Infertility Strikes Back!
Let me start by saying, I am very grateful for the chance and honored to be a mother of one, active, handsome two-year-old. I even get the chance to leave my profession, as a teacher, for a bit, to enjoy him before he’s in nursery school next school year (I live my life according to school calendars). Another reason to leave was to relax, hopefully improving my chances of conceiving again (Husband, are you coming home at lunch? *wink wink*). But getting pregnant is not our forte, so I will process infertility through the lens of Star Wars quotes, of course.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Well, my spouse and I have been having unsafe sex for quite a while now. I haven’t popped pills, or worn a patch, for about 5 years. Using a fertility app and going with the flow (checking cervical mucus) is about as crazy I get these days.
We have had specialist help, when we were in our second year of trying, before Kiddo. They had me take Clomid and we went through the IUI process (think turkey baster method, but a little more sterile and scientific), but I did not have success until I stopped those treatments, to concentrate on moving to England.
That summer, I was also taking Metformin, lost some weight, and sold 75% of our household belongings. All sort of cathartic and exciting at the same time. Kiddo was conceived that June or July.
This time around, I have been having regular periods since September 2013 (Or HAD been, ugh. More below.). While that doesn’t sound exciting to you, you haven’t been irregular most of your adult life (and if your male, I’m all about TMI, but I am glad you are reading. Tell your other man friends about Postmodern Mummy me!).
Regular periods! Me? We’ve hit the jackpot of fertility! Get on the ball (Junior High humor) Mummy and Daddy! Living with your Mum-in-law is no excuse! Get on the job, Man! All systems go!
“Hello, what have we here?”
Since we moved to England, touching down July 1st, 2014, my period has been MIA. I feel like the little bird in “Are You My Mother?” but instead of a little bird asking construction vehicles if they are related, it’s me, on the toilet, looking down into my underwear and wondering, “Are you my Period?”
“There is a great disturbance in the Force.”
So, no period and by now I think I’ve taken around 5 home pregnancy tests. The last one I even refused to pee during the night, just so I could get the most concentrated pee ever. My eggo is not preggo. And so it goes… If I don’t have a period by next month, I probably take a few more.
I have gone through this before and joked with friends that I should get pregnancy tests in bulk. You know, like from Costco. Irregular periods are no fun when you hope to get pregnant, but that’s PCOS for you! After having specialists prod around, via ultrasound wand, looking at my follicles, I also know that I don’t produce an egg with each period (even with Clomid!). So it’s like a double negative with random cycles (Am I pregnant? Oh nope, there’s my period, finally.) and a chance that there is no chance (No egg even if I have a cycle). It’s like I have natural birth control! So. Cool. Lucky me.
Conrad was a true miracle in my mind and I was stoked that when my periods returned, they came EVERY month. I did NOT want to go irregular again.
“Luke! Luke, don’t — it’s a trap! It’s a trap!”
There’s a term called secondary infertility and I guess that’s what I am realizing is happening here, but I refuse to get as low as I did before Kiddo came along. Some people cannot understand how a person, especially if you have a vagina, could not be overjoyed at the news of a new pregnancy or baby. Well, that’s exactly where I was three years ago. It was especially bad when going through rounds of Intrauterine Inseminations, where I was super sensitive to every aspect of my own ovulation cycles (or non-ovulation cycles). Those treatments had me leaving work at random times of the day, use sick days, and doing all over town for $90 shots that the specialists would give me in the behind to make my ovaries release an egg or eggs. One time I drove through a heavy rain storm with my husband’s specimen under my shirt. And then there’s the waiting and hoping.
Each time I got my period. A sign of personal failure, usually followed by self-hate and sadness.
I grew anti-social when it came to baby showers and skipped out on a few. At work, there was a Special Ed meeting scheduled the same time as a work baby shower (more than one good friend who was expecting) and I was very relieved to have an out. That was saying a lot because, if I remember right, it was in Oakland and I’m a little scared of Oakland.
At another end-of-the-week staff meeting, our super talented and wonderful principal (no seriously, I had the best principal and VP my first 3 years of teaching) was talking through school updates with us, via PowerPoint. All was very routine and just as most of us were drifting off to sleep, the very last slide appeared. It was an ultrasound of her new gestational sac! It was actually two pictures of the same little “bean”, side-by-side, so for a minute, I thought she was going to have twins.
Everyone cheered and were so excited. I was, too. As quickly as I could, I enjoyed a celebratory cupcake and left without saying good-bye. I may or may not have gone back to my office for a little cry.
Getting overly-emotional isn’t something I want to be or am proud of recollecting. I’m a put-your-big-girl-pants-on kind of person or a Keep Calm, yadda-yadda-yadda kind of person. I much rather train myself to think about the up-side. Having a cute and bubbly 2 year old gives you a lot of reasons to love life and for that I am really thankful. And I’m so happy I get the chance to stay at home for a little bit to enjoy him, too.
I refuse to get trapped in negative self-talk where I hate on myself. It’s a road to depression and depression is ugly and no good. “Yuck yuck” as Kiddo would say.
“May the Force be with you.”
At this moment in time, Conrad and I are being forced to visit California for three months because of stupid immigration rules. Thanks a lot Home Office for helping my infertility; keep my husband and I away from each other for a quarter of a year! Also, I do not like the idea of going back to the land of Crappy-Insurance-For-All, while pregnant. My temporary health insurance wouldn’t have covered it anyways, since it’s considered a “pre-existing condition.” Sadists.
Right now I’m enjoying the ride and life with my little family. Everyone is healthy and I feel open to all options. Maybe this infertility is a blessing in disguise; like a way for me to serve others more aside from being a mother. There’s lots to do and people to serve. I mean I would like to look into fostering and possibly foster-adopting. Teaching, obviously, is a very demanding job and another way to use my mothering spirit.
I’ll try and keep you posted! Thank you very much for reading! Also, like my page on Facebook: Postmodern Mummy.