PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Pregnant Infertile

If you read my blog often, you may have read my most recent post called, “But I Can’t Complain”. The post was about how I feel guilty for complaining about my morning sickness after going through years of fertility treatments. So many of your comments were incredibly kind, supportive and generous; especially those of you who are still working towards getting pregnant. I sincerely appreciate it.

That being said, I did receive one anonymous comment on that posting that said the following:

“Boo hoo... you pee and throw up. At least your pregnant you mindless twat. Some of us would kill to feel that way and your complaining. I guess you forgot what it's like, just like every other so called infertile who gets a BFP. Whatever.”

Putting grammar, punctuation and the sentiment of the comment aside for a moment, I do want to acknowledge that this is not only the first time I’ve ever been called a “twat” (at least that I'm aware of) but it’s also the first time I’ve included the word “twat” on this blog. I even wrote it down in my baby book (8/19/11 – First time Jay was called a twat!). I’d like to thank the poster for introducing the word into my blog because let’s face it: 'Twat' is a fun word.

When you get a comment like that (which is almost always anonymous by the way), the debate is whether to publish it or delete it. Some feel you’re rewarding them by acknowledging it and others feel it gives you the chance to respond. I get both sides of that argument and I went back and forth on what was the appropriate way to handle the comment.

It was when someone on my Twitter account asked me, “Is there anything to be accomplished by publishing it?” that things became clearer for me. It’s a damn good question. I don’t think the poster wanted to accomplish anything other than expressing her frustration at her own infertility and that she pretty much f*cking hates me for what she perceives as my ungrateful attitude, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be accomplished. This is why I decided to include it in today’s post.

Now bear with me for a moment… do any of you remember Pedro Zamora?  Zamora was on MTV's reality television series, The Real World: San Francisco in 1993. He was openly gay and publicly discussed being HIV-positive. This was groundbreaking television and it was before MTV became the big pile of crap that it is today. Snookie – I’m looking squarely at you.

On one episode, Pedro did some sort of motivational talk to a group of people about what it was like dealing with AIDS. He said (and I’m going on memory here), “I am not dying of AIDS. I am living with AIDS.” When he said this, it blew me away. By changing a few words, he conveyed that even though AIDS was not his choice, it was a part of his reality and he was living with it as best he could.

This quote in a weird way reminds me of how I feel about struggling with infertility and now being pregnant. Of course, there is a huge difference between AIDS and infertility and I don’t mean to compare the two directly. It’s more that I’m not just your average pregnant woman. I am a pregnant woman living with infertility. I’ve taken Clomid, progesterone, various hormone shots, estrogen patches, done three inseminations, three in vitros and suffered through embarrassments, disappointments, physical pain and both financial and emotional strain. Being pregnant, at least not for me, doesn’t erase what I’ve endured and here’s the thing: I don’t want it to.

I’ve begun telling people that I’m pregnant and nine times out of ten when I tell someone, I include either that we had a very difficult time getting pregnant or I tell them point blank that we got pregnant through our third IVF. Granted, I’ve gotten some odd comments when I tell people this. My favorite was a co-worker who said, “How do you know it’s really your embryo?” Really? We’re going to discuss this over the photocopier? And who asks this???

Anyway, I’m sure my therapist could give you various reasons why I feel the need to add our infertility struggles to my announcements, but if you ask me, I’d tell you that it’s because I’m proud of it. I didn’t just get knocked up by my husband sneezing on me one night. I worked my mother f*cking ass off for it. A fertile woman gets pregnant. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah. An infertile woman gets pregnant and she earned it through blood, sweat and tears. LITERALLY.

Plus, not for nothing but going through infertility has introduced me to the MOST amazing women ever that I’m forever grateful to have met. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or this blog: I’ve connected with people that have enriched my life. I'm as grateful for them as I am to be pregnant... and that's no bull sh*t.

Recently, I got my blood work back from my NT scan. In terms of the Down syndrome, they said for a woman of my age (which is 37), it SHOULD be a 1 in 142 chance. My blood test results however came back as a 1 in a 109 chance. Technically, that's a little less than a 1% chance but they asked if I wanted to do amniocentesis.

Again, a woman who gets pregnant easily might say, “Sure! Throw it on my tab!” But for me, I don’t know if I can do that. Although amnio is a very common procedure, there is still a risk of miscarriage. Because I am an infertile pregnant woman, I can’t even consider doing anything that might possibly harm this baby. I’m too terrified. We are going to do repeat blood work in two weeks to see if the odds have changed at all and we’ll talk to the doctor and see what she thinks, but this is another great example of what being pregnant after dealing with infertility can do to you. You worry. You obsess. You know how difficult it was to get here and you know how easy it could be to lose it.

So, getting back to my anonymous commenter. This is what I would like to say to her: Although I can’t say I relish your comment and although you may not believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel. If I’m being honest, I know I’ve even thought that about other pregnant women in the past (well, minus the twat part) but the difference is I didn’t contact them about it.

However, you’re obviously hurting and I knew that particular post might elicit that response from someone. I even mentioned that in one of the last paragraphs of that post… that I was sure some of you would want to strangle me for bitching about throwing up.

Regardless, even though some may say I’m rewarding you or egging you on by saying what I’m about to say, I’m going to say this anyway: If you’re struggling with infertility and you’re having a difficult time, then I truly am sorry that my complaining about morning sickness upset you. I’m also sorry you’re going through this as no one should.

In short, the mindless twat is sending you back love and hope. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

But I Can't Complain...

My mother, who I adore, has a habit of saying, “But I can’t complain…” The trouble is she usually says this after a half hour of complaining.

Lately, I feel like I’m turning into my mother.

This Friday, I will be thirteen weeks pregnant. I still can’t believe it. Every time I get a sonogram and see someone in there literally waving at me, I’m amazed. After two and a half years of seeing nothing but blank empty space, it just never gets old. I love my OB/GYN, our NT scan went well, the baby seems to be healthy (we get the NT blood test results this week) and so far, things are going along as they should.

When you’ve struggled with infertility and you want nothing more than to be pregnant, you can’t imagine ever being bothered by even the worst symptoms of pregnancy. I find myself in the position now where it doesn't just feel ungrateful but it feels so incredibly sh*tty to complain. I worked so hard and spent so much money for this pregnancy that it isn't just that I can't complain, I feel like don't have the right to!

When I was nauseous the first week or so, I actually thought it was adorable. The next week, when I couldn’t eat anything that wasn’t beige (toast, crackers, bananas, etc.); I said to myself, “Well, you’ve spent good money on this nausea! I might as well enjoy it!” When I started throwing up one to two times a day during a heat wave in New York, I desperately wanted to whine but instead, I renewed my commitment to not complain. I just started to bring water, gum and plastic bags with me and vowed to keep my sense of humor.

Then, one time, when I threw up and peed on myself, I began to stop laughing. I was kneeling down on my bathroom floor over the toilet and I peed right on our bathroom area rug. The frog embroidered on the rug still smiled but I knew he felt degraded. I immediately took the rug, soaked it in hot water and took a shower. The trouble is when I stepped out of the shower, because there was no rug, I slipped. Luckily, I didn’t completely fall but both my pride and feelings of attractiveness went down the toilet right along with my flavorless mashed potato dinner. You don’t know how humiliating it is when your husband asks you what happened to the bathroom rug and you have to tell him, “Ummm, yeah. I had an accident.” I’m sorry to say this wouldn’t be the only time this would happen.

When your wife is throwing up and peeing on a daily basis, it’s a mood killer. My husband loves me but to say he backed off from me physically is an understatement. I can’t blame him though. The only way these fabulous new traits would EVER be a turn on would be if you were into German porn.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve thrown up in pretty much every bathroom in a ten mile radius of my home. I would be remiss if I didn’t add here that if you’re ever in this situation, do all that you can to avoid throwing up at the bathrooms in Penn Station, New York. The smell alone will not help your cause.

Almost impressively, despite my inability to hold on to much food these days, I’ve also managed to gain seven pounds. My doctor says that this is actually common with women who deal with morning sickness as they tend to eat more carbohydrates. After years of infertility treatments, hormone injections, progesterone and now pregnancy, I have become a permanent version of a bloated dying Elvis.

Adding to my already poor body image, my mother bought me some maternity clothes from the Salvation Army. I tried some on this past weekend and there were quite a few that made me look like I was a sugar mamma wearing a moo moo by the pool at my condo in Miami Beach while hitting on the pool boy.

I feel unattractive, I miss seeing color in my food, my underwear is tight and I feel like I’ve had the stomach flu for two solid months now. Every morning, my mantra is, “Just try not to throw up on anyone who decides what your year end bonus should be.

I hate writing all of this and I’m sure there are some of you who are following this blog and who are trying to get pregnant who want to now strangle me (that is if you actually made it through this sad, whiny post). Here’s the thing though: I WANT TO STRANGLE ME TOO. I am annoying myself as I truly am over the moon about this pregnancy. I am grateful, humbled and deeply appreciative of every milestone and every second this pregnancy has brought me.

The fact remains though that I have genuinely tried every trick, every rationale, every pep talk and every wive's tale to get through this morning sickness that lasts well past the morning and it still sucks total ass. My doctor said that it usually eases up anywhere in between twelve to fourteen weeks and dear god, I really hope that’s true.

But really, I can’t complain…