I have started and re-started this post about a dozen times, each time in hopes the next attempt will sound less negative than the one before it. I'm sorry, but I will fail again. I find that I go through periods of time when I am standing solid, feeling supported and ready to take on the IF beast and I can safely say that this is not one of those times. I'm tired. Disappointed. At times, hopeless, and my head is cloudy. For Murgdan's F*%&^%n Fertile Friday, she posted about a colleague's claims of pregnancy brain and decided that she would lay claim to this as well, even though she herself is not pregnant. Brilliant. I read this and thought, "that's it! that's what I have! infertility brain!" It is a very real thing people. Believe me, I know. The fact that I somehow messed up pancakes this morning when the only ingredient needed was water should serve as solid and disturbing proof. Mr. S. spent half the morning laughing at my sad culinary fumblings.
Speaking of Mr. S., I realized that I have yet to comment on his post. First, one thing that you might not know is that he edited that...a lot, and I mean edited in the sense that what you see is PG 13, but he was definitely rocking the R rating at one point in time. Offending people is something we both do well at times, but I must say I'm rather proud of his solid self restraint. He toned the color commentary WAY down, especially when he gave me more specifics on the porn. Second, this post still makes me laugh. Mr. S. is just as funny in person, if not more so. But unfortunately, everything he wrote was not an embellishment for comedic purposes. I've been in that clinic (luckily our HMO switched their contract to a more reputable place) and it smelled just as foul and the receptionist was just as brusque as his post illustrated. In fact, I remember walking in to collect the sample for IUI #2, being slapped in the face with the odor and then barked at by the Russian secretary to present my driver's license. At a time when I was at my most vulnerable, I felt unwelcome, almost shamed, and shivered to think what it would be like if I were asked to 'perform' in such a place. Luckily, after slipping the sample in my bra, I wasn't made to go out the back door (which became the policy after the clinic was sued by someone who ran into an ex in the waiting room...so lame).
I am of the belief that not only is stress relevant for a woman's reproductive response, but a man's as well, so after being in that environment, I was sure our sample numbers and motility were even crappier. Boy was I right. Funny thing is, his numbers and motility have gone up since our HMO switched to another clinic, but he's also now taking supplements. Perhaps a bit of both? Anyhow, I am looking to commission Mr. S. once again for the male perspective, but he's at a loss for what to write. I'm sure it'll come to him...someday.
In the mean time, I am looking to find any way to survive the holidays without turning into a deranged and infertile Scrooge. I went as far as *forcing* myself to buy a tree, hanging Christmas lights and purchasing Christmas music on iTunes. It also helped that the support group I met with last week assured me that it was perfectly OK to skip a family get-together on Christmas in which Mr. S's cousin's newborn would be involved. I was all ready to skip Christmas with the family altogether, bite the bullet and go off with Mr. S. out of town for those days, until he told me that his Mom (best MIL in the world, seriously) let us know that she would arrange the family get-together with the new parents and baby on another day, a day we 'unfortunately' could not attend. And thus, my Christmas was saved.
And yet still, all I can focus on is January 6th. As I was hanging ornaments, I was thinking to myself that this shouldn't be so physically easy, hopping up and down chairs, inching between the tree and the wall. I should have had a round belly that made reaching and scooting and hopping difficult and I would have been so grateful for that discomfort. I should have been able to buy that 'my first teddy bear' I saw at the store the other day and I should be thinking about nursery placement rather than IVF funding. But then, this should be the case for us all. We should all be dealing with morning sickness or poopie diapers rather than follicle sizes and daily injections. I feel supremely disenfranchised, shafted by the universe. Ok, let's call it. I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for all of us. And while I spend my energy trying to count my blessings, trying to be positive, the universe (also known as Tara) gifts me a surprise, reminding me that I shouldn't throw in the symbolic towel after all.**
**just in case you're wondering, Tara has very generously offered some leftover Menopur that will save me HUNDREDS. Super duper awesome.