Saturday, July 15, 2006

"Now, if You'll Just open your Mouth wide enough to get that Foot to fit right in...."

I know that I haven't posted in awhile, and I do apologize, but I had jury duty, beginning Tuesday-I was unlucky to actually get chosen for a case. Actually, that's not altogether true. I was lucky, in a way-if I hadn't been chosen for a jury, I'd have to come back the next day. Due to the backlog of cases because of the shutdown of the NJ State Government ten days ago, I would have ended up being picked for Grand Jury-an eight week ordeal that would have, quite frankly, sucked large testicles.

On the FET front, I'm still waiting for my period to show-it should be here from today onward. Since I've given up charting my temps (I haven't done that in almost a year now.....what's the point?) I'm not exactly sure when I ovulated, but once it shows up I go in for CD 3 bloodletting and wanding, then I get to start those lovely BCP's. I'm looking forward to getting things started, to finally get to some kind of outcome. I don't like being in limbo.

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I'm sure you'll all remember my slight dilemma that I posted about. Now, I don't know if I should feel like an big asshole or a slight asshole. I got a phone call the other day from M, and, while in the middle of a converstation with her, she made the comment ".....well, now that I can't have any more children". Of course, I then had to ask her what she meant. Our twato called her back with results of the bloodwork she did-her FSH was 68, and the twato advised her that she was going through early menopause, will be putting her back on BCP's for estrogen replacement, and also wants to refer her to the IF clinic I am currently a patient for a full workup, since she's undecided as to whether she's having more children (she'd be seeing my RE, who is also head of the egg donor program). Now, I'm not sure how it works in a situation like this-would an RE see a patient about infertility who isn't actively trying to concieve?

So, I pretty much told her how I felt-that she's not married, unsure whether or not she would marry the guy she's seeing currently, and already has a child-is she worrying about this because she really wants to marry Sexy J and have more kids, or is it because someone told her that she couldn't have any more (her own words, not mine)? She's totally the type of person that, when told that she can't do something, she'd do it anyway to prove whoever it is that they're wrong. I then told her that she doesn't know whether or not she still couldn't have children, as she's not actively trying to get pregnant (plenty of menopausal women conceive those "late in life" babies when they thought that their reproductive systems were almost shut down), and would they be able to accurately do hormone testing if she were back on the Pill?

She tried to compare me to her, but I stopped it right then and there-I bluntly told her that what I was going through and this are in no way similar-she's looking at it from the viewpoint of someone who already has a child, whereas I have none. I, quite honestly (and it felt damn good) told her that my way of looking at it is that, if I were her, I'd be damn grateful that I already had a child and be happy with that, she never had to have any difficulties with having what she already has, and that you have to be happy with what you already have to then know if you want more than that. She then said, right away, that she was really grateful to have her daughter, but she always thought that she'd have more kids. At which point I told her that I always thought I'd have 3 children, and never dreamed that I'd be in the situation I'm in now, with the possibility of never being able to have my own children, but that nothing is ever as we truly want it to be.

I told her that she needs to figure out first what she wants her relationship with J to be-does she want to marry him, and if so, does she really want to have more children (which is what she's undecided about)? I cautioned her against letting the news of her early menopause influence her in making a hasty decision to get married again. She mentioned things about worrying about having two children with two different men, that she didn't want to end up alone, that she didn't want to work as hard as she does to maintain her life. I asked her if she was worried about what others think of her, and she said no, but it makes me wonder. I'd just hate to see her make a rash decision because of this, but I can't stop her. I gave her my piece, and she didn't get pissy (to her credit), but I'm not sure if she was really listening. I guess time will tell that.

She's still going to make an appointment with my RE, though-whether or not she'll be seen is unsure, but she'll find out once she makes the call.

I don't know-perhaps she thought that I'd be an ally with her on this, since I'm going through infertility, but I don't see her as even being secondarily infertile, at least not yet. It's not as if she's trying right now, or even if she eventually will. She did mention that she feels like she's less of a woman (which I can definitely relate to), and, didn't I feel that way? I did admit that, yeah, I do feel that way sometimes, but couldn't agree in her case-she isn't less of a woman, especially since she's already proven that she could have her own children successfully.

I hope I didn't come across as overly harsh, but it's hard for me to have patience with this, as "shit, what is she whinging about-she has a child, can't she be happy with that?" kept replaying in my head as we had this conversation. And, this isn't a knock on secondary infertility in ANY way-I have friends who are going through that and it's hard to watch their pain. No, I think it's because M is trying to make claims of infertility, and I strongly feel that she doesn't have the right to make casual claims like that with no definitive proof. It's not like having a heart murmur or an enlarged spleen-infertility is not something that's always so cut and dry, or easily treated. I guess what irks me about the whole thing (I do have to point out that I'm really not angry with her, per se, just her ignorance, really) is that she's so cavalier about it, like she'll just go to the RE, they'll do IVF (with or without donor eggs) and she'll have a baby, just like that (and she basically said that to me). Mind you, she's in the medical profession, people-she, of all people, should know that medicine is not absolute.

Perhaps that is exactly why I find this all so offensive. Because I (and many of you) have already been through so much hell, and I would hate to have my best friend have to go through what I have-the tests, medications, surgeries, disappointments and sorrows. And, it's almost like she's enjoying (perhaps that's too strong a word, but I can't think of any other word to sugar-coat it) the fact that she's in the "IF Club" now, since she knows many of her closest friends had difficulties. That she can now participate with more personal experience in the conversations about clinics, drugs, and the inside jokes we all share about dildocams, bloodlettings, and that fact we're naked more often for the RE than for our own partners and husbands.

I'm not saying that going through menopause at 34 isn't a great thing, or that she doesn't have a right to be upset with her diagnosis-she has a right to grieve that her childbearing days are coming to a close. And, yes, early menopause is definitely a cause of infertility, so, ultimately, she will be unable to have more children. This is about being happy with what life has given you, and she has so much to be happy for-she's no longer in a bad marriage to a man who was emotionally abusive and distant, she has a beautiful child, a fufilling career, a relationship with a man who cares for and respects both her and her daughter. Would I react in the same way as she did? I don't know. Perhaps, but perhaps not-I'm not in that situation. Do I have empathy for her? Of course-I'm not a heartless bitch. But, would I trade places with her?

Yes, in a heartbeat. Because, even though menopause is no joke, and that I don't want to see my best friend go through infertility treatment, she has something precious, something that, no matter what she goes through with menopause, I'd give everything I have for.

A child of her own.

5 comments:

Lut C. said...

I understand your sense of unease with her. There are some similarities in what you're going through, but she isn't in your shoes, not by a long shot.

Good on you for telling her so.

Meg said...

Rah, S. That must have been so highly satisfying.

What a funny image you give us of a person desiring to join in the fun of dildocam conversations - that's some messed up sort of peer group pressure, haha!!

It's like Seinfeld's Bizarro World.

ilyse said...

I totally see your point about how things are absolutely not the same between you two at all. And no, I would not consider her a member of the IF club yet either. I know she is going through a rough time but so are you and you did nothing wrong.

Shazz said...

I too see nothing wrong with what you said and dont feel bad about it either, she still isnt there yet. Oh and good to hear from ya.xx

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it was difficult, but good for you! People with children just don't get how it feels to not have any children (now or maybe ever). Also, thanks for the great new vocab words. You put such a sarcastic and humorous twist on what is such a horrible situation for those of us in the "IF club" and it's fun to see someone else who keeps things comical.