This post is intended to tell our infertility story in its very truest form. There are parts of this post that are raw and highly emotional. If you are struggling with infertility, this post may hit home with you a bit more than you imagined. If you need someone to listen, please email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com.
So. Where was I.
Oh yeah. Twelve months. Infertility. Wohoo.
That moment when you stop breathing, because it finally smashes into your consciousness that what you’ve dreamed of ever since you were a little girl will never happen for you. It suddenly and literally smashes, like no other thought has ever done before. As it splinters through the shards of destruction in your head, it literally takes your breath away, and as you try to regain the presence of mind to just breathe, your heart swells with so much sorrow that you can’t move. All you can do is sit frozen in stunned silence, unable to breathe and under the massive weight of the worst pain you have ever felt.
You want to scream. This can’t be happening. How can it be that people who abuse children are allowed to have them and you aren’t? How is it that people “accidentally” get pregnant, and say, “Well, it only takes one time!” I hate when people say that. I want to grab them and shake them and make them understand that that’s not how it works. That they should treasure every single precious child in the entire world. That they should NEVER take them for granted. That they should not take being a parent lightly That they should STOP complaining about all the kid-issues they have and thank God that they don’t have to feel this horrible pain.
You want to talk it out with someone else who will understand. But you’re so ashamed that you can’t do what a woman was created to do, you can’t even dream of admitting it.
You wish everyone had to go through this so people wouldn’t take their children for granted, but at the same time it’s so horrible that you don’t wish it on your worst enemy.
And you feel like the most awful wife in the world. You want to make your husband a dad, but that will never happen. You curse yourself for marrying him. You tell yourself over and over again how much better off he would be with someone else. Someone who could give him children. Someone who could be the woman he needs. And you wonder how long it will be until he leaves. As much as that would hurt…you wouldn’t blame him a bit.
And the babies keep coming for everyone else. And every time you hear of someone else being pregnant, your first reaction is joy, and then you feel like someone has kicked you in the stomach. You can’t even stay in the same room with pregnant women anymore. Because you can’t look at them without crying. You can’t go visit new babies anymore, because it physically hurts too much. You can’t be around kids anymore, because every little sound they make shreds your heart into the tiniest pieces.
Everyone else keeps moving. And they don’t even know that you’re stuck because you’ll never say it because you can’t bear to see the pretend sympathy in their eyes when they figure it out. But you’re stuck. Unable to breathe. Under a horrible weight that won’t move. And all of your insides ache like they’ve never ached before. And you just want to be done. Done with everything. Forever. It’s too much. You can’t do it. It’s not worth it.
Until one day there’s a glimmer of hope. You think, well, there are other options. Just maybe. Until you do some research and find out that the money it costs to explore those other options is completely out of the realm of possibility for you. And then it starts all over again. But this time, it’s all worse. Because you know that there’s no hope left. You know there never really was, but now it’s staring you in the face in black and white.
And suddenly, it just is.
Never is just real.
I went to my gynecologist and told her the troubles we were having. She ran a variety of tests on me and Jerrod, and, finding that everything seemed perfectly normal, put me on Clomid.
Now, for those who don’t know what Clomid is, it’s a fertility medication that makes a woman drop more than one egg when she ovulates. It must be taken following a very strict schedule. And for me, it caused some MAJOR mood swings. MAJOR.
My husband will be the first to tell anyone that I’m not a very moody woman. Half the time he wouldn’t even know if it was “that time of the month” or not, because I never was really bothered too much by any of it.
But when I was on the Clomid, I could be laughing one moment and throwing things the next. Seriously. I would get SO mad at the drop of a hat, and I would consciously think, “What is wrong with you?!” as I would slam doors around the house. I HATED how I felt when I took that stuff. But, if it would give us a baby, I would do it!
After six months of Clomid, and several major mistakes on my doctor’s part as far as administration of the drug, oh, and no pregnancy, I was over it.
I got a recommendation from a friend for another doctor, and I scheduled an appointment to see him as soon as possible.
I’m on pins and needles. I’ve been feeling pretty good, knowing that next week I have an appointment with the fertility doctor, but I got a call today that was like a kick in the stomach. Our insurance doesn’t cover it. The FIRST appointment alone could be up to $370. That’s astronomical. And what are they going to need after that? How in the world are we able to afford this if that’s the kind of cost we’re talking about? Does that kind of money (in the long run) need to spent on this? Should we just be done before we begin? Or is there another option? I don’t even know what to think…and I’m trying NOT to think. But I’m so scared…but then maybe not. Maybe this is a sign that this isn’t what we’re supposed to do. Or maybe we should just trust and do it? I don’t know…
I sat in his office waiting for him to come in during a week that my husband was out of town for work, and I felt SO alone. But, looking around, my eyes fell upon a plaque that read:
“You may be looking to me for your outcome because of my skills, my confidence, and hopefully a glowing recommendation from other doctors, but I am willing to admit before you and your family that I am not God. I am good at what I do, but ultimately I cannot control the outcome of your surgery: whether we like to admit it or not, and no matter how simple or complex the case, my skills are not enough. We need God’s help, and I am not ashamed to ask for it.”
I immediately felt SO at peace. It was okay. It would all be fine. Somehow I just knew that. I had a wonderful meeting with the new doctor, so wonderful that I called my husband right when I left and told him, “This is it. This is the guy. It’s gonna work, I can just FEEL it!” It was Fall. The doctor and I had sketched out a plan together, and his exact words were, “I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be pregnant by the Spring.” I was SO excited.
The next few months were NOT fun.
Not only was I back on the Clomid, but I was also taking another fertility medication, AND I was doing estrogen injections. Daily. There was about one week out of every month where I wasn’t filling my body with medications and hormones.
For every pregnancy announcement that broke my heart on Facebook.
I think people need to understand that women who can’t have children are NOT angry at the ones who can. We simply wish with all our hearts that things were different, and sometimes the simple things cause us to flail around and grasp at anything, desperately trying to hold it together.
I do not begrudge ANYONE their beautiful babies. I simply long for one of my own with more emotion than I know what to do with.
It was then that the weight started piling on. I would gain, on average, 13-15 pounds EVERY WEEK that I was on all the junk. That’s 3 weeks every month, then I’d have a week off to reset, and then I’d start again the next month.
And there were even more side effects. I was nauseated. I was exhausted. I couldn’t sleep. I was starving. I was having hot flashes. My ankles were swelling. My feet ached. I was uber moody.
Basically, all the worse symptoms of pregnancy without actually being pregnant. It was completely awful.
To the women who felt the need to ask me every time they saw me if I was pregnant yet.
To the women who told me I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose as a woman since I had no kids.
To the women who told me it was okay that I didn’t have any kids, and that I could borrow theirs anytime I wanted.
Every month, I would tell myself, this is it. This is the month. If I get pregnant this month then the baby will be born… (I’d count the months.) And every month, right on schedule, my period would arrive. Like clockwork. And I would lock myself in our closet and cry and cry and cry.
Now, I must say that there are several women who took the time to listen to me and share their own infertility experiences. For their encouragement and support, I will be forever grateful. I hope I can be just like them for other women in need!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!