Saturday, December 5, 2009


I had a strange realization the other day.

When I was younger, I was in no hurry to have kids - I had way too many other plans! Kenton and I thought we were being smart, not having kids before we got married or were financially stable. We also wanted to have some time to ourselves, build the founding blocks of what we thought would surely be a wonderful, stable family life.
Still, even though I was never one of those girls who dreamed of becoming a wife and mother from, say, age 7, I always assumed that I'd have two kids - you know, the generic average.

Things changed when this whole journey hit the first speed bumps and I had to come to terms with the fact that I might not just NOT have two, I might not even get ONE. So, all of a sudden one seemed perfectly fine - not ideal, but I'd settle for one. After all, one is better than none and, it's not like I'd wanted a gazabajillion kids in the first place. came as a complete surprise when, a few days ago, as I was talking to Dad, I realized that at this point in my life, I felt more than ready to take on motherhood. All this time I kept thinking about all the bad bits and all the crap - the infertility issue, the fact that we might not be able to have kids, that we probably wouldn't be able to afford either IVF or adoption without going broke or even into debt. But I had this epiphany: the gross, the icky, the worrying, the disciplining, the scolding, the yelling, the sleepless nights...all the inevitable drawbacks of motherhood suddenly seemed like they were just not that big of a deal in my head. Before, I had so many doubts as to whether I was just panicking because I'm getting older, because there seems to be a big hold-up in the maternity department and so on. I'd gotten to the point where I was almost embarrassed as I was forced to contemplate that I had become one of "THOSE" women who were constantly talking about the proverbial biological clock ticking.

At the tailend of that conversation which led to said epiphany, I had another unexpected revelation. I suddenly thought, twins might be fun - and it would be cool to have four kids when it's all said and done. WHAT??? I mean, here's the thing. I'm not one of those people who thinks there's some kind of godliness about reproduction. Technically, it's a purely scientific process that, in general, the female body simply negotiates without much input (no pun intended). Still, I had very specific "demands" of potential motherhood: preferably girls or a boy but only first born; no twins (who wants to start motherhood with twice the poo? EEEWWWWW!), and definitely not more than the middle class perfection of 2.2 (rounded down mathematically to 2) kids.

But suddenly I realized that, for the first time in my life, I can say that I really, truly feel ready. And not in that desperate, must-have-a-baby-NOW kind of way. I just feel like I've rounded a corner and feel a sense of balance, almost zen-like acceptance of the potential challenge that becoming a mother would present.

Of course the reality of our situation hasn't suddenly faded from my peripheral vision - it's pretty much still smack-dab in the middle of it all. But Kenton and I had a long talk not too long ago and we decided that, next year, we're going to pull out all the stops. I'm going to get every test under the sun done to find out what's going on with me, demand answers, results & advice, and I will do everything I can possibly do to combat this problem. Infertility? Pah, I'll show you!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time After Time

It's been so long since I last posted on my blog - sadly, there's still no new or positive development in my quest for motherhood. What remains in the pain and emptiness I feel.

Lately, I've started feeling more and more like my life is somehow without meaning because of this whole issue. I feel like I'm waiting, all the time, for this one thing to happen - knowing all the while that it may never happen. Sometimes I think - why write about it? I still feel like I can't talk to anyone about it, and writing the same thing about the same issue seems almost ridiculous. Sometimes I feel like I'm just repeating myself over and over again.

I want to have the patience and the courage to go find other women like me - to strike up a "conversation" with an unknown person on the internet and commiserate. I want to read and write emails that carry the hopes and dreams of two women sharing their thoughts. But where and how? Maybe it's just asking too much, like with everything else. Maybe you can't have it all - or at least some of us can't. Sometimes, when I look at the world around me, it seems that the expression "haves" and "have-nots" applies to so much more than material wealth. It seems that people who are blessed with parenthood are usually multiply blessed so, whereas the poor saps who are still begging for just one chance are forever denied even one.

So I wander around aimlessly, filling my life and my days with things that, when it comes right down to it, are completely unimportant and irrelevant. Because I don't know how else to cope with the hand that fate has dealt me. I want to be one of those go-getters who will stop at nothing until the desired result is accomplished, I so want to be the person who'll spend hours upon hours culling mountains of research, testimony and other information, condensing it until you have the most potent facts in nutshell. Armed thusly, Mrs. Gogetter will march herself into the appropriate place of business and demand that the situation be addressed, the wrong redressed, her helter skelter off balance world put back into "normal" mode.

But I'm not that person. I'm just a sad women lost in self-pity. I feel like I'm floating in this murky pool of emotions, surrounded by darkness and hopelessness. I want to swim ashore, to the warmth of understanding, compassion and answers, but I'm disoriented and don't know how to get there.

Time after time, I feel heartbroken...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tiny little tears

It happened again. A totally innocent daily occurrence turned into drama for me. A friend emailed me some pictures of one of her kids, and there was this one candid shot where she's holding her son up...and she's just beaming into the camera. A totally natural, normal picture of an totally natural, normal every day life.

And I cried.

Sometimes, there are these little moments where it feels as though someone is reaching into my chest and squeezing my heart, hard enough to make it hurt, to make it feel like it will burst from the pressure. I want to be happy for others, I do - but it's just getting harder and harder not to be resentful. Each time I have to stop myself from almost starting an argument because I really just want to tell them to STOP SENDING ME REMINDERS OF MY INFERTILITY!!!

But it's not their fault - how could they know that the things that are just normal for them are like shrapnel to me, like a hollow-point bullet that pierces your heart and then expands to cause even more damage. It just hurts so much.

I'm not crying now. I want to, and I know I will again before long - probably before I can hit the "publish" button at the end of this screen, to add another blog entry on this road of desolation. I keep seeing them everywhere - all these women from all walks of life, tall and short, fat and anorexic, young and old. They all have kids, many of them more than one person should want to have, many more pregnant yet again.

Sometimes I feel invisible. I feel like I'm walking through a nightmare - like I'm not really there and no one feels or notices my pain. I keep thinking that I should be able to wake up now, anytime now, please let me wake up NOW. But of course it's not a dream - it's my life. I feel so empty, so lost and deprived of any kind of hope.

I know I'm not alone with this problem - I know there are many women who've walked miles in my shoes, been there done that and got the t-shirt to prove it. But somehow that doesn't help me - it doesn't lessen my pain, my anger, my frustration. It doesn't make me feel any less lonely and alone with this problem that threatens to envelop me and swallow me whole, to wrap a dark ugly cape around me and keep the light out.

I feel so, so alone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Outside Looking In

Have you ever noticed among your friends - or, really, ANY group of women - how seemingly unrelated topics have a way of making it back to pregnancy and childbirth? You're talking to someone about a movie you want to see or a book you're reading, and before you know it, somehow someone manages to worm their pregnancy stories - complete with fold-out wallet pictures of 1-18 kids (these days it seems to me that the norm/average lies somewhere between 3 and 7 ) - and you're standing there thinking, ARE YOU SERIOUS???

It's bad enough that you can't open a magazine without 75% back to school content - ok, I can deal with that. I guess I should just not buy magazines - ANY magazines - around certain times of the year. It's even worse when you keep seeing, it seems, EVERY SINGLE WOMAN ON THE PLANET with a slew of kids in tow, preferably pushing out an enormous belly to announce to the world that yes, I really AM that fertile!

The other day I saw this young woman, circa early to mid 20s, with three young boys - all close in age - and heavily pregnant with Spawn of Evil #4. They were hollering, screaming, one of them threw himself down in front of the supermarket entrance and ACTUALLY beat his fists into the ground. And Mom Of The Year (I'm sure they have those awards for people like that - IN HELL!) did...oh of course: NOTHING!

Don't even get me started on anything remotely relating to ANY holidays. I mean, it doesn't matter if it's Labor Day or Christmas - out come the tall tales of Baby BooBoos, milestones of the pregnancy calendar etc. It's enough to make me want to revert to something resembling a tempestuous 6-year old, stick my fingers into my ears while sing-songing annoyingly "IIIIII'M NOT LIIIIIIIISTENIIIIIIIIIING!!!".

Today has not been a good day. There has been absolutely NOTHING good about this day - everything and everyone in this entire day has been nothing but an enormous aggravation. This day should be stricken from the calendar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Breakthrough conversation?

It's a strange world we live in - and, as women, we share it with the strangest creatures yet: men. There are so many differences and yet so many similiarities; but often you find yourself as though trying to navigate some tropical jungle without so much as a map.

Last night, Kenton and I had one of The Talks. It was weird. I didn't cry for a change, but I had a hard time looking at him while I talked. I told him how hard it was for me to keep seeing all these pregnant women, to hear about women getting knocked up who don't even want another baby. I can't even fathom the concept of child abuse because if I thought about it, I would probably just implode from a combination of fury and incomprehension.

The world is a big place, and yet sometimes thanks to the internet, it feels like your backyard. There's something strangely comforting about knowing that there are people who've never met you but who, through some chance or circumstance, find themselves in a situation that makes them understand you even without knowing you.

I think we've sort of tabled the whole discussion for a while, in some way. I think we have to make a decision: to either rally the troops and move forward, or to deny the undeniable for a while until we both feel steady on our feet again. We get pictures from friends and family with their children, ranging from newborns to preteens. We look at them and I, for one, have started feeling old when I look at them. I start to think about my age - which I normally never do - and then I think, what if when we turn 60, there's no one left for us? It's just him and me (and in this day and age, even that's not something you can take for granted, no matter how much you love someone in the here and now), our parents are long gone, our friends have grandchildren and we...we have pets. When I think about that, there's this lump in my throat that threatens to suffocate me and I feel as though I'm engulfed in fierce anxiety, like having a panic attack. Part of me wants to scream and holler - I feel as though I'm in danger, as though I need help, need to be rescued, treated for some imaginary wounds.

Only maybe they're not imaginary; maybe they're just not visible to the naked eye. Maybe they're under the surface, never quite healing. Maybe they keep reminding me of the fact that, no matter what I tell myself, I don't think I can be happy without a child. I can learn to live without it - God knows there's a chance I might have to - but it will always be an unhappy coexistence. I will never feel at ease with the thought of not having children.

When we talked last night, Kenton seemed close to the edge too. He started talking about what I always feel too: this great sense of injustice, how we did everything "right", by the book, didn't have sex at a ridiculously early age, didn't sleep around, didn't get knocked up. We were always so careful - so trusting that our time would come, that when we were ready to expand our little duo into a family, it would all fall into place. The 2.2 kids, the child-friendly Golden Retriever, the white picket fence...the whole nine yards. No one told us that being responsible came with such a huge price tag. No one told us to guard our fertility like Fort Knox, that the thing that happens to people everywhere in the world, every second of every day, would just refuse to happen for us.

I want to cry, and I don't want to cry. I want to cry because I'm hurting, because it hurts not to cry. It hurts to pretend that everything is ok. It hurts to watch all these people have babies, watch them grow up and smile at the camera from inside a bathtub or a sandy beach, covered in ice cream or birthday cake. It hurts to feel so left out of something that shouldn't have restricted access. But then I think about how little the crying accomplishes, and how much it brings the pain right back to the surface. I think about how talking and crying and crying some's not getting me anywhere.

I wish I could just sit back and examine this entire situation without emotion. To make a "battle plan" and knock down the door of every doctor until someone, somewhere, can tell me what the problem is and how to solve it. But I'm embarrassed and I'm not made of money. So, instead, I sit here and write, thinking about how much easier this all must be for someone like, oh I don't know, SJP for example. I know money can't buy you happiness, but in this case it can buy you the best doctors, the best fertility treatments - and, if nothing else, at least a better fighting chance than those of us with limited resources have. If I were rich, I think I'd fly to some tropical island and soothe away my pains.

You know how, when you were single and all your friends were paired off, everyone kept telling you it would happen for you too? And you didn't really believe them, thought it was easy for them to say that since they weren't out there looking. The old advice always came back: it'll happen when you least expect it. So now the same advice somehow gets regurgitated when you're trying to have a baby - only this time, it's not a matter of going out there and looking (or not looking, isn't that what's supposed to "make it happen"?). This time you have absolutely NO control. It's not a matter of dressing nicely when you go out because there isn't much you can do if your uterus is on strike, your ovaries are playing Sleeping Beauty or your fallopian tubes are experiencing total gridlock.

And then you have a hundred thousand quacks who try to exploit the vulnerable, hurt little you who's just asking for a chance to do what so many are incapable or unwilling to do: be a good mother. When we first started having these issues - or, rather, becoming aware of them - I went on the internet (my trusted friend) to see what information I could pool. I came across a website that, in my Google search, promised support groups and information. A couple of clicks later, it turned out to be a "members only" club with a hefty price tag. I was outraged! How dare anyone restrict such vital information or refuse to give access to any and all??

Then there are all these other websites that throw together people with the whole panoply of infertility issues - so that you're trying to sift through the "TTCs" and the "finally got knocked ups" in hopes of finding a lost soul like yourself: the '"(seemingly) lost causes".

I don't know if I find it annoying or encouraging when someone who tried to get pregnant for a long time finally does. Part of you thinks, hey maybe it'll happen to me. But part of ME thinks, come down from your high horse and stop preaching like a televangelist "THY DAY SHALL COME!" (cue melodramatic chorus).

So where does this all leave me? I don't really know. I want answers, more than anything. I want to have a good, reliable and honest doctor who will tell me exactly what the science says and how it applies to me: which tests to run, what the worst/best case scenarios are, what options are available for different problems. I want someone who is sympathetic without being patronizing, someone who, above all, is professional in a caring way.

The truth is, part of me just wants my mom - and for her to tell me that everything's going to be alright. I guess that, no matter how old we get, there's still a little girl in every one of us...

Friday, August 21, 2009

In a slump...

Lately, I've been in a slump. Not just baby-related, although that never helps. But in the past month or so, I just feel sort of out of it. I don't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I just sit around at home and watch sappy movies, eat chocolate and sleep. Ok so obviously that's a bit overdramatized, but you get what I'm saying. It's just not a very happy place right now.

I've been trying to distract myself. Kenton has an appointment in a month - the clinic couldn't fit him in any sooner - but there's a chance a business trip may come in the way.

And you know what? I almost don't care. In fact, lately I don't even feel like having sex. I get so mad because of everything that's going on, feeling totally powerless - and everything seems like this colossal joke. I don't even want to think about any of it anymore, and I feel cranky almost all day, every day.

For the past week or so, my chest has been hurting - in the same way it usually hurts when I'm coming up on my period. Except I'm a good 2-3 weeks away. So I have no idea what's going on, and quite frankly I'm so fed up with this whole ordeal that I just want to pull the covers over my head and disappear.

The other day I saw a woman who was both larger (significantly so) and older than I am, with a tiny little rosey baby. And here I thought both age and obesity are supposed to almost guarantee that your chances of having a baby are zilch - and yet EVERYONE AROUND ME is having babies, whether they actually want them or not. My favorite one are the people who keep having "accidents". I literally don't know what to do with that.

So I don't know what I can say that I haven't said before...I'm just not feeling the love right now...

Friday, July 31, 2009

What is WRONG with this picture??

I really need to understand something: what is it with people having not one, not two or even four kids but 14+? SERIOUSLY??? What the hell is wrong with this picture?? How is it that some people get pregnant more times than any one person should reasonable WANT to get pregnant (I'm not even going to get into what I think about the sheer lunacy and complete irresponsibility of having that many children) while there are some of us who'd move heaven and earth for just ONE baby, and can't even get that?

I want to know who's responsible for this complete injustice - and I want to file a complaint!! If there is a God (which, being agnostic, I'm neither denying nor endorsing), I would really like to know what kind of circus he's running here.

Recently, I learned of someone I vaguely know falling pregnant again. Nevermind that she's already got a slew of kids (where have I heard/thought/read that before? Oh yeah, on a DAILY BASIS!!!) running rampant in food-encrusted, baby sick infested clothes and wailing for a parent who's too self-absorbed to care (or, it would seem, consider having her knees sewn together since she's clearly never heard of contraceptives). Bitter, me? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I AM! If there is someone in charge of this whole fiasco that's arbitrarily making some of us fertile like bunnies while others are growing cobwebs in our wombs, then, to borrow a line from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam then his "ass is grass and I'm a lawn mower!" (sorry about the vulgar expression, I'm having a MOMENT).

I am SO sick and tired of all these protruding bellies - preferably hanging out of skinny coochie-hugging jeans shorts that look more like belts than pants - or kids who should be in college getting an education walking around with a bunch of kids who, of course, won't learn a damn thing because their parents are idiots.

I wonder why no one has thought about making medication for the reproductively challenged - you know, the kind that suddenly makes you think everything is going to be alright, that prevents your heart from bursting into flames or shattering into pieces every time you hear a baby laugh. You know how, apparently, when you've had a baby, some (not sure if this is true of all women) women end up lactating spontaneously when they hear a baby cry, even if it's not theirs? Yeah, sometimes I think that the tear ducts of those of us who don't have much hope to ever find out whether this could/would happen to us have a similar problem.

I find myself almost daily on this journey where I feel like a trapeze artist, or more like I'm walking on this tiny rope without a safety net to catch me: on one side lies acceptance, on the other is anger and frustration. And I keep balancing between the two because I can't seem to move forward for some reason: I can see the goal ahead of me (not sure if that would be babydom or just plain peace of mind, regardless of where the chips fall) but, no matter how much I push and wiggle and twist and turn, the result is the same. I'm stuck in this ridiculously teeter-tottering imbalance, treading water, not able to turn back or move forward.

Then there are the daily challenges of not running interference when being subjected to cases of Bad Parenting (e.g. a tiny tot trying to scale a bookcase at the local bookstore, with no parent in sight). There are times when I see things like that, and part of me wants to scoop up the kid, find the parent and say: "I'm sorry but you're time's up. You clearly don't want this kid and don't care about it, so I'm taking it home with me." Other times, I just want to yell at someone. Sometimes it's someone specific (see Bad Parenting comment), sometimes I just want to yell and scream at no one in particular, just because I'm so frustrated and so tired of waiting without knowing what's going on.

Which reminds me of something the good Doctor Doolittle (literally did little, if anything) did say to me at my gyno appointment a couple of months ago: that, despite the fact that until now we thought Kenton was the one with the problem, this wonderful lady said that despite his practically immobile sperm, it should still be possible for him to knock me up. Translation? Now it's supposed to be MY fault. Nevermind that this whole ludicrous PCOS stuff hasn't been brought up to me until that appointment (gee, I wonder why that is??). Nevermind that no one has bothered to suggest maybe running some tests to either confirm or disprove her highly hypothetical analysis (get your diplomanat Quack University, didya?). Yes, this has all been incredibly helpful - not only to the mind and heart in turmoil, but to the planning stages that require ACCURATE information in order to advance.

I am so tired of this whole debacle. I want a doctor who will run every single test in the good book of medicine, who will present me with every single scenario ranging from 1% to 99% chance of possibility, who will advise me on the best course of action and will do everything he/she can to turn this disaster around and give me, for crying out loud, just ONE baby. I mean, I wanted three, but I'll settle for one - seriously. Occasionally I get so desperate, there's a part of my brain that's thinking, maybe I should go put flyers at the local high schools & colleges saying that if anyone gets knocked up accidentally, I'll be happy to take their baby if they don't want it. How pathetic and ridiculous is that???

Well, there's that then. I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster, only it's going really slow: sometimes I'm up in the clouds where there's sunshine and I feel like I'm on top of the world (or, putting it in perspective, at least feel like I can deal with all this stuff), but then I end up going through a tunnel or a valley, round a corner, take a sharp turn, and it's back to Doomsville, population: 1.

You know something? The worst part of it all is the lack of answers, the uncertainty, that cloud of "what if" hanging over my head not entirely unlike the mythical Death figure in its long black robe. I know that probably sounds really morbid, and it's not an image I literally carry around with me (thank God for small favors, right?). I just want some answers. I just want to know what's going on. I want to know if I should just give up hoping. I want to know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel, if this is just a particularly trying period in my life that I'll be able to look back on and thinking, wow that was really hard there for a while.

I can't help but keep coming back to what I've written before: sometimes you just don't know how much you want something until you can't have it, or at least it seems that way. I never questioned for a moment that I would have a baby - no one in my extended family has infertility issues - so I really didn't give it much thought at all until a couple of years ago. If I'd known the way this would all turn out, I would've tried getting pregnant as soon as I had a ring on my finger...