Thursday, February 25, 2010

Infertility is cancer of the soul, part deux

I have this problem...well, infertility, but that is now what I am talking about.  Before I get to the post, I want to tell you about my other problem.  I always think of better things to say and write after the fact.  For instance, when a lady that I knew asked me if why I "still wasn't pregnant?" all I could think to respond with was, "we figured we would be horrible parents, so we quit trying,."  When I told another friend that story, she said I should have said,"why are you still fat?" as my response.  Yes it was mean, but so is asking someone who has been trying to get pregnant for a year why she isn't on the day AF showed up! 

So, of course today I had an epiphany about something that should have been in my blog from last night.  Course, it helped that my Mom said something to me that sparked the thought...where was she yesterday night when I was writing?!  (probably, home in her bed!)  Anyway, my Mom said to me, "when I came off birth control 30 years ago, we got pregnant right away and I didn't think anything of it.  I never expected you to have problems and you didn't either."  It was...just like an epiphany, a surprise.  I'm so glad she reads my blog because lots of this stuff I couldn't have a conscious discussion about without tears...but here I am able to talk without sobbing most days! 

So in light of my post last night, here were where my thoughts led me today.  When I was a little girl and I had baby dolls and pretended to be a Mommy (yes, probably at 6), I just expected I would be a real Mommy someday.  It was what was done.  You grew up, went to college, found a guy, got married and had babies (in that order - according to my mother!).  That was what you did.  It was my destiny.  And the minute you went off birth control, you were aware that you could be pregnant at any freaking moment.  Even friends ON birth control got pregnant!  The problems we are facing now weren't even half a thought, hell, I didn't know there were people who had these issues.  But you totally expect that you will be a mother someday and it will be easier to get pregnant than it was to not get pregnant (or at least I did).  So when someone tells you or it becomes alarmingly aware that this process isn't as easy as I had dreamed it would be all those years, it eats at you.  What did I do to make my body not like me this much?  Or did I offend God?  Was it my un-healthy eating habits as a kid or in college?  All the alcohol in college?  I can't change then it just eats at you.  it eats at your very being, when you want to be a Mom as much as I do and always have.  Again, kind of like cancer.

I had a friend tell me tonight after reading last night's post that it made her sad and she just wished she could fix it with a wave of her magic wand.  But in that statement, I realized that this process has given me some tougher skin.  As sad as it sounds, I don't even think I cried when we found out the 3rd IUI hadn't worked.  (Don't get me wrong, for the first one, I screamed my head off all day long and cried my eyes out!  I think J even had some tears that he kept from me for that one.)  But by the third, we almost expected it not to work.  (That is a whole different struggle, thinking it will work when it hasn't in the past.  I've even think at times that I wouldn't know what a positive pregnancy test would look like if it showed up!) 

And when I made that comment to my friend (my very long time friend!), she said,"how could you get through this if you didn't have a thicker skin?! It's not that you don't have emotion, I just think you are evolving in how you are dealing with everything that is going on."  I replied that this process is probably similar to having a child.  If you went in to labor and out popped a toddler, parents might go insane because they haven't had the progression to that stage of life.  And in the same respect, if someone had told me when we went off birth control that this would be the hand we were dealt, it's possible we would have thrown up our hands then and said, "well never mind then."  Now, my dear friend at that point said, "you aren't one to give up," which is something I think of myself and is nice to hear from the other people who love you. 

As our conversation continued, I said, "by keeping going with this situation, it makes you realize how much you do want it and that body not working right, makes me want to work harder to get it done.  It also makes me feel that I can't give up, even though the road ahead looks much scarier than the mountain we have already climbed behind us."  I asked my friend if I could post our conversation and she said that was fine, especially because she has wanted to help but can't (obviously) in this situation.  I know so many people feel helpless in, our parents, our friends, etc.  I would bet even my doctor feels helpless at some points because he knows what to throw at us, but when that doesn't work, then what?!  And he can see the hurt and hear the panic in my voice.  At that point, I reminded my dear friend, that just knowing our friends care and keep us in their prayers, goes so much further than anything anyone could do for me in this situation. And she assured me she does, a lot!  (Unless of course there is someone out there who wants to donate about $10k to us for IVF - I won't turn you down!!!! ;) ) So, both of us ended up in tears.  Because even though there isn't much she can do for me, I know she is there for me and that's all I can ask of friends at this point.  Someone to listen when I want to talk, and to hug when I can't speak any more due to the tears.

And on that note folks, I'm off to finish watching the beautiful Olympic ladies figure skaters.  My heart truly goes out to the Canadian skater who lost her Mom a couple days ago unexpectedly and skated off the ice after her short program in tears because she laid it all out there for her Mom, and it rocked!  I know she isn't from the US, but I want her to win something!!!  Later my lovely Bleaders, talk soon!


  1. Beautiful post! I feel the same way...that I was MEANT to be a mom!! I know I will be (hopefully soon). I definitely feel that this process has made me stronger. You gain the strength to keep going despite all the things that make you want to stop. HUGS!

  2. Great post Niki, really well written. Infertility is like a cancer, I was thinking about this the other day. But with cancer, you can get treatment to get better. They remove something, you get chemo. Hopefully you get better. With infertility, you're broken. Maybe you get preggo, but even still you'll always have the stamp of fertility challenged, you know? It's so tough. I'm thinking about ya darlin, hugs.

  3. I am a different person after going through IF and I know our marriage is different. It is stronger. I have never been a patient person. I am a typical type A person and a major planner. going through IF and struggles with BFing and whatnot have changed me. I am a better person because of it. I also know that people who "just got pregnant" will never understand the depths of your empathy and your determination to be a mother and the lengths you will go to. Hang in there.


I love hearing what you have to say ... blog related or not! Dish away!