In light of this week being National Infertlity Awareness Week my mind has been on the struggles of many women. I remember my own struggles and how I started out so optimisticly and naïve. Thinking, “Oh we’ll try for a few months and get pregnant and it will be great.” Oh how I was wrong. I suppose it’s better I was naïve because at least I had a few “fun” months before the true battle began. We tried for a few months and then I started charting my cycles and doing all the technical stuff to try and increase our chances. Once we hit the one year mark I got concerned. I called my Doctor. She said not to worry and that it can take a year or a bit longer to get pregnant the first time. Little consolation to someone with no patience who needs instant gratification. So we keep chugging along. In the meantime I find a message board online and start chatting it up with the ladies in the same boat as I am in. It helps to be able to air your issues with people that are going through the same thing without being judged. Little did I know those women would become my only strength some days, and my good friends to this day.
After 16 months I finally saw that little line on the pregnancy test. I didn’t believe it so I bought another one and took it the next day just to be sure. I did everything right, followed every rule, saw my little love at 7.5 weeks with a heartbeat and was mesmerized. I was in awe and totally in love. But he was not to be. I had a bleed at about 11 weeks. The ultrasound showed that the baby had not grown past the 7.5 weeks. I was devastated. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. The callousness of the ultrasound tech and the Dr. that told me was unforgettable. And the (un)comforting words of family and friends that followed were just as bad. “You’ll get pregnant again”, “It was God’s will”, and “It was meant to be” ALL BAD CHOICES. Seeing pregnant friends who were due around the same time became torture. Hell, Seeing any pregnant woman was torture. I would look at a pregnant woman and say to myself “why her and not me?” And hearing someone say how easy it was getting pregnant was like a knife through the heart. The words Fertile Myrtle were like nails on a chalkboard. Getting pregnant became a job, a mission. And yet it still didn’t happen naturally. All the while I had no one but Jim. And he was a man. He didn’t understand the need. I turned to those ladies on-line. My friends, my comrades, my sisters in battle.
My Doctors got proactive and gave me some meds to help and when that didn’t work I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) or who I would like to call Dr. Castlebaum, My Miracle Worker. I saw the RE after trying for 30 months to get pregnant. He looked at me in his office and said “Let’s get you pregnant. “ I smiled and said “Yes, let’s.” He immediately scheduled me for a couple procedures to check out my insides. And instead of going the medicinal route again he suggested we go full force and start inseminations. I was all for it. Two months later we started the process of having Jim’s semen checked and my tubes and eggs checked. Everything was great, so why weren’t we getting pregnant? The next month was the insemination. And 3 weeks later I got a positive confirmation. It worked. And, as happy as I was, I was scared as well. I was on eggshells. I had ultrasounds monitoring this baby constantly. Finally at 12 weeks we decide it was OK to tell people we were pregnant again. You would think everyone would be happy. We actually got one response of “Well don’t get your hopes up”. That broke our hearts and caused a rift for a while. That pregnancy was one of joy and happiness for me because he was my miracle baby. He was my Aedan.
I think back to all of the people that surrounded me during my infertility journey and friends that gave me the most support I haven’t even met in person. They comforted me when I needed it. They listened to me rant and complain without judgment. Because they too were going through it. They understood. I am so grateful for those friends. And I am even more grateful that I still have them and that they have all been blessed in one way or another with a child of their own. I just wish I knew back then that others around me were going through the same fight I was in. I felt I was the only one. No one spoke of it around me. I suffered in silence. I needed the support and I got nothing in my day to day life outside of my computer. Infertility breaks you down and sucks the life from you. It causes you to envy other women, fight with your husband and separate yourself from others. You can’t function. It’s all you think about because it consumes you to your core. Being a mother is the most important thing to some women so when that is jeopardized we will fight to the death to get it. Any woman you know could be in the battle right now. Please remember what was said and don’t offer words of wisdom if you haven’t been there. Just offer to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Because if you haven’t had a struggle or loss you truly cannot understand the pain/grief/all encompassing sorrow that comes with it. Resolve.org