Welcome to my new blog at the Fertility Files! I was very honored that Parenting asked me to chronicle my experience(s) with trying to conceive baby no. 2, but if I’m being honest? I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) thought I’d become the poster child for infertility. Me? The girl who blinked and got pregnant three months after her wedding? Infertility has been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now, and something I’ve always been keenly aware of, but never a topic I thought I’d be writing about from a personal perspective.
But I’m a writer—and a blogger—and I feel absolutely no shame in what I’ve been going through these last 10 months. The only thing keeping me sane throughout all of this is knowing that there are so many other women out there like me (one in eight in this country)—women my age, or younger, seeking fertility help for one reason or another. Women who’ve suffered from this disease (yes, it is considered a disease) for much longer than I have—many of whom have been kind enough to share their stories with me.
I learned over the last year that what I’m going through has a name—because what would a condition be without one! Since I already conceived a child naturally, this is called “secondary infertility.” My condition is also referred to as “unexplained infertility”—that’s gotta be my favorite term. They might as well say, We haven’t figured out what’s wrong yet, so we’re calling it this. It’s a blessing and a curse—nothing is “wrong” so to speak, so there’s nothing to “fix,” allegedly. Unless you consider my age, which definitely is a factor in all of this—I’ll be 38 this April. As much as I’d like to fix that, I can’t.
Label it whatever you want: The fact remains. I’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year now, naturally and through the help of fertility treatments. There’s nothing easy about this process, so if my blog can help other women going through this then—hey—I’m all for putting my private life out there.
Over at the Parenting Post, where I blogged about being a working mom for the last two years, I merely touched on some of the things I’ve been through since we started seeing a fertility doctor back in May of 2011. Before that we’d been trying to get pregnant for about seven months on our own. Again, because of my age (I was 34 when I conceived Preston; we started trying again when I was 36), I didn’t want to wait any longer before seeking help—the whole under/over 35 thing was creeping into my psyche. But the truth is, had I known more, and had a crystal ball to tell me how incredibly difficult this process was going to be for me, I probably would’ve kept on trying the old fashioned way a little bit longer…
But it’s like I had this ticking clock in the back of my head, taunting me every month I wasn’t seeing those double pink lines. When you’re trying to get pregnant, seven months feels like a lifetime…and with the little knowledge I did have at the time, I had a feeling getting pregnant might not be as easy for us as it was the first time. I know a lot of women who’ve sought fertility help—more than I can count on two hands. Women who have found success with fertility treatments. So I figured if it worked for them, surely it could work for me.
I’ll let you know when that finally happens.
In the meantime, we’re going to rewind a little so I can tell you about the events that got me here. It’s been the hardest journey of my life, hands down. I’m not quite ready to say that this experience has made me a stronger person, because most days I feel pretty weak. I’m sick a lot. I’m in bed all the time nursing migraines, nausea, bloating, exhaustion, or all of the above. My two-year-old son often says, “Mommy, you go to bed. Daddy and I go bye-bye.” He’s so used to me being sick, it no longer really phases him—that’s the hardest part for me. (And the hardest part for my husband I’m sure.)
Plain and simple: It sucks not feeling well. Pumping yourself with hormones and all kinds of drugs every night to accomplish something that should come naturally to you feels like the least natural thing to be doing to my body. And yes, it sucks wanting something you can’t have, and feeling as though you’ve lost control of your own body.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to shed some light for other “infertiles” with this blog, but I should warn you—I’m not holding anything back. The good, the bad, and the ugly—you’ll find it all here. Hopefully with a little humor sprinkled in to lighten the mood.
This blog would be nothing without your comments and stories, so I hope you’ll join me in this conversation about infertility. Like I said, the only thing keeping me sane is hearing from women like you.