Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The #1 Infertility Coping Mechanism: Secret Crazy

Women that are a trying to get pregnant can be a little, urm, crazy. I am allowed to say that because I was one of those women. I had some secret things I did that in retrospect (and honestly in the moment) seemed a little cuckoo. I am the first to admit it. It is SO easy to go a little off one's rocker. You start trying to have a baby, you get obsessed, you find ways to cope, and the rest is (slightly embarrassing) history. 

I used to torture myself by looking at the baby section of People.Com. I would look at all the babies being born to the rich and famous, living fancy baby lives with their fancy fertile parents. Traipsing around New York in their Bjorns and LA in their Bugaboo strollers. I lived vicariously through models on location with toddlers in Hawaii and actresses jetting to Cannes for a film festival with their babes in arms. I actually felt outraged when Jessica Simpson got pregnant twice in the time I couldn't even do it once. I cried with Giulana Rancic when she too couldn't get pregnant. OBSESSED is probably an accurate description. It seems a little saddish when I write it out, but hey, whatever gets you through, right? RIGHT?

I was also addicted to pregnancy tests. I know amazing and strong women who actually would wait to see if they got their period. Not I. The second I could, I was peeing on that stick. If that box said 6 days, I had that shiz marked on my fertility app. (Yes, there are fertility apps. It is the only app I have ever paid for.) I kept doing it every chance I got until Aunt Flo arrived.  Something about having a definitive answer for that day would help me get through it and on to the next. I felt like I was showing mad self control when I would wait a day between testing. After I took a test, I would hold it up to the light and analyze it, and then take it and hold it in front of the window, jus tin case things were more obvious in the natural light. Always searching for some glimpse of a line. And then, to really roll around in my own  crazy, I would get on the interwebs, where all the unhinged infertile types gather together. Did you know there was a website that has pictures of used pregnancy tests that you can compare yours too? And if you really want answers without asking people you know (who you fear will judge your crazy) you can submit pictures of your own test, and have strangers tell you if they see a line. The ones who are "experts" call themselves Tweakers and use photo shop and filters to try and discern a line. I never went so far as to put a picture on the Internet, but I sure would line up my tests and compare them to the ones on the websites. Yes I was obsessed, but at least I was channeling it. Not only was I keeping the economy afloat with purchases of terribly overpriced pregnancy tests, but I was getting some kind of answers in a time when there were so few answers to be had. And that actually felt good. Productive. Productive with a tinge of batty. 

I know some women who totally shut themselves off from the world when they have problems getting pregnant. Months of tortuous failing at something that should be so easy can do that to a person. I have friends that couldn't go to baby showers, that couldn't be happy for their friends that got pregnant, that found it impossible to enjoy life at all. And I get it. I felt the jealousy, I felt the hurt, I felt that sadness. I admit I cried when I found out people I loved were pregnant. And then I felt bad that I was upset, because I hated how that felt. But I get it. I do. Imagine being staked in the heart every month like clockwork and then trying to act normal. Its kinda impossible. 

Thanks to my Google Image search I
have learned that Fertility Goddesses
are really into showing boobs and lady bits.
They also are a group who are vastly
in need of undergarments.
This Aztec beauty is about as G-rated as it gets.
We are a desperate group, prone to extreme measures. I know women who read book after book about fertility, ones who make spreadsheets of temperatures, others who try special diets and herbs. I know people who don't do anything except pray for a baby, believing if they ask often and hard enough they will have a miracle. I knew one woman who kept a fertility statue under her desk at work to give her good juju all day every day.  Whatever way you cope with the depression and sadness and disappointment of infertility, it is okay. I don't condone taking yourself out of life completely, because that does nothing but make the darkness inevitably grow. But if you need to make a scrapbook of Angelina and Brad's kids vacations, or take endless pictures of your home pregnancy tests, or swim in the waters that the ancient Rockachoochoo people used to enhance fertility, rock on girl. We all have to cope with the loss until we are successful or able to move on. Sometimes we all gotta let a little crazy out. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Infertility by the Numbers

I have been pregnant five times. The first two were ectopic. The third was LadyB. The fourth was ectopic. The fifth is Little Dude, who is set to make his debut in 9ish weeks. 

I have had two surgeries. The first removed the first ectopic. The second removed the second ectopic and my right fallopian tube.

I have taken approximately 7,034 home pregnancy tests (please note that is just a guess. It could be 7,032.)

I have had two chemical pregnancies that I don't even count in my total. That means positive tests that end up negative a few days later. The doctor thinks they were fertilized eggs that never made it down the gauntlet that is my remaining (probably partially obstructed/damaged) tube. 

I have spent the last six years trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or recovering from being pregnant while planning when to start trying again.

I have had eight IUI's.

I have had one IVF.
One Million dollars worth of IVF meds.

I have been on 2 oral medications. 
I have been on 2 injectable drugs.
I have taken supplements, used patches, given myself trigger shots, and used suppositories.

We have spent tens of thousands of dollars.

I have been exhausted. I have cried countless tears. I have asked a million questions. I revised "the plan" to get pregnant more times than I can count. 

I never once gave up hope that we would eventually have at least one more child. And here we are. And it feels so great to finally be a success story.


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