I wrote about our struggle on my blog, and the reception was incredible. People shared that they’d been trying, personal struggles of their own, that they’d be thinking of me. No one gave me well-meaning but awful advice. Some people who now have tiny children shared that it took them years of trying to get to that point and they sympathised with my struggle. All up, it has been a positive experience and I’m glad I put myself out there.
The road taken when trying to become a parent is already long enough. You weigh this and that — a new house or a child? My wedding or the birth of someone greater than a piece of paper from the state? Cloth or disposable diapers, when should I start stocking up on either? And then there’s fertility: even if everything checks out fine, you still have a 20% chance of conceiving a child each month.
I got married at eighteen (as a lot of women from my culture do). A husband and two kids by twenty-one was the only path that women I know were ever expected to walk. I, however, shunned the cultural expectation for me to get pregnant. Fast forward three years later and you would find me on an operating table having my lady organs snipped and burned and moved about. For me, infertility means freedom. Beneath the hurt, the fear, the hope and the confusion about why THIS thing happened to me… there is freedom to choose.
I have had three failed IVF treatements and been on the super emotional roller coaster. After a bit of time I’m kind of OK/relieved (at least for now), and accepting the Childfree lifestyle that has been foisted upon us. I seem to be the only person on the interwebz who has this attitude.
At the grocery store today, I was browsing the “family planning” section. Of course, there are the things that help prevent pregnancy, but I was obviously looking at the things to help promote pregnancy. As I was reading the back of every box of “ovulation predictors” and trying to decide which was the best one, a female employee that was probably in her later 30s came up to see if I needed any help.
I’m one of those women struggling with infertility issues. One: my age. I’m no spring chicken. Two: endometriosis — I was treated for that two years ago after suffering for over a year with crazy painful periods, and after my husband and I had been trying for more than six months. Three, high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) levels — it’s taking more hormones to kick-start my ovaries and get them working.
If you’re doing fertility treatments, chances are pretty good that you’re stressing the fuck out. Not only do you have the logistics of appointments and medications (and physical/emotional weirdness from said medications), but if you found your way to fertility treatments after dealing with infertility, then you’ve got the emotional burdens from THAT whole awfulness.
And then, as if the whole process wasn’t stressful enough, then you have to stress about STRESSING, because everyone tells you that anxiety will negatively influence your chances of getting pregnant. Not stressing isn’t just an issue of sanity — it’s an issue of treatment effectiveness. AARGH!
So, that’s all fine and good: DON’T STRESS. But how? How can you keep yourself calm and non-anxious during the mind-fuck that is fertility treatments?
Our housemates moved in in January of this year for “three weeks”… and they’re still here. This was fine with me until last week when she announced her surprise pregnancy. We’ve been struggling with our own infertility issues, and now I find myself insanely jealous of her and her pregnancy.