I struggled back and forth on whether or not to start a blog about our infertility journey. There’s no other way to say it, but infertility sucks. There are millions of people in the world struggling with it, but no one really talks about it.
It can be embarrassing to a lot of people. You feel like a broken person. It seems like any drunken teenager can get pregnant, so why can’t you? Something is so wrong with you that you can’t even do something that you’re naturally supposed to do.
It is emotional. First comes complete depression. You pick over everything you’ve ever done in your life. Could this or that have caused it? What is karma getting me back for? Have I let my partner down? Will they be able to still love me? You convince yourself that you will die alone and barren.
Then comes anger. You’re angry at your creator. It’s not fair. You’re a good person, you’ve been through enough hardships in your life. So why you? You want to tell me that people who mistreat or kill their children deserved it over me?
You’re angry at people. You can’t go anywhere or do anything without seeing children, and you can’t stand it. You don’t want to be reminded of what a barren freak you are.
Then when you start to tell people, it get’s so much worse. “Oh, just relax and it will happen!” (If I can give people any advise in the world it is NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SAY THIS! It is the #1 worst thing to hear, and I’ll talk more about that later) “Have you tried this or that?” “Why don’t you just adopt?”
If you manage to not kill anyone in the blind rage they’ve put you in, you realize just how little people understand about reproduction. Or for that matter, how little you know. I mean, your sex class in school made it sound so easy right? No birth control + no condom + sex = baby. That didn’t work? Ok, let’s Google it!
Ladies, do you know when you ovulate? Do you know if your luteal phase is an appropriate length? Do you know how to look at your cervical fluid, or know that it changes, or know what it means? Do you know what is/or if you have POS or Endometriosis? Do you know what TTC, BFN, BFP, Basal Thermometer, or OPK are? Can you name and chart every part of your “down theres”? Do you know how it really works at all?!?
Because I sure didn’t. Our society is too busy being scared of sex that they certainly don’t want to tell women how their body works. In school I was taught what an STD is, what a condom was, and shown a video of a live birth. That was it. It terrified me though. I never wanted to have a baby. I was on the pill, and if I could have convinced a guy to wear the entire box of condoms I would have.
The truth is that you only have about 24 hours in a month to fertilize an egg, and there are a million different things that can stop that egg from becoming a baby. It is truly a miracle that birth happens at all.
So now I feel like an arcade game player dropped right in the middle of a RPG world. I have no idea where to go or what to do, and these hidden-behind-a-computer people are speaking in a complete different language. You feel ignorant, alone, and scared.
And here’s the best part. If you’re under 35, you have to be trying an entire year before a doctor will look at you. Imagine you were sick, and you had to be sick for a year before the doctor saw you. How much would you be self-diagnosing yourself on WebMD? How many things could you convince yourself that you had in a year? By the time we actually had our first doctor’s appointment I was a wreck.
Then comes the poking and prodding. If you think PAPs are bad, I laugh in your face! Not to mention lots of blood drawing. Oh, and the girls aren’t the only ones having all the fun. Guys, be prepared for a lot more than just “relieving” yourself in a cup. All of this, and hopefully you’ll get an answer….
When people hear your infertile, they always think there is something wrong with the woman. First, it’s not fair to have any preconceived notions about infertility. Second, it’s not always the woman. Our diagnosis was Male Factor Infertility.
Honestly, the first thing for me was relief, almost joy. There’s nothing wrong with me! I’m not a freak! Then you look at your partner, and it starts to sink in.
I would almost think it hits them worse because I think most people really convince themselves that if they’re infertile, it’s the woman’s fault. I don’t know if he could have ever imagined hearing that something was wrong with him. Could he be feeling all the horrible things that I felt in the last year?
Luckily, I have an amazing husband. He took it in stride knowing that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Should a cancer patient be ashamed? This isn’t something that is his fault. It’s just something he was born with, and it’s just something we have to work harder at. Nothing could make me love him less, and we’re in in together.
The doctor told us that his sperm count was low, and that his morphology was bad. This means that not only was his sperm having problems getting to my eggs, but that they weren’t able to pierce the egg and become an embryo. So they put him on some vitamins, said try a few more months, and we’ll go from there…
So we tried, and right before we were planned to go back to the doctor we got the word that my husband landed a job in Austin, TX. Now the stress of a move half way across the country probably isn’t best for a couple trying to conceive (TTC!), but it really was the best thing for us. I love my new city, but we had to wait 90 days before our insurance kicked in. So you best believe that the day in started Sept 1, I set a date at a fertility clinic.
Now, after 16 months of trolling around fertility sites I pretty much knew what we were in for. The doctor confirmed that the only option for us was an IVF or In Vetro Fertilization.
IVF is not an easy or fun process, and many insurance companies don’t cover it. Including ours. We really had to sit down and discuss if this is what we wanted to do. The cost could be from $10,000 to $20,000 PER CYCLE, and there is no guarantee that it will even work.
The only other option is adoption. This could cost just as much, take as long, and we really had to do some soul searching to figure how important to us it was to have a biological child.
So here we are, and we’ve decided to go for it…..
We suited up. We hit the Start button. We are Infertility Warriors!
So if you’ve managed to get through all of this, thank you! If you’re interested in sharing in our journey, stay tuned. I should be posting regularly about each step we take, or just venting. I promise that these posts won’t be as long, and hopefully much funnier. Although I can’t guarantee that they won’t be full of words like uterus, fluid, or any other terms that might gross you out.
We’re being positive now, but who knows where we’re going to end up. The actual procedure will happen in October, but I have a lot of tests to go through before then.
Hopefully this will be educational for you, therapeutic to me, and most importantly keep many people from telling me to “just relax”. I swear, I’ll hit you!