Tuesday, February 23, 2010

infertility sucks

And for so many reasons (and yes, I do hope this blog reaches the season of not talking about what sucks all the time).

I just found out that a dear friend is pregnant through reading her husband's facebook status update.

Infertility really sucks. It's the reason she hasn't told me herself.

Friday, February 12, 2010

soggy mess

Oh that was me yesterday. A wet napkin. A hectic 3 days at work, a mere 3 weeks before our wedding, many interrupted nights of sleep by the meowing cat, and add a visit to the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility doctor, and you have a soggy mess.

As I drove into the city where the clinic is, Neko Case's tornado whirled in my ears; it was just playing on CBC radio 2's morning show. The tears started then and unfortunately, it was a little bit like a garden hose that doesn't readily shut off.

Quite frankly, I didn't feel like going back to the clinic. Just didn't feel like it one bit. But I had to go for a follow-up appointment to monitor my uterine lining on the estrace/prometrium combo. I started crying again in the bathroom when I arrived and cried in the consultation room and then decided to go through the capitals. I started with Canada, since they are more familiar to me. Once I got through all of them, I moved south to the US and started trying to name those. I got stuck on Maine. Probably because it's my pen name, but I just couldn't think of it and it frustrated the heck out of me. My mind kept coming back to Augusta and I kept saying to myself "NO! That's in GEORGIA!" Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, Albany is the capital of New York, I have no idea what the capital of Rhode Island or Connecticut is, I think the capital of New Hampshire is Portland (No, it's Concord), and on and on. That made the tears stop.

Tears stopped until the doctor walked in and asked me how I was doing. Isn't that the killer question when you're right on the edge!! And then he wanted to see if the reduction in overall estrogen had had an effect on my mood, specifically if it had lowered my overall mood. Um...with all due respect, I wanted to say, I'm not sure it's the estrogen as much as the unequivocal denial of a biological child. I didn't say it like that. It was choppy and not at all clear or eloquent.

Going back to the infertility clinic was difficult on many levels. The environmental cues were overwhelming. The setting is the one where we would bring all our hopes for having a baby. In the past, going there meant working toward getting pregnant and having our baby. Yesterday, I sat in the waiting room with hopeful couples like we once were and I found that excruciatingly painful. I couldn't look at them (not that anyone looks at anyone in the waiting room at the fertility clinic) and I didn't want them to look at me. I didn't want to recognize their hope, even if I could smell it from 20 paces away, and I didn't want them to see that this hope can be shredded.

In other news I took my wedding dress home yesterday. I think it will do. I hope.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

then and now

I often hear people who have children talk about how becoming parents has given them a different glance on their childhood. It has helped them see their own parents in a new light and understand their decisions with a new, much more forgiving appreciation than they had before. As a budding psychologist, this one is interesting to me for obvious reasons: the dynamic nature of family relationships, the change that occurs from an internal shift in perception brought on by new experiences, idealizing youth versus middle aged realism.

Infertility has thrown an interesting twist in that particular narrative for me. Years of therapy and maturing into my thirties have helped me a great deal to be more forgiving towards those folks who raised me. Still, I mean, it did take a LOT of therapy to get here. In terms of raising a family, I was pretty much banking on doing it better than they did. Not that it's a competition. But in a way maybe it was a bit of point of pride for me. In their ignorance and self-preoccupation, those two had limited understanding of child development and parenthood. And it appears in my efforts to right the wrongs of the past, I wanted to raise children in a way that was healthy. I armed myself with quite a lot of knowledge in this pursuit. I'm almost a child psychologist, for crying out loud.

But it doesn't work like that (and yes, I AM admonishing myself here). Having my own children was not ever going to fix what happened then. Sadly, nothing can.

I am left however, with a sense of great emptiness with regards to this particular question. Of course failed infertility treatments leave one with a sense of great emptiness regardless, but with regards to moving beyond my own childhood, I always thought having my children would be a critical piece. I don't necessarily think I was planning on using my children to heal from childhood experiences, just that parenthood would be healing in and of itself.

But parenthood has not been ruled out, even if biological children have been.

And maybe the wrongs don't get righted, but a new understanding and deeper forgiveness for one's parents comes with parenthood. I don't know that yet, but I hope so.