Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Month in the Life of a Woman Struggling with Fertility

I have gone back and forth about writing this post or not since I have been accused of "sharing too much," but after some encouragement from a few of my close girlfriends, who have all had their different struggles with fertility, I decided to do it. If you have struggled to get pregnant, have had miscarriages, have had any type of fertility treatment, or have had a late loss, every day of every month can be a not-so-subtle reminder.

Day one, you get your period. This is D-day, the day you start clocking and charting and timing and taking your temperature or taking your medicine or giving yourself shots. As your "Aunt Flo," your "little friend," your "monthly visitor," or whatever silly name your husband gives it continues, you endure the cramps and bloating while you get your gear ready to go.

The first day you see there is no "friend" visiting, the temperature taking begins (and for some women, who are further along in their struggle, the steriods, the shots, or other medications begin too). When you wake up, before you even get out of bed, you take your bodily temperature (orally, no silly business) then you head to the bathroom to pee on a stick. This stick is the ovulation test. The result, an empty circle (not today!) or a smily face (you better get busy!)...and who comes up with these ideas, anyway? You do this for the next 2-22 days, or however long it takes for you to see the small spike in your temperature or that smiley face pop up on the stick. And when it does, it is go time. (And for those women who are further along in their struggle, it's time to have an IUI or other type of non-evasive proceedure.) Sex is a beautiful, God-given gift to a married couple, but struggling with fertility can take the flirty fun out of it really quickly and can start to make it seem like work. When the window closes, you wait.

And wait.


For the next two weeks, you wait, and with every ache and pain and unusual tenderness, you wonder..."Am I pregnanat?" "Am I about to get my period?" And when that first morning comes that you can start to test to see if you are pregnant, you head to the bathroom to pee on another type of stick. The pregnancy test. This stick is your biggest enemy or your best friend. You pee on the stick every day, hoping to see "PREGNANT" without the "NOT" in front of it. I got to the point that I could literally see "not pregnant" show up in the exact location on the screen on the stick before it ever actually did.

Then you get your period.

And you cry. You doubt. You pray. You question, "can I go through this again?"

And you do.

You start all over again.

And when you get to a certain point in your struggle, you may choose to have a ton of other tests done. You may choose to take things a step further with IVF. Or you may even choose to adopt.

Even so, every month when you get your period, you still wonder. You still hope. You still pray. You still cry.

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