Let’s get this party started !!
Cheers, dear readers,
It amazes me how sometimes we walk around in life taking things for granted, not paying attention, with a blind eye to certain things that don’t seem to concern us. We all do it. But I am here to tell you, once you find out that you are having trouble getting pregnant, those infertility clinic ads on the radio take on a whoooole new meaning. First you start listening very intently. Which one sounds trustworthy? How many people are they helping? Will they work with my health insurance? Even now, when one comes on the radio, I switch the channel to another station as it stirs up difficult emotions in me that I would rather not remember.
But I do remember all too well. And I keep reaching down deep here to try to help others who are going through a similar experience. You see, it can be very painful the moment you realize that you are “those” people – the potentially infertile ones. Wow, that’s us? We’re “them”? I always thought that was those other unfortunate couples! That won’t happen to me. It can’t. That was not my plan. But as Eric and I sat in our local infertility clinic, I looked around the room and wondered: how long have they been here? Do they see me staring at them? Do their friends and co-workers know that they are here? Mine don’t. It’s … well, really embarrassing. Like REALLY. Who wants to talk about their private parts and how their “baby-making tubes and receptacles” might not be working correctly? I sure don’t. Do you? Of course not! We all just want that moment where we scream joyously and exuberantly as if it was as easy as pie, “We’re expecting! Whoot whoot!”
But there we sat. Holding hands. At the fertility clinic. Feeling sheepish and weird and nervous. Besides embarrassment, I was filled with fear, anxiety, worry, and “OH MY GOD, what’s going to happen next?” thoughts. The fear is hard to describe: fear of the unknown, fear of getting the infertile diagnosis, fear of wondering if you can afford treatment, fear of being wholly and completely different all of a sudden from all of your friends and family. At the time we sought treatment, I literally didn’t know one other soul that had been through this. Yes, now we know many, but quite a few I didn’t know about until I started to write this blog even! They came out of the woodwork! It just shows how we all like to not feel alone. We want someone to hold our hand, to tell us it’s going to be OK, especially when we have no idea if it’s going to be ok or not. And sometimes, we just want to cry… out of frustration, out of not being able to emotionally deal with the onslaught of emotions that come with dealing with infertility, out of pity for ourselves and our seemingly unusual plight. Let’s be honest, going through this STINKS! My father used to say, “getting old stinks!” Well guess what: dealing with infertility stinks too! It can also be painful because clarity about our identity and our destination is such a big part of our lives, particularly in our culture. Most of us think we are probably going to end up being parents one day. Mom and dad. Grandmother, grandfather. Generation after generation, carrying down the genes and the traits from our ancestors. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? In some cultures, what we are TASKED to do?
But we were still very hopeful. The optimistic side of me believed that if we could just get one of Eric’s sperm to meet one of my happy eggs, we’d be golden! It was as simple as that. But as we spoke to the doctor and learned more about the procedures, we soon learned how un-simple it can be. The dear doctor made us feel comfortable, and had a no-nonsense, but nice and down-to-earth bedside manner. He explained all of the tests that we would have to go through. Seemed easy enough. Eric does this. I do that. Then we evaluate the results to see what the next best steps would be. We asked about our age, and he made no bones about it, we were not kids. I was 40 and Eric was 39. But the dear doctor was still optimistic in that we simply had to be tested to find out where we truly stood. Who knows? We needed data. OK, I can deal with that. I like getting facts. Eric is very analytical. Let’s get the tests done and see how we fare. I mean, all the celebrities seem to get pregnant well into their 40s, right? We read about it all the time at the checkout lines! If they can do it, why not me? Ok, so maybe they have more money, but normally we are not told by the media how much they had to spend to get the desired bundle of joy. So at the time, it seemed very achievable. We were far from being licked yet. We’re just gonna have a little huddle here, Mr. private parts, sperm and eggies. Let’s get this party started! Let’s see what time it is. Let’s keep doing the rigorous pre-baby diet, the acupuncture, the “breathe to conceive” yoga. Hope abounds! Thanks, doc! Bring on the tests!
Please join me next week to hear more about my personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.