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Why do I cry? November 8, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility.
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Firstly, it is almost 2am so I make no claims about how legible this post will be.

***

Laying in bed a few minutes ago, with a million thoughts running through my head, I came to a realisation.

I am like no other woman I know. I have very little concept of what it is like, in the first month trying for a baby, to expect to get pregnant. I imagine that it might be something like how I felt during the TWW of the IUI… hopeful.

We never went through the months of trying unsuccessfully. We arrived in the land of IF by a detour… the detour of knowledge.

These thoughts nestled their way into my overactive consciousness after the tears had stopped.

My best friend is 9 weeks pregnant.

For the first time, I didn’t have the ‘burning ice rising in the pit of my stomach’ feeling that ordinarily arises when I hear somebodies ‘good news’. She was very thoughtful in her announcement. It wasn’t at dinner, it was in person, cleverly timed for when I had the ability to focus my attention on something other than her, and when I could disguise my shaking hands. I could actually feel pleasure for her.

I am happy for them. They’ve been married four years, and have waited for ‘the right time’ long enough to know that it will never happen. They had been trying for two months before she got her miracle.

But I still feel incredible sadness, for us.

The grief comes out in funny ways. I’ve lost the relationship that I had with this friend. I would never, EVER, wish this journey on anyone, but there is still a certain camaraderie between the infertile and the childless. I don’t know about other infertiles, but I know that I am knowledgeable about pregnancy. I’ve memorised just about everything I’ve ever read. And given my recent coping strategy of attempted desensitisation, via the reading of everything you could ever possibly want to know about pregnancy and then some, that’s a lot.

The only person I have outside of the computer screen, who is going through this, is Mr G. Part of my reasoning behind my openness about all of this, is that I desperately want someone to say to me… I understand, I’m dealing with it too.

I have to believe that through this, we will become better people. Maybe its a path to enlightenment… Who knows, it’s 2:30 in the morning, anything is possible in these small hours.

I read on this on Rach’s Blog a few weeks ago, and I have been unable to get it out of my head.

The Oak Tree

  • A mighty wind blew night and day It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
    Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
    Until the oak was tired and stark

    But still the oak tree held its ground
    While other trees fell all around
    The weary wind gave up and spoke.
    How can you still be standing Oak?

    The oak tree said, I know that you
    Can break each branch of mine in two
    Carry every leaf away
    Shake my limbs, and make me sway

    But I have roots stretched in the earth
    Growing stronger since my birth
    You’ll never touch them, for you see
    They are the deepest part of me

    Until today, I wasn’t sure
    Of just how much I could endure
    But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
    I’m stronger than I ever knew

It says everything I can’t.

So, my dear friend.

I am sorry I couldn’t give you the best parts of me tonight. I am sorry that it became too much to bear, and that I had to hurry you out the door. I am simultaneously joyous and heartbroken that you are taking this step in your life. I am trying hard to become the person I want to be. I wish you nothing but happiness.

The thing about grief is… August 22, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Rants.
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“Few people know that the ‘i’ comes before the ‘e’…

I was thinking again last night that my experience of this failed dIUI, and of infertility in general really, is like a microcosm of grief.

When I first got my period on Thursday afternoon, I was in shock. I thought for a little while, that perhaps this was just implantation bleeding and cramping. I called the nurse, and my rational mind took over, telling her my period had started. She was fantastic, and ready to go with whatever I needed to do. It was when I got off the phone that I lost it. Screaming, breathless cries, hyperventilating, curling into the foetal position… you get the idea.

Yesterday, the guilt set in. Why should I feel like this? I don’t deserve it… etc, etc, etc…

Today, I’m angry. I was angry anyway, but then I read this post at Semi-Fertile, and it got me thinking.

Specifically about the Baby Bonus, and the ART bill.

A year or three ago, the Australian government decided that our population was in decline. Politicians of the day were standing up telling us all that we should have “one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the Country”.

Ouch.

If this wasn’t bad enough, they then decided that the parent/s of every baby born, would receive a $5000 “baby bonus”. No questions, no means testing, no guarantee that it would ever be spent on the actual baby and not a fancy plasma screen… just a “Bonus”. For being able to reproduce.

Nice.

That was hard enough to handle.

Now I am very fortunate to live in a country that has a good health system, which, up until recently has made IVF if not reasonably priced (basic stim cycles are still $4500 AUD up front, but we do get some of this back from the government), then at least achievable for people, but not without some serious financial stability and planning.

Earlier this year, the new government (who kept the baby bonus, albeit with some minor modifications) decided that those Big, Bad, IVF Doctors, were RIPPING OFF all those women who decided to have careers first, only to find out later on that “whoops, I’m infertile now, never mind, IVF will fix me right up”. These Big Bad IVF Doctors were earning Millions! And it was coming from too much government funding!

The government’s solution?

(You have to picture Kevin Rudd saying this)…

In this Budget, the Government will change the [amount of government funding] for a small number of … services[…]

These changes will apply to [people who CHOOSE to use private, rather than high quality, readily available public] obstetrics, assisted reproductive technology (ART), cataract operations, the injection of a therapeutic substance into an eye [whatever that means], hair transplants … and varicose vein treatment.

(My bold).

Ok.

So, Mr Government, what you’re saying, is that people who have a diagnosed, genuine, heartbreaking inability to conceive children, are ripping off tax payers, along with the bald people and those with varicose veins? Because, ART is an elecive procedure, right?

Yeah, that sounds about right. IVF is never used by ayone who actually needs it. People should just have babies when they’re young, and then they wouldn’t have these problems!

Of course, that makes perfect sense. Although personally, as a tax payer, I’m more worried about all those bogans who are electing to cough out their seventh child , simply so that they don’t have to work to afford their plasma screen and drug habits.

But they’re increasing the population!

Of course, how silly of me.

But those infertiles, you say, they can be dangerous people. Although we already know they have lots of money, because they have all had long, illustrious careers. Let’s make sure that they are SAFE! That they are ENTITLED to make these fickle, selfish decisions to undergo ART. Let’s make them all submit to Criminal Record Check and Child Protection Order scrutiny! And lets charge them for it! We couldn’t possibly give money to criminals now, could we?

OK Mr Government, so you’re also going to start police checking every single new mother or father in Victoria? Including those who have had their previous 5 children removed into protective custody, those who have crawled all the way from the Meth Clinic, and those whose blood alcohol and/or drug levels have seriously harmed their babies?

No, no, just the infertiles.

***

You, Mr Government, are moronic.

Stormy skies. August 21, 2009

Posted by Natasha in Infertility, Life.
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3 comments

Today, I’m back to mostly feeling ill. Mainly because there is every likelihood that I have succumbed to the dreaded swine flu.

I’m still feeling flat, but the raw emotion of yesterday has dissipated.

I cried myself to sleep last night. I am not sleeping well, I keep waking with fever.

Very, very grateful that I was not at work yesterday afternoon, when I would have been in class as the realisation hit me, that it really was over.

Looking outside the window, my feelings are mirrored. The skies are grey, the wind is howling, the rain is pelting against the tin roof. The last fortnight has been filled with brilliant sunshine and the promise of spring, and today, winter has returned.

When we get to cycle again, it will be my favourite month of the year.

September. Good things happen in September. Maybe even better things will happen in October. And then again in early July. Maybe I will get to be a mother before I’m [Holy Shit!] 27.

I’m sorry August, I couldn’t make you any better.

I suppose I have learned a few things this month.

  • I have become more in-tune with my body, and have understood more about why I feel like I do at certain times during the month.
  • I have learned that I really can’t wish things into existence, and that no matter how much I work for things, sometimes they just don’t happen.
  • I have learned that sometimes I am prone to bouts of uncontrolled jealousy, and that I need to work on this.
  • I have realised just how frustrated and trapped I feel in our current situation.
  • “Symptoms” are bullshit.
  • I have learned that medicine is not an exact science. And this frightens me.

My thoughts as to why it went wrong?

1. We were rushed. We weren’t ready for it to happen. By happening when it did, we were placed under massive amounts of financial stress.

2. The timing was off. All my reading says that CD1 starts 14 days after ovulation. That means that the IUI was 24, not the currently recommended 36  hours after I ovulated.

3. There is no reason. It really is just one of those horrible things that just happens.

So, taking it easy this month. No obsessing over every little twinge.

Onward and upward.