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!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grateful for Infertility?

First, let me start out by sharing that this morning, my almost 14-month-old son found my vibrator. This is a moment I will NOT be recording in his baby book.

 March 21st, 2012 – First time he discovers mommy’s sex toy.

He was playing with my alarm clock which is on my nightstand when our nanny said she was going to go and pick out his clothes for the day. I’m grateful for this as she did not witness me wrestling with my son to get the toy out of his hand when he eventually opened up the drawer and found it. I need to call my therapist.

Secondly, I arrived to work this morning and my first call of the day was a man asking about insemination. This is a typical call I would receive… only here is the difference: He was asking if I could help inseminate his female pig. He went on to explain that there aren’t a lot of male pigs where he is in Alaska so he’s between a rock and a hard place to get “Bessie” knocked up.

So… it’s already been an eventful morning and I haven’t even finished my mocha lite Frappuccino yet.

Today is the start of this month’s “International Comment Leaving Week”. I love these weeks as I get new visitors to the blog and I get to read blogs I might not otherwise have known about. Therefore, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about what I’d like to write about and frankly, my life (if you can’t tell) has been so wacky lately, it’s hard to even think straight.

Regular readers know my history but for new readers, here’s a brief summation: I went through three years of infertility treatment (5 timed cycles, 3 IUI’s and 3 IVF’s) and got pregnant with my son on my third IVF after retrieving 13 eggs but only having ONE embryo. That one embryo was the one trying to figure out why my vibrator doesn’t light up like his other toys.

After my son was born, I returned to my boring day job only to hear about an opportunity to work at Fertility Authority. I’m now the Patient Care Manager there where I try to match people with doctors in their area. I get people’s history, their budgets or insurance information, if they have a certain diagnosis and where they are located to help find an RE that fits the bill. I think of it as almost a “medical blind date” where someone will end up pregnant at the end. EHarmony – move over!

Infertility has changed my life – completely. My friends, my interests, my passions, my home life, my career, my focus and obviously, what I write about. I’ve said this often but I’ll say it again: Despite how amazing many things are about where I’m at now, I still don’t like saying, “I’m grateful for infertility”. I just can’t say that. 

Am I grateful for the people I’ve met? HELL YES. 

Am I grateful that I’ve taken something so negative and turned it into a whole new career where I can help others? DAMN STRAIGHT. 

Am I humbled and beyond appreciative for the son I have? I CAN’T EVEN PUT IT IN TO WORDS. 

But I can never lose sight that my story has worked out a certain way, and not everyone’s has.

That’s not to say that the only way you can find happiness is to have a baby. I don’t mean that at all. I just mean that some people’s journeys include deep heartache that I’ve never experienced. And infertility in general, although packed with humor (if you can find it) is so incredibly heartbreaking and disruptive that it’s hard to imagine that everyone feels gratitude towards it.

It actually reminds me of the time Michael J. Fox said he was grateful for Parkinson’s. What a kick ass awesome attitude. And part of me DOES get it. There are things, as I’ve mentioned, that I am grateful for that has come out of my experiences but again, I just can’t say, “Thank you infertility!” Not even in jest.

Maybe it’s because I don’t believe you’re given infertility as some sort of guiding fate.  To say I’m grateful for it would almost be admitting that it was some sort of destiny for me. Some look for reasons for things and I’m a firm believer in “things don’t always happen for a reason”. Sometimes, sucky things just happen and that plain ol’ sucks.

Ultimately, it’s about how you choose to handle infertility or in general, anything that life gives you. Michael J. Fox has taken his Parkinson’s diagnosis, made others aware of it, raised money towards research to curing it and has given a face to a disease many people struggle with.

I, in my small little way, have taken my experience and my outcome and made choices in how I took my “infertile lemons” to make some serious vodka laden lemonade.

As Epictetus said, "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

This morning, I’m exhausted, overworked, behind on most everything and feeling overwhelmed and anxious as usual. But I know that even though I don’t have all my sh*t together and I'm current dealing with a pig needing fertility assistance (oy!), I’m in a better place than I ever dreamed. I love helping people, I love getting emails and phone calls where people I’ve worked with tell me they are now pregnant, I love that my sanity and sense of humor are still intact despite it all and more than anything in this world, I love the son that I never thought I would have. He’s my lone perfect 8-cell embryo filled with both mischief and hope.

So this is me now and as always, I hope all of YOU are muddling through and hanging in there no matter what your struggling through.

With hope and humor… always.