People don’t tell you how much time you spend at the doctor when you’re undergoing fertility treatments. It’s much more than when I was actually pregnant and having to try to squeeze it into a work schedule and James’ schedule has been hard, and unlike when you’re pregs, you can’t be like I’m at the doc 2-3 times a week without people thinking something is seriously wrong or it’s code for I’m interviewing for another job. I try to schedule mine for first thing in the morning but that means missing precious time with James, which I then get to feel guilty about and when I’m late for work, I then get to feel guilty and stressed about that. Can you tell how well this “don’t stress and it’ll happen” advice is working for me? Side note: Is that not the worst thing someone can say to you when you’re trying? Like just don’t speak. Ever.
After finding out I maybe wasn’t ovulating, my progesterone was low, and one tube may or may not be partially blocked, we gave Clomid a try. Unsuccessfully so far. It helped me ovulate but I haven’t conceived, which has been really hard because I had my hopes way way up. I’m now on my third round. Just finished it a few days ago actually and it seems to be working as of today’s appointment. Given the disappointment I feel every time another month goes by that I’m not pregnant, I decided we would do everything we could to make it work and we’re going to try another IUI. The whole thing feels pretty clinical and unnatural and even though I didn’t think I cared, it’s just not how I thought we’d be growing our family. The excitement and fun surprise of doing it the old fashioned way has given way to tests, anxiety, shots and procedures. But honestly, having sex all the time and then on a schedule gets old fast so at this point, I don’t even care.
Another thing they don’t tell you is that a day or two before the IUI you get a trigger shot… in the butt. And it kind of hurts. I thought those shots were only for people who do IVF, but nope. They happen before an IUI and if Clomid doesn’t work and you go to more aggressive treatments like injectables, you get them too. So much fun. I really didn’t realize how many needles I would be poked with.
Now it’s another few days before we see how well I’m responding to Clomid, how many follicles I’ve created, and whether I’ll be ovulating soon. Then I get my hope up again because maybe just maybe it’ll be my month and this will work even though I’m not sure I even have hope anymore. At this point it’s more like I’m just going through the motions. But then I know I have hope because sometimes when I’m online shopping, I’ll see maternity clothes on sale and stick them in my cart, and I know I get my hopes up because each month when I see blood in my underwear, I’m shocked, surprised, in denial and devastated.
Another thing people don’t tell you, because no one talks about this shit even though we should: Opening up has given me hope. So many friends and colleagues and internet friends reached out to tell me they have struggled with fertility issues. My heart breaks for every one — at what they went through or are growing through. So many of them have big, beautiful families and seemed to have the perfect pregnancies. I remember feeling jealous at their bumps and the ease with which I thought they had gotten pregnant and feeling sorry for myself that this was just happening to me. But it’s not and so many women have been through this and it worked – maybe not right away but eventually. And that makes me feel hopeful. I still can’t help but fear it won’t be the case for me, but I am so grateful to know that I’m not alone. That I don’t need to be ashamed or feel inadequate. That on the other side of this heartbreak and fear will hopefully be our beautiful baby.
This is cheesy but there’s this quote – if grass can grow through cement, love can find you at any time in your life. It comforted me during my single days but now it’s taken on a new meaning. It reminds me that miracles happen. Maybe James was one. But despite all the barriers that seem to be preventing me from getting pregnant, I feel like miracles happen. Grass will grow through cement. Our baby will find a way to me.