There is one post that resonated with me in those first few weeks. I don't know where it is now, or even how it was worded, but Jen said something along the lines of this:
Trying for a few months is better than:
A few rounds of clomid is better than:
A few rounds of IUI is better than:
A few rounds of IVF . . .
There was more to her post about the varying degrees of infertility and how they "rank", and I don't think that she meant it to offend or belittle those of us who haven't had to go all the way with IVF or other means of AR, but reading her opinion and knowing what she's been through made me feel like maybe I was overreacting. An infertility "poser", if you will.
I know that was not her intent, and this isn't a post about Maybe If You Just Relax. That poor woman has her share of nasty commenters and I certainly am not one of them. She busted her ass to get to where she is now and I'm not faulting her for opinion or ideas or anything. My feelings of doubt over my fertility status are purely my own. More often than not though, I feel like others think that I am making a bigger deal out of this than I should. Hell, in the beginning I thought that maybe I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. We had only tried for about a yearish, and even then, I thought maybe we weren't really really trying.
Then came charting and no baby.
Then came Dr. H and her "who cares?" attitude.
Then came clomid and still no baby. I'm pretty certain at this point that my issues are a little bigger than a mole hill.
Still, I feel like the people I know in real life think I'm being over dramatic when I talk about this. Mr. Joe tells me I need to relax on a regular basis. He's talked to Dr. Foreign Accent with me. He heard him say that he doesn't think we can do this on our own - and yet!! He tells me to just relax, a phrase which invokes the exact opposite in me. I worry that no one will take me seriously if I share my feelings of jealousy or depression or anger over what continues to elude me. The fact of the matter is, I'm not ill. I'm not dying. But truthfully, in those times when I don't recognize myself, I feel like I am.
I realized today that even though I haven't had to inject myself with all kinds of crap and I haven't moved on to IUI, I am infertile. I have infertility. I cry instead of rejoice at other people's announcements. My eyes dart away when I see a growing belly. I have a deep, aching desire to have a child and make my husband a father. It may not be like cancer, but the thoughts push through my mind like long tendrils of a tumor. It wraps around my lungs and steals my breath when I start to plan for the future. It manifests itself in my obsessive counting of days, my reluctance to plan vacations or outings for fear that I might be pregnant. It is an illness. And I am suffering from it. It has changed who I am - for better or for worse.
I don't want to be that person that gets all righteous and soapboxy with infertility as my "cause". We all have our crosses to bear. For some of us, it's an obvious hardship - poverty, disability, cancer. For others, it's more of a silent epidemic. I still don't plan on being obnoxious when I go to baby showers, or share with Mrs. B that I feel betrayed that the baby phone tree was activated without me. I know that those feelings and actions are irrational and unfair, no matter how badly I want to express them. I simply mean that I am no longer going to doubt myself.
This is my cross to bear. It's not in my head and I'm not being dramatic (well . . . .maybe a little dramatic, but that's only because I am a drama queen by nature). This shit sucks and even if there really is some hierarchy of infertility: IVF over IUI over injections over clomid over several months ttc over one month ttc over drunken accident over The Virgin Mary, I don't care. The feelings are the same. The longing and uncertainty over the future don't hurt any less for those of us who have never seen an RE in comparison to those of us who have practically shown the mailman their lady parts. So if you are a lurker like I once was, reading these posts and thinking that you have no business expressing your feelings because you haven't even mentioned infertility testing to your OB yet, please know that you have just as much right as I do. Don't add doubt to the pile of emotions that you are already feeling. It's only going to delay you. We need to roundhouse kick doubt in the face.
Which is precisely what I plan on doing to my husband the next time he tells me I need to relax.