Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coming Clean

After reading through some of my journals today, I decided I should finally write this post. I've thought about it for quite awhile now. A large purpose in my having this blog is to focus more on the simple joys, the things that bring me happiness . . . I try to keep it light and fun. But it's not all sweaters, cookies, and flowers all the time. Rereading these journal entries today reminded me yet again how heavy this burden is I've been carrying, how long it's been on my shoulders, and how it affects me so greatly: my infertility.

It's a burden that affects so many women, not simply me. And so many have written about their struggle and shared their experiences . . . I'm just one of many. A few people in my life know about my struggle with this, but I've chosen not to share it with most people. Talking about it at work would not have been the most appropriate thing . . . though if anyone asked me now, I'd probably tell them the truth. It wasn't meant to be a secret or anything, but it's hardly the thing to bring up at family dinners !! I guess I'm just realizing how big a part of my life this has become . . . how it is truly always with me, in the back of my mind at all times, and just what a burden it has been. So I guess this is the best way I know how to get it out there, to tell all, and to attempt to lay the burden down.

We've been trying to start a family for 5 years now. I remember being beyond excited when we began "trying"; I was so full of hope and joy at what could be ! But after a few months of nothing became a year, reality set in. And now it's five years later. In that time I've done several rounds of fertility drugs, along with ultrasounds and other tests . . . all with good, normal results. It was like a science project, though, but with no prize at the end. And it just felt wrong to me; like I was trying to play God, or doing things unnaturally. And that's why I haven't sought any further treatment . . . no invasive tests, no injections, no specialists, none of it. Not to mention the expense of it all . . . we are not willing to bury ourselves in debt to have the slim chance to start a family. And that's where I am now.

The emotional roller coaster has been the hardest, though. The waiting, the watching, the hope, the disappointment, the crying . . . exhausting. Seeing pregnant women is perhaps the most difficult. And I do see a lot of them, working in the healthcare industry and all ! I can't help being envious. And a little disgusted, especially when I see a teen-mom-to-be come in, or when I hear of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy . . . that's when I tend to sob the most. I remember both times I learned my boss's wife was expecting . . . I just happened to be on fertility drugs both times and cried in our staff bathroom both times . . . so ironic ! I always felt like I should offer to go on Clomid again if my boss ever wanted a third child . . . clearly the drugs were helping his wife, not me !!! And I remember having a near-breakdown in Target trying to find a baby gift for their second little one . . . luckily I made it to my car before crying. But that's how it's been . . . little and not-so-little things setting me off here and there.

And the things people say always amaze me, even when they have no idea of my infertility. I've heard the typical "Doesn't holding a baby make you want one ?!?!", to suggestions that maybe I'm not really certain when I'm ovulating or that I should elevate my hips, etc, etc . . . believe me, I've read everything and tried everything !!! I've even been called a chicken by a co-worker when I declined to hold my boss's new little one . . . all the while chugging down water as fast as I could to keep myself from crying in front of them all !!

That's a huge reason I've kept it all quiet for so long: I didn't want to open myself up to all the opinions and advice. People are always ready with plenty of those !!! But now that it's been so long, and I feel I've come to a better place of acceptance, maybe I could let it out. While I think most people don't see me as maternal or think I want a family (those at work, mainly), I know there are those who feel & know otherwise, and wonder what's going on with us after almost 11 years of marriage !!!! So here it all is ! Sometimes I just want to wear a t-shirt that says, "IT'S NOT MY FAULT . . . I'M TRYING !!" Because I do feel bad . . . . mainly for the parents who I know would love to become grandparents . . . and have to settle for the "grand-cats" !! Maybe one day . . . !

Struggle though it's been and may continue to be in a lesser way, I have to look at the bright side . . . this is the "Everyday Enchanting" blog, afterall !! I am healthy, with a good job and beautiful house, and I'm married to the most wonderful man . . . and we are satisfied with that, if it's God's will for things to stay just that way. I know He has a plan and that He will make it clear, and that He will speak to our hearts if we are to pursue something more.

So there, it's out for all who read my blog to see. The burden feels a little lighter already . . . !


Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

What a gift to read your words as you share your story. Much love to you, dear friend.

Allyson said...

I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. I know all about it. I know all about the crying, the trying, the feeling completely out of control, the ache inside. I know, I know, I know. If you get that t-shirt, get me one too. Love to you, too. Thanks for your openness.

Rachel said...

Awww, no one's ever thought it was "your fault". You're right, God has a plan for you and I pray for you each day. We couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law, be happy. (And I agree you're married to a pretty nice guy!) I'm glad you let it out. (I gotta go wipe my tears now) Love always.

Lisa said...

I just discovered you through Jen at the Word Cellar.

I'm 40 and have not been able to carry a pregnancy. I will spare you my responses to your feelings - as they (your feelings) are indeed all valid - and do not require pat answers or comments. I'll just say my heart is with you and I'm glad you found a forum to share your story - and perhaps unburden your load a bit.

Two things I've discovered recently that may have been missing links during my years of "trying" are: auto-immune thyroid disease (high antibody levels cause my body to reject a pregnancy as attack it as a foreign invader); and gluten-sensitivity. These are two issues that most traditional doctors may not be aware of. Both can play big roles in causing our body to do weird, although subtle, things to prevent successful pregnancies.

Feel free to email me privately if you'd like to connect further.