Thursday, October 15, 2009

Infertility is a strange thing

Despite this recent run of good news, and despite the joy that is slowly starting to creep into my emotions, I have to say, I'm struggling with two other warring emotions - FEAR and GUILT. Let's start with FEAR.

I'm afraid because things like this don't happen. I am afraid of getting hopeful and excited, only to be devastated later. I am afraid that if we lose this baby, I'll never get pregnant again, naturally, with fertility treatments - at all. I am afraid that after getting giddy, I'll have to readjust my mental state, and go back to hoping it could happen naturally again. And at what point do we draw the line again and return to fertility treatments? And how hard will it be to convince DH to put our money into more fertility treatments now that we've experienced...THIS. But mostly, I'm afraid it is all too good to be true. I find myself wanting to bargain...if this baby is okay, I'll be a better person, or I'll...something? What could possibly be a worthy bargaining chip? Do I commit to some horrible thing later? Well, who wants that?! Fear is awful - I lived in fear most of my pregnancy with Micah, and I hated that. But I am so afraid of getting crushed emotionally. I tend to protect myself - I don't like to put myself out there until it is safe. I think investing in hope is so horrible for all of us who struggle with infertility - because it seems it is the hope that nails us every time.

Now, let's talk about GUILT. I feel guilty that I'm experiencing "easy." Hello - we're supposed to be "one of us" not "one of them." Easy doesn't happen in my world. Simply using instead cups, a monitor and progesterone cream and getting pregnant is kind of a joke, right? Where were the specimen cups, test tubes, needles, magic wand visits, and room full of people? This can't be for real. Where are the cameras? Or someone jumping out and yelling "You're on candid camera!" or "You've been PUNKED!" How does someone with an ovulation issue get pregnant by a guy whose sperm don't swim? Kind of reminds me of the scene in Sex in the City, when she asks how a woman with only 1 lazy ovary got pregnant by a 1-balled guy. I think most of all, I don't want to hurt anyone else who is still in pain, waiting to TTC #1. I remember how I felt when I read stories like this while TTC'ing #1. I was happy for them, and it gave me hope that miracles can happen...but then the touch of bitter would hit, and I'd think "yeah, for everybody else but me." It isn't that I wasn't happy for just made me more sad for me. I don't think this is fair - I'm torn between thinking "THANK YOU!" and "Why me?" So, I am feeling guilty - like I just got a windfall benefit at someone else's expense. Ridiculous, right? And then I'm afraid to feel too guilty like it is gloating - you know, pride goeth before the fall (see FEAR above).

So, for those of you reading this who are thinking "WOW, congrats" and "why doesn't this happen for me?" at the same time, I hear you. I understand that. I don't have a good answer. But maybe, just maybe, you, too, can be on the other end of this one day. That is my hope, no matter how this pregnancy ends for me - if the tables can turn for me, they can turn for others, too! I guess most of all, I'm trying to take away some hope from this experience. I hope it ends well, but if it doesn't, I hope that IUI could work for us, and that we WILL get pregnant again one day. And I have hope for all of you, too.

One last story. A friend of mine (same age as me) was married for 10 years. They couldn't get pregnant, and sought fertility treatments. Even with medical intervention, they just couldn't get her to ovulate. They attempted one IVF, and it was cancelled due to failure to respond. So, they threw in the towel on fertility treatments. They went down the road of adoption, and adopted a beautiful baby boy! Their son lit up their lives. About 1 1/2 years later, they got a call from the birth mother - she was pregnant again, with a girl - did they want her baby again? Joy of joys, they had a complete family - a boy and a girl, who were biological siblings. What could be more perfect? Except my friend wasn't feeling well. She went to the doctor because she was worried about her health. After some testing, she learned she was almost 4 months pregnant! Ironically, she gave birth to a beautiful boy this morning. I wonder how many times these kind of "miracles" happen? Infertility is a strange thing, isn't it?


Prather Family said...

I can only imagine all of the things that are running through your head. My doctor warned us about how easy it can be to get pregnant after infertility and the statistics show that it "can" be much easier the second time around. I am just so thrilled for you and what a nice surprise to not have to "pay" to get pregnant this time. I am praying for a healthy bean and a happy pregnancy. We all suport you and wish for the best. Try not to stress and think positive about this pregnancy.

Rachel said...

I am so glad that the happiness is starting to creep in, and I am really happy for you! But I must admit that every time someone tells us that we might just be one of the lucky ones who don't need treatments a second time (because it happened to someone they know), it just makes my heart sink a little more. Of course there are degrees of medical issues and some people do get lucky, but others just -never- will. When explaining it to people I just compare us to a gay couple who keep trying and trying - but it ain't never going to happen naturally for some of us.

Me said...

Rachel - I really do understand where you are coming from, and I'm not trying to say that anyone experiencing infertility should sit around and wait for a miracle to happen. There are some types of IF that really are impossible to overcome. But, I guess I was saying that there is always reason to hope that it *can* be easier the 2nd time around, and there are miracle stories that ARE out there everyday, and I hope that more women, who continue on their fertility treatments or choose alternate paths because they've determined it isn't in the cards for them, do get to experience this, too, one day. Or at least, an easier time with IF treatments. I certainly don't want anyone to think that sitting around and waiting for a miracle is the right approach, or to say that IF treatments are unnecessary. We were ready to start up our treatments soon - and if this pregnancy doesn't work out, we'll go right back to IF treatments after the first of the year.