I think infertility can not be summed up with one word…but one word can describe what people feel when struggling on their journey to build their family..before, during, and after.
We all pretty much started out happy as clams, popping birth control pills and donning condoms because we feared we would be a statistic. A teenage pregnancy, an unwed mother, or a baby daddy. The Fear caused us to wait with bated breath every month until our period would start. How many times did you or a friend have a pregnancy scare? I am willing to bet everyone.
Then some of us got married, some stayed single by choice- but we weren’t ready for a baby. There wasn’t enough money, didn’t have a good job, wanted to party, wanted SOMETHING other than what we had right then. We feared for our loss of self. We feared for lack of being to provide a ‘good’ life (I put that in quotes b/c it seems at a young age we seem to think money is required to be a good parent….it isn’t). The Fear.
Then we evolve to the conscious effort to conceive. For those that married- we enter the Happy Clam phase where we think it will be easy peasy breasy. Give me a wine cooler or a bottle of Boone’s Farm and I will be knocked up before the streetlights come on…just like all those kids from highschool did. The Fear is still there…niggling. What if we AREN’T ready? What if we never get to Hawaii now?
And we wait….and wait….The Fear whispers. The velvet tendrils sneak into your brain. You have friends tell you to relax, you have family members talk about how they did this and that, your doctors poo poo you. The Fear has taken hold but good now. The seductive tune it sings is not wanted, but you can’t turn away.
Finally you stand up to the fear. You seek answers, explanations. Why is this not working? Why does this hurt? Why am I so alone? We try to arm ourselves with the battle of warfare against The Fear: knowledge, answers, support.
The doctors appointments come and go. For every answer there are two more questions. For every success story you hear are two heartbreakers. For ever discovery there is another mystery. For every solution there is one.more.problem. For every week closer seems like another month delay . All along the way The Fear has a way of reinventing itself, conforming to the situation. It is a slick little fucker.
The tests and surgeries. Medications and therapies. Western medicine, Eastern medicine. The months of ‘waiting to see’ how such and such does. The trial and error. The Hope. All of these things are akin to petri dishes to grow The Fear to epic proportions.
THEN after you have Fear the size of a Macy’s day balloon tethered to you that you can’t escape- the treatments start. IUI, IVF, DE,DS….whatever. It starts.
You fear the medications are not right, you wait with your heart in your throat for the number and US findings. The Fear is right by your side at every appointment whether it is invited or not. For some of us, The Hope can sit on it and deafen sirens song. I think this is related to how many times you have been through it. Each cycle The Hope is beaten down, and The Fear hulks up.
The Fear curls up in our mind during the 2ww. Like a loa loa worm it sits in the eyes- makes you see danger everywhere. That cup of coffee you drank, the day you forgot your vitamin….all harbingers of something horrible. The Fear rings in your ears like tinnitus, making you crazy.
You would think that when you got a BFP The Fear would shrink. The HCG coursing through your blood like chemotherapy. Oh no. It doesn’t. The ugly truth is what few will admit…..or if they do, few talk about. The Fear is fed by HCG. It is fed by progesterone. The velvet tendrils are now icy rivers flowing through your blood, and squeezing your heart. The Hope is trying, and gains strength with every ultrasound…but those are far and few between.
The Fear has you censoring your words with the women and men that have supported your journey- even though you KNOW you shouldn’t.
The Fear digs deeper if you have no morning sickness…no major cravings. No food aversions. The Fear messes with your head in ways no sociopath could ever fathom. It makes you buy fetal dopplers and press on your tummy every 2 hours even though you KNOW at 10 weeks neither will show anything.
The Fear makes you look away from cribs, bottles, and onesies instead of embracing them.
The Fear keeps your news silent- only a select few know. The Fear has you sneak into maternity shops for bella bands like you are a preacher visiting a whore house crack den. You avoid people and parties. You flat-out lie.
What makes The Fear go away? A sweet goo-ing poo-ing baby snuggled in your arms?
BWWWWAAA HA HA HA HA HA.
That my friends, in only the beginning.
That is the crux of the situation. It will never go away. The trick is learning to live with it, and to nurture The Hope and Joy.
I am having a hard time doing that lately, but I am trying.