In my previous post, The Stigma of Infertility, I talked about wanting to go public about my infertility. I felt like hiding it was only hurting my ability to cope. Well, I actually did it and decided to chronicle my experience with it so others considering the same thing have an idea of what it might be like.
I am on day 4 of my period (TMI?) and I have been a complete wreck since it arrived. I feel like I am in complete denial. I am always sure that this month is our month and I’ll finally get that second pink line. This month, my period came two days early. So not only was I devastated, but I did not feel prepared to face reality. I have literally cried every day since my period started. I feel like I am losing it. I came home early from work and typed up a few paragraphs on my infertility in the form of an open letter. When my husband came home, we read it and revised it to make it ours. I then posted it to Facebook. He immediately shared it. I put the laptop away, continued crying, and went to bed.
I wake up and check Facebook over my bowl of cereal. I feel a little silly for using Facebook to do this, but really, how else would I go about it?
There are nearly 20 comments from friends and a couple of distant relatives. Even more people have liked the post. I made it clear in the post that I was not seeking pity or advice, so no one offers any. Instead, people tell me that they appreciate the courage this took and that they are praying for me. I am not religious, so the prayer bit is a little awkward.
One person commented about her own infertility. She is actually pregnant now with twins after trying for 7 years. Someone my husband went to high school with commented on his share, saying that he and his wife had a stillborn. He said one of the hardest parts was the taboo on discussing it.
I go to work feeling very weepy. A lovely older woman I work with (and am friends with on Facebook) sees me come in and practically pounces on me. She told me that she and her husband had a lot of trouble conceiving in the 70s and that, now, there are so many options available to those facing infertility. I am not sure how I should feel about this, but it doesn’t really matter since all I can do is continue sobbing in her cube as she hands me tissues.
I proceed to cry at random throughout the day.
By the end of day two, someone I haven’t spoken to since elementary school messages me. She is on the same round of Clomid as me! After talking for a bit, we found that our experiences have been extremely similar.
Something feels different. This is the first day since my period arrived that I don’t feel profound sadness. Maybe my hormones have shifted. Even so, I really feel like coming out has given me a sense of freedom. I no longer have to hide my sadness or frustration. That alone makes me feel better. I also feel like I’m thinking clearly for the first time in days.
Another coworker of mine asks to talk to me over drinks after work tomorrow so we can talk about my Facebook post.
Normalcy! I feel normal! I’m not used to it, but I like it.
I have a regular day at work with no crying. Score! It’s the little things, right?
5:00 rolls around and my coworker and I go to the bar on the first floor of our office building. We chat for a bit about work and then get around to why she wanted to get together.
She offers to be my surrogate.
Let me back pedal a bit by telling you that my previous conversations with her about family have pertained to the fact that she desperately wants a child and her husband refuses.
She was truly coming to me to try to help, and I so appreciate that. I explained that I am still miles from seeking out a surrogate. We go on to discuss that she would be open to being a surrogate for other people in her life as well. I asked her if she is prepared to carry a baby for nine months and then give the baby to different parents. I cannot imagine someone who desperately wants a child doing this. She seems to think she has thought it through, but personally, I have doubts.
None of my close relatives (only a few of whom already knew about my infertility) have said anything to me about the post. I am not sure how to feel about this. I choose not to analyze it, because it probably means nothing.
Also, I bought a dog (not completely unrelated to my infertility). More on this later.
I speak with my mom, who is friends with me on Facebook. She wants to see the puppy. I ask her if she saw my Facebook post. She said she did, but she uses the voice she gets when she feels awkward or doesn’t understand something. I ask what she thought of it and she says something about it being pretty straightforward and to the point. I ask if she thinks it was weird and she says no. That’s about it, which is strange, because my mom and I are really very close. She knew all about the infertility and treatments.
Seriously, I feel like I am in a completely different emotional state from a week ago. I think this can be contributed to three factors:
- My period is over and my last dose of clomid was days ago.
- I no longer feel a sense of dread when babies come up because I don’t have to hide anything.
- I am completely distracted by my new puppy, Cookie (full name: Cookie S’ncream; my husband really likes ice cream).
Someone at works asks about why I decided to get a dog. I explained that it was partially because I want something to care for and also because I really love her specific breed. My coworker then asks if I can have kids since I alluded to wanting something to care for. I tell her that we cannot have kids without infertility treatments, and even then, we may never be able to. I am able to say this without crying or even wanting to cry! We have a really nice conversation about it.
Overall, I feel great. I hope this lasts past the next single pink line!