So I thought this new theme seemed appropriately February?
I had a confession last night, now bringing the grand total of people in real life I’ve told about my infertility to a grand total of 4, including my mother.
I went out to dinner last night with 3 of my friends from high school. We’ve been trying to make a better effort since we all live in the same town (for crying out loud), to get together for dinner once a month. It was a struggle for a while but we’ve been getting better at it since this fall. Now 2 of the 3 know about our troubles trying for a baby. They’re the only people who know IRL. The first one because at my friend’s wedding this fall she semi cornered me at the reception because she had caught a glance between Hubbin & I. She and her husband are currently trying to adopt, she lost those parts down there after a childhood battle with a very adult cancer. Who know’s what your ovaries are when you’re in elementary school anyway? The second friend because she announced her first pregnancy in 2008 just a few months after I had tossed my birth control pills but before I suspected we might have an issue. She lost that baby, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and the next one. Not exaggerating. So on several levels I felt like I should tell her about our struggles, not that mine are the same, but just so she would know not everyone is getting knocked up at the drop of a hat — and because we were starting our first IUI cycle when I told her and I didn’t want her to be, I don’t know, knocked totally off balance if I had to tell her I was pregnant. –of course it didn’t work, but when people just slam me out of the clear blue with a pregnancy announcement it takes me a while to recover. All send me off kilter but, it ultimately bothers me less if someone, for lack of a better phrase, shows “respect” that it’s not easy for everyone.
So friend 3 was unaware of any issue she’s approximately — 26? Weeks pregnant. We had our usual social dinner updating everyone. Then after dinner everyone was going through the routine of bathroom, putting on coats. So I ended up outside with my friend who is also seeing a fertility specialist for repeat miscarriages alone, so she asked me what was up with that, what the update was, how things were going. I essentially said no change, nothing’s wrong, and nothing’s working. The my pregnant friend came outside, which immediately made me kind of awkward feeling because I just haven’t told people, but my other friend just kept right on asking so she caught on pretty quick. So the four of us stood outside in the 30 degree weather shivering for probably another 20 minutes talking about infertility.
The emotions I’ve been having since have been very bizarre. I was more staunchly “don’t talk about it” than Hubbin. I think he’s only told 1 or 2 people, because I’m obsessively private and want people OUT of my uterus. But after the conversation we had… It’s so weird. The only thing I can liken it to is in college after me or one of my friends confessed that we were having sex for the first time or something: a happy, almost giddy sharing of a secret. Not that this is a good secret, but I think I’ve been feeling relief that a few close friends know what’s going on. I think it even makes me more excited for my friend’s baby to get here now, now that she knows what I’m going through. To the point I might even be able to bring myself to finally knit the baby booties to match the bonnet I made for her. I made the bonnet a month ago when she found out she was having a girl, while I was working on a blanket for my other friend who is also having a girl. Then I just kind of got to baby-knitting-saturation level, and was pretty sure I couldn’t emotionally handle working on someone ELSES baby gift AGAIN for another MINUTE without going insane. So I made myself a knitted headband, and a hat, and started my first pair of socks. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to finish her present. We used to be super close, like since elementary school, but have kind of gotten more distant. Infertility is such an awkward thing to bring up, like “hi, what’s new” “oh not much, my parts don’t seem to be working, I’m constantly depressed & anxious, and we’ve been trying for a baby for years – but hey, congratulations on your pregnancy” — There just never seems a good time to bring it up or talk about it. Anyway, I was borderline giddy on the drive home which I totally wasn’t expecting.
I didn’t go into huge amounts of detail with them. They asked how long we had been trying and I said “years” and they asked “well how many” and I said “well I quit taking birth control in 2008 — so a lot” I didn’t go into the details of how it progressed from condoms to obsessive temping, OPKS, soft cups yadda yadda yadda, but leaving it at 2008, even though I felt I was exaggerating a bit, sure drives home how long and drawn out this has been. I did tell them things were pretty much on hold til May when I graduate, which they all seemed to think was better anyway. There was a lot of joking though which was nice, it was nice to be able to laugh at all of the ridiculousness. My one friend was like “well have they looked at this” and I replied “OH yes, everyone’s been up in there and had a good look, sure bring your student along too, lets all get up in there”. She’s seeing a chinese medicine specialist now and we were all having a good laugh that he’s apparently from poland, and wants her to eat all kind of weird things that are “good for her blood” like buffalo, and beets, and so forth. She said her doctor wants her to try again, and our other friend asked if they were trying yet, she said she’s not ready. She has the complete opposite problem as me, if they get anywhere within a week overlapping ovulation she gets pregnant. She said she actually has to look at her calendar to make sure she doesn’t have important things coming up so she doesn’t have a miscarriage over vacations or something. I told her it’s too bad we can’t somehow combine forces. We had lots of laughs about speculums and doctors and the ridiculous things we try and painful procedures. And it was good. And I felt good. And I still feel good.