Monday, February 28, 2011


I had an anxiety attack last night. It was a first for me, something that my pre-infertile self had never even imagined. While on fertility treatments I had a fairly constant level of anxiety but it never developed into a real attack. My husband and I are preparing to start IVF in the next six months and were talking about whether or not I will be going back to work when we move. I was trying to explain to him just how hard working and fertility treatments had been on my mental health and all the tightness in my chest came rushing back.

I don't know what the correct path is, to work and pursue fertility treatments or to focus only on fertility treatments. Both have considerable drawbacks my concern is that I have tried working with fertility treatments and it did significant damage to my overall health. I need to try and eliminate as much anxiety as I can, I need to try focusing only on fertility treatments. That is the answer for me right now. In 6 months I may discover that it is not the best option but for now I feel it is one I need to try.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

facing my fear

I am in the process of changing doctors. I have visited with one Doctor who stressed that I need to start freezing embryos as soon as possible. I am scared. I want to go see another doctor in California but I hesitate when it comes down to making the final decision. Once I make this decision I start IVF and I am scared about the amount of time, money and emotion that will go into it. I am terrified that I will put time, money and emotion into IVF and it won't work. Terrified really. I know that I just need to take the step forward but once I do there is no turning back. I am terrified that I will end up hurting more than I do right now. The pressure in my chest is building again, making me anxious.

How do I get past the fear, how do I move forward?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

crossing the fine line

There is a fine line in blogging, what is too much information and what is being honest? I have spent the last year wondering if writing about my struggles with infertility would cross that line. Today I read the article Infertility: The Disease We Need to Start Talking About, and I decided that while I have been pretty open about what is going on perhaps there is more I can do to make infertility less of an unspoken battle. I shared this on my personal blog which was the first time I had broached infertility there. It was incredibly nerve wracking. There is a safety posting on this blog that none of my friends or family read or know about. So today I crossed the blog line.

Infertility is obviously not something that is solely associated with age. I am not infertile because I waited "too long" to have children but rather because I was born with less eggs than most girls, something I am told is a genetic condition. Because of this I will likely enter menopause around 35, something that will bring on a whole host of other health issues. So the simple truth is that infertility is a health issue.

A lot of health insurance plans won't cover IVF or other infertility treatments. I have been lucky so far that all my treatments have been covered but that coverage ends as Jackson and I get ready to start IVF. The reason insurance companies won't cover infertility treatments? There is the argument that having children is a lifestyle choice and not a medical necessity. Personally I struggle with this argument. I was put in this position by way of a genetic abnormality not because I chose to put a certain lifestyle ahead of another. At 24, 25 and 26 I should have and still be able to have children without the need of medical intervention. It's a medical condition that has rendered my ability to become pregnant without medical assistance virtually impossible.

This isn't an easy topic to broach. It is deeply personal and very emotional. Often I end up sobbing when talking about it which embarrasses me to no end. There is a vulnerability that is exposed when talking about infertility that is only compounded by crying, it is a sure way of letting the world know just how deeply you feel the loss. Crying aside, talking about infertility can be awkward. Awkward for me and awkward for you. Many people don't know what to say when talking about infertility and as I told my sister the other day, I am far from equipped for filling awkward silences and pauses.

Almost a year and a half ago when I started to think about seeing a reproductive endocrinologist I found that I was very thankful to my friends who had been open with me about their struggle to get pregnant, it was comforting to have a support system of women who had been there and done that. I often feel as though infertility is treated as a secret that I am trying to keep, and as anyone in my family can attest, I don't do well with secrets. They make me feel claustrophobic. If my friends had chosen to be less open I would probably not have been as open in sharing my frustrations with them. That would have made this difficult experience so much harder. The support of my family and friends has helped me infinitely. Secrecy begets secrecy and I am thankful they chose to break that chain because it helped me.

Did the blogging world really need to know this much about my personal life and struggles? Probably not. The reason I chose to share is that I hope being open will help someone who may be having a similar experience. If nothing else I hope that talking about it will be one more small step forward in removing the stigma attached to infertility.

Monday, February 14, 2011

my censor is broken

I have become the person that causes awkward silences.

My husband and I went to a party this weekend where are game was played. One person would go around trying to guess from clues what the rest of the group was describing. Of course one round the group was to describe "your first born", lovely. My husband was "it" during this round, he went around the room twice and was unable to guess what we were describing, people began making their descriptions more and more obvious. He wasn't getting it. I finally said, "Mine will come from a petri dish." The room went awkwardly silent. He guessed it though, so does that mean I win?

I feel like instances like this are what highlight the fine line we straddle. In conversations I am constantly trying to remember that just because I hurt from not being able to have a baby doesn't mean that the rest of the world has to censor what is going on in their lives to insulate me. On the flip side I get frustrated with people's carelessness. I sit and listen to them complain about pregnancy and their children because that is where they are in life and I don't want to censor them and their experiences. It hurts to listen to it, to the point where I want to retreat from social situations.

The carelessness of this weekend's situation frustrates me, I feel like choosing "your first born child" as the game clue in mixed company is careless. It places me in an unnecessary awkward situation being the only one in the group who is childless and not pregnant. And when the truth about my situation comes out and is met with an awkward silence as a response, I am left feeling frustrated with myself and the situation and socially gauche.

Friday, February 4, 2011

lucky me

First it is "you are in the 10% of women in their 20's with infertility" then it is "you are in the 1% of women your age with this problem". Lucky me? I'm rare, almost every other woman in this world with declining egg count is over the age of 35. According to one doctor I will be in menopause around 35. On the bright side my periods will stop, but then I will have to do hormone replacement treatments to keep osteoporosis and other things at bay.

When talking to someone about this news they asked, "do you even really want to be having children after 35? We plan on being done by then!" I hadn't ever really given myself a deadline on having children but really the point is that the choice has been taken away from me. I have 9 years to have children, give or take. I have no doubt that some of my friends will still be having children at the time I am going through menopause.

I want children, I want my children. I feel like this possibility is being taken away from me to a degree. Thousands and thousands of dollars will be poured in to trying to preserve what little fertility I have left and I am 26, I am supposed to have plenty of fertility left.

Menopause 15 years early, lucky me. Funnily enough, I don't feel that lucky.