Thursday, September 15, 2005

Me and My Infertile Shadow (the remix)

So here I am 6 months pregnant with twins. I never in a million years imagined I'd be having twins. My maternal great grandmother had fraternal twins, and I hadn't realized that this increased my own chances. SP and I (SP being my husband) tried to conceive for a year and a half, during which I endurred 2 surgeries for endometriomas on my ovaries. (Endometriomas are bloody cysts caused by the condition endometriosis. I won't go into what exactly that is, because not even the medical world seems to be able to decide. Suffice to say, it can seem to get in the way of getting knocked up.) The second surgery was easy... in through the belly button and up within a week. In fact, I think I'll call it "the ole in 'n' up" from now on. Maybe it will catch on.

The first surgery was a nightmare. I didn't yet know that I had endometriosis. I was sitting in a grad class when all of a sudden I got a terrible radiating pain on my left side where I'd usually get cramps. It radiated to my back. I had to excuse myself and was in the emergency room by that night. There I was misdiagnosed, but that sent me to my own doctor 2 days later. I was on my way in to teach at the time. The doc felt my abdomen and told me to go straight to the hospital instead. He would need to perform surgery on me that very night! And not the ole in 'n' up. No, this would be a long horizontal incision that would require 6 weeks recovery in bed. Surprise!

Well, I came through both surgeries okay obviously. But the first one really got me down mentally. When I didn't get pregnant within 6 months of that first surgery, my doc became less encouraging about me getting pregnant, and I began to believe I would not. Of course, if you've been through infertility you know the old story of watching relatives and friends get pregnant when "we weren't even trying and it just happened and..." blahblahblah. To say it was hard is somehow not descriptive enough. It's its own classification of hard. I realized pretty quickly I was going downhill and started going to a therapist to figure out how to not feel like shit all the time. That truly was the main goal.

Therapy sort of helped. What I mostly discovered was that it was okay to feel bad about not getting pregnant and okay to not want to see pregnant women or people with new babies. Eureka! I guess I thought I'd discover something deeper about myself, like I was sad because of my own childhood or lack of mothering or something big like that, and THAT was the reason I was so inexplicably sad about not getting pregnant while others did. But no, the answer turned out to be I was just sad about not getting pregnant. Accepting that and feeling it for what it was really did help me cope. It didn't make the pain and frustration go away but nothing short of a baby could, and I came to understand that. Coping is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. Too bad, I like quick fixes. But on the upside, having to work through all of that brought SP and me closer, and I'm so thankful, not for the bad times but for the absolute beauty of that closeness.

So let's bring it all back to the pregancy, which is now. After the second surgery, done by a RE (reproductive specialist, for those who don't know), we discussed going on fertility drugs with the RE. We talked about drug options, possible consequences, timing, etc. I decided I needed a little time to think about these options. I was in a good place but admittedly disappointed we'd have to start drugs (though it was probably overdue at this point). I was dragging my feet and decided I'd wait another month to start drugs, since I wanted to run in a 10-mile race and the doc said that the stimulating drugs and all that bouncing up and down might be risky to my ovarian health. Well, the next month I did not get my period. And to top that off, I got my first positive pregnancy test ever. And to top THAT off, we found out we were having twins!! The RE thought for a moment that maybe we had somehow confiscated fertility drugs from her office and taken them in a dark alley. But we didn't. I guess it was genetics. And that leads me to where I am now. Real big and real happy.

It took me a while to feel a part of the Happy Pregnant Ladies Club. That bitter person still dominated, the one who watched what seemed like the world accidentally become pregnant. It's not that I didn't feel grateful or excited; it's just that I felt like it would be taken away from me because I somehow didn't belong. I wondered if They had accidentally granted me membership, neglecting to notice that I came from the wrong side of the tracks? But with a fast-growing belly and nausea and vomiting (which, at 6+ months, I still have) I soon earned my membership, accident or not. And now I wait and hope and pray that the three of us can see it through. I am on modified bedrest, so you will be hearing a lot from me. The options are watching daytime TV, knitting, or blogging, so you know where this is going.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:59 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Don't knock knitting! I can't do it much right now and it's really bumming me out!

Glad to see you've joined the blogBorg.

12:47 PM  

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