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)**