With infertility, like with any pain, you never get over it completely. You think you are over it and it doesn’t bother you anymore, and then a song, a comment from somebody, a Facebook status, a TV show or a movie sets you off. Whatever set you off brings that pain out of the corner of your heart it was banished to and mostly ignored, brings it front and center and smacks you in the face with it like you’re in a "Shoulda had a V8" commercial. This happened to me yesterday when I was listening to a country singer sing about the good things in life, including babies and grandbabies.
The majority of the time I will tell you that I have made my peace with infertility. I feel that I have accepted the fact that I may never have a baby, and though it is sad and not what I would have chosen for my life, I can accept it and I am okay with it because worrying about it and always being depressed about it does nothing to change my circumstances. I have come to terms with the fact that it may never happen for us, and I look for joy in other parts of my life to lessen the ache of the emptiness infertility dumps on my heart. But sometimes even though I have accepted this course of my life it doesn’t mean that I’m not sad about it on occasion.
The difference between the pain of infertility, and the pain of, say losing a loved one, is that when a loved one is lost you know they are gone and they aren’t coming back. It doesn’t necessarily soften the blow, but for me any time I have some indisputable facts looking up at me I can make my peace a little better with it. But infertility has very few indisputable facts that never change. Sperm count and motility can change depending on what you eat what vitamins you take, smoking, hot tubs, etc. A woman’s ovulation or lack thereof can also change drastically with her diet or for no reason at all. Doctors know very little about why our fertility is so unpredictable, and so many couples end up diagnosed as unexplained infertility leaving them with no specific diagnosis to make peace with. For example, my parents tried for 10 years to get pregnant and there were problems with both of them, and then after 10 years of trying and failed treatments they got pregnant naturally and had 3 babies in 3 years. They even tried to stop after me, the first one, and couldn’t. There are cases where doctors can diagnose somebody with a specific reason for their infertility that will never change, but much of the time there is little guarantee that you won’t someday start ovulating or start producing viable sperm.
Because of this, infertility (at least for me) is a lifelong battle with Fertility Hope. Now hope in itself is not a bad thing, but Fertility Hope is hope that keeps creeping up and nipping at your heels telling you maybe this month you’re pregnant, or maybe redoing that test will yield different results and is not my friend. That Fertility Hope sets me up to be hurt time and again and it is a sadistic frenemy. In case you don’t already know, a ‘frenemy’, according to the online dictionary, is a person who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy.
Fertility Hope (known from here on out as FH) is my frenemy. I don’t have any physical frenemies because I have no interested in being friends with someone I don’t like or who doesn’t like me, and I would not continue to hang out with someone who treats me like FH does. Someone who always tells me things that gets my hopes up just to pull the rug out from under my feet is not a person I would keep around. FH always creeps in and starts whispering in my ear that this month is the month, or that I will get pregnant next month if I do everything right this time (as though each month the baby making failed it was our fault). FH never lets me let it go and get over it. As much as I want to make peace with infertility and leave it behind me FH keeps coming around and pushing it right back under my feet so I trip on it over and over again.
What I want, second to my want for a baby of my own, are answers. We plan on getting more tests done now that we can afford the copays and finding out once and for all what our chances are of getting pregnant naturally. It has been over two years since we have had any testing done, so we need to find out where we stand right now. If we can find out that our chances are very low then we can put this behind us and move on with our lives, and I may be able to ditch FH once and for all. I would rather know that I cannot have a baby so that I can start to deal with it than sit around for 10 years harboring my frenemy Fertility Hope. I wish to be able to banish my one and only frenemy and never have to deal with FH again.