Subfertile

It’s been awhile. It’s a good thing, mostly. Not blogging means the real world is keeping me sufficiently busy and I’m not so bored or anguished that I need to distract myself by emotionally vomiting onto a Web page (because that’s how I blog).

So here we go. Update time.

What screws us up most is the picture in our head of how it's supposed to be.
credit: girlykat.wordpress.com

Six cycles of two-lines-but-just-kidding-you’re-not-really-pregnant and my ob/gyn has agreed to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). She didn’t use that term though. She used the I-word. The bad word. It makes me bristle. It speaks to the profound sense of shame surrounding infertility, even knowing many people out in the world who’ve used Clomid or other assistance to conceive. I suspect it’s something everyone goes through.

Dreaming of BellyBut enough denial. It’s clear I must be subfertile. It’s INSANE to have repeated chemical pregnancies, my uterus rejecting what must be poor quality embryos every month except for the blighted ovum it let nestle in like a mindless parasite—complete with growing placenta and empty sac—until I forcefully evicted it. The twins were the only time I was successful at conceiving—which seems like an enormous fluke now. I feel like I could eventually conceive on my own again, but who knows how long it will be until the conditions are just right? I’m ready to accept help now, and my age finally puts me in my HMO’s allowable RE referral range after six failed cycles of diligent trying. I know. “Only” six months of trying the second time around—“she was only trying __ months” is a common complaint I hear regularly. However, if I am eligible for help to move up my timeline… I am ready for it.

Not that I’m excited to be pregnant again, because I expect to be living in daily fear. The first trimester will be all about worrying whether the pregnancy is viable, and the second (and third) trimester will be spent expecting preterm labor. Can I skip ahead to the baby?

Having spoken to a benefits analyst, RE visits and Rx are $0 with my awesome (albeit expen$ive) double coverage in 2015. (I will have to call back and find out cost for each procedure if ordered.) DH and I elected to splurge on double coverage for me to eliminate surprise hospital bills if I give birth in 2015, but if the benefit instead (or in addition) goes to RE visits, at least I’m getting my money’s worth.

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Day 25: An Open Letter to New Infertiles

I get it -- life isn't fair.30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.

Welcome to the club no one wants to belong to! Whether you’re infertile or, as a friend has called herself before, fertile-but-fucked, you are not alone in the childless community. DH and I were welcomed to a neonatal loss group with condolences for our membership in a club no one wants to belong to with the highest possible price tag.

Not all infertiles are bitter, not all fertiles are ignorant. A lot of infertiles have a great fertile friend who can sympathize and listen. That being said, sometimes we just want to ball our fists and bitch about the damn fertiles because life just isn’t fair and sometimes it’s cathartic to complain.

Not all infertiles are women! But men, we love you too. You are more than your sperm count and you’re not alone either.

Everyone comes to the community from a different place, on a different journey, with many different pit stops… and babies are not always the eventual destination.

Everyone copes differently. Find a coping method (or twenty) that work for you, and reach out for help if you reach a point where your fertility journey impacts your ability to function on a daily basis (click here for a sample 8-question depression inventory).

YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID.
credit: Séamus Gallagher

In spite of this you are not alone, especially if you reach out to the vast infertility community. There will always be people who can relate and empathize with what you are going through, and there will also be people who might not be able to understand where you’re coming from even if you’re both infertile or childless. Whatever YOU are feeling is valid whenever you feel it. We must be gentle with each other.

You will learn a lot about yourself, your spouse or other half, and your support systems. Some relationships fall apart, some are strengthened. You will come out wiser.  If you have a great partner, thank the stars because you are already luckier than many.

If you can find a way to forgive all the people who say the wrong thing, you are #winning, my friend. You win some, you lose some.

You will learn ALL THE ACRONYMS AND JARGON! You will be an expert. You can look down your nose at all the fools who don’t know your lingo. 😉

If you are lucky enough to get that fabled take-home baby, you may still feel different or unable to relate to mothers who have never known difficulty or loss, and that’s normal. It’s also normal if you want to put your infertility behind you forever and move on with your now-blissful life. It’s your life! You don’t owe anyone anything, and this includes the infertility community.

No matter how big the storm…

No matter how big the storm, the sun always comes out again.
Thank you. ♥

I don’t cry much anymore.

Maybe because after we lost our boys all we did was cry all the time.  I cried when we found out our most recent pregnancy wasn’t viable, but I didn’t cry at all while I was actively miscarrying.

Today a coworker asked why I’m frontloading my work year.  I found out I was pregnant in August, so all I’ve done is work and organize myself to prepare for possible bed rest or preterm labor.  She’s not thick, so I suspect she thinks I’m pregnant, which isn’t far off, but her email is about three days too late… because suddenly my work year has opened up.  Especially considering it’ll likely take us awhile to conceive again.  I was complaining to coworker 2 about busybody coworker 1, and I said out loud something to the effect of, “I’m not pregnant right now,” and it hurt to admit it out loud.

I came home to the kindest card.  And I cried. Am crying.  For my boys, who I feel like I failed.  For the fertilized egg that failed to become a person. For suffering more loss–really, you RPL ladies are the strongest.  For not knowing how long it’ll take to conceive again.  For knowing that even if we conceive again our track record isn’t great.  Still angry at myself for being so naïve to think I had everything planned out… that I would have a child by age 31.  So grateful to know kind women who have passed through to the other side.

The months tick by.  3 cycles to conceive the blighted ovum (we thought we were SO lucky this time), 2 months carrying the blighted ovum.  I know my extended family are watching me, especially now.  I’m so tired of being secretive, but nor do I want anyone trying to discuss TTC with me unless they open with their own story of loss.

Childless-by-choice SIL is hosting a party in October and is inviting DH’s extended family.  They’re local, so it would be a grave faux pas if we skipped it.  Naturally there will be speculation on my fertility status whether or not I go, but at least they generally have the good grace to discuss me behind my back rather than interrogate me.  I HATE PARTIES. Particularly parties that center around getting shitfaced, which this party will be. I should qualify that I didn’t always hate parties, but going out to get drunk no longer holds the same appeal it did in my twenties.  Even if I’m not pregnant when the party comes around, I can’t have more than one drink or I risk becoming maudlin. What’s a poor babyless introvert to do? Go anyway, and grumble and gripe on Twitter of course.