I’m a planner. I like knowing what to expect at all times and how to proceed so that everyone is the happiest they can be. It was no different with trying to conceive (TTC for those of you unaware of the lingo). Hubby and I sat down in the early months of our marriage to plan our family. We knew we wanted to be married at least a year, we knew we wanted a good portion of our debt gone, and we wanted time to change our insurance policy. We settled on trying in December of 2014 and began cutting out debt.
And the plan worked…for the most part.
I mean, we stayed married for a year, changed insurance policies, and got rid of a lot of debt.
August of 2014 I had my yearly exam with my doctor. I had been on birth control since I was 16 to help manage my poly-cystic ovaries (PCO) and knew I probably needed to get off of those first. So after that visit, no more birth control. I waited for my next period with anticipation. It never came. Finally around Thanksgiving my doctor prescribed Metformin to help induce a period and after 110 days of nothing, I finally had a visit from Aunt Flow. It was only then that I felt I could start TTC in December as planned.
I researched conception, I read books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I joined forums and listened to other women. I knew it would probably take us some time. How long, I didn’t know.
But then Aunt Flow stopped visiting again but never a pregnancy. Every. Damned. Cycle. I’d have to call my doctor, do a test, learn what I already knew, have my period medically induced, etc. It was terrible. Eventually, I was given Clomid.
It was wonderful. I had normal cycles. I was finally really getting to TTC. But the big word there is trying. I was allowed to try. And that’s all I achieved
Now, after a year and a half we are working with a fertility clinic in the area and are on our second cycle of injectible gonadtropins with at home intercourse. Hopefully this will work, otherwise we will be moving on to IUI (inuterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
Despite all my research and asking questions, there’s still so much I wish I knew before starting this very tumultuous journey. Here’s what I wish I knew:
1. You will go crazy. It’s inevitable. The waking up at 5am to take your temperature EVERY day is just the start of it. Oh, you’ll analyze every chart those little 5am dots create, you’ll compare your stats, temps, and charts with women who got pregnant. The internet makes it so easy to do. It’ll be what you think about when you first wake up, it’ll be the last thing your think about when you fall asleep.
But the thing that will make you even crazier than your obsession with your charts, the thing that will shake you to your core, will be the month’s roller coaster. You begin your cycle feeling like a total failure, dejected and guilty because you didn’t get pregnant last month. About 5 days into your new cycle, you’ll start analyzing that damn chart and attempting to plan the perfect intercourse schedule to get that baby. At about the tenth day of your cycle, hope will start growing, welling up in you. Could this be our month? Will it finally happen? Then, when you finally pinpoint ovulation, the waiting begins. Women in the TTC world call it the TWW, or the two week wait. And you’ll wait, analyzing every “symptom.” Some days, you’ll just know in your heart that your pregnant. Other days, you’ll just know in your gut you failed again. And this back and forth continues until finally Aunt Flow visits and you get to start the whole damned ride again.
You will go crazy. You will cry at least 5 times every month. You will throw temper tantrums your husband doesn’t understand, that you don’t understand. You will go numb and stop doing anything only to become manically obsessive over TTC the next day.
2. And no one can comfort you. Despite your pain, craziness, frustration, confusion, no one will be able to console you. They’ll try, those 3 or 4 people you’ve allowed to know your struggle outside of your marriage. Your husband will try, but he is battling his own pain, craziness, frustration, and confusion and ultimately, can’t. Your friends will say all the wrong things that in spite of their good intentions will only cut you down more. And what will really piss you off is that you can’t get mad at what they say. They’re trying. Like really trying to help you through this time. So silently to yourself you declare that the next person that tells you “It’ll happen”, “God has a plan,” “Stop trying, it worked for us!”, or “Here have one of mine” as their son is throwing a temper tantrum, you’ll punch in the face. A declaration you never fulfill.
3. Learn to fill your time with fun. I still struggle with this daily. It is so easy just to sit and day dream of my little one, to analyze my symptoms, to research in my spare time. But you’ve got to still live life. Go out with your husband, have brunch with the girls, plan trips, whatever you do, live life. Yes, you’re saving for fertility treatments, and yes, you’re watching what you eat because you want to increase your chances; but at the end of all of this, a happy mom is a better mom, and if motherhood never comes, a happy woman is a better woman. You owe it to yourself.
4. Talk to people. Yes, I know I said they can’t help, but this is more about the therapeutic nature of talking about it. Your marriage is going to suffer from this journey, it’s inevitable, but burdening your marriage with this secret that only you two are dealing with just makes it worse. It’s unfair to your partner. So talk to others, let people know, get it off your chest so that your time at home isn’t so damned depressing. Just when you talk, don’t expect your friends to be a comfort.
5. It’s going to be O. K. I think, at least I hope so. There’s a chance I won’t be a mother and this life-long hope won’t be fulfilled. But, it’s going to be O. K. You just have to keep reminding yourself of that.
It’s going to be O. K.