My sisters, I have a few things to confess to you on this rainy afternoon, the second day of what is approximately my 30th two week wait:
1. I don’t feel like this is going to work. I try not to admit that to myself, in case the negative thoughts chase the sperm away, or in case I discredit God with my lack of faith, but this is confession, so I’m telling you.
2. I don’t know if I’m as strong as you are. Some of you have been doing this for ten years. Some of you have lost many babies. Some of you have done multiple rounds of IVF. I don’t know how you keep going. I truly don’t. I feel like I’m reaching my end here.
3. I’m afraid of IVF. The doctor has told us this should probably be our last round of IUI. I was really hoping not to go on to IVF. I’m afraid of the retrieval process. I’m afraid of having unused embryos. I’m afraid of the investment – financial, emotional, and physical. I’m afraid of taking more drugs. I’m afraid of getting cancer or having a heart attack because of all the drugs I’ve already been taking.
4. I’ve come to identify with being infertile. There’s a sick part of me that feels resistant to let it go. Not because I like it – I hate every bit of it. It’s more about other people than me – I feel like if I were to get pregnant now, the agony I’ve been living will be summed up as, “Oh yeah, it took her a couple years to get pregnant.” Somehow I want my pain to be important enough. I feel like I want something to show for this which will elicit what I feel to be an appropriate response for how much it continues to end me…which is unfortunate, because the very definition of this is having nothing to show for it. Getting your pain legitimized in the court of public opinion is, I imagine, a poor substitute for happiness. But this is confession, and this is one of the slimy things squirreling around in my brain.
5. I want to complain. These things aren’t a really big deal, but this is confession, and I want to complain that it took the nurse multiple attempts to get the catheter into my cervix, and I was still hurting a day later. I want to complain that my tummy is still bruised and sore from all my injections. I want to complain that the progesterone suppositories make me feel like I hate everybody and everything. And that they make me feel pregnant. I want to complain that I have to take a million pills and avoid all kinds of food and drink and duck and weave in conversations all the time to avoid topics that will make me cry. I want to complain that so much of my hair has fallen out from my thyroid medication that I now self-consciously side-part and fluff it every day. I want to complain that I’m almost as afraid of being pregnant as I am of not being pregnant.
Enough. I know you will understand, and I thank you for it.