Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Living with Infertility - Hoping

I started this year off with my Happiness Project partly because so much of last year sucked for me mentally and emotionally and much of that came from our infertility struggles.

We have been trying to get pregnant for 18 months. That is a long time and it has been hard. In just a few months we'll have a 4 year old. Ollie will turn 8 this year. We won't have a baby by the time either of those things happen. Alice Mae will more than likely be nearing age 5 or be over 5 by the time we have a baby, if we can get pregnant. That isn't an age gap I ever wanted.

I like to be hopeful and see the silver lining. I really try to always have some hope even when the month has beaten me down or my period has shown up unexpectedly. Sometimes though it feels like slapping on a fake smile just so everyone else feels okay. Sometimes I want to cry and yell and kick things and be angry at what seems to be totally unfair. We are amazing parents. The best parents that I know. Our kids want for nothing and most importantly they have 2 loving, happy parents that are crazy in love with them. It gets to be too much some days.

I wish that I could describe how it feels. It is a constant roller coaster, as cliché as that is. In the time that we have been trying to get pregnant I have had so many friends and family also start trying and ALL of them already have babies now or are expecting them in the next few months. We want to be happy for these people but at the same time we are so bitter and sad and jealous. It's a hard mix of things to swallow. And the worst part I think is not really having anywhere to go to. There aren't a lot of people who can understand what it's like. You get the same generic responses to things until you just stop confiding in people. That has been excruciating for me. Not having anyone to go to. Even a lot of infertility groups online are full of not so nice people or women competing to see who has it The Worst. I can't stomach it. So instead I stay quiet and eventually cramming it all down leads to a meltdown.

I am surrounded by pregnant women every day. Close family and friends, most of these pregnancies accidental. I don't mean to sound so bitter but I think it is a natural response for a woman whose ovaries aren't working properly to get upset when she learns of yet another accidental pregnancy. It is hard to not think the universe is laughing at you. Even the pregnancies that were meant to happen are heart breaking. Absolutely shattering.

Hope is a funny thing, you know. It builds you up and also tears you down. I start off a cycle with so much hope and in some ways that leads to so much more upset when there isn't a pregnancy at the end of it. I don't want to stop hoping but I don't want to hope for something that is never going to happen.

For right now I have decided to go back on birth control because I need a break and also as an experiment to see if birth control will wake up my ovaries. I am hopeful. As always. In April we will finally see a specialist. FINALLY. And maybe we will get some real answers. Because the hardest thing is being in limbo. Not knowing. Not being able to move forward in any way. Just stuck. But the closer we get to possible answers the more scared I am. The answers we've been waiting for could be bad.

My go to coping mechanism so far this year has been an infertility journal that I started on January 1st. I never meant to start it. I had a friend make her pregnancy announcement the night before and it led to a slight breakdown on my part. Not having anyone to reach out to I just held it in and made myself sick with jealousy and misery that night. The next night I picked up a new journal I'd planned to use for something else and I scribbled myself a letter-

Dear April,

I'm sorry that you can't get pregnant. I'm sorry that you feel broken and like you have to bottle it up. I'm sorry that you don't have anyone to go to.

But, I love you. Your body is strong. You are strong. You are poetry. You are loved.


Since then when I feel upset or angry or sad or even hopeful, I open it up and I write. I've written more to myself, I've written a letter to Maybe Baby, I've written a list of things that might help fertility. Maybe one day, if we're really lucky, we'll be able to look back at that journal and see how strong we were and how much we fought and we'll be holding our baby in our arms and counting ourselves among those that beat infertility. Maybe. If we stay hopeful. And I plan to for now, even though sometimes it feels like the hope is killing me more than the trying is.

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