posted by Mel
This is a little late. Stirrup Queens called on all of us infertiles to post about our experience with infertility on November 8th for National Infertility Awareness Week to give a human face to the 12 1/2 % of the population who struggle with this. I’m having a hard time with that. It’s not something I feel like an activist about right now—maybe if/when I get pregnant I’ll feel differently. Right now it’s something I’m ashamed of, ashamed of being ashamed of, frustrated by, afraid of for everyone I love. It’s something that makes me tired. It’s something I don’t want anyone else to have to experience, but I’m not sure it’s not a story I can spend any more energy in telling right now. If you want to know where we’ve been and what we’ve done about it, read the archives.
I’m struggling to hope that I can be a mother one day—to someone I can really claim as my child. What we do for Eric is something akin to mothering, but I know that where he is and what he needs right now is fleeting. Soon he’ll be a really incredible adult who I know will enrich our lives as we raise our own children. He will be the coolest uncle ever if we can give him a niece or nephew. Who wouldn’t want a kind, grungy, skateboarding artist for an uncle?
I’m trying to believe that we can fit an IVF into Vanessa’s already crowded crazy stressful work schedule. I feel guilty for putting her through a mood and body altering drug regimen and an uncomfortable invasive procedure because my eggs won’t do the job. I cannot apologize to her enough for this, and I think that probably makes her a little crazy. She brought up taking a work trip the month we’re planning to retrieve, and I hate that I can’t see a way to make it happen. I hate that my body’s failure has created so much inconvenience and expense.
Please do not tell me I shouldn’t feel this way and that it’s not my fault. I know I shouldn’t feel this way. I’m ashamed of feeling this way, and yet I cannot stop feeling it. I know it’s probably not my fault, but I can’t help questioning everything I’ve done that might have made my body turn against me—was it all the weight I gained in college? Was it drinking out of plastic cups and bottles? Eating genetically-modified produce or meat? Did I handle dangerous cleaning solutions without appropriate protection? As yet, doctors offer no answers.
It’s not the needles, the discomfort, the loss of modesty, the endless scheduling of appointments that make infertility suck so hard. It’s the shame and self-doubt. It’s ugly, and it changes you forever, and I am still looking for the silver lining.