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Super-Secret Post
Originally written at the (actual) end of month 21

I need to tell you right now that this post does not have a happy ending. At least you have the benefit of knowing up front instead of being strung along for days like those of us in the inner circle were. It does not end well.


The First IUI

Super-Secret Post
Originally written throughout month 21


Gradually Approaching a Plan

Super-Secret Post
Originally written throughout month 20


More “Perks”

Super-Secret Post
Originally written at the beginning of month 20

I was brushing my hair on day 2 and one white hair was sticking out. And I kind of lost it.

For a while, I was not pulling white hairs since I thought I’d be a mom soon and wanted to look older than I do. Then, I compromised to only pulling them if they were looking super obnoxious sticking straight out. They could survive by keeping their head down.

Now they’re all targeted. “Looking younger than I deserve” is getting added to the “perks of not getting pregnant yet” column along with “training to climb The Lions at the end of the summer” and “took weekend trips to Whistler twice in 2013.”

Cue me learning exactly how grey I was going… seeking out and destroying individual hairs took longer than expected.

The Diagnosis

Super-Secret Post
Originally written at the beginning of month 19

This cycle, we got an anvil.

At this stage, we are becoming more reserved with the detail we share. You’ll hear some of the consequences of the diagnosis, but if we omit details, it’s probably on purpose.

We have a non-treatable condition that reduces our chances of conceiving a child naturally to “it could happen, maybe, with enough time.” This condition often responds to the more-routine interventions offered by fertility specialists. While it’s true that sometimes this condition sorts itself out, no specialist expects us to wait on the very slim chance offered by nature; we are completely expected to avail ourselves of assistance. There’s nothing we could have done differently for the past 19 months, either.

We have some final tests to wrap up before the doctor will advise specifically which options are good bets for us; for all we know there could be more problems compounding the issue so we’re not ready to go ahead with anything yet.

Making Sense

Super-Secret Post
Originally written during month 18

People accustomed to my coping will know it’s rude to tell me there’s a reason for our struggle.

Obviously I’d prefer to believe there isn’t a reason I’m meant to not have kids. But if there’s no reason for this, is there a reason for anything? It feels like there’s a dichotomy — either there’s no reason for anything (and that sucks in its own way) or there’s a reason that I don’t deserve what I want.

It made me start to wonder why I never learned the lesson that “life’s not fair.” When we teach kids that life isn’t fair, the goal should be that some things are out of our control. Instead, I think that kids get confused by the context in which they’re told “life’s not fair.”

Sometimes, children get treated unfairly by others. Adults figure that, since there are things in life that are unfair, children can just start learning that now — since life is never 100% fair, why bother with making everything under our control fair?

However, I think that this clouds the issue; the kid learns that life isn’t fair because the rules aren’t being followed or enforced. If anything, I think we should make the parts of life that are under our control as fair as possible so that we can distinguish between those things and the things outside of our control.

Maybe that’s why I feel like I can just work harder or appeal to someone to have this made right.

Support Group, Support Group, Support Group!

Retyping thoughts when it’s time to post them as “Super-Secret Posts” makes me realize how important support group has been. It fixed the being-alone part and that cushions everything. It also helps me count the things I’m lucky for… at least I can take appointments (or run in for procedures) any time since I study from home.

Then again, the women with careers have something else to give them meaning for now. Being a mother was supposed to be my career… I’m sort of filling time right now (at least I found school which is a fantastic way to fill it, but school doesn’t move me closer to being a mother).

A Very Specialist Appointment

Note: Since these posts were written so far in the past (generally at least 3 calendar months), my mental state is usually very different by the time you read them. So don’t worry too much about my bad moods. I have a few people in an inner circle who get everything in real-time and are being super-awesome at keeping me sane (props to you!).

Super-Secret Post
Originally written late in month 17

We’re headed to the specialist tomorrow for our first meeting (the testing I already wrote  about was requisitioned and done ahead of time at other labs).

The relief of finally having my questions answered is currently lost in a sea of anger and sadness. (more…)

Infertility Etiquette

A tangential point to common conversation topics that come up: here’s an interesting link  about infertility etiquette. While these won’t be issues for everyone, they are some common pitfalls to avoid to stay on the safe side. I can tell you that some of these are most definitely buttons for me.

Also, here’s a way to frame support and kvetching: comfort in, dump out. I can’t hold myself together while at the same time supporting your problems that are directly caused by our infertility. If we put off moving again, cancel lunch dates because of appointments, or drop off the face of the Internet because we’re depressed, you’ll have to look outward in the circles to find someone to help you through our flakiness.



Two Years or Not Two Years; and, Stress Revisited

One recurring question we’ve been asked is: why seek help at one year?

Other parts of the world use two years as a benchmark. In Britain, I wonder if the 2 year wait is influenced by the fact that the NHS can cover fertility treatment (behind a massive wait list*). (Treatment is alternatively offered privately.*) (*Source: British expat in my support group.)

But the way I’ve always thought of it is: why would I wait to get checked out? We haven’t stopped trying in the mean time. Is there something else to gain from waiting I haven’t considered? Urgency easily outranks financial considerations in our priorities.

After I quit my job and we both started working from home (not to mention the vacation we took then as well), we ruled out the stress** and lack of dedication factors. Why wouldn’t I want to rule out a medical reason while we continued to try?  If something is wrong, we’ll get treated or know that we have to look in to adoption. If nothing is wrong, we’ll know that too and decide where to go from there. (more…)