Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Infertili-versary

Well, since we're now chugging towards the end of June, I'm also coming up on a pretty significant date: it marks my 5 year "anniversary" of my infertility diagnosis. Actually, I think the actual "date" is early next week, but I refuse to even try to find out when that specific day is-what's the point, right?

I've recently been thinking a lot about all that has transpired in those 60 months-the months of trying, temping (thank GOD I don't even bother with that crap anymore), getting over the "ewww" factor of having to stick my fingers in my cooter to check my mucus, the doctors, doctors and MORE doctors, and having every medical instrument known to mankind introduced to my poonanny. Then, let's factor in the IVF cycles, the OHSS and having to get a liter of fluid drained from my abdomen, the FET and, later, miscarriage, the two subsequent IVF failures and 4 failed FET's that followed.

The heartache, pain, fear, tears and suffering. The anticipation, and the eventual letdown when my period arrived. The building of hope and dashing of it with that red flow. Walking that fine line between sanity and jumping over the edge. The uncertainty of what the outcome of all those pills, injections, and invasion to my Private Lady Parts will eventually be.

My infertility diagnosis has changed me, that is for certain. I'm cautious, and not as likely to share things with others when it comes to babies and families. I avoid the baby sections of department stores; I try, whenever possible, not to go to baby showers or visit newborns and new mothers. I've developed a wall of self-preservation. I try to keep out the things that will make my heart hurt.

I've stopped dreaming of a family. I refuse to place even a hand on my belly to wonder on it, as I'm lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. I try to accept that what will be will be, that I can't change my fate. That I need to be patient, and hold on to the hope that "good things come to those who wait".

However, I've learned a lot about myself too; things that I wouldn't have ever found out had I not been infertile. I can inject meds faster than Billy the Kid on speed. I can take PIO injections WITHOUT icing my ass, thankyouverymuch. Also, my ovaries are the Queen of Overcompensation. And let's not forget that I'm a Card-Carrying Member of the Dildocam Club.

But, I've learned other things, too. I have a more of a sense of fighting for what I really want, and how lucky I am that I live in a state that has mandated infertility coverage. That I have a strong marriage to a man that loves me for ME, not just for my (broken) girly bits. That it just might be okay if we can't have children. Not easier, but we have each other, at least.

I have real friends who support me in whatever path I choose. I have met so many people who are just like me-some have had success and are currently holding their babies in their arms, some are currently pregnant and loving it, and some haven't reached their goal. And, I'm blessed to know them, and their families-and I wouldn't have ever met them (online or in "real" life) if I hadn't been diagnosed as infertile. They've made me laugh when I was feeling like shit, and they've made me cry when hearing about their own loss and pain. It's like being in a sorority-everyone is different, yet you have that one thing that unites you, that defines you as a group. And, like a sorority, once you're initiated, you're a member for life.

I've learned compassion. And strength-strength that I never knew I had. If I can handle this, I can take anything. I've also learned that life is too damn short, and to have no regrets about anything.

Do I still feel envious of other's success? Do I still have days that I feel shame with my "situation"? Do I still get angry? Sure-I'm only human, after all. It's normal. But, I've learned not to take it personally. I've been dealt a shitty hand, but I'm trying my best to make lemonade from the mound of lemons in front of me.

I really feel that, lately, I'm in a better place. I don't know if it's due to the repeated HSG and results, or that I'm coming to terms with my infertility and it's place in my life. I'm not letting it rule over me as I once did; in fact, I'm slowly learning to coexist peacefully with it, like an eccentric grandmother who likes to wash used tinfoil, fold it up and put it away in a drawer (okay.......maybe that's just MY grandmother who did that. I'm not kidding-after she died we found an ENTIRE DRAWER FILLED with little folded squares of tinfoil. I shit you not-I can't make that up.). You just accept the weirdness, because it ain't gonna change. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and it's the same with infertility-it's not going to be cooperative when you want it to be.

Oh...............did I mention that I'm 11DPO? Yeah. Don't get all antsy in the pantsy, though-I had my usual PMS migraine last night, and some cramping/slight brownish mucus today. So, I'm probably out for this cycle, and probably on the way to IVF #4. And, I'm okay with that. Disappointed, but okay.

So, yeah.............infertility does still suck. But, maybe it'll still end up okay, after all.

11 comments:

Thalia said...

you sound like you're in a good place, despite the general horrid-ness of the situation. I hope the good place continues, while the infertility place has a clear expiration date for you.

Kath said...

Dear S, this was a great post, though I am so sorry that the price of this wisdom and insight has been so very high. I hope very much that this is the last infertiliversary you will mark.

The thing with the tin foil? My MIL did that too, only towards the end of her lucid times she forgot to wash it before folding it neatly and putting it into a drawer. I remember getting cold cuts wrapped in tin foil with old bits of Black Forest cake still clinging to it.

Gil said...

It really is wonderful that you have learned so many good things about yourself, your husband, your marriage and your life. But as Kath said, it is awful that the price of acquiring it is this great.

I am not quite at the point you are, but I am slowly approaching it; however, I'm not sure I can learn to live with it as diplomatically as you have. I admire you for your strength. Something tells me I'm going to end up more like a puddle on the floor.

Now I just hope for you, for me, for so many others like us, that there are no more infertiliversaries. Ever.

Nickie said...

What a well-written reflection on this chapter in your life. I hope so much that your 'book' gets the happy ending you're hoping for so much and soon.

Shelli said...

I couldn't ask for a better "sister."

You know I love you, right?

Well, I do.

Nearlydawn said...

I like the idea of this being a sorority. The hazing ritual is just so horrific though! LOL

I strongly admire your courage and strength. Like Kath said, I am so sorry for the high price you've paid to get this wisdom and insight. I have bookmarked your post though, so I can come back to it again, when I need to make it just one more day.

Frog Thinks said...

It's funny that I've come across this post today. I just got off teh phone with my BFF and told her much the same. I don't know why I'm okay today... I don't want to analyze it. BUT- I am thankful that I'm coping... My hubby finds it odd that I mark our date, which will be in August... but- it's healing. :) Happy day to you, and to whateve rthe future holds!

Debbie said...

I just found your blog through Watsons. This is a great post. I pretty much feel the same way.

B and I are on a break and I think I'm ready to get back in the saddle.

We will see....
~Debbie

cat said...

Infertility will always suck big hairy donkey balls. Meeting amazing women like you made all of it bearable.

I will echo the sentiments here. May this be the last time we gather here for this milestone. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

may i say that you are the one who is making me fel like I am not the only one feeling like this.
you are fortunate to be in a state funded program, we do not have that in Canada.
If I did not come across your site at the time I did, I would not know where I would be.
This process can put you at an all time low of which you thouhgt you would never be.
Thanks for being so open on your site

~Denise~ said...

Came across your site the other week and came back to visit today. I love this post, and thank you for sharing it. Infertility does indeed suck.