Saturday, November 10, 2007
How about a discount?
While sitting in our clinic's office, we came upon a flier for Infertility Counseling. Which, is actually great because counselors and therapists that specialize in infertility are rather rare, and it is something that not many people understand. Like, oh, my grief counselor I saw after our miscarriage. I remember saying, "Well, we've been in treatment for a year" and her immediately saying (this from a woman that did a whole lotta nodding and nothing else, so for her to suddenly pipe up at this moment, with something totally inappropriate, let's just say...pissed me off) "I've heard that's quite normal. That it takes a couple up to a year to conceive." Yes, lady, that can be quite normal. But we've been in treatment for a year, trying for much longer than that. Which I made clear. Then I cried about something else and all my toughness was shot to shit.
Anyhow, hubby and I looked at this pamphlet and the list of things someone dealing with infertility might experience. Shock of all shocks, it was as if it was describing me personally. Hubby even asked "Huh. If you have all of them, do you think you get a discount?" I wish it worked that way. Then it would be free!
But even looking at the "symptoms" now, I still wonder how valid it is. I mean, there are some damn good reasons we feel these things. Like...
Jealousy of people who are pregnant or have children Ok, people, let's be honest. How is that weird or uncommon, or even unexpected? How often do we see people buy things just because someone else has them? Even cars (typically big SUV's, I'm just sayin'...), houses, definitely clothes...we're a society full of gloriously green monsters. So how would infertility be any different? When you're the childless couple at an age when everyone else has children, you're excluded. No one wants the weird childless couple that can sit and drink while everyone else takes (god, hopefully) care of their own kids. Sure, the pregnancy thing is an example of the bitterness the infertiles tend to go through. Until our miscarriage, I didn't have that jealousy towards pregnant women. Thankfully, my instinct to hiss like a cobra as one passes seems to have subsided, and I'm working on my instinct to slap a woman's hand from resting on her pregnant belly. Give me time, people.
Guilt at time and anger at other times Well, how is this different than life in general? I feel guilty that my body is why my hubby and I are spending a small fortune on a chance to have a baby. I also feel guilty when I take that parking spot that I knew someone else was trying to take, but damn, it's raining and I don't want to walk further in the rain! Sure, I'm pissed that we can have what everyone else has or jeez, that no one else we know has to pay to try and have a baby...but I'm also angry in general and that was far, far before I even met hubby, let alone jumped into fertility treatments.
Feelings of intense preoccupation with infertility - Um, yeah. Let's think about this. Let's look at an infertilies calendar. Even without doing IVF, you're spending so much time at the doctor's getting ultrasounds (yay! good follicles! or boo! sorry, not responding, see you next cycle), or blood work (Hi, I'm George, and I'm an intern. Can I take your blood today?), or even taking your temperature every morning, or peeing on an ovulation predictor test, or once you get past that point, analyzing every.single.damn.symptom in hopes that it's not PMS and it is indeed pregnancy symptoms. Or when you do IVF and you're shooting yourself up every morning and every evening, and you can't go to social function that go past 8 o'clock because you have to do your injection...how in the fuck does any sane person not have an intense preoccuptation with it?? It would be insane to not be preoccupied by it.
Difficulty Concentrating and Completing Tasks - I attribute most of this to the drugs. The fertility drugs, that is. Sure, the pot in college might be a contributing factor, but I....wait, where was I?
Feelings of resentment towards family because they don't "get it" - In all seriousness, I've struggled with this. Most infertiles have. No one gets it. Nor can we expect them to. We can just hope we have people that support us during this really difficult time.
Feelings out of control. Frustrated at the unanswered questions. Duh. Infertilty/fertility is hardly a perfect science. There is only so much they know, and so much more that really is left to chance. That's frustrating.
Anxiousness and fear of becoming pregnant, especially after a loss. Oh, yes. Oh so very anxious. I mean, who wouldn't be? Losing a baby after trying for so long, taking so many drugs, getting almost through the 1st (and oh so scary) 1st trimester is going to screw up even the most rational and solid person you know. I know, because it happened to me. (Yes, I once was very rational and put together.)
Mood shifts over the slightest things - yes, this is quite possible as well. Infertiles are often on many different drugs that will possibly induce PMS like symptoms with no warning. Hey, YOU take drugs that give you hot flashes during a meeting or night sweats all night or moods that change on a dime and tell me how you feel.
Crying at unexpected times - Again, drugs. Again, depression. Again, anxiety. Again, [sobbing]....
We go through a lot and counseling can help if you find someone that specializes in infertility. But, damn - there really are a lot of reasons why we feel this way. And they really are justified.