Well here we are, week three of our final FET cycle. For those of you who haven’t been following this blog for long, here’s the link to our timeline. Fun stuff.
This week while my husband has continued to have baby dreams (me? nope. my most recent dream was me trying to keep burglars out of the house using my favorite Wusthof serrated knife), I have thought about the what-ifs on the negative side. I know, I’m supposed to be focusing on the positive, but when you have a little kiddo space already created that’s been sitting there collecting dust since we lost our baby 7 months ago, you start thinking, what the fuck will I do with everything if it’s a no?
And this is not just the baby stuff we’ve acquired ourselves, this is also the little drawer at the top of the credenza in there that has a small collection of a few items that I wore as a baby – a few teeny tiny dresses, one miniature pair of socks, and my first little pair of shoes. The kind of stuff that we infertile folks look away from if we see them in stores. The kind of stuff I’d want to pass down to my kiddo.
What do I do with these? What do we do if we have no one to pass down things to?
Unlike many out there, I don’t have nieces and nephews to pass things down to. Well, I do have a nephew who’s a 29 year old software engineer in Texas that I’ve not seen in decades. Think that’s a good fit? Yeah, exactly. I don’t have friends with small children. And these have sentimental value – not something I’m going to drop off at Goodwill or hope someone I barely know will actually use (when it’ll in all honesty probably end up in a box at a yard sale).
How do you wrap your mind around that shit? You don’t. Not now, at least. You get your head centered back to this final cycle. You turn on your Fertility Meditations and close your eyes and allow a tiny bit of hope back into your heart and mind. You go outside to watch your four ducklings as they pile on top of each other in the sunshine for a nap as springtime truly arrives in the Rose City, and – as your husband says – you get to be “all clucky” around them as they gather around your feet whenever you call out “treats!” They are like awkward toddlers, not quite graceful yet in their walk, racing out of the coop down the ramp, occasionally sliding off the side in their hurry to the big clump of dirt, bugs and worms that my husband has gathered for them. That’s what you focus on.
Springtime tends to get the optimism going and when tulips bloom in my garden I have hope in my blood, in my heart, in every breath. I am aware that the odds are against us but also aware that there are new factors in place this time with the ERA results pushing us out a day later. I am aware of the pain in my lower back that has rocked me to my core, thinking about whatever I need to do to get things better.
Which appears to mean getting me into the water.
Yes darlings I’m going to the community pool this week for the first time in almost 10 years. I went after a serious plantar fasciitis issue back before I bought my house and tried out water aerobics for the first time, and it was great. Yes, I was the youngest person in the pool by a good 30 years but it helped me feel like I was actually doing SOMETHING when I couldn’t walk. Not sure if I’ll be swimming laps or doing the water yoga but I’m going to give it a try. I’m nervous!! You see, while I’ve been able to swim since before I could walk, I’ve never been “a swimmer” – laps never interested me and while I don’t mind taking a dip into a pool and I know how to dive, I’ve never felt a pull to get my exercise this way. But with my husband commandeering my bike for his commute now (I’ve got the better bike but it’ll be months before I can even consider getting on one based on the slowness of my back injury recovery thus far), and long hikes in the woods being out of the question, any kind of emotional eating that is happening right now is not doing me any favors physically. I’m not one that’s ever given a flying fuck about “swimsuit season” or how light my skin is (I wear SPF30) as temperatures rise, I just want to feel strong. STRONG, dammit!
Anyhoo. So last night marked the first of many Booty Shots in the Back Room of Husband’s Workplace. It was my 5th del shot but the first one that coincided with his late shift. I tell ya, ladies, there is nothing like pulling your pants down in an unused back office of a grocery store and hearing dishwashers and other staff just feet away as your husband is shooting the 1.5″ delestrogen needle into your bum, then you walking out with your canning jar of empty needles trying to pretend like nothing out of the ordinary has happened (yeah, we gave up the red syringe bin about a year ago as they seem to want to give us a new one every time we empty it at the doc’s office – so damn wasteful! So we just pop everything in a quart size Mason jar, heh).
And oh yes – for those who have been following my blog you know that I have been practicing bravery when it comes to sharing our story, and encouraging my husband to do the same. My blog is not anonymous and I have people who know me personally, professionally, and only via blogs who read this and know what we’ve been through. No one’s been weird and in fact I’ve found a ton of support from people who don’t leave comments but tell me personally that they appreciate what I’ve had to say, support me, etc. Whodathunk.
So on another blogger’s post yesterday, I made a snarky comment that I was relieved to see the pregnant couple down the street (nice people, we don’t know them well, much younger than us so we never thought we had much in common) was selling their house. Right? Like how y’all talk about Facebook pregnancy announcements, my little hipster ‘hood abounds with face-to-face proclamations of big bellies and chubby little faces. It’s torture going to the pub I tell ya. Anyhow, so one fairly new neighbor that we do chat with once in a while but haven’t hung out with (yet – we like them, we’re just obsessed with our own shit lately as you can imagine) was walking by today and we got to talking and I asked why the people next to them were moving out, and he said…they’d been trying to get pregnant for so long and finally pregnant – right at the same time their adoption went through, so they have two babies on the way in different formats. Exactly what husband and I were worried about when we started out on IVF and had kicked off our international adoption process as well. Such a trip.
But the tale is not over yet – so I took a deep breath then casually mentioned we were in our 6th and final cycle of IVF, had a miscarriage last year, and have been strung along for years in the Ethiopia adoption process. And just like that, he shared that they too were struggling with infertility – much earlier into it, going through IUI, but still going through it.
Three families on our block struggling with infertility. Should I get a clipboard and survey the rest? What the fuck man. But isn’t it amazing when you share and find out how many have been dealing with this shit…? And as a friend said to me today, how much it helps you try to think about pregnant bellies in a different way, since none of us know their stories…?
Oh and as a Reminder? Adoption Does Not Cure Infertility
The other day I noticed a blogger out there mentioning she was nervous about adopting because people she knew said it would mean she would get pregnant. Literally worried about her struggle to get pregnant would end if she’d adopt. Even though adoption doesn’t magically make your reproductive system work, a lot of insensitive jerks out there tell us (including my last ob/gyn who had the balls to tell me this after our first failed round of IVF – needless to say I never went back) that “oh as soon as you’ll adopt I’m sure you’ll get pregant” – a totally asshole thing to say.
When people say this shit to the infertile, they are perpetuating the myth that infertility is cured by relaxing. As author Dawn Davenport states in her blog on Creating a Family, “It implies that the reason you will get pregnant after adopting is because you finally relaxed. Nothing drives someone who is infertile crazier than being told to “just relax”. People who adopt are statistically no more likely to conceive naturally than those who don’t adopt. If you get pregnant after adopting, it is NOT because you chose to adopt – it is coincidental.
I have been particularly pissed about this as a woman going through her 6th round of DEIVF while also having been in the international adoption process for 2 years as well. Gee, asshole, should I stop doing DEIVF and maybe that will mean I’ll magically start ovulating again? Gee, asshole, does this coincidence that happens to some mean that the social services team in Addis Ababa and our adoption agency are wholly responsible for my ability to procreate and that I’ll only get pregnant if they match us with a child, which right now would put me at age 45-47 based on their projections? NO. So fucking cut out the talk to the infertile couples that adopting will get you pregnant. Period.
Anyhoo. Something cool I wanted to share that came into my inbox this morning!
Do you – like me – feel like the image on the left when it comes to your reproductive capabilities? Got no insurance to cover IVF and don’t have the cash to afford another cycle (or even a first cycle) – or know someone in that situation? Fertility IQ’s founders are gifting $10,000 towards IVF to one lucky couple! In a true “pay it forward” situation where people have found success, this couple who’s created the best patient review website out there that’s truly making a difference in helping folks learn about prospective (and current) providers, they are giving it away to one lucky person who does a fertility provider review before April 27th (and if you’ve already done a review, you’re already entered!). If they ask, tell ’em Aimee @ TheEcoFeminist.com referred you!
And by the way, if you’ve already had a baby from fertility treatment, they will let you pay it forward to someone you know who’s still in the journey – how rad is that!!!