Saturday, October 31, 2009

If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all…

Doesn’t everyone’s mother teach them this? Obviously not. Sometimes things that seem like nice things to say are far from it. Here are a few examples of things that have been said to me in the past year by family members, friends and insensitive nurses that are looking at my chart and prescribing fertility drugs……

We got pregnant the first month that we were trying.
-What I Say: Gosh, what a blessing!
-What I'm thinking: Wow, if I were ever going to slap a woman, this would be the time.

You are so “lucky” that you aren’t parents yet, no responsibilities!
-What I say: Yeah, it is nice to be able to pick up and go whenever we want!
-What I'm thinking: Really? Is that any way to talk about the blessing that you’ve been given? The one thing we long for more than ANYTHING else!

People always get pregnant when they stop trying.
- What I say: Yeah, I’m sure it is stressful.
- What I'm thinking: Stop trying? As if that is even an option anymore.

It will happen when it is meant to happen.
-What I say: In His time.
-What I'm thinking: Of course it will. What do you think you are some kind of shaman? You are NOT a magic 8 ball, please don’t pretend to be.

There is always next month.
-What I say: Yep!
-What I'm thinking: Is there?

Luckily although the comments sting, I still have a sense of humor. Like when my mother-in-law asks “when are you guys going to give me a grandbaby?” I first want to punch her, then I give some pre-fab excuse that I had waiting for this very question, and then I brush it off by picturing her saying something like “when are you guys going to start having gobs of unprotected sex?” Because really, isn't that the question she is asking?
Someday, it will all be worth it!

To tell or not to tell...

It was an easy decision. Before we even started trying to get pregnant, I knew that I didn’t want to tell any of our family or friends. I had heard countless times that once you tell people you are TTC it is like inviting them into your personal life, and nothing is simply personal information anymore. I had seen it in action, and I wanted nothing to do with it. I don’t care if you are someone’s mother, best friend, or biggest supporter some things are just not up for discussion. And further more, this journey is an intimate and personal one, not something that I particularly want to feel the need to “update” people on.

Don’t get me wrong. In the year plus that we have been attempting to get pregnant we’ve told a few people. I don’t regret it. The people we’ve told are people we know and trust. People who we hope can keep our secret. It has been nice to have a few “safe” people to talk to about the struggle; people who we know will be absolutely overjoyed when our time finally comes. But, in the meantime I’ve got a couple people who I can share my real feelings with, and that has proven to be invaluable. When you are walking this walk, it is constantly on your mind. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my fertility or lack there of. It begins at 5am when my alarm goes off and the thermometer goes into my mouth. It is at that point that my day is decided.

Some days it is easy to keep the secret, others are a completely different story. Some days I just want to stop living this lie. I feel like I am constantly putting on a happy face when inside I am hurting. When I know we will be in situations where it is inevitable that someone will ask us when we are thinking about starting our family I come armed with answers and excuses. I prepare myself constantly for someone to announce their pregnancy, which undoubtedly was “a surprise” or “conceived on the first try.” I can’t wait to remember what life felt like when I didn’t have to constantly be on guard. Someday.

Friday, October 30, 2009


In the two years that we were married before we started trying to start our family we spent hundreds of dollars on birth control. I spent a lot of time thinking about how we would feel if I were to get pregnant. The truth of the matter is, if it had happened we would have been happy, thrilled, overjoyed. That time and money was wasted.

As it turns out, just throwing the pill out the window isn't the golden ticket when it comes to me getting pregnant. Heck, if it were that easy, I wouldn't be sitting here after 15 months of trying, writing out our journey so that I can remember just how far we've come when I finally have the joy of seeing two pink lines on a pregnancy test instead of the dreaded ONE that I have seen far too many times to count. If there is one thing that I have realized in this journey, it is that it never gets easier to see the evidence (in whatever form it may come) that it once again just isn't our month.

The journey is tough. There are tears and heartache, blood draws, treatments, stirrups, baby showers to attend and never ending questions from outsiders about when we will start a family. It doesn't get easier, the tears may come less frequently, but it still hurts.

We decided in the spring of 2008 that we were ready to start growing our family. We decided to wait until after I had my annual appointment with my NP, just to make sure that everything was ok. I had my appointment in May and was told "just throw the pill away when you are ready and call me when you get a positive pregnancy test." Oh how I wish it could have been that easy.

We ended up waiting until July to start trying. I stopped taking the pill and thought we were being realistic when we agreed it would be a nice surprise if I got pregnant before Christmas, but certainly no reason to be concerned if I hadn't.

I had one normal cycle after I came off of birth control. Then I began a very long cycle that finally ended with several negative pregnancy tests, a call to my NP and a prescription for Prometrium. The nurse assured me that it is perfectly normal to have a hard time cycling after being on birth control. She agreed with the doctor's order to jump start my period. She said more than likely, I would be back to normal in no time. Wrong. We tried the Prometrium again in February and again it had the desired outcome of a period, but I was skeptical that it would actually make things normal again.

I'm not sure I would call it "normal" but I did begin a new cycle on my own just in time for my annual exam. Instead of canceling the appointment I kept it to talk with my doctor about what might be wrong and to consider having some tests. I left the office with a new sense of calm about the situation. I was ready. I had left four vials of blood at the office (surely that would tell us something) and had a prescription for a fertility drug in my hand. I was sure that I would be pregnant before the summer was over, maybe even before we hit the one year mark. When I went to the office the following week for my re-scheduled exam my NP told me that they didn't find anything in my blood work that would cause any red flags in terms of trying to conceive. She did the exam and again said that there wasn't anything that she could feel or see that would be causing me not to get pregnant. In an attempt to make sure that the only thing standing in our way was my body having no idea how to ovulate on its own and at a normal time, she ordered a semen analysis.

The analysis came back normal. We were thankful that there was only one problem and we already had the medication to "fix" it. I woke up religiously 5am to take my temperature and chart it to see if and when I ovulated. I went in each cycle on the twenty-fifth day to have more blood drawn to check my levels. It was no picnic. The medication made me sick while I was taking it, put me in a significant amount of pain during ovulation and just overall made me feel weird. But, I continued to tell myself that it was all worth it. If I had to feel this way for the next year in order to hold our baby in my arms it would all be worth it.

Medicated cycle 1: Not pregnant

Medicated cycle 2: Not pregnant

Medicated cycle 3: Not pregnant, and officially "infertile." Great, that is one label I was hoping to avoid.

Medicated cycle 4: Still, not pregnant

And that bring us to today. I am at the bitter end of medicated cycle number 5. My temperature has dropped. I was an emotional wreck last night. It is only a matter of time until medicated cycle 6 begins. Did I mention that typically they only prescribe 6 cycles of this drug in a row? Great.

Next stop, invasive tests and a referral to a specialist.

I know I told anyone who would listen that all I wanted for Christmas was a garbage disposal, but I've changed my mind. Please move growing fetus to the top of my list.