"So are you guys thinking about having kids soon?"
I counted 5 times last month that someone (different) asked me this question. 5 well-meaning Fertile Myrtles whose little bundles of joy toddled through my living room or screamed through lunch while they interrogated me about my own reproductive plans. I understand why they're asking, and a few years ago, before I stumbled into the Land of Infertility and no amount of clicking my heels together could get me back home, I might have been oblivious enough to ask a friend the same question without even thinking twice.
After all, I'm a happily married 30-something with a flexible part time job and a husband who is gainfully employed. We own our own house, have savings and retirement accounts and family nearby who are dying to babysit. We spent our 20's getting advanced degrees, traveling, and spending leisurely weekends sleeping in, reading the newspaper and going out for brunch. What is there left to do? What could we possibly be waiting for?
Right. What could we be waiting for?
Intellectually, I understand that when someone easily becomes pregnant after a couple of rolls in the hay, (or even worse--one "Oops! He promised he'd pull out and now look what we got 9 months later!" moment) it doesn't occur to them that it might be hard for some people. But emotionally, I can't help wanting to smack those people. Because I've come to realize that if someone makes it to their mid-30's and seemingly has everything going for them on the kids front, except for actually producing the kids, then maybe it's a sign that you should quit asking.
I don't mean to sound bitter, and most of the time I'm actually not. I'm usually thrilled for my reproductively-talented friends and I adore their little darlings, but as I approach my second IVF cycle, after a year and a half of TTC, months of blood tests, HCGs, ultrasounds, discussions about my sex life with REs and urologists, hundreds of trips up and down the stairs carrying food, drinks and movies after my husband's varicocele surgery, thousands of miles logged on the drive from my house to the RE's office and back at 7 in the morning, more needles used than your average heroine addict (blood draws, acupuncture, hormone injections), giving up dairy, giving up wheat, replacing dairy and wheat in my diet with the most vile herb concoctions you could possibly imagine, enough green tea to hydrate a small Chinese village, supporting the entire staff of the Whole Food's Vitamin department with my purchases alone, one extremely invasive procedure where a bunch of eggs were snatched from my over-ripe ovaries followed by another extremely invasive procedure where they were shoved back inside me, all culminating in...drum roll please...one giant BFN, I'm a little over "So are you guys thinking about having kids?"
Um, are we thinking about anything OTHER than having kids????
So here I find myself, suddenly a Platinum member of the Infertility Club, full of advice on how full your bladder really needs to be for ET, what is an ideal FSH number, the best way for DH to administer POI and how to de-stress during the 2WW until you can POAS or AF arrives. (If you don't know what any of those abbreviations mean, lucky you.)
As I mentioned previously, IVF #1 was a bit of a bust, but onward and upward for IVF #2! The first time around I left it all up to the doctors, thinking that they had it under control and I could finally chill out (vile herb concoctions? down the drain! cheese and bread? my new BFFs! ) and let them do all the work. This, obviously didn't work so well for me, and all I got for my IVF #1 (lack of) effort was a month of migraines and a stress level that could shatter glass. So for IVF #2, I plan to be more intentional, as they say, and spend some time focusing on things that will make me feel as healthy as possible, and as in control of the process as one can possibly be during the insanity that is the world of ART.
This is my record of my journey. To anyone else who is also going through this process--I hope my experience can help you in some small way, or at least help you to realize that you are not alone. And baby dust to you!