ONE IN EIGHT COUPLES STRUGGLE WITH INFERTILITY
1 IN 8 COUPLES STRUGGLE WITH INFERTILITY
I’ve met and worked with several women who have struggled with infertility. Most are booking a session, because they’ve been stuck on rigid schedules of love making on demand, medicines and/or shots on an impossible routine, and the barrage of ovulation tests and pregnancy tests. Turning the process of creating a little human into a job or chore. After the schedules, the doctor’s appointments, the let downs, you start to lose yourself. You start to lose the spark and romance in your relationship.
Awhile back, I have the opportunity to work with Megan, who was right in the thick of it. She booked her session to reclaim her own body, and her sexuality. If it added a little spark to her marriage, that would be a happy perk of the process, but this session was alllllll for her. <3 Before her session, I asked if she would be willing to share her story this week, for National Infertility Week. At first, she was a bit apprehensive. So I left the decision up to her. The more she thought on it, the more she wanted to share her experience with us. She wanted to let people know what the process is like, and share what those who are going through infertility wished their friends and family knew about it.
“Talking about the journey I’ve been on sounded so much better the day I agreed on it. As the days and weeks have gone by I’ve continuously doubted myself on being able to write down all of my thoughts and the glorious journey I’ve somehow trekked my way through. It always sounds wonderful when someone empowers you enough to break through a fear and finally come out to the crowds screaming every thought that has consumed your brain four countless years. Have I really spent a solid 15 hours a day thinking about this? Have I become obsessed with it? Why haven’t I even felt comfortable enough to be able to talk to the person who insanely said ‘I Do’ to me almost two years ago? What is so wrong with one single word that makes me want to crawl back under the covers binge watching Netflix? The one word that holds absolute control of me is infertility. Infertility is stupid.
We got married a little over a year after we started dating because everything felt right. He has two kids from his ex-wife and we decided we wanted to add more. I had already known at the time about my health issues when it came to my lovely woman organs (Have I mentioned they’re stupid?). I didn’t think it was something I wanted to share with him because I was embarrassed and ashamed. Here’s this man that has been in my life for 20 years and he wants to be with me. He wants to add to the family and make it our own. Will he really accept me if I tell him I can’t have kids? I decided to keep my lips sealed for the time and went to my one year girly visit. I explained to my NP about the situation and she told me I could start medicine when I was ready.
The NP first brought up Clomid and my hubby wanted to research it. So together we go…Googling all of the information about the medicine that we could. We saw the side effects and warnings, but we were both more concentrated on the ‘Sex Schedule’ and laughing than we were about anything else. Mood swings was a big name on that list, but again we laughed because what woman doesn’t have mood swings during that time of the month!? I will always hate Clomid. I can blame the past year and a half of hell on this stupid tiny pill all I want, but at the end of the day it’s because I can’t have kids. I don’t blame Brandon for not wanting to be around me during that week, but I wish he could have been there for me. I was horrible. I was a raging lunatic with fire in my eyes that just wanted him to hold me (but stay 50 feet away), bring me ice cream (but know when I changed my mind 12 times in my head on the flavor), and tell me I’m pretty. The worst part is you can feel these emotions and you hate them, but you cannot stop them. I could vomit the worst and most hurtful words out of my mouth that week all while a voice in my head is standing on a ledge yelling, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” That sentence probably looked cooler in my head than it did as I just wrote that. By the time we had to follow the ‘Sex Schedule’ of every other day sex (Sounds fun, but it’s stupid), I didn’t even want him in the general vicinity. We toughed it out and I anxiously logged into my ovulation app damn near hourly hoping that I was having the symptoms that it said I should have. I failed (it’s my feelings and I’ll say what I want) and anxiously awaited my period to come. Guess what never came? Exactly. So I called the NP and let her know, but let her know I wanted to try round two. She asked how it went and I told her my husband wanted to sleep on the neighbors couch. She called in the Provera and Clomid. I went to CVS to pick up the medications and sat there wondering if the Pharmacists judge us women that are buying Clomid. I told you, it’s on my brain 15 hours a day. I could try to write all of the thoughts down all day long, but I’m sure I’ll forget and concentrate on my handwriting or something.
Round two was worse. I didn’t want him near me at all. I hated (strongly disliked? No, hated) him. I quit talking to him. I said some of the nastiest things to him. I doubted my marriage. I blamed him. I blamed me. I blamed God or any other spiritual being for that matter. I blamed anything and everything including calling the medicine fake. Needless to say, I ordered a round three but never took it.
My marriage fell apart. I had let infertility change the way I thought. Brandon didn’t understand why I would shut down or why I was always angry. The Clomid had officially changed the way I thought about myself. PCOS has already made me as self-conscious as anyone possibly could be, but add in ‘Clomid brain’ and you’re screwed. I wanted to use a different word, but I’ll save that for later. Through screaming battles and infidelities I just wanted a child. I thought maybe if we could have a baby together it would help our issues so what do I do? I rally the troops and start collecting donations and maxing out credit cards. Why you ask? For one stupid shot. One stupid shot full of hormones that is supposed to help me produce multiple eggs. When they think that you’re okay for egg retrieval guess what? You get to take more shots! If you thought you were angry before think again. Your whole world will crumble. I give kudos to all of you women who have gone through all of these and stayed strong. I however failed at that miserably and developed a whole different personality that I didn’t even know existed in my body.
You try to stay positive but your lizard brain doubts everything. You try to smile and tell everyone that nothing is wrong, but you continually think about being a mom. You have two step kids that you consider your own, but you know they’re not and you just want your own. You go to every family function multiple times a year just to hear the same question over and over and over….”When are you guys going to have a baby?” For 10 years now everyone has thought that I’ve never wanted kids because that’s what I’ve convinced them…even myself sometimes. I tell everyone I don’t like kids. I tell everyone I’m too selfish to have kids. The list goes on with the lies I give people solely so that I don’t have to tell them I’m not able to have kids. Every time someone with PCOS or endometriosis comes up pregnant with a miracle baby it gives me that much hope that my turn is next. Every month I get disappointed when I find out I’m not pregnant.
I wish people knew what came with PCOS.
I decided to do a boudoir shoot because I wanted him to think of me differently than he’s always seen me. I wanted to feel sexy for once in my life and show him that there is more to me than a ton of insecurities that he constantly hears about. I see all of these women doing shoots and the amount of confidence that they show glowing in those pictures are amazing….I wanted that! “