Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Article: Feelings of Infertility (©2003)

Feelings of Infertility 11/20/2003

        People don't understand the emotions that come into play when you are trying to conceive and/or suffering from infertility....

       When you first start trying it’s all great!! You feel excited and strong. You throw yourself into learning all the signs of fertility.. and you are alert to everything your body is doing. You feel attractive with all the attention you are getting from your spouse. You are optimistic, hopeful, joyful, enthusiastic about the process. Eager for that day to come when you turn that pregnancy test positive. The first few months you are determined and completely untroubled. You know that things probably wouldn't happen the first month, so if it doesn't happen, it’s just all part of the process. You are still capable of moving on and just brushing it off as part of the experience. You are sure to be sensitive to those around you who are going through it too, and become a source of support. You just try to stay relaxed, because you know it’s important. Not to mention you are sure it’ll happen for you soon, and are completely at ease with the process of conceiving. You are completely comfortable and content sitting back and letting nature take it’s course.

        Then on top of all those feelings, after a few unsuccessful months, the more negative feelings start creeping in. At first you are just a little moody, and tired of the same thing month after month. You start feeling a little discontented, and disconnecting from some of things you love. You start to become unsure it will really happen, and impatient for it to happen. Then you become puzzled, and annoyed. You are torn up with everything, wondering what is wrong with you. Then you look at your spouse and wonder what is wrong with HIM? Mostly you just blame yourself, and feel worthless, and helpless.

        You are becoming trapped in the world of infertility and you can’t get out until you hit rock bottom, which takes a lot longer time then anyone realizes. It took me 5 years to hit rock bottom!

        You are edgy and upset, confused, tense, worried, and generally unhappy. You are frustrated because it’s not happening, and frightened that it won’t. You are embarrassed as people ask you if you have been successful, and uncomfortable with answering. As much as you want to know why it’s not happening, what is wrong with you and/or your spouse, you are apprehensive to do so. You are frightened that your dream of a family will never come true, and anxious for it to happen already. You are so frustrated you’d love to just quit trying, but find yourself unable to. Even while telling your family, friends, and even yourself, that you are done… you are still sucked in, trying to make it happen. Then you become worn out and depressed. You feel useless.

        Then your friends become pregnant, and you can’t help but to be jealous of them, maybe even a little resentful and spiteful. You want to be happy for them, and truly are, but behind closed doors, it’s harder to focus on the positive feelings. You find yourself glaring and perfectly happy pregnant people you pass in stores, and are disturbed by the fact that you are. You feel awful, hopeless, and shamed. You feel lonely, like you are the only person who understands and no one else possibly can. You think your spouse blames you and you feel guilty for letting yourself get in so deep.

        At the bottom of the pit of infertility, there is nothing but anger, hurt, pain, loneliness and misery. Completely trapped and afraid, there is no way out. You are furious that you let yourself go down this deep, and terrified you’ll never get out. All because you wanted that one precious thing it seems everyone else can have, except you.

        I'll admit, I'm very lucky... starting out our family, I'm one of those rare people who got pregnant coming out of the starting gate!! The first month we haphazardly tried, we were pregnant. Unfortunately, the pregnancy started out with a miscarriage, and my joy quickly turned to grief! It hadn't even been a week that I had known I was pregnant... and then the spotting started, and then stopped... and then the massive cramping started where I could do nothing but curl into a ball and cry.... and then the bleeding, I've never bleed like that before in my life, and the clots and ... I knew.. I just knew my baby was gone. And it hurt so badly. Ever since I was little, the only thing I ever wanted to be, was a Mom.... We figured we'd try again right away... but the pregnancy symptoms never went away... it took me a month to go in and finally get tested, and to find out I was still pregnant. (It had been twins) We decided to try for more – right away. It was then, that our problems only begun. And the Infertility Monster sucked me in, and I let it. I spent 5 years of tests, different doctors all telling me the same thing, and doing nothing…. I kept trying, even when we weren't trying. I had several more miscarriages, and with each one a little piece of hope shattered like a glass of fine crystal. I was hurt, and everything I described above. I was lost, so ready for the journey to be over, and so ready to just say enough. But I couldn't, and I knew it – not matter what, I was sucked in. Then I met my current DR and as much as I was not in there for infertility treatments, that’s exactly what he provided me with. He told me I would have another baby, and prescribed me Clomid… and suddenly I had new hope. But after two unsuccessful cycles and the third taking it’s toll on me, I was just done. That was it, I hit my breaking point. No more. NO MORE!!!!!! We didn't even make love that month, really. Twice mid-cycle, and once on my birthday, then three times late in my cycle. I continued out the cycle, temping and charting, because I had already took the Clomid. But I knew – there was no way – and I was DONE. Then 11 days after my birthday, on July 6th, I went in for my routine blood test, ready to say I’m done, no more. I need a break. When the unexpected happened….. it came back positive. I started crying… spilling tears of frustration and happiness all mixed into one. Five years of pent up feelings rushed out of me ….. but with my history, I wasn't truly free until I heard that heartbeat, and knew – everything would be okay. I wasn't truly free until my second son was born, until I held him, his tiny little body, in my arms and heard him cry for the first time. I wasn't truly free until I brought him home …

        I hope that we will have another miracle, and I pray I do not enter into the Infertility Abyss again…