The State of Things

Hope and Infertility

Several people have messaged me asking where I am currently with the whole IVF thing. I had mentioned after my retrieval this winter we had planned on doing a June transfer. That got put on hold when I took a new job in April. I weighed the pro’s and con’s and decided I can’t keep living my life on pause all the time. Hoping for what might happen. With the job change came a 90 day gap in medical coverage. We decided getting pregnant during that period would be a bad idea.

Now that I am covered again, we’re planning on moving ahead with a transfer sometime this fall. Not sure when right now, given it all depends on what my stupid body wants to do, but sometime soon, I think.

I’d be lying if I said yet another break has been relaxing. The longer I wait to do a transfer, the more I struggle with ripping the bandaid back off. I’m doing pretty good holding my shit together right now. But I know another failed transfer is a shot in the gut. That’s the hard truth in all this. While everyone is excited and jealous of my 29 embryos, I am paralyzed by the fear of it failing. Again. Because 4 embryos have already failed me.

But I have to keep going. The suspense of continuing to put it off will also eat away at me, so it feels like a lose lose situation. And we all know I am on borrowed time anyway. If I’m not pregnant by winter, it’s back to the gynecological oncologist for another scan and bloodwork.

So there we have it. In good news though there’s a possible surprise coming up. But,I don’t want to say anything in case it doesn’t work out. We’ll see what happens.

Beat Infertility

beat infertility

I really dislike this whole push behind the idea that I could “beat infertility” by just having a baby or becoming a parent. I think it sets the stage for further disappointment down the road. When you’ve resolved your infertility and BOOM, some rando announces they are preggo and it was just “so easy”.

In flushes the jealousy, upset, anger, frustration, sadness, etc that comes with being an infertile. Because the dirty little secret is that however you resolve your infertility, you still were infertile, and you still are infertile. Your story will never be one of “oops I didn’t even know I was ovulating”. Because we ALWAYS know when we’re ovulating.

That’s not to say there aren’t infertile ladies out there that end up with an “oops baby”. (I despise this term btw, there’s nothing oops about having sex and getting pregnant). There are. Even the oops pregnancy doesn’t wipe away the struggle and pain caused by infertility. And we’re still infertile after.

Not only that, but the entire premise revolves around the idea that we will all get pregnant, give birth, and have take home babies and this is simply untrue. And for those that don’t get a take home baby, or end up parenting, they aren’t failing at “beating” their infertility. They are simply beating it on another path.

We need to embrace the real idea that beating infertility has everything to do with owning the disease and moving through the disease and finding peace daily. That that is truly beating infertility, and nothing else will bring us there. It will be a lifelong struggle, but one we are prepared to face, because we’re at peace with the road we’re on.

Looking Out Instead of In

tunnel vision

I have this really terrible habit of getting tunnel vision. I focus so strongly on the things I am doing, to the detriment of everything else around me. Part of it is definitely due to my addictive personality, another is my need to be in control of things. As time goes on, I am starting to notice that my lack of control in some aspects of my life are causing me to put a death grip on other things.

I never used to be so controlling and it’s frustrating and scary. I have this constant need to be busy and doing something or going somewhere or, just ANYTHING. I have to go and do and be. I have to control the minutiae in day to day, but can’t make any concrete decisions. If you ask me what I want for dinner I will stare blankly at you and tell you I don’t know. But if you reorganize the stuff on my desk your head will roll. And don’t even try suggesting somewhere to go, as I certainly won’t want to eat that.

It’s becoming really frustrating when I sit down and recognize what I’m doing. The issue is that I typically don’t recognize what I’m doing. I’m just blindly keeping busy. But why? WHY? Because the one thing I can control in my life right now is what I am doing at any moment.

I need to start making a cognizant try at correcting this behavior and/or harnessing this behavior for the good. Making good habits. Stop eating like shit. Go back to the gym. Attend yoga. Spend less money. Buy less shit. One can try at least, right?

Glutton for Punishment

The last 2 months have been nothing but a blur for me. First was Infertility Advocacy Day, then  WordCamp Northeast Ohio, and lastly, just to punish myself some, I started a new job in April. I’ve done a lot of things over the past couple of months and I haven’t written about them. I might get to it.

One thing I’ve noticed though is that I seem to be a glutton for punishment of some sort. I have to constantly be going and doing something or I feel like I am wasting my time. Yet, when I pause and looks around I always feel like I’m doing nothing and just spinning my wheels and everyone else is so much busier then I am.

And I’m not sure why. I am definitely thinking it is something to be examined though.

National Infertility Awareness Week: #StartAsking

bloggers-startasking-image

As many of you know, and some of you don’t, this week, April 24-30 is National Infertility Awareness Week. And as anyone might guess, this is a case near and dear to my heart. I am one of the 1 in 8 couples in the United States that was dealt the card of infertility. Within the infertility community, I fall into an even smaller percentage, the 20% of couples for which there is no known cause for our infertility. As I like to tell people, based on what we can test for, Bill and I should be at Duggar fertility levels.

But that, sadly, is not the case for us. Instead we’ve spent 8 long years trying to build the family we desire. Hundreds of injections, doctors appointments, and thousands of dollars, in the pursuit of what happens for most people as a fun romp in the sack and an afterthought. It’s brought us closer as a couple, but alienated us from friends and family. As I blogged about last year for NIAW, it even caused me to have a nervous breakdown at one point.

This years motto is Start Asking. This could be something as simple as reaching out to your friends and family for support. Or it could be raising your voice to the highest levels and joining me at Infertility Advocacy Day on May 11th in Washington DC. No matter how you choose to Start Asking, the more we talk about our infertility, and normalize it, the less stigma and shame that surrounds it.

I wouldn’t be ashamed to tell my family I had diabetes. I should be ashamed to tell them I have infertility. Both are diseases that drastically impact our lives. Both cause us to need support from those near and dear to us. Both require empathy from those around us. But one is more well known in the community at large because it’s talked about. The only way we can get that same recognition is by starting the conversation. By demanding equal access to care. To Start Asking for what we need.

So this year, Start Asking. Your friends, family, employers, state, federal government. Start Asking them to recognize our disease for what it is, a disease.