Why Me? Now What? (A Personal Journey Through Infertility)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Officially part of a new category.

That was the only thing I could think about as I sat at the table full of friends celebrating my much anticipated birthday. No longer could I cling to the hopes of that higher success rate at the fertility clinic. It seems that all the research I read shows that as soon as that 35th birthday slaps you in the face, you are part of a less promising group of women that have an even HARDER time getting pregnant.

What makes this year so special? Why is it that even the doctors and scientists label this as a D-day of sorts? One woman I met earlier in the week mentioned, after hearing that I would be "celebrating on Friday", that her mom used to say that this, my 35th, was the "mid life birthday".... great... I have officially reached the hill... it was to be all a slippery slope from here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Standing Strong... at the Bottom of a Big Hill

I snuck out the office at lunch today, to go up to the fertility clinic and meet with the staff pharmacist. She had my first set of medications for me to pick up, and gave me a mini tutorial on how to use them:

1) Baby Asprin, easy enough... I am supposed to take it every day starting Sunday until we test for that BFP!

2) Superfact. This is a nasal spray, I have to prep this bottle that resembles superglue and then inhale once in each nostril at 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm & 11pm. I needed to buy a watch that could remind me of each dosage... and will be doing this every day for 14 days.

3) Antibiotics. These are for both Mike and I, and we start taking them the day I go in for the ultrasound and blood work checkup. These are scheduled for May 29th, so I guess that will be the first day where the hubby gets to experience taking pills every day during this journey. We have to take 1 pill in the morning, and 1 in the afternoon. We cant take any other multivitamins with it, which means my prenatal vitamin is being moved to lunch now. It has to be taken with food, but no dairy 2 hours from when you take the pill. You also cant lie down afterward... since it will rise and give you heartburn... UCK!

4) Gonal F. My starting dose will be 150 IU and I am to inject the needle in the stomach every day at 1:00pm. This means I will be carting my needles to work I guess! After 3 days using this dosage, I start going in daily for bloodwork and U/S to determine if they need to adjust the dosage. The needle seems easy enough, it's only about an inch long, and is in this little pre-filled pen, so I don't have to mess with loading the needle with the right dosage.

Once she showed me how to give myself injections, and loaded up a big blue bag full of drugs, I headed out and rushed back to the office.

That's when it hit me.

As I drove methodically back to work, I began to cry. I don't even know what triggered my emotions, but as it bubbled over unexpectedly, I realized that perhaps it's best that it happened now, so I could deal with it and move on. Through these last few months, I felt nothing but excitement with the pending idea of IVF... I was ready, psyched and confident about the upcoming treatments. But here I sat in the car, alone with my thoughts... and I cried. I cried out of fear that my efforts would go unrewarded, that my life would never be the same again... good or bad... out of fear of dealing with injections and side effects, without anyone else that could understand and support the emotional rollercoaster that would bring. I cried that I was here, at this place in life, I cried that so many people have so many expectations of me, and fear that I will disappoint them.

When I got back to the office, I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't process the simplest of questions, and I knew that for today, I needed to take time for myself to grieve this next step. I am not saying that depression has won, or that a positive outlook on the next month is now a non-entity... but rather, that I need a day, a moment in time, to absorb, grieve and release these fears. I will be back... I will stand strong, and I will live up to MY expectations for myself. I am a confident and able woman, who has faced challenges throughout my life. Each one seeming bigger than the last, and each one seeming for that moment to be the one that would do me in... but I have risen, and overcome... and I will again.... in my own time.