I didn’t know whether or not to share this.
Infertility seems to be a “third rail” for social conversation. It’s an awkward and personal discussion which creates confusion, hurt feelings and mixed emotions for everyone.
That’s why I have to write about it. But it’s taken me over four years to tell this story. I’m hoping it’s cathartic to me and to others.
The first thing you should know, is that everyone’s story is different. The journey, the emotions, the years of after-effects, they bare only a thread of similarity from one story to the next. This is not every woman’s infertility story, but it is mine.
I live out loud, but this is one story only a few people know.
Everything is Possible.
I meet my husband in my early ‘30s. I’ve spent my entire adult life PREVENTING pregnancy, so when he says “I’d like 4 or 5 kids”, I chuckle at my own wit as I callously respond “not with this uterus you won’t.”
I really don’t think of myself as a mum. I am lot of things, but “Mum” isn’t one of them. But as I fall more in love and as I see him with children, I begin to see how having children with this man could be exactly what I want too.
We get married. We move 3,500 miles. We need a break from major life events. We hit the “pause” button. We enjoy married life, together. I nest.
Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team vehemently disagree about age and fertility. Passionate debate ensues. Post continues after audio.
Finally, we decide to “try.” This is a moment of clarification. Only adults “try” to get pregnant.
When you’re “trying”, the key advice is not to think about it too much.
“Let it happen.”
“Are you tracking?”
“Don’t stress out.”
“Are you eating right and taking prenatal vitamins?”
While casually trying, you keep a cadre of items at your bedside, a thermometer, a calendar and a pen and paper to document temperatures and other metrics.
After trying “casually” for a couple of years, we finally make the dreaded journey to an infertility specialist. I am particularly nervous about this. I’ve had friends go through this and I am still trying to wrap my head around the idea of being a mum.
My visit to the doctor does little to ease my internal unrest. To say that my fertility doctor is a self-righteous donkey’s ass is somehow inadequate. He questions my efforts, my body book-keeping, my dedication to pregnancy. I feel foolish for asking questions and “part whole” for being there at all. It is determined our best chance of success is IVF, but we are warned before we write the deposit, “it would not be easy.”
Entering into the infertility zone is like walking into an unfamiliar dark room and shutting the door.
It becomes obvious that IVF is a system designed to bring babies into the world, I am but the delivery mechanism. My body is the vessel and it is clearly, at least from the medical standpoint, completely distinct from my head and my heart. There is no room for those shenanigans, this is serious business and you will not deviate by emoting.