Infertility is Like That . . .

Infertility is Like That . . .

“Do you see that thing? Right there. . .the white thing with blue gel in it?” I pointed to the machine on my left, as my bare ass sat on, what appeared to be, a puppy pee-pad.

“Yes.” My husband said matter-of-fact, sitting on the office chair beside me. His face was between amusement and bewilderment.

“Well. It’s going in my vagina. You get to see inside of me.” My feet were now propped in the stirrups and I sighed with relief that my pedicure, specifically scheduled for this appointment, looked really good.

Here we were. Our first infertility appointment.

NOT IN THE PLANS

I’m a planner, albeit not the best. But, by very nature I like to have structure and a strategy for the milestones in my life.

Graduate college.

Complete grad school.

Start your career.

Meet a boy.

Marry said boy 🙂

Advance in your career.

Buy a house.

Make it a home.

Adopt alllll the puppies.

Have children.

I can’t seem to make the latter happen. . . Infertility wasn’t part of the plan. It has been a detour that has very few people helping you navigate and too few directions to get back on your route. The problem with plans and strategies in life is that they can be easily torn and broken, but the detours often make you grow the most. Oh man, have we grown.

JOURNEY to the STIRRUPS

I was never a woman who felt the strong desire to be a mother. It was not as if I didn’t want to become one, but it was a milestone in my life that I simply did not put at the top of my list. Some would say that the sacrifice of advancing quickly in my career and education is motherhood, which is such a dick thing to say. Let me be very clear: you can have a career and be a mother. You can want and achieve financial stability, career assurance and a child(ren). Infertility is not the punishment for wanting the life you want, it is not a consequence.

I digress.

Motherhood was not a sprint to me, nor was it a marathon, it was something that I wanted to happen, though. Up until recently, I never felt anxiety to check pregnancy and motherhood off the list. My plan included the possibility that it would not happen quickly. In my heart, I knew that I would not be as blessed as those that seemingly get pregnant when their husband just looks at them. Cheers to you girl . . . You get yours! Without giving too much detail or diving too far into years past, I had this strong sense that I would have some difficulty getting pregnant. But, I felt that would at least be possible.

I had no idea that it would take two years and counting to stay in the land of “Trying to Get Pregnant.”

In July 2018, Daniel and I had our first infertility appointment after waiting six months to be seen at an infertility clinic. This was after making two calls to get scheduled and having four previous infertility analysis with other specialists.

You see, infertility is a game of numbers. . .

How old are you? How long have you been trying? How long is your cycle? How many times a week do you have “relations”? What are you hormone levels? How many doctors have you seen? How many tests have you taken? How many ultrasounds? What is the sperm count? What is the sperm volume? How many eggs? How many cysts? How many pills? How many shots? How much is this ‘effin going to cost?

A lot. The answer to the last question is a lot. Like. Shit ton.

DON’T HATE- OVULATE!

Between the time my gynecologist referred us to the fertility clinic and our first appointment, a lot of researching has happened. By research, I mean looking at infertility blogs and posts on Instagram. There is both beauty and stupidity in doing this.

On the one hand, reading other’s stories provides hope and comfort for those that find success with their infertility treatments. Some have helpful questions to ask the fertility specialists and outline what to expect dependent upon the treatment suggestions from your MD. While I do not know many of the women who boldly post their struggles and fears, I find validation for many of the emotions that I’ve often found hard to dissect. I find excitement when someone’s story mirrors my own.

However, not all “research” has been so beautiful. Spending time reading about a very sensitive life experience can be mentally and emotionally draining. With each scroll through Instagram, I would find a woman that could just as easily be myself, accepting that another IVF had failed. Her fourth one. One who was told by her doctor the great chances of her conceiving, only to have to delay the procedures due to unforeseen circumstances concerning her ovaries. Others who had a successful transfer, only to lose the child months later. Very real stories. Very raw emotions. Very much could be me.

My heart and head hurt. It continues to do so today when I find myself mindless subjecting myself to wandering down the rabbit-hole of possibilities to where Daniel and I could end up. We didn’t plan this detour to parenthood and there isn’t a reverse to get back home.

MY UTERUS. MY STORY.

We have elected to share our “circumstances” openly and honestly with those that we love and feel that love us. It has been my belief since I was referred to a fertility specialist to be frank and honest about what is going on. Doing so has proven to be a bit more complicated that I had anticipated, but for the most part, we certainly feel loved and supported by our friends and family. Your kind words and blessing have made this adventure much easier and we thank you greatly.

The next steps for Dan and I have been carefully mapped out by another driver, our fertility doctor. As it stands currently, he is confident that we will conceive. The problem is, he didn’t say when or how long it would take, and he didn’t say how. Infertility is like that. . . A lot about numbers, a helluhvalot more about probability.

In the past few weeks I have faced my fear of shots by injecting myself with numerous hormones throughout the weeks. I believe that I am certified as a whatever-it-is that can read ultrasounds. I’ve found humor in the story that is ours and also found myself hysterically crying on the floor begging the doctor to tell me another route is necessary. Infertility is like that. . . It’s like the stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Perhaps I had more expectations for this blog post, in my mind I wanted it to be funnier and witty, you know . . . Pretty much me. But, it’s hard to summarize what I am experiencing without being somber and realistic about where we are. And . . . Where we are is a crossroads of multiple options and choices, none which Dan and I had desired.

Yet, here we are. A different journey than expected and certainly on a road that we would have otherwise avoided. In my heart, I know that we are two strong people that can handle the twists and turns ahead. We were made for this. We are made of strong stuff. And I know we can’t wait to have a child of our own and tell them how strong we had to be to hold them in our arms.

Until next time.

-B

Shit. Thirty.

Shit. Thirty.

You’re F***ing, THIRTY!

Thirty.

Thirty years old.

I remember sitting in my office listening to my co-worker exaggerate my newly embarked milestone and thinking, “Shit.”

But, the thought wasn’t the bad “shit” moment often associated with monumental self-awakening experiences. You know, like the moment when you realized that your parents lie or that you don’t have to sneak out of the house to go sleep with your boyfriend… you can just walk out of your apartment. It wasn’t even an “a-ha shit” feeling, like when you finally realize Susie didn’t drink at the latest baby shower because she’s pregnant. It certainly wasn’t the “SHIT!!” moment, much like those when you step on the scale after returning from vacation. Not even the excited “shiiitttt” moment like when you finally turn 21 and no longer have to use Sydney from middle-of-nowhere-Kentucky’s ID to get into a rather shady bar.

It was just a flat, uneventful, matter-of-fact “shit.”

I was thirty and expected to just feel something different. Even panic would have been a welcomed emotion because, in my mind, isn’t that what is supposed to happen? Isn’t this the exact moment where my mid-life crisis happens? Better yet, what about my sexual prime, Cosmopolitan, said would be knocking at my door? I bought new panties for this.

Here I sat, waiting for some sort of initiation into the Female 30-Something Sorority and apparently, I was either late for the party or not invited.

So, what was I supposed to feel? What was I supposed to expect? What was I supposed to be doing?

Shit.

Being a woman in your 30s is perplexing. It’s a sandwich between figuring out who you are and where you are (read: drunk) in your 20s and then an appearance of having your shit together in your 40s. Thirty is the gap between holding your hair and dry-heaving into your roommate’s toilet and stepping into womanhood with confidence.

Whereas the 20s mantra was freedom, exploring, making mistakes and making-out… age 30-ish takes a sharp left-turn and focuses on a more distinguished checklist of expectations. Rather than making you feel accomplished, the roadmap can actually make you feel quite left behind.

You can feel stuck. Inadequate. Frustrated. Lonely.

And truth be told, there should be no surprise that many of us, on this bridge swaying and disappearing in the fog- feel that way. The boxes on this checklist are life changing and delicate at the same time.

You should own a home by now.

You should have a sleeping and eating regime that supports a healthy lifestyle.

You should be in a committed relationship.

You should start looking at your ass more… gravity is taking over.

You should have kids by now.

Shit!

One list of “25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 25” suggested to “Hang Out with Kids More.” I shit you not. Why? Because it went on to suggest that, “you’re nearing your thirties now and it won’t be long that you’ll be having children of your own.”

Uhh…

I am finding so many of my generation… peers aren’t quite fitting into exact molds. A lot of us sure as hell have a lot of “shoulds” that are waiting to have a big, fat X on ’em. Then some of us have no intention to ever checking the “shoulds” off the list.

We’re in this complex situation of expectations and perception our parents have for our lives now and how culture/society has molded the reality.

My mother was raising three children when she was 30 . . . and I just reorganized my Pinterest board. Also, I am YouTubing The Tiny Kitchen where a person makes these teeny-tiny treats…andddd….

Times are different, man. The pressure is real.

Before writing and creating this blog, I did some searching on turning 30, expectations in your 30s, things to do in your 30s. While there are some decent suggestions, I still felt confused and empty.

How did these bloggers and writers have it all together and yet, I looked around in my age group and we are scattered all over the board of expectations?

And. Honestly. It is a more beautiful picture of life than any other advice column has painted.

None of us have a clue what we are doing or what we should be doing and it’s honestly…fantastic.

I want to change the perception and misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be 30… because if someone doesn’t, I think some of us are going to lose our damn minds.

Maybe this is my mid-life crisis. The DirtyThirty Pity Party. Some sort of mental breakdown. Or, maybe it’s the refreshing outlook on life that some of us are searching for.

So… Here I am.

Over the next year  undefined time range (I have commitment concerns) …. I want to introduce and interview amazing, female 30-something’s who have absolutely no idea what the hell they’re doing. But, each lady is doing really great things… each one crossing this bridge of their 30s without care or concern for the mold others believe they should fit.

And you know what?

We will make some checklists of our own.

This shit will be fun.

britt