Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reality Sets In

This was not how getting pregnant was supposed to be. You get married to the person you love, you buy a house (or move into the one he so wisely purchased before you got married), you get a dog as a “trial” to make sure that you are both patient enough to have kids (or deal with the one he already had for several years before you – which requires even more patience), you make sure you’ve traveled enough, slept in enough, had enough couple time, and then you have that magical baby-making sex and you get pregnant. Sure, maybe you have to try for a couple of months, do a little charting and what not, but within 6 months, you figure you’re going to be glowing, pregnant and over the moon. That’s exactly how I thought it would work. I’m young, I’m healthy and I’m ready to have a baby…why shouldn’t I be able to get pregnant? Unfortunately, life is unfair sometimes with no rhyme or reason, especially not when it comes to infertility.

Our baby-making efforts are obviously much different than I expected or imagined. Instead, we have been trying for well over a year to get pregnant, are on month 2 of 6 on Clomid and experiencing what I call “living in limbo.” The magical baby-making sex is now very planned, right down to the position (trust me, none of the fun ones) and involves my butt being propped up on an ungodly amount of pillows for optimum swimage. As if the butt-in-the-air isn’t humiliating enough, our world also now revolves around my monthly cycle. In fact, I have never been so aware of my cycle as I have become over the past two months. And with the general awareness also comes the endless charting… Charting of the length, flow and discomfort level with the period, length and discomfort of the ovulation cycle, amount and timing of sex… One of my personal favorites is that the ovulation and pregnancy tests need to be taken first thing in the morning when all you really want to do is get in the damn shower. Instead, I find myself peeing on at least 7-8 varying sticks throughout the course of my cycle, waiting the requisite 3-5 minutes until my digital ovulation/pregnancy tests give me the fool-proof evidence that I am/am not ovulating or am/am not pregnant. Then there comes the recording of these digital test findings which have on more than one occasion caused me to run from the bathroom to the kitchen naked to look for a pen. How do the pens disappear even from the bathroom? There is humor to be found in these situations, although it is harder to find some days than others. I often smile at the sight of my husband coming into the bathroom, still groggy from sleep, and the first thing out of his mouth is “Did you get a smiley face today?” (the smiley face is the read-out from the digital ovulation kit when you are in fact ovulating…Yes, that’s right, back to grade school, where your body is given a smiley face if it is cooperating). I don’t think I ever imagined my husband, a man’s man – loves the outdoors, fishing, hunting and sports, becoming so engrossed in my cycle - and that makes me smile. At least it does on the days that I am not in an angry Clomid rage. On the “Angry Anna” days, nothing about this process makes me smile. In fact, those around me should feel lucky if I have not snapped, yelled or hit them on the Angry Anna days. So far no one has been mortally injured, but I can’t make any promises. It’s only month 2.

Blogging feels like the modern, much more public version of a diary. I have never had my own blog before, but other blogs regarding infertility have inspired me and confirmed that just because I have Clomid-induced Angry Anna days, or days where the thought of not being able to get pregnant is so sad and overwhelming, that I am not alone in this struggle. I hope that this blog will help me (& others) to more easily find the daily humor in trying to get pregnant.


Heather said...

i am pulling for you - as the excited future aunt of this future wonder-baby. Come over when you are 'Angry Anna' and scare your nephews and niece a bit - it'll be fun!

Sharon said...

Sweet Anna, what a wonderful essay on your fertility ride so far. I know it's been difficult and painful. I haven't experienced what you are going through, but I know you! I have not seen the Angry Anna, but I am on her side. If she is angry, she's got a damn good reason to be. Things are uncomfortable and unromantic and just not what you expected to happen. I could give you all those cliches about things working out as they're supposed to blah blah blah. But when you are in the middle of somthing like this, cliches don't work. I like song lyrics instead. They work for me.

'Just remember I love you, and it will be alright'

"CLoudy, my thoughts are gray and white and cloudy."

"The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine."

and sometimes, it' just remembering to breathe.

I love this song "Breathe" by
'Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.

I love you. Sharon

Jan said...

Beautiful, my daughter! I am so proud of you! You face this life with such grace and finesse. I love the way you rejoice with your friends who are having babies. You truly share their joy when you could be choosing to fret. This takes a very generous, big-hearted person. I also love the way you can so eloquently articulate the journey you are on. I love you.

Allison said...

Anna, first of all, you are a great writer! I think the blog suits you. I am so sorry you are going through such hard times. I wish there was some magical thing I could say to make you feel better about things, but just know that I love you and I'm always here for you, angry or not :) You are an amazing person and it sounds like you are dealing with this far better than a lot of people.

mjcarlson1 said...

Anna, you are amazing to say the least. You have me in tears and laughing at the same time...maybe you should switch careers... I think I see a novel in your future. Mike and I feel so very blessed to have you in our lives. Your future "wonder baby" will truly be chosen to be given you and Brandon as parents. We love you and you are in our thoughts and prayers.