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).
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.
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.
Tomorrow’s the day.
Details of this 30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.
I remember when I started menstruating, my mom told me track it by circling CD1 on a wall calendar. Old school. Pre-TTC and my first few cycles, I used a basic period tracker, but it was soon clear I needed an app to track my BBT. Everyone has their favorite, but I started using Kindara for iPhone and never stopped. The app is free and has improved a lot since I first started using it. It has capabilities to track custom data points and little notes/journals for each day. If you are set on an app determining when you ovulated, though, I’d still recommend Fertility Friend. I think you can get full membership free for a month and have to pay thereafter. I’m cheap though, and can easily pinpoint ovulation using LH strips and my BBT, so I only used FF for a few cycles.
30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.
Excuse me while I get on my soapbox. Ahem. For me, I feel best when closely following a primal or paleo lifestyle. That being said, everyone’s body is different, and what works for me may not work for you. But in general, eat more real food and less processed crap. ALSO, all of these crazy claims are just that—crazy. Eating 100 pineapple cores is not going to make a poor-quality embryo implant. It just won’t. *Steps down.*
Now, for comfort food!
My Number One Go To. Dark chocolate and whole organic milk. If you truly appreciate dark chocolate, my favorite is Alter Eco Dark Blackout (85%). It’s fruity and wonderful (not bitter), has low sugar, and doesn’t have any suspect ingredients. If you’re new to dark chocolate, however, I recommend Cachet 80% Ugandan dark chocolate—it’s milkier tasting for those who aren’t quite ready for a cacao fruit taste.
I prefer red wine in the fall, but if it’s still hot where you are, I recommend pairing chilled pinot grigio with fresh bacon. This accidental discovery became a repeat performance. Please indulge on my behalf, since I can’t enjoy this again until next summer.
Catching up! This 30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.
September 1: 7 Things
But I don’t want you to know me too well! What about my precious anonymity? Okay, let’s go for some general info.
- I’m not technically infertile. I have had numerous chemical pregnancies, but they all qualify as “preclinical losses” and therefore don’t really qualify as repetitive pregnancy loss. When I took medical genetics in college, I was told 75% of the time when sperm and egg meet, a loss occurs, but no one ever finds out about it… unless they’re POAS addicts like me and test a day after implantation.
- That being said, I am no stranger to infertility. For every one of the blissfully naïve people I want to strangle, I know another in real life who does not have a baby due to PCOS or unexplained repetitive pregnancy loss.
- I am a child of infertility. I was conceived via IUI with donor sperm.
- I have a cat and two dogs. I feel like a house isn’t a home without pets.
- I like to lift heavy things.
- I thrive in clutter. This drives some people crazy.
- I am a dark chocolate connoisseur. It’s kind of a problem.
September 2: Rituals & Superstitions
I believe that if I prepare for a certain bad situation, it won’t happen. The one thing I was sure wouldn’t happen to me (besides conceiving twins in the first place) was horrifically early preterm labor. The day I went into preterm labor, and even at the hospital waiting to be evaluated in triage in labor and delivery, I wholeheartedly believed I was fine and I’d go home. Stupid. I won’t make that mistake again.
In terms of rituals… I plan to go to a different site for my anatomy and growth scan(s). I will likely have to go to the original ultrasound office for my first dating ultrasound, but thereafter I want to avoid that site. I want to avoid the place that told me everything was fine a week before everything changed.