Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Anger...it's a Four Letter Word

I sit down on my bed. Tears form in my eyes and I shake my head as if to clear the last three minutes from my memory. Like that will reverse time and I can still be the same person from three minutes ago. But it doesn't.  I am still holding the negative pregnancy test. The box of tampons I had to pull from the closet are sitting at the edge of the bed where I put them. I can't go back in time.

They come now, the tears. I can't stop them. I can't hold them back any longer. My body has failed me. Again.

Trey is downstairs.  I can't tell him yet. I need just a few minutes to grieve by myself. I need a few minutes to lose my strength, to be a mess before I can tell him.  I can give him those few minutes that I couldn't give myself. I can let him hope just a few minutes longer.

Two weeks later and it's fall.  My favorite season. Or it was. I'm not sure that I have favorites now. I have work and I have shots and I have medicine and I have tests and I have more tests and I have tears. None of those are my favorites.

I snapped at Trey today. There was no reason. No reason at all.  I felt bad afterward and I apologized and cried (there is a lot of crying on my part in this house nowadays). I told him I was sorry because when he married him he didn't know he was signing up for this. He didn't know his wife would turn into this monster...and that it will only get worse. I am not the same woman he married. And I apologized for that.

There haven't been a lot of good days lately. A lot of heartache and heart break. A lot of anger, mostly towards myself though I occasionally do yell some choice words to unsuspecting drivers.

I feel anger towards the people I see who have babies. Or small children. Or really any size children. I want to ask them how hard they had to work to have those babies and if they deserve them. But that's not fair. To them or to me.

I am angry at family members who didn't react how I hoped they would, or who didn't react at all.  I am angry at (ex) friends who don't think before they speak and say hurtful things, whether on purpose or not. But mostly, I am angry at myself. And that's not fair, either.

This is not an easy journey. It's not even a hard journey. It's an impossible journey. It's a journey that you can't imagine yourself taking until you are already in it-whether you want to or not. All of us on this path have no idea what the end will be like. We climb painful and difficult hurdles only to wonder "Is it going to get worse?" "Can I survive worse?" We take devastating blows and yet still get up to face the next impossible task. We are beaten up. We are tired. We lose hope. We lose reason. We lose a lot. It's an overwhelmingly emotional journey.

But we're not done. Not yet. We still have a lot of options, which means there's a lot of room for more heart break and more sadness, but there's also a lot of room for happiness...and maybe still a little bit of hope.

Next steps for us:
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and a last round of taking the Letrozole/Ovidrel

If you're reading this and you're on the same journey, but not yet ready to talk about it, I would highly recommend checking out RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association (www. resolve.org) and liking their Facebook page. There is a lot of information on their website and many locations have peer support groups.

If you're a family member/friend of someone suffering through infertility I recommend these two articles:
Family and Friends PDF
Infertility Etiquette

Thursday, September 8, 2016

You are not a Failure

Today has been difficult. Not the most difficult day I've had so far on this journey, but definitely not the easiest. Truthfully, I don't know that I could classify any day thus far as "easy" but you know what I mean.

You are not a Failure. Yes, I am capitalizing the "F" on purpose. It is a proper noun to me now. At least once a day these words have to go through my head; I have to say to myself that I am not a Failure, because otherwise those dark, failure-like feelings will stick. You are not a Failure.

It's hard, though, to think of myself as not a Failure. Some days I think in the dictionary, were one to look up the word "failure," my picture would be there. Right next to the word. And you wouldn't need a lengthy, wordy description, because it would just be me.

My body has failed. One of the many preprogrammed things it is supposed to do, it doesn't. Not without some poking and prodding and maybe an injection or two-sometimes. The millions of years, eggs are released from ovaries, descend into the Fallopian tubes, become fertilized and implant in the uterus. Sounds like four easy things to do and yet I've failed them all.  And if my history is correct I've been failing them for years before I even knew. I was a Failure before I knew to call myself one.

The thing about infertility (and yes, that IS what we're talking about here) is that it doesn't just affect one person. There's a reason that couples say "WE are infertile." or "WE are having trouble becoming pregnant." Yes, in this case, I am the only one with the problem but consider this: if my husband ended up with someone else, he may not be experiencing any of this, right? Therefore, WE are infertile.

In this time of waiting, of wondering how much longer, how much more pain, how much more Failure, and yes, how much more money, I wonder why.  Why is this my burden? Why am I broken? Why do we have to go through so much so that my husband can become a father? So that my parents can be grandparents? WHY is it me? Why me?

1 in 8, you know. 1 in 8 couples are facing infertility. ONE IN EIGHT. With those odds, chances are you know someone, probably you know two someones. Maybe they haven't come out of the shadows yet. Maybe they're not ready to be vulnerable and to have all of their sadness out in the air-where people can hurt you even more. And that's ok. I struggled for awhile to talk about our infertility. It wasn't until  a then-acquaintance of mine shared her story, right after I was diagnosed with PCOS perfect timing, eh? It wasn't until then that I was ready to share mine. I don't want anyone to ever feel like they are on this journey alone. No one is alone. It may feel like you are, for awhile at least, and some days are so crushing that you know you are the only person on the planet who knows what this is like. But no one is alone. You are not alone.

Today, I may have felt like a Failure for most of the day. Today, I may not have kept all of my positivity. Today, I am struggling. Today, I need you to hold my hand, to hold my head up because I am so exhausted I can't by myself. Today, I need you to let me lean on you. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and you might need me to hold you up-and I will. I will hold you, I will comfort you. No one is alone on this journey. You are not alone. And you are not a Failure.

PS-to read about my friend's amazing journey check out her blog