I've been sort of hinting around and going back and forth on whether or not I should write about this, but what I've found in the short time since I started this silly blog thing is many new cool people and a lot of unexpected support about stuff I'd normally only share with one or two close friends. It's my favorite part of this whole business.
So here's the deal. As you may have gathered from past posts, I've been married a long-ass time (almost ten years, WHAT!) and we're childless. You've probably also noticed I desire one of those baby-things pretty much more than I want to continue to breathe fresh air every day. Basically I'm Heather-opposite. She and I were discussing it the other day and it was really interesting to compare notes with someone who's about my age (though she still has one more year before the big 4-0 and I have but mere weeks), yet has very good reasons for why she doesn't desire to procreate and is at complete peace with her decision. I wish more people were that self-aware and that all women who felt as I do get their wish and all women with her feelings realize they can lead a full life without being a mother. I've seen too many examples of women who end up with a baby and then treat the child like an inconvenience; something to deal with as minimally as possible so they can concentrate on other important things like shopping or partying or screwing around...whatever. I've tried to remain positive and not become (too) bitter throughout the years.
In September of 2002, I suffered a miscarriage when I was very newly pregnant, and when we'd just gotten over our little marital hiccup (I like to quote Ross from Friends: "We were on a BREAK!") and had very recently gotten back together. The morning I took the test, I called Brian at work and he got so excited, he immediately called his parents. I neglected to tell him we probably should've waited awhile longer before telling people since there are risks at the beginning, but because he told them already, I also told family and a couple of close friends. We couldn't help it; we were both really happy. That's not a good thing when a few weeks later you have to call those same people and tell them "Nevermind." That part SUCKED.
The reason they gave me for the failed pregnancy was that I had low Progesterone, a hormone necessary to carry a baby successfully. I have a friend I met two years after that who suffered one in the same month and year and for the exact same reason. Since that time, they've come a long way toward fixing that with very simple measures - they check your levels and if it's low, you take Progesterone supplements throughout the pregnancy.
We were both understandably upset and disappointed, though coming off of the year we'd just had, it almost seemed like just the last bad thing to happen to us in a long line of shitty things. I think we were more happy about the fact we finally knew we COULD get pregnant, since it hadn't happened at all up to that point (and I stopped taking birth control the month we got engaged, December 1998).
Obviously it never happened again. Not that we were actively trying during all of the subsequent years, but I did buy ovulation tests and thermometers and counted days on the calendar and had sex during the right times. On and off, trying to take everyone's advice with the "Just relax and it'll happen; so and so tried for X number of years and..." or "So and so tried for so long, finally adopted and then boom, pregnant!" or "Don't think/worry/stress about it; it'll happen!" You know how useful advice like that are when it DOESN'T happen year after year after year? About as useful as playing the lottery to secure retirement funds.
So. Fast-forward to last month. Brian was having lunch with his stepdad one day and they were just shooting the shit, not talking about anything in particular. Out of nowhere, George asked Brian what he was getting me for Christmas and Brian said, "I don't know; I think she mentioned something about wanting a new watch." Then George said, "What about if I help you all try to have a baby. I've done some research and I know In Vitro Fertilization usually costs around $10,000 and I could probably help out with the cost if you want."
Keep in mind this is the same man who once didn't buy eggs for Brian's mom when she needed them for cookies she was making for a family get-together because they were too expensive in his opinion. He uses his pocket knife to unwrap gifts to preserve the paper for later use. He reimbursed me a dollar the other day because I bought plastic cups at Dollar General for an open house he was having. He is Very Careful about where and how his money goes. I make fun of his cheapness, which is kind of dumb considering he has a very lucrative real estate career going on and I have to sometimes use a calculator to see if we can afford two different kinds of cereal some weeks. And while he's always been generous to us, you can imagine how completely dumbfounded we were.
Brian came home that day and told me the news the night I'd made my first lasagne (which up until that point I thought was going to be the big news of our day - "Look, Baby! My first lasagne!") and actually told me the news as I was taking my first bite. Needless to say, I did not eat lasagne that night. And damn it, I'd been craving that shit for over a week. I spent the evening online for hours researching local fertility places and the next day I'd made our first appointment. Not that George would say something like that then go back on it, but you know - why take a chance?
It's now been a little over a month of doctor's visits, bloodwork, consuming an ever-growing handful of pills and vitamins every day and living with the knowledge that after all this time, we finally (yet oh-so-very cautiously) have hope again. Based on how everything works (and you can believe me when I say I now know more about the reproductive process than I ever thought possible), it looks like the first attempt at insemination will happen sometime around the end of next month.
Well! I feel so much better now; how about you? No more evasive discussions about my thyroid issues or why I'm quitting smoking (down to six cigs a day and I don't want to hear from any Judgy Judgersons about why it's not zero yet - quitting smoking is HARD, dude) or why I'm talking so much about my health. This is obviously a highly personal topic, but you know what? So is marriage and family issues and a lot of other things I write about here. Like I said, I've found almost nothing but positive feedback from keeping this blog and right now I need all the good thoughts, positive energy, and prayers I can get. The most common theme you read about with infertility is staying calm and staying positive and while those two things have always been a significant challenge for me, it now needs to be a way of life.
So, I guess...wish me luck?