Editor’s note: This is a freaking long post. Go get yourself a good drink and come back. It’s okay. I’ll wait. I almost needed alcohol to read through it and I wrote the damn thing.
Let’s just start this off by saying that’s it’s unlikely I am preggers. I peed on a few sticks (which one can afford to do when one’s adoptive big sister is a leading importer/exporter of pee sticks) and they all came back as oneliners. Again, not suprised.
And I’m still fighting the cold/flu/dysentary/who the hell knows what it is. I may even drag my sorry arse to a doctor tomorrow (note to self: find doctor in Israel, beyond those that examine my naynay) to see what ails me. I’m hoping to score some codeine cough syrup just in time to start Gonal F.
Or to fix my cough. That’s what I mean. I would never, ever use drugs that weren’t specifically prescribed for me for a specific cause. Really.
Aunt Flo is due within the week. More updates on “As the period turns.”
There are times that I think I might be losing my mind. I’ve become startlingly adept at not succeeding at infertility treatment. When I say that, I don’t mean getting a BFN over and over. I mean never actually completing a cycle. We are 0-4.
At the doctor’s office, melodrama reigned supreme. Upon reading the bad news from the ultrasound, I felt as though I’d been plunged into a bad soap opera.
Nurse: It doesn’t look good. I’m so very sorry.
Me: No really, it’s okay.
Nurse: (thinking there was something lost in translation and that I’m not grasping that the cycle is canceled): No, really. It’s not okay. You ovulated and we can’t do the IUI. It’s too late.
Me: Right. I know. I could tell. But, mah laasot? (I’m going to botch this, but roughly translated it means, what can you do about it?)
Nurse: Wow. You’re taking this really well…
You’d have thought she had just told me a loved one had died. With all due respect, it’s not that big of a deal. It sucks. But, when you get down to it, there isn’t really much about infertility that doesn’t suck, now is there?
I related my story to a friend just before Shabbos last week as we were sitting outside shul (I know: A) of all the depressing things to start shabbat with and b) of all the things you shouldn’t discuss outside a synagogue). This particular friend wins the award of “Haven’t been there, but do everything in my power to see things from your side of the stirrups.” She knows people who fought the good fight and won. She gets it and when she doesn’t get it, she isn’t annoying. To the best of my knowledge, she has not ever administered assvice.
I told her that I let myself have the afternoon and night of the day we got the bad news to sulk. And then that was it. Saturday morning was a new day and you have to move on.
To paraphrase, she congratulated me on my ability to handle things with some balance. As she put it, and meaning no disrespect, some people practically bury every last follicle. For better or worse, I am not that person.
Before I knew it, it fell out of my mouth. “We’ve been living the last four years two weeks at a time.”
It hung in the air the way a fart echoes when you’re speaking in front of 1500 people. My breath caught for a moment, because until I said it, I didn’t realize how true it was.
For four years, we’ve been unwilling to speculate about where we’d be in a month.
In that time, we’ve moved twice. Once cross country of 2100 miles, another internationally for 7000 miles, give or take. We’ve adopted two new cats. Several friends have had several children. We haven’t traveled, since we were either cycling or too poor as a result of cycling. There has been one surgery, tons of ultrasounds, bloodwork, injections and miles put on the car getting us from one to the other. There have been, at present, three REs, four OBGYNs and one urologist. I’ve been promoted more times than I can count, the hubby has started graduate school and we’ve both put a major dent in learning a new language (for the hubby, two). We have fallen in and out of love with new hobbies (triathlon, which I swear I will get back to any year now), songs, foods, books, etc.
When we first started trying to conceive, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had just been released. The final “Lord of the Rings” movie came out that fall. We were just married, happy campers loving our friends’ infant and mesmerized with the prospect of having our own. As you all know, infertility is where dreams go to die.
We haven’t tabled plans for the future, but it certainly makes it harder. Five years? Easy peasy! We’d have children. But two weeks? No can do, not sure what the future brings. But we want to buy a something – likely an apartment here in Israel. Two bedrooms or more? Where will five years take us? Can we afford to budget based on our current income or should we plan for a child? Better yet, if I get knocked up and have a baby, will the hubby be able to finish his grad program, or would he need to work to keep us afloat? Right now, I’m the only one making any money and it doesn’t look like it will change any time soon.
Should we, dare I even think it, postpone having children until our current situation resolves itself?
To some degree, living life normally would be to admit that you can live life normally when things aren’t normal. It is not normal for two people, who so desperately want to be parents, to wait so long.
But what really scares the hell out of me is that I’ve become fixated on the treatment itself. To some extent, it is no longer about having a family. It’s about winning. Beating this … disease? I no longer see IUI/IVF as a way to have a family. It’s just another competition I want to do well in. I don’t choose to cycle, it’s just a part of my life. I take injections for 10 days, like a treatment for any other medical condition, and then I fail to get pregnant. It’s just what I do.
When I play with my friends’ amazing, beautiful children, I hear a lot of “You, of all people, have to have a large family. You’re too good with kids not to.” And I’m honored, flattered and all the rest. But there is a significant portion of me that has placed “large family” in a basket on a shelf that also holds “vacation home,” “luxury cars” and “expensive vacations.” All things that I’m not quite sure I want, but I’m almost certain I can’t have.
Assuming you’ve made it this far into my navel gazing (it’s lovely and warm in this navel, no?), have you ever been where I am? It’s not a hard spot to be in so much as a place where I don’t know what to feel.