Friday, February 16, 2007

I am not one of you (or in other words: I'm an idiot)

When we first started IVF, I joined an online discussion board. The whole concept of all this fertility stuff was so new to me, I thought it was a good idea to connect with some peers who were going through IVF at the same time as me, so I could get some questions answered.

Most of the ladies on the board were IF vets - they had been through all kinds of procedures, surgeries, drugs, IUI, etc., before ending up with IVF. Some had been trying for 10 years.

But I hadn't been down that road. Because our initial diagnosis was just male factor. J's counts were so low that they told us that IUI wouldn't work. Don't pass go. Don't collect $200. Go straight to IVF. Ok. Great. This should be a piece of cake. Because I'm fertile. No problem. We'll get pg on the first try.

So I found myself in the midst of all these IF vets thinking: "well, I'm here because I'm doing IVF and so are you. But really I'm not one of you. I'm not infertile. There's nothing wrong with me." At first I felt a little distant from them, like I couldn't relate to them. Really I couldn't at that point, I had not been through all the years of physical and emotional pain that they had been through. I was naive.

But then, they started getting pregnant, one after another, after another. And I had one failed cycle. after another. after another.

Boy was I wrong. God what a fucking idiot I was. I really am one of them. After 6 IVF cycles. 49 eggs retrieved. 6 transfers. 13 embryos transferred.

And those ladies on that original discussion board have been my life line. They have stuck with me - every one of them. Even though some of them have babies that are almost a year old now. They have offered words of support and encouragement to me at every sad step of the way. They have been typing through their tears right along with me. And they were holding their breath along with me through every 2ww and beta. Especially this last one. They are better people than me.

God what a jerk I feel like, for thinking back then that I was better than them.

I wonder sometimes if that's part of the reason why we had to go through 6 IVF cycles to get here. Maybe that's the price I had to pay for my arrogance back then. I sometimes think that maybe I had a lesson to learn.

I learned it.



Bea said...

Good and proper. I'm so glad the teaching didn't take any longer than it did. I wish it could have taken less time.


Nickie said...

Since this pregnancy was au naturale with no meds and no procedures I sometimes feel like I don't quite belong with the IVF successes on the BBS. I sort of know how you feel about not really being one of them. But we are. Just glad we're both on the pg side of it now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you weren't an idiot, just lacking the information to know you were also infertile.

It just took you a little longer in the denial phase.

Clearly, anyone who can make such an impressive cycling spreadsheet (that I will use for this cycle) couldn't be an idiot! :)

serenity said...

No no no. I don't think that you thought you were better than them. I think you were in denial, hon. I felt the same way when I first joined my infertility board. I didn't want to use the term "infertile." I preferred to say "we are having trouble."

It takes time to process - and accept- infertility. That diagnosis (the first - MFI) hit me HARD. Because I didn't want to be infertile - not because I though I was better than them.

For you, I don't believe for one minute it was generated from ego. I just think you hadn't accepted that you were infertile.

And, like Bea, I am just sorry you had to go through so much to come to acceptance.


Marie-Baguette said...

don't worry, I think all of us started like you. It was easy for me to accept I might need some clomid, but the diagnosis of PCOS came as a huge chock. And I did not want Hubby tested, because I felt I was the "guilty party". Turns out he had a natural vasectomy due to atypical cystic fibrosis. It takes a long time to process things like this. It is easier to be in denial. When we started TTC, I told Hubby I would not get IVF, and look where I am now! When something crappy happens in one life, we try to find an explanation. We were raised to believe that good things happen to good people, so our suffering from infertility must be because we are bad persons. Truth is, awful things happen to very decent people for no reason at all. Keep us updated about your pregnancy and good luck with everything. PS: seeing a therapist helped me tremendously to accept our reality.

Anonymous said...


The Town Criers said...

Sweetie--I don't think we're ever punished for not knowing. You simply didn't know when you started where the road would take you. And now you have the power to go backwards and help another chickie out of the trenches--not in the medical sense, but in the emotional sense.