Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?
This question stopped me in my tracks last Friday. I wasn’t expecting to be asked. I was sitting in a cushioned chair at Voci Spa about to treat myself to a facial. I was taking time to take care of myself after taking care of my sick daughter all week.
The sweet-faced receptionist sitting behind a tall desk asked me to fill out a questionnaire. It was full of the typical questions: Are you on any medications? Do you suffer from any of the following… and there about half way down the page was:
Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?
The answer should have been an easy check in the NO box. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t check off NO. I stared at the type face. I waited for the stinging sensation to pass. The question triggered me. I resented that even here, with the relaxing sounds of a spa CD filtering through the scented candle air, was a reminder of my greatest failure. That benign question reminded me we weren’t trying any more. It reminded me the truth is I’m incapable of getting pregnant no matter how much in that moment I wanted to check YES.
The soothing harp-like sounds coming from the speakers morphed into shrieking banshees. The candles smelled putrid. I reminded myself how I was fine with my infertility reality last week. I skipped the question and filled out the rest.
I thought about not checking any box, but feared a receptionist would ask me with a smile on her face, “I’m sorry Mrs. H, you didn’t answer this question. Are you pregnant or trying to become pregnant?”
I’d politely smile. My voice would sound steady to them but my heart would squeeze perhaps crumble a bit. Part of my right ventricle would swish through my bloodstream before my body eliminated it like it has two of my pregnancies. “Oh, sorry about that,” I’d say. “No.”
My history doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t know how hurtful that question is. It was just a form. All of their customers complete it. I’m sure none of them complained about the horror they too felt when staring at those eight typed words.
Eight words. Defining me. Fuck that. I hate being defined. Reminds me of lined paper. I hate lined paper. It’s so restricting. Why is it bothering me so much? Why can’t all the emotional scars associated with infertility just disappear…for good…and never bite me in the ass again? Why can’t that be?
Sorry for the silent treatment the past week. I was wrestling and then not wrestling with emotions and hope. Somehow the first visit to REACH for my IUI kind of made me disassociate from everything. Something in my mind snapped when I saw the word INFERTILITY next patient catagory. It seemed more final.
I felt very unattached from the process of having another child, it became a clinical thing instead of a love thing. It felt wrong that I had to get help, and it dumbfounded me when I saw all the other women struggling too. The only way I know how to protect myself from all of that wrongness is to not be attached to the outcome. It’s very Kabbalistic really… work hard toward a goal but let go of the outcome. Practically impossible right? That was how I was feeling.
Then I had an 8:30 AM appointment Sunday and got semi-exciting news. My left overy was working and producing 3 follicles 2 that are promising. One is 19 and the other 24. My lining ranks at a 10, they were looking for a 7. I feel so much less broken. I could actually see my body working. Tonight at 6 PM I take my Ovidrel shot. Wednesday morning I go in for more blood work and then later in the morning my IUI. I’m excited again. I feel hopeful that the Femera worked and this may actually work and why hadn’t anyone told me about this option A YEAR AGO?????? Was I too stubborn to hear it? Or is this what is meant to be?
Wishing all my other infertility friends good luck this month. I have hope enough for all of us.
Last Friday I began my first IUI cycle blood work and meds. The best part so far is the nurse who drew my blood did not leave me with a nasty bruise on my arm. The worst thing was the darting eye contact of the other fifteen women riding along with me on the conveyor belt of blood work, ultrasounds and infertility. More to come on that.
Other encouraging news, the women there who did make eye contact and chat with me, as we waited our turns to be poked and prodded, were repeat customers, as in they were successful with their doctors and the REACH program. The bad news is, even though my insurance claimed to cover the procedure so far they have rejected the first set of medical bills and denied my scripts. I’m talking about you Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, how can you pre-approve something and deny it???? F-ing insurance.
Last Friday I had my first appointment at REACH. (http://www.northcarolinafertility.com/)
I had questions about my body that needed concrete attention. Working on fertility 3,000 miles away from my OBGYN had failed and instead of repeating futile behavior I decided to take control of my reproductive life.
So on recommendation of cool news friends who had success using REACH I decided to go. Better yet, my man candy agreed to go too. And ever better still my insurance covers some of the visit, talk about a bonus!
Dr. Whitesides won the lottery of me because the other doctor who was recommended had another obligation to attend on the day and time we were available, and we were not interested in waiting another month to see her.
I liked him. He was the perfect fit for our family. Dr. Whitesides is direct, quick with a pap smear and personable. The good news he delivered is I’m not broken. Things look good inside and he sees no reason why we can’t successfully have a baby. He responded well to the information that I am seeing an acupuncturist weekly and even encouraged me to continue. He also said he would have taken me off Clomid after the first month because of my reaction to it. Boy do I wish I met him in October!
Dr. Whitesides was pleased when I told him we are not interested in IVF. He doesn’t believe my eggs would like all that man handling outside of my body. He said if my end goal is to have a baby that he would suggest I use a donor egg.
Even though having a child is what I hope for, I am not down with that. My intention is not to have a baby at all costs, I have an amazing daughter, perhaps if I didn’t I would consider that option.
We all agreed to try IUI. (http://www.northcarolinafertility.com/intrauterine-insemination.asp) It seems to fit in with what my husband and I can handle emotionally and financially.
So away we go farther down the tracks on the baby making train.