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

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We wouldn't recognize happiness without a little sadness

Life can just plain suck. Let's not beat around the bush... I mean it, it can truly suck.

Through all of this, I've had my moments... those hours where I questioned what was happening, what I had done to get here and why it had to be ME that was dealing with this misery. The pouting, the angriness... even the tears, all paled in comparison to what I felt yesterday.

I blame it on the hormones, after all; there is no way I could have felt so low without this being a major contributor. I'm not sure where or how it started, but in the midst of the heartache I found myself on the floor of our closet surrounded by shorts that no longer fit my bloated belly, and craving for someone, somewhere to understand.

It seems, that lately I am obsessed. But is this so unexpected? My life is CONSUMED with trying to conceive. Needles, statistics, alternative treatments, message boards, books, medications... I don't have much more space in my consciousness for anything else. Here I sit, only 19 days from my expected transfer (according to one of many tickers counting down everything to do with this journey) and I feel overwhelmed, scared, excited and most of all ALONE.

Why does this process alienate you from the outside world? I remember when I was planning our wedding 3 years ago. Every detail was considered, checked and then confirmed. This too consumed me, but in a completely different way. When I purchased yet ANOTHER book on planning the perfect wedding, the girl always smiled at me and said "Congratulations!!" looked at my ring and happily presented me with my purchase. When I discussed the floral arrangements with my girlfriends they ooed and awed... fascinated by every selection and fondly added their ideas from weddings they had attended in the past. Even my husband was excited to try the dozen flavours of wedding cake in helping pick the tastiest one. I didn't mind being obsessed, and everyone I talked to got just as excited.... so why was this so different?

Why is it THIS time, when I buy another book to add to my collection does the teller have this look of sadness for me? She not only doesn't congratulate me (Who would?) but she hurries to put "Taking charge of your Fertility" in the bag before others see... When I try to talk to my girlfriends about the process, the medications and how they are making me feel, they say "Oh I know... it isn't easy for everyone, we took a couple months of practice before WE had our first". (completely dismissing the fact that I am dealing with something completely different than a couple of months of practice sex). And my husband... my dear patient husband. As I sat on the floor and cried he sat at the edge of the bed and simply stared. He was unable to say anything... Surely afraid that whatever he said would not be what I needed to hear. And he was probably right... in that moment, there was nothing that COULD be said to make me feel better.

I am a failure as a woman. That is how I felt. All these years, I thought the hardest battle would be finding a man I could truly love, and earning enough money to live in the lifestyle I had come to expect for myself. Little did I know, that after the great job... the perfect wedding and the overflowing love I shared with my husband; I would be sitting on the closet floor full of clothes that no longer fit, dying inside for the only thing that really mattered...

The happiness will come, I hold onto that truth... and I also know that without this pain and heartache, I wouldn't appreciate the blessings and love that will one day be mine. This journey, although difficult and lonely, is here to teach me... that I am strong, that I am capable, and that I have love waiting in the wings for my child to arrive. I simply have to be patient and realize, that sometimes gifts don't come in the way we always expected.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gatherings with Friends

Last night was fun... a birthday party for a friend's husband provided us with an excuse to get out and socialize with friends and forget about the medications and procedures that were now consuming our lives. It was a nice break from the routine, and a much needed moment of relaxation. Mike has been working so much lately that I had hardly seen him. I quite literally have 10 minutes a night with him after he gets home from his second job and crawls into bed before passing out exhausted. I feel for him, the efforts and sacrifices he is having to make. I wonder some times if he resents the fact that I am still working my 1 job, while he is running himself to the breaking point so we can afford all of this. He doesn't seem to mind, but I can see the exhaustion in his face. I need to remind him more how much I love and appreciate him.

It's funny... even when you think you are removing yourself from the world of infertility for an evening, it still rears it's head and reminds you of where you are in the world. Almost the moment we arrived, another guest whom we hadn't seen since the couple's wedding 2 years earlier asked "So... having kids?" and I was reminded that this was what was expected of me. "We're trying" is all I said, hoping it would be enough, and luckily it was. Funny, even casual acquaintance have expectations for our fertility!

The night was nice, we hung out be the pool and munched on appetizers that she claimed to have slaved over all day (but confided in me, were actually from Costco) and laughed about silly unimportant things. Aside from the fact that not eating dairy and beef for the month leading up to my IVF transfer on the advice of my acupuncturist left me envious of everyone enjoying the delicious looking black forest cake, it almost seemed like we had taken a step back in time, and that for an evening; life was exactly as it should be.