Monday, February 8, 2010

GMA recapped

You know you're infertile when...

A nationally televised program shows up at your house to tape and in the course of the process you find out your RE will be showing up to be interviewed as well. You discover you're more excited to see your RE than be taped for Good Morning America. Anyhow, I digress...

(Mr. S, me, and G with our amazing RE, Dr. H!)

(pardon me for the way I'm allowing my poor sleeping child's head to flop back!)

The day started promptly at 10 AM and to be quite honest, I walked into it without any preconceptions and partly wondering if it was a practical joke. So imagine my surprise when my entire house was suddenly filled with camera equipment. It certainly made the experience more real for me.

We began filming almost immediately upon the camera crew's arrival and started out with shots of Mr. S and I walking G around the marina near our house in his stroller. While it had been pouring non-stop rain for days on end and was slated to continue, the day of the shooting was not only dry, but the sun was out, boasting an almost cloudless sunny sky. We couldn't believe our luck.

Because of course so many of the shots are staged in TV land (giving me a very different perspective on reality TV), there were certainly times when I felt silly in front of the camera, but all in all, it was a fun, albeit long experience (especially considering that the 8 hours of filming will produce a segment approximately 3 1/2 minutes in length). They got shots of us sitting on a bench near our house, changing G, feeding G, putting him down for a nap, getting ready, blogging, and a final shot of us solemnly walking hand-in-hand without G, and then finally being joined by G, meant to be symbolic of our journey. Although contrived, it still jarred something in me. In fact, I was surprised that after all this time, after this many years of facing IF and processing it ad nauseum with so many people, that I still get choked up when discussing everything that's come to pass, especially when it involves our little miracle.

Then our interview came and although the actual correspondent is not present (their questions are read but then they fill in the other part in NY), I was surprised to find myself nervous and even tongue tied at times. As I sit here recalling some of my answers, I'm praying for the miracle of good editing.

During the interview, I was asked to describe the emotions that accompany riding the road of infertility and as I began, I realized the task at hand was completely out of my reach. In fact, it is so far out of the realm of language, that, as I've said before, it felt as if I was both over-dramatizing and under-dramatizing it. But I did give a one word description: HELL. Ok, not the most eloquent response, I'll admit, but I personally think it's pretty accurate. I think it took those in the room who were unfamiliar with infertility aback as it was so dramatic, especially since I sort of blurted it out without much thought, but I meant it. I went on trying to describe the last 5 or so years and felt as if I was doing a huge disservice to the depth and pain of the experience, so forgive me if they show that part and I haven't really been the best IF spokesperson. I tried!

Overall, the show focused primarily on male factor infertility and a few days before, the producer had asked me what my diagnosis was. To be quite honest, I didn't know and while my medical records had always described only male factor, I kind of assumed that I contributed to the equation. I'm embarrassed to say that after this many years I finally asked my doctor my diagnosis for the first time and was surprised to learn that I didn't have one. We are only male factor. Does this make me fertile? Hell to the no. As I've said before, WE are infertile. Once you have a life partner, you are only as fertile as they are.

Another question that was asked that left me dumbfounded was somewhere along the lines of whether we would do it all over again in the same manner (especially given that we took the least invasive routes to the very end). The final answer was, 'yes' and then my RE, who was standing off on the sidelines, added a beautiful point. Had we gotten pregnant 5 years ago, it would not have been G. So, yes, I don't believe I would have done anything differently. This was the road I took to the little boy I was meant to have all along and this is what I think of for all IFers struggling through their journey and what got me through ours.

Instead of documenting everything that was discussed during the course of the 2 hour long interview taping, I think I'll instead respond to the comments that actually make it into the final cut, especially if they come across the wrong way and I have some explaining to do! (you never know until the final edit!) I do want to add that my RE was amazing and eloquent and somehow was able to encapsulate IVF and ICSI in layman's terms, so that no one will be left confused, fertile and infertile alike.

And to leave you, here's a picture that comes full circle. In it, I was at the Good Morning America studios in NYC as an audience member (2006) pumped full of Clomid and just one week shy from our first IUI:

**Our segment actually airs on the weekend edition this Saturday, February 13th. Check your local listings for times (it's usually REALLY early, as in butt crack of dawn early)**


pregnant in Manhattan said...

Wow sounds like quite an experience.

I think "hell" summarizes my experience with IF perfectly so I would say you gave an excellent response. I'd probably also add all consuming and lonely, since it takes over your life 110%.

Also really appreciate your saying once you're a couple, IF is a "we" issue. My husband said that to me early on and that alleviated so much of the guilt I felt about being the one causing us to be childless.

Look fwd to seeing the clip on tv- hopefully they'll send you a youtube link or something? Not an early bird ;)

The Swann's said...

Must google what time! Wishing we had a TiVO right about now... Darn it! I say it sounds like things went well and you described just right what IF has been like for us, and still is! So proud of you and Mr. S for being a face for us IFers and opening up to the world! Awesome!!!

Lorraine said...

My word verification is "restim" - seems a bit too apt...

I am crossing my fingers for good editing! Will set my dvr for whatever butt-crack time it's showing!

Michelle said...

That sounds so cool and I am so excited for you! I can not wait to see it! I just set my DVR.

Sarang said...

Love that you and Mr. S are IF Spokespersons for all of us! They couldn't have picked a better couple. :)

And I think the word "Hell" sums it up nicely. Very nicely.

($#!%, I realized I typed Mr. S's real name so went back and wrote Mr. S ... I'm wondering if you used your real first/last names on the show, just curious.)

Can't wait to watch! We've got it set to tape!

heartincharge said...

I'm setting my DVR for the butt crack!

Anonymous said...

That is such a wonderful experience, and thank you for pointing out that you are infertile as a couple.

Even though I DO have some issues, and my DH has MFI- I feel if I was "fine", I would still consider "US" to be infertile. My husband carries so much guilt and shame over the finanical burden of TESE, ICSI, storage that when I told him that it was OUR infertility he almost cried with thankfulness. Sometimes it is forgotten how hard this is on our guys. They are just as heartbroken as us.
You look beautiful- and G is getting SO BIG!!!!

PS- My word verification is 'comakin' LOL!!!

Shelby said...

Sarang, they do use our real names. I figure if our medical information is a free-for-all, might as well. If our names slip here and there on this site, I figure it's no biggy.

Thanks all! I'm chewing my nails to the quick hoping the editing is forgiving. They rolled footage the entire two hours, which allows for a lot of space for some silly things to be said, especially after an already long day of filming.

banditgirl said...

Wow! You guys look so good on camera, so pretty and so glowing! I almost wanted more pictures...we don't have a tv, but hopefully Sarang can let me watch it later or maybe I can find it on their website? Also, hallelujah for saying hell! Because it is!

Another Dreamer said...

What an experience! I will be checking out the air times :)

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Can't wait to see it!

Lorin said...

Once you have a life partner, you are only as fertile as they are.

I love that line. I should get it tattooed on my forehead.

Anonymous said...

So cool. Also your little G is adorable.

Melissa G said...

I've always been more of a lurker here, and with Mr.S's site. But I just wanted to say how excited I am to have people who've REALLY been through it represent the IFer's.

I saw Sarang this weekend and she told me about GMA. I have TWO Tivo's set. =)

Best wishes.

Michelle said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your interview. As a couple with MFI and female as well, I'm curious to see how TV portrays it.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Calliope said...

How exciting!!! Just read about this via LFCA and am totally geeked out and looking forward to watching. GO YOU for being a face for so many. awesome!