I went to my first Resolve meeting this week (for those lucky enough not to know, Resolve is an Infertility support/advocacy organization). I was supposed to go to my first one in December, but my IVF1.0 Retrieval happened the same day. There was no January meeting and I never actually got added to the local group's mailing list so February/March passed. I reconnected with the leader but I was traveling in April so here it is May... and I finally went to my first meeting.
Back when I was seeing my Infertility therapist, Dr. G, she was a little skeptical about me joining up with the local Resolve group. She was concerned meeting other women suffering from infertility may not be healthy for me. Really?
As one woman in the group put it, no one who isn't or has not been through IF truly understands what we feel. That she wants to talk about IF, with someone who understands, and she wants to talk about it all the time. She's sad and she's pissed off and she believes she was put on this earth to be a mom. She said everything I felt, and everyone else in the room.
There were at least 15 women at the meeting. While it's "scheduled" to be 90 minutes, we were there for 3 hours... and apparently that's pretty standard. It starts with some informal announcements, then it's an open opportunity for each woman to share what's going on (since the last meeting).
There were women just starting to seek medical assistance after TTC on their own and there were women who had been trying for many, many years... and many women somewhere inbetween. One woman was headed to Colorado the next day for her FET, several were in their 2ww, one is just about to embark on her first IVF. A few of us have begun considering, or down the path of donor egg. One woman had just... finally (after multiple years)... had a diagnosis that uterus is shredded (after multiple losses, D&C's) and she'll never sustain a pregnancy.
For those who know me, you know I've come to a certain acceptance, even comfort level, of being a single mom. And as I listened and shared, I was reminded again of the advantages & disadvantages of going at this on my own.
There were stories of supportive husbands who attended appointments, gave shots and offered support unconditionally. And there were stories of husbands who dragged their feet with every decision, who were ready to give up and felt their wives didn't think that they (the husband) were enough which is why the wives had this unrelenting drive to overcome infertility. Women were reading the book What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting to see if their husbands actually did read the book.
A couple of the husbands, not necessarily religious, required that they consult their priest/rabbi, before making decisions about IVF, Donor Egg, Adoption.
While I would love someone to mix my vials and tell me which syringe goes with which drug, even someone who would inject me and hold me when I cry, I am thankful that I, alone, am responsible for my decisions. I can ponder or move forward as I come to terms with things in my own time, however little or much time as it takes.
I found it enlightening when several of them mentioned how their husbands just don't want them to be in pain anymore and that they are not the same women that they married. I can relate to that. I'm not the same person. Infertility changes you. You become very much single minded, as you are your own best advocate. You do everything you can to remain in control of an uncontrollable situation (creating charts, calendars, schedules, etc).
I know I've turned down the opportunity to be introduced to men, because I don't recognize myself... I don't have the energy to focus on someone else, especially someone who wont really know me. I know I'm still in here somewhere... but this life of ongoing limbo, desperately wanting to move into the next phase without success, this limbo-stranger will not leave until I know my child is safely on its way. Until I'm able to experience real JOY again.
Endo Biopsy: One year ago today, Cinco de Mayo, I had my Hysteroscopy to remove my uterine polyp. Today, I had my Endometrial Biopsy for my Endometrial Function Test (EFT).
My Mom Had Endo: When I sent my mom the video explaining the EFT, she emailed me later and said, I just realized I should tell you, I had Endometriosis. My mom had a hysterectomy when I was quite young but I was to little to understand what was happening; I just knew that my sister and I had to stay at my Grandmothers house for several days. How did I NOT know my mom had Endo? How, in all of these years did I not ask her about it?
But I have no signs of Endo myself.
IVF3.0: When AF arrives, that will be the start of my pre-IVF cycle. I'll start Estrogen priming after ovulation. I had thought I was going straight into Stimulation thinking I'd have the ER/ET the week before Memorial Day. The good news is, that would have been the same week as my annual beach trip with sorority sisters. I'm disappointed it's going to be 2 more cycles until IVF3.0, I'm happy I'll get to enjoy my beach trip.
Mothers Day: I'm not gonna lie, it's gonna hurt.