I never thought I’d end up in the Infertility Club, after all, I got pregant while on the Pill at 18. And I was drunk almost every day that summer because I was, well, 18. I’d just finished my first year of college and everything was a party. Back then I reckoned if I was on the Pill I was covered: I was indestructible when it came to protecting my eggs from infiltrating sperm, but now that I desperately want to be pregnant, my ovaries seem to do nothing but turn their stoic backs on the friendly sperm that just want to help bring them to their full reproductive potential.
I’ve learned a lot about my reproductive health and the minutae of cervical fluid; cervical position; the measurement of a follicle; the side effects of Clomid; the cost of ultrasound scans and MRIs… the information is mind boggling and to be honest, I think I’d need a medical degree in order to fully extrapolate what I actually need to know from the avalance of available material on the internet (fuck you, Dr. Google) and there is no way I intend to write a blog about how to conceive, there’s enough of that out there. I will try to recommend accounts on Facebook or Instagram that I find useful and encouraging but mostly what I feel we need to talk about, or at least I do, is the emotional; psychological; relationship and mental rollercoaster that we embark upon when we try to conceive and then to our surprise, don’t manage to do so as natually and quickly as we thought we would.
We’ve recently just found out what the “problem” is: why we have failed to conceive for almost all of 2 years and 5 months but had 3 chemical pregnancies on the months we “got it right” (not that we did anything different). I don’t really feel like going through the whole medical situation here tonight and if you are curious as to where we are at please have a look at this video to get filled in.
But what has struck me is how fucking touchy I can get about the whole thing. And how I fucking envious I get. And annoyed. And frustrated. And obsessed. And desperate. And lonely.
And if one more person tells me to relax, I will punch them in the face.
Please, please, please DO NOT give me any more advice – the advice I have got is already enough and I’ve probably tried most of what you want to suggest so please don’t tell me I should be trying this new form of X or that previously long lost form of Y.
Also, don’t tell me that I should be happy because I already have a 19 year old daughter and a 5 1/2 year old stepson: it’s now that I’m ready for a baby that is planned (and yes, I’m very god damned grateful for my daughter who is the light of my life and the single greatest gift I was somehow deserving enough to raise and love and see blossom into the jewel she is. Also, I love my stepson and I will always love him and treat him as if he is my own) and even if I had 3 of my own and wanted another and couldn’t, this would still be really bloody hard.
A lot of women I know seem to have conceived unexpectedly or without much effort and that galls me. But then when I think about it, I wonder just how many have actually got pregnant with no intervention or stress and how many of us just aren’t talking about it?
The sad thing is, that I feel “less than” because I can’t “just get pregnant”. Such is the focus and pressure in society for a woman to be fertile that, when we’re not, we are other.
But yet everyone else tells us that we have so much else in our lives, yes, we do, but it doesn’t take away the ache when you see bumps everywhere; a newborn in a pram; an eight month old giggling; a toddler throwing a hissy fit; the first day at school photos; the family with 4 kids.
Maybe because I love our children so much it hurts even more because we desperately want to continue to share our love and grow our family.
“Why don you adopt?”, I’ve been asked. Because we don’t have tens of thousands in tha bank; we have a shit credit rating thanks to my first marriage; we are both on our second marriages; we have seven dogs; we both work full time and we don’t have the typical nuclear family to offer: the odds are stacked against us before we even apply, and believe me, we would if we were allowed.
Recently, I was told that it’s hard for a woman when she gets pregnant easily and there are people around who don’t – the woman feels guilty and like she has to hide it. I’m sure it is tricky but please don’t tell me that. I have my own battles to fight and there’s always that chance of the punch in the face if you do.
Look, I’m delighted if you are pregnant and your baby is just gorgeous but please, just listen when we tell you that we are not so lucky, don’t tell us what to do or how to feel.
But the most importantly, let’s keep speaking our truth; growing and learning and listening.