Cheers, dear readers,
Cathy here speaking on behalf of Conceive Hospital sharing my story of our infertility journey. Thanks once again for joining in on the love and support for one another. It means a great deal. More than I can express here.
So my story continues…
Last I left off on my journey, I was explaining how elated and joyous Eric and I were as we were about to start our family. It was an exciting time, full of talks of potential baby names, when the due date would be and how that would affect our plans, how we would choose to parent our baby, and wondering about so many wonderful things. We wondered would our offspring look like my Italian side of the family or his Norwegian side, and would they get along with our friends’ children?
Month after month, we would have sex at the appropriate time in what we read were optimal positions (oh, how romantic!). And month after month, my period would come like clockwork after the two-week wait (TWW for those in the infertility community). But it was only say… four to five months at this point. No big deal. That seemed normal given everything that we had read. But since I was at an “advanced age” (though I hated to admit it, 40 was an advanced age to start trying to have your own children), I knew I had to really buckle down and WIN this game of conceiving. I was completely convinced that I could. After all, I had conquered every fear, every obstacle that was ever in front of me prior to that time of my life. This just seemed like another obstacle to overcome since it wasn’t happening easily.
So I started getting regular acupuncture (not an inexpensive endeavor), which would have never crossed my mind earlier. It was… interesting. Not pleasant. Not unpleasant. But if this was what I had to do to get pregnant, I would do it. Then I also started thinking about taking yoga. I got the DVD “Breathe to Conceive.” Yeah… that sounded good! I started doing yoga at home by myself to help me feel like I was going in the right direction. It also helped me relax. When I bought that DVD, I also bought Yoga During Pregnancy, and I assumed (and hoped) that I did not “jinx” myself by doing that. Yikes! Then finally, I also started paying whatever it cost to buy monthly “Ovulation Tester Kits” so that I could literally know within hours of when I was ovulating, so that we could time our sex at the most optimal time (while also having sex other times to increase our chances). It was becoming quite a science, but I loved a challenge. So we persevered.
And month after month, my period would come after that dreaded TWW, and the BFN (Big Fat Negative pregnancy test) would come to reduce our hope and squash our resolve. It’s hard to describe the feelings during this time as they started to well up. But they were a mixture of shame, the beginnings of sorrow, and a wee bit of anger.
I remember quite vividly when I first felt a surge of anger. As I was discussing the above with a (fertile) friend, she innocently asked, “Why do you need to track your ovulation?”
…Wait, did that just happen???
…Does my friend not understand that ovulation is when the egg is released from the ovary to receive the sperm at exactly the right time, or is humorous “Candid Camera” having a go at us?
…Then I began for the first time during this process to seethe with REAL ANGER. Once the anger around infertility started, it was hard to stuff if down back into the box. How are so many humans so easily able to conceive, while many others struggle, and miss out on all of the easy, joyous fun of starting a wonderful family, and all of the jubilant announcements and “Guess what, we’re pregnant!” of that experience? And OH MY GOD, what if we were never able to have children AT ALL. The SHAME of it! And how… awkward. This is a lot to emotionally deal with.
As I felt the anger course through my veins, the adrenaline urged me to punch my friend for simply being fertile while apparently not understanding the importance of ovulation to conceiving a child. I instead stuffed the anger down… and thought, “I better take a nap”. Naps help me stay relaxed, well-rested, and ready to start again next cycle anew. Yeah, a nap is in order…
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.
This post is also available in: Arabic