I have all the sad feelings right now. And I want to talk about it. This blog is the most obvious choice. But part of me worries that this is staying as repetitive as I’ve said I feared it would become. If that even makes sense.
However, infertility is currently my life. And I want to talk about it. So I will, and I do.
This morning, I had a blood test done. Normally, when the doc calls and tells you the test came back negative, you’re relieved, right? Because they’re testing for some sickness or disease that you just don’t want to have. When my nurse called me this morning and told me my test was negative, I was devastated. Because they were testing for pregnancy after a second IUI.
Negative. Again. For the fourteenth month in a row. I’m starting to think that I will never see those two pink lines.
Many of us live our lives day to day. The daily grind can get old, but we’ve usually got enough going on to keep us distracted and entertained. When you start trying to conceive (TTC), that changes a little bit. You live for the day you can pee on a pregnancy test stick and see if you were successful. For most, they’ll see those two pink lines within a few months, maybe a year, and move on to becoming parents.
The Husband and I have been at this for fourteen months now. Over a year. For those who have never been TTC, the one-year mark is when a normal, healthy couple (with a woman who is under 35) should consider seeing a specialist. We saw one in November. Tests were run on both of us. Everything came back normal, or in the Husband’s case, better than normal. Aside from the cyst, endometriosis, fibroid, and polyp that needed to be removed from my reproductive organs, we were good to go and shouldn’t have any trouble conceiving. I know that sounds like a lot, but honestly, they weren’t issues that couldn’t be fixed, and we fixed them.
Once we were all fixed up, we moved on to treatment. We could have continued “having fun trying,” as so many people recommended. But neither of us wanted to reset that one-year clock and hope it happened eventually. (Also, just so you know, after this long, “trying” stops being fun and becomes a chore. No one wants to schedule sex. But that’s what you do, and it sucks.)
The treatment we moved on to was IUI with medication to stimulate my ovaries. And here is where we stopped living day to day.
I, at least, now live week to week. Phase to phase. Appointment to appointment.
Phase one: I’m not pregnant and I’m on my period. Get over your heebie-jeebies and just talk about it. It’s a normal bodily function for women. It’s unpleasant, and then it’s gone. During this phase, I begin my medication. Which, by the way, turns me into a bitch. So that’s fun.
Appointment one: This happens at the beginning of phase one. I go in for an ultrasound to make sure I haven’t formed anymore cysts. The doc gives me the green light to take my meds, and I’m sent on my merry way.
Phase two: I’m waiting for ovulation. The medication should have created some nice follicles that are getting ready to release eggs for fertilization. During this time, I’m peeing on stick to test for ovulation. Once I get a positive test, we go in for our IUI.
Appointments two and three: The first of these involves the Husband going in to give his “sample.” Here’s hoping for lots of good, strong swimmers! The second is the actual IUI. We go in, I lie on a table, and the sample is injected into my uterus, bypassing the cervix and giving the swimmers a better chance. It’s just about the least romantic way to make a baby you can imagine.
Phase three: This is affectionately known in the community of women who are TTC as the Two-Week Wait (TWW). The swimmers are hopefully fertilizing an egg, which is then traveling toward my uterus where it will hopefully implant. By the way, the chance of this happening, even in a medicated IUI cycle, per my doctor, is about 6-10%. (Let’s face it, the birth of a child is a miracle, sure; but the REAL miracle is conception, with chances like that!)
Appointment four: The beta test. Two weeks after the IUI, I go in for a blood test to see if the treatment was successful. I don’t know what happens if it is successful. I just know that when she calls to tell me the results were negative, that I have to settle in and wait for phase one to come back around.
This is how I live my life. I live for the changes of these phases because it verifies to me that time is moving, that we are, somehow, someway, moving toward having this child that we both so desperately want.
On days like today, when I get that negative result that I already knew was coming (thanks to getting to know my body over these past fourteen months), I am devastated anyway. Devastated for myself. But mostly devastated for the Husband. He deserves better than this. He deserves the child that he wants so badly. He is going to make a great father one day, and I want, more than anything, to give him the opportunity to be a daddy. But my body isn’t cooperating. And that’s hard to take. Hard to understand. Hard to cope with.
I am also humiliated. People know what we’re going through. They know the measures we’re taking. And it’s already bad enough that we need “artificial insemination” to get pregnant. And then to not even have that work? I feel as though these people see me as broken. Not just because I can’t get pregnant, but also because I get so upset over it. “Just keep trying,” they say. “Be patient; it’ll happen.” But when your entire life revolves around these treatments and getting pregnant, patience goes out the window, and it’s all frustration, devastation, and anger.
I’m not sure what the point of this post was, besides to help me get out some of that frustration.
I take that back. I do know what the point was. I need people to understand what we’re going through and why this has taken over our lives, our thoughts, our plans. I need people to give us the support we need.* I need a lot of things. And I need people to not let me shut out the world because of these struggles. I need love and support and lots of hugs.
*This, dear readers, will be the subject of our next post.