Sunday, February 7, 2010

On a personal note....

So, the day or two I first estimated for a new blog post has been stretched out to the following month. Oops. I’d like to say that I was incredibly busy and simply had no time but that’s not true. I haven’t been a complete slug but I did have a few spare moments on my hand when I could have posted. The reason for my blog avoidance is that I have been wrestling with what to say. I started this particular post a number of times but always had to walk away from it. The last few posts and the comments that followed them have brought up a lot of self-reflection and emotion in me. I struggled with knowing how much I wanted to share with the world at large but now I’ve decided that I just want to put what I’m feeling out there. I don’t care if anyone reads this or not. I’m writing this for myself because I’m hoping it will help me to feel better. If it helps someone else out there to realize that they’re not alone, that will be an added (and welcome!) bonus.

I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of what The Boy and I have gone through thus far in our endeavours to procreate but I will say that this past weekend has been one of the worst I’ve ever had. In my last few posts I’ve kept a distance between myself and the subject. I don’t want to do that now. I want to put down exactly how all of this trying to conceive business affects me.

The Boy and I have been trying for awhile but it’s only been fairly recently that we’ve reached a point where things are looking more hopeful. Even with that new level of possibility, every month that goes by that we’re not successful is incredibly hard and painful for me. I know it’s not easy for The Boy either, but I’m not going to speak for him here. Bless his heart though, he puts up with me and I don’t know that I would have the same patience. By this point, I probably would have thrown me out and changed the locks.

To give you an idea of what I go through, here is a break down of any given month:
I start off with my period (too much info for you? Better stop reading) and the first couple days of this are the worst. For at least 48 hours I hate everything and everyone, with the exception of very few people. I get angry, I get sad, I get numb. This is followed by another three to four days of the same but to an ever lessening degree.

The next two weeks, approximately, are spent waiting for my fertile window to open up again. This means taking my temperature every day, noting it on a chart, checking all of my other signs (cervical position, cervical fluid etc) and noting those as well. At some point in the this two week time frame, I start collecting urine samples. I dip my ovulation predictor stick in and wait for that elusive second line to show up. This line has to be equal to or darker than the control line to show that my LH surge is happening. It can be surprisingly easy to miss so sometimes I’m dipping more than one stick a day. Once I know ovulation has occurred, yay! I can relax a bit, except not really because the Boy and I should get one more shag in and then the dreaded Two Week Wait begins.

The two weeks after ovulation are enough to send me round the twist because I’m not the kind of person who is full of infinite patience. Plus, I tend to get a lot of mid-cycle spotting so that’s always awesome. Oh, and before you tell me I should see a doctor about that, I have. More than one. There is NO EXPLANATION that can be found. I’m just one of the ‘lucky’ people who spots. My doctor actually said this to me. I could have slapped him.

As the two week wait draws to a close, it’s nearly impossible not to feel a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, the Boy and I were successful this time and I’ll actually reach the day where I can use a home pregnancy test. More often than not, in fact, pretty much every single month, I don’t reach that date. My period shows up with infuriating regularity and I’m back at the beginning.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It is but it’s my life so I’m used to it. I hope it gives everyone a better idea of why this is so hard for me and for others like me. It is an emotional roller coaster and it gets very wearing. This is why I don’t need to hear everyone’s ‘helpful’ suggestions, or stupid comments. I have enough on my plate, thanks.

On top of all this, I’ve also got all of my emotions to deal with through the entire cycle. Much of it is hormone based but some of it is my reaction to the world around me. I find it supremely unfair that some people get pregnant without trying, or by accident. I’m jealous of them and their success. Jealousy isn’t a popular emotion though and it’s deemed socially unacceptable, but guess what? It exists and I feel it and I’m not going to pretend anymore that I don’t. For those who think that I shouldn’t feel that way, or think it’s wrong, I don’t need you to tell me that because guilt goes hand in hand with the jealousy. Mostly because some of the people I’ve felt jealous of are people I like. So, thanks for your self righteous input but I already beat myself up for it.

I hate the assumptions that people make that because my husband and I don’t have children, it must be because we’re not trying. The next person to ask me when we’re going to have a baby is going to get an earful. I’m sure some people will think ‘Oh, but they’re just being helpful/curious - you can’t get angry at them for what they don’t know.’ Um, yes I can. If someone is going to ask me when I’m going to get pregnant, they may as well be asking me about my sex life and that is none of their business.

Worse than anything though is the disappointment and the grief. Once a month, I spend a day or two feeling like a failure. I feel like I’ve failed the Boy. I feel like I’ve failed my family. I feel like I’ve failed myself. I can’t understand why my body won’t cooperate. Apparently, neither can the doctors.

Once a month, I feel like I’ve lost something or someone important. I hate that I have to start over again. It breaks my heart, every single time. But I have a life and a job and I have to put on my brave face when I’d much rather be crawling under the covers. Some people might think I should get over myself and stop being so dramatic. Those people can bite my ass. Everything I feel is valid and unfortunately, it’s way too common. Grief and depression related to trying to conceive are well documented and suffered by way too many women. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and anyone who thinks that I or anyone else in a similar position should just suck it up has no idea what it’s like and would be wise to keep that opinion to themselves.

It’s probably obvious that I’m in an angry phase of my cycle right now. Perhaps I shouldn’t blog while pissed off but where’s the fun in that? This has been somewhat cathartic for me and since it’s my blog and I’m reaping the benefit, it’s all good.

I’ll be back to my regular ranting soon, so I thank my readers for sticking around while I’ve detoured into more personal areas. The Happy Ranter will be happy once again, just give me about four more days.


Bethany said...

You are an amazing soul. To go through what you go through each month, yes. To write about it, to share it, beyond brave. You are helping people by doing this: yourself, The Boy, your readers... me. I do not judge you poorly for the feelings and the guilt you have. My only wish is to be the best friend and support I can be for you and The Boy.

RDuke53 said...

I've been reading up on the psychological health of infertile couples recently. I've seen this and similar statistics many times.

"Understanding and alleviating the psychological impact of infertility has been the decade-long goal of assistant professor of medicine Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She and her colleagues have demonstrated that women with infertility suffer from significantly more depression than do their fertile counterparts. But their most dramatic finding is that the anxiety and depression scores for infertile women are statistically equal to those of women with cancer, heart disease, or HIV."

People wouldn't tell cancer patients or people with HIV to suck it up and deal, would they?

I've been thinking of you. I hope all is well.