Thursday, October 20, 2005

The IF monster

Fortunately for most people, they don't know that IF stands for infertility. It is a savage beast, impossible to be soothed! Even when a couple who has been infertile gets pregnant, the grief and pain of infertility still lingers.

"Infertility" is diagnosed when a couple has been regularly romantic (or "friendly" as my Nurse Practitioner used to say) for a year without birth control, or are unable to carry a pregnancy to term. This is different from "sterility" which means that either the wife or the husband has a physical condition that would make pregnancy impossible (e.g., a hysterectomy).

For some reason, when I was younger and before I was married, I always had this impression that I would not be able to have children. I imagined the doctor saying to me, "I'm sorry. I'm afraid you will never be able to have children." I imagined how devastated I would be, and that I would somehow get through it and adopt a child. I never imagined that the real story would be month after month, year after year of disappointment; one miscarriage, tests, surgeries, shots, pills, hormones, hopes, no hopes, and no baby.

It's weird, when I go through something and come out on the other side, how it seems unreal that it really happened to me. After two and a half years of infertility I am beginning to feel like myself again. I remember what it is like to be excited about the possibility of having a baby in the house. After so many months of disappointment I no longer had much hope that all our efforts would result in a pregnancy. My reality became counting cycle days, drugs, shots, a doctor's office, two weeks waiting and the dreaded words from the nurse, "It's negative." If you know me, please never say those words to me for any reason!

Here is an excerpt from a recent post I made on my favorite website -

"For me, IUIs have become an addictive behavior! It's like gambling - you never know when your payoff will be, but you know you have some chance, however slim, of winning the lottery. So saying "no more" and then "what if?" keeps me in the cycle. SAY NO TO CRACK! I have also used the comparison about IUIs like being in a bad relationship - you always think it could possibly get better and it's really hard to let go. Then once you do it hurts like crazy but there are moments of such clarity and joy in which you can finally look forward to the future."

Praise God those moments are coming more and more frequently.

I need to redefine "fertile." Every week I bring the gift of music to people with special needs. I teach singing, piano, and guitar. My students continue to make music after I leave them (like Mary Poppins). I am a child of God, the Creator of heaven and earth. I make people laugh, I give hugs to little children. I can take yarn and turn it into soft baby blankets, and I will give life to a child even if I don't give it birth. I will give hope and comfort to our child's birthparents and family by providing a loving home for their loved one.

(I wasn't feeling so nurturing earlier when those middle school boys were snickering at the word "but" in a song we were singing.)

1 comment:

Rachel C. said...

Amy - I know just what you mean about it not feeling real. It's been like a nightmare for me. When will I wake up?