A lot has happened in the six or so weeks since I last posted. It’s taken a while for us to come to terms with where the Husband and I find ourselves now, but I think we’re finally getting better at processing and making decisions.
Sticking with my assertions that women (and couples in general, really) shouldn’t be ashamed of “having trouble” with starting a family, I’m really going for full disclosure in this blog. Not to mention, it’s just who I am. I feel no need to hide any of what I’m going through. My experiences are unique, but they are universal, and I should not be made to feel bad about any of what we’ve been dealing with.
After nearly a year of trying to start a family, the Husband and I saw a fertility specialist. My doctor saw no reason for us to not have conceived yet, and so it was decided we should take further steps.
After about three weeks of testing, we’ve found out that I have a large cyst on my left ovary. It’s nearly 3×3.5cm, about the same size as my ovary, and our doctor will not let us continue to try until the cyst is resolved. In fact, I’ve been put back on birth control and we’ve been benched from trying the entire month of November, and will continue to be at least until the new year. The cyst is not resolving itself. It’s getting bigger. So on Wednesday, I’ll be having surgery to remove the cyst and any endometriosis they find while they’re in there.
I’m scared. Partly because of the surgery in general — who looks forward to going under and being cut open? — but also partly because I’m worried about what they’ll find. Obviously I’m jumping to conclusions, but I’ve always been a “worst case scenario” type of person. And the worst case doesn’t really leave us with great options for starting our family. I’m trying to put all of that out of my mind, though.
My biggest thing now is trying to get the Husband to accept our choices going forward. Not accept. He’s accepted our situation. It’s more a case of needing to help him not feel ashamed, not feel like a failure. Our doctor has said once the cyst clears up, we’ll move on to IUI — intrauterine insemination. I know there are many people, the Husband included, who think we should just go back to trying naturally once the cyst is gone. But I have some issues with this, namely that trying and failing for as long as we have to conceive naturally has taken a toll on me mentally and emotionally, and it’s a major strain on our relationship.
I am all for moving on to the next step and avoiding putting that strain on our relationship if possible. But I get the stigma. “Artificial insemination” is how it’s seen, and it’s seen as a failure on some levels. Something so natural couldn’t be done naturally. But unless you’ve ridden the emotional roller coaster that we have every month, unless you’ve felt the strain that trying on such a strict schedule puts on a marriage, I don’t feel like you truly understand where I’m coming from.
I already know the holidays are going to be hard. I had such high hopes of telling our family at Thanksgiving dinner or while opening gifts on Christmas day that we were finally expecting our very own little bundle of joy. That will not be the case for us. And it will be the case for friends of mine. I’ve already seen the announcements popping up, and it’s so hard to figure out how to be happy for friends while allowing myself to feel sad for me. It will feel good to get to the other side of this surgery and start truly discussing moving forward.
In the spirit of the week, and of the season, I am thankful for so much right now. I’m thankful I have a supportive and loving husband who has been strong for both of us through this and keeps his head on straight even when I feel like I’m losing my mind. I’m thankful for our supportive family, who we know love us no matter we decide to do. I’m thankful for our team of doctors and nurses who are driven to help us have a baby — it feels so good to not feel alone in this and to know that these people want nothing more than to see us succeed. I’m thankful for our wonderful friends who keep me smiling and laughing, even when maybe I don’t want to. I’m thankful for this beautiful life I was blessed with. No matter the struggles, I wouldn’t change a thing because I know it’s the struggles that make us that much more grateful for what we have. And I have a truly amazing life.