I’ve failed.  I am well aware of my body’s failure.  And it’s really hard not to take it personally.  But we’ll come back to that a little later on…

 

The other thing that is killing me about this is that basically all that scribbling means nothing good.  We can pick from 2 options that are both crappy–going back on the oral medication that hasn’t done anything except make me crazy(er) (possibly supplementing with injections as needed) or try a different injectable (the one that hurts) because it’s kind of different from the one I was on, so I might have a different reaction.  Boiled down, though, her recommendation seemed to be IVF.  And we will never do IVF, for a variety of financial, emotional and physical reasons.  The only good news of this appointment was that we could stop the nightly injections effective immediately.  I almost joked that we were going to have to find a new type of foreplay if we weren’t going to be playing doctor anymore, but I was kind of stunned by the “end of the road” that we have seemed to reach.

if3

Or “what does it look like to live childless-ly?”

 

why can't the options include a shot of extreme sexiness???

why can’t the options on that stupid paper include a shot of extreme sexiness???

So we’ve started talking again about what’s next.  Living childless, adopting, just trucking on with these awful medications on the off-chance that something might randomly work…they all have their pros and so, so many cons to talk about.  And it hurts to have to talk about any of them when all we want is to fill this house with kids to “raise right” and add to the laughter and love that’s already here.  But we know that the possibility of that slips further and further away with every doctor appointment and every failure.

it sucks

it sucks

I put a lot of personal shit out here, and I know some people disagree with my choice to do so. The good news is, those people can decide to keep their personal shit private, and that’s totally cool.  I think I’ve already written a bit about my decision to share so much, but I feel the need to elaborate further tonight…or maybe I just find the writing a bit therapeutic.  I’m not very eloquent when I speak, and right now my mind is a whirl of dark, nasty thoughts, so writing helps me to sort through a lot of them.  So without further ado, my reasons to write about our battle with infertility:

1. This journey sucks.  I am terrified my sisters are headed for this same terrible journey, since PCOS is hereditary.  More and more, I feel like this is becoming the “norm”–needing help to get knocked up.  I know several other women who have needed medical interventions (granted all but one has become pregnant, and on much less invasive treatments that took much less time to work).  I never pictured getting pregnant was going to involve anything more than some wine and candles.  A doctor, an intern, the nurses, Mr. Ultra Sound Wand, needles and cervical catheters?  Totally upped the sexy factor there.  I mean, Marvin Gaye should’ve probably wrote a song about all of this…

This journey is unbelievably lonely–even with an amazing husband and support from family and friends.  It’s weird to be surrounded by so much good but still feel so complete alone at the same time.  It makes me feel slightly better to read other women’s (and the occasional man’s) thoughts and experiences.  Recently, I’ve even been able to talk to other people about everything–for a long time, I didn’t talk about it at all verbally, because talking meant crying–the horrible, ugly crying that makes what I have to say unintelligible anyway.  So I’ve read so much from so many different women.  If I can add to those voices to let someone else know she’s not alone…or that these awful negative feelings are ok and normal…or to see what someone else’s experiences were, what medications were used, how long it took to get pregnant or decide to seek other options…well then I’ll do that.

lighthouse

2.  We need all the support we can get.  We are lucky–we have an amazing support system.  Sometimes it makes all of this even more heartbreaking.  Our kids would have an awful lot of amazing people in their lives.  People can’t support you if they don’t know what you need or what you’re going through.  I often have to remind my second graders that they need to “use their words” so I can try to help them when they are having problems.  And that’s good advice for us, as adults, too.

3.  Most importantly, I write because I am sick to death of the comments that are most of the time completely innocent (or ignorant?), but still hurt beyond belief.  “Maybe God means for you to do something other than be a mom.”  “Be thankful for sleeping in and doing whatever you want.”  “You can have mine–they’re a pain in the ass anyway.” “You’ll see when you have kids.”  “If you just stopped XYZ you’d be able to get pregnant.”  “If you would just do XYZ you’d be able to get pregnant.”  “Just relax–you are too stressed about all of this.”

First of all, please stop offering me your “spawn of Satan” because they are inconveniencing you or reminding me how much you hate being a parent because you have to take into consideration someone else’s needs.  I am not really sure how a God can possibly exist that gives children to people who don’t want them or who are ill-equipped to actually parent.  If I had a faith crisis before, this has brought it all to a head.  There’s something out there (maybe), but the God of my childhood is dead.  An omniscient, omnipotent God would know who to give babies to.  Clearly, God is either not all of those things or just a giant a-hole.  And I don’t say that God’s being an a-hole because WE don’t get a baby, I say that because any God that would let innocent children be born to parents who don’t give a shit is an a-hole.

In the same vein, stop bitching about how pregnancy is ruining/has ruined your body.  Because I’d kill for some morning sickness and stretch marks.

if6

if8

Which brings me to point number 2.  Your child is NOT a miracle or a gift from God.  Because if he or she is, then that means that God has been giving us the middle finger.  Every day.  For the past 3 and a half years.  That means God is giving that same “gift” to the 15 year old, the crack head, and the woman with babies who she already doesn’t take care of, while intentionally leaving us out.  I know that you want to believe that it’s a miracle or that God chose you.  Because that means that YOU did something great to earn it.  And it means that it’s entirely my fault that I can’t get pregnant.  We are being punished, because clearly we are just shitty people who doesn’t deserve a baby.  That’s easier to believe than to think that you got dealt a good hand and we got dealt a crappy one, and it was all entirely random and it could just as easily have been the reverse.

Which brings us to point number 3.  Please stop giving me/us advice on how to get pregnant.  Trust me.  We’ve heard it all/read it all/tried a lot of it already.  Telling me that something I AM doing or conversely that I am NOT doing is the reason we can’t have a baby makes me feel even shittier/more at fault than I already feel.  And that is the last thing I need.  As a recovering Catholic, I’ve got that whole guilt thing  down to a science. Guess what?

Women that drink/do drugs?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies (even the ones who drink through their whole pregnancy–which is astounding to me).

Women that run?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that eat much, much crappier than me?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women with far more stressful jobs/lives?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that DON’T want a baby/DON’T believe in God/AREN’T praying for a kid?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that aren’t even TRYING to have a baby?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

At some point, all of this becomes totally random and you either get lucky or you don’t.

 

Does that mean that we haven’t/won’t continue to make changes to our lifestyle to see if anything works?  Of course not.  But I don’t need you to remind me of my body’s failure by pointing out (and judging) what you (with all of your expert medical training) think is the reason we can’t conceive.  I don’t need you to find extra fault in me…trust me, I’ve got plenty of self-guilt without you adding to it.

 

I’ve written in the past about why suggesting IVF should also be a no-no for “things to say to your infertile friends” and I’m currently too lazy to find the link.  But an additional blog about why you should stop suggesting adoption is coming as well.  It’s very easy for someone on the outside to say “it’s so easy” and just flippantly suggest IVF or adoption because that someone doesn’t understand the financial/emotional/physical ramifications of such a decision and/or will never have to face those ramifications and seriously consider them.

 

Every time I see people complaining about things, I want to know “what can we do to make it better?”  So now that I’ve complained about all of the things that are on my mind, I offer this very simple suggestion for what is safe to say:  “I’m sorry you’re going through this.  It sucks.  It’s completely unfair.  If you need a shoulder, I’m here for you.”  On the flip side, you can just say nothing if it makes you uncomfortable.  I get that, too.  I’m not sharing to get advice.  I’m sharing because I need people to be gentle with me right now.   I’m hard enough on myself.  I need people to understand why what they think is “helpful” is actually bone-crushingly devastating.  And I need people to stop.

 

Tonight we were out for a good-bye party and then stopped by the mall.  It’s the first time we’ve been “out” in a non-running/non-running-friend way in a long time.  In the 2.5 hours we were out, we had 2 different “incidents” that made me almost cry.  On our way home, I asked Eric, “Is it ever going to get easier?  Will we ever hear ‘You don’t have kids? Smart.’ or ‘when are you going to have kids? Don’t you think it’s time?’ or ‘We’re pregnant!’ and not feel like someone has just sucker punched me?”  And we both agreed that it will probably always hurt and always bring up feelings of heart break and depression.  And that is the suckiest part of all of this is that it feels like it will never end.

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “so now what?”

  1. rochesterzumba December 7, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    I just want to hug you and never stop. I’m sending you so much love from a distance as I cry my eyes out. I know how deserving you 2 are of what you want more than anything (& feel probably fairly out of control to bring to fruition). It is so incredibly unfair. I hope that you always keep writing. Believe it or not, I think of you all of the time. I want so much for your dreams to come true. It should not be this hard or painful and I agree with everything you wrote!!! ((((Hugs))))) ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ Shelley

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