Wednesday, November 24, 2010


A while back, when I first started to read infertility blogs and began to suspect that something was wrong with me, I read Jen's blog at Maybe if You Just Relax and almost peed my pants because that girl is hilarious. If you haven't read her blog before, and need a good laugh, please visit her - she's good times.
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.


Still A Guest Room said...

I just love this post. It's dangerous and unhelpful when we start comparing our journeys. I often think people look at me and say "at least you can conceive," but at the end of the day, I still have the pain of no baby. Thanks for your honesty, and I completely agree!

Mrs. S said...

I remember that feeling - like I hadn't earned my stripes... it sucked. So what is that, double suckage? IF sucks llama balls and then we have to feel sucky because we haven't suffered enough? Complete crap.

Anyone that minimizes the emotional (and often physical) pain and suffering in this journey deserves that roundhouse you spoke of.

Thank you for being so honest. I love/hate that I relate so well.

Mrs. Rootbeer said...

Great post. Every word is true. Don't doubt yourself.

KathleenSBass said...

Love this everything about it. So true. Precise yet broad at the same time. I remember this feelings. I remember thinking that no one "got it" or was really LISTENING. Sure, they HEARD me, but were they understanding?? no. The only hope I can give is likely NOT what you want to hear (and i know this because *I* used to hate when Mrs. I'm-Already-A-Mommy would spout this crap to me). It gets better. It makes you stronger, whether you want to be strong or not. It makes you a better mom (even though you would already be a rockstar mom...this shit makes you BETTER). It DOES change who you are, but 95% of that change in you is a POSITIVE change. And the other 5% is a good reminder of why we are going through this. I truly think that God chooses only the storngest women to endure infertility. Sure, we all bear crosses. I carry my battle wounds with pride and an empathy that, I believe, is priceless.
Sure, i got to be a mom through non-traditional means. (And I do recognize that my path to motherhood is often discounted by some infertiles...and its surely discounted by fertiles.) but PLEASE trust me when I say that it GOES AWAY. That pain and frustration and anger and depression and fear and sadness and bitterness and heavy all goes away to reveal this strong, awesome, proud, AMAZING mommy who's just been waiting to come out and play. She's inside you, too. Promise. I HATED these speeches from fertiles/moms when I was in your shoes. HATED. Wanted to punch them. So punch me if you like, but I am only saying it because your post was the first post in 19 months to remind me just how scary and sad life used to be. Its taken 19 months to be reminded because life really does get THAT much BETTER when it finally happens. And it WILL happen. It will. God does not have a finite number of babies He is willing to share with the Earth. He has one for you. He wouldnt put the desire in your heart so fiercely if He wasnt planning on making good on it. Trust. pray. And know that every single emotion youre feeling is OKAY. NORMAL. and Legit. You have every right to be sad, pissed, scared, annoyed, etc.

Ok...Im starting to sound way more preachy than I intended :) In the end, just know Im thinking about you and praying your baby finds their way to you when the time is right. xoxo

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KathleenSBass said...
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CW said...

i know this is a late post but i totallyl hear you (oh and congrats on the super dark BFP). a few weeks ago my husband and I had a major fight where he told me that until I relax it isn't going to happen. I responded that if he ever said that again to me I was going to punch him in the face. and I meant it to!! A roundhouse kick would be far more effective though :)