Infertility and Self-Loathing
Infertility and self-loathing
When Matt and I were in Sydney for our honeymoon in 2010, I told him that I wanted to go back to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary with our future 3-year-old.
After a year of acupuncture and a paleo diet, I got pregnant in 2012.
I had a miscarriage.
I decided to deal with the loss by focusing on the positive. I was happy that I got pregnant when it looked like it would never happen. I was hopeful because my body knew how to make a baby.
After seven months of trying and no rainbow baby (a baby born after a miscarriage), we consulted with a fertility doctor.
2014 was the year that IVFs 1-3 did not take.
The 4th IVF in 2015 was somewhat successful because I got pregnant but at five weeks, I had another miscarriage.
To deal with this one, I started planning where to go for our 2nd honeymoon/5 year wedding anniversary/vacation. I broke down thinking of the three-year-old we did not have. I went in and out of my boss’ office every time the tears spilled, relieved by the lack of people at work that day.
I needed to do something to feel like I was helping the situation. I reached out to all my religious friends and had them ask their pastors/priests about adoption, in case they knew of anyone who wanted to give up a child.
I was desperate.
This was something so out of my control that not even two top fertility doctors (one in New York and one in Los Angeles) could help me because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong either.
I needed an answer, a reason, even if it wasn’t a good one, something to help me move on.
I threw myself into my job and writing. I took two workshops at once, my free time was to be consumed with reading and writing.
I did not want to cry or dwell on the recent miscarriage.
What would the boy or boys have looked like?
Why did this keep happening to me?
What was wrong with me?
I decided that I would try one more round and that would be the last time I would put my body and heart through the rigors of IVF. I made it my goal to work on being happy no matter what the outcome of the fifth and final IVF.
I would not be bitter if it didn’t work.
I would be grateful for having the resources to try.
In the end, I wanted no room for regrets.
I was already on my journey to gratitude and contentment when Matt got a new job that interfered with my plans for a second honeymoon on our fifth wedding anniversary.
I didn’t mope or complain. I was not going to have a depressing, miserable summer. I was getting better at coming up with plan E when A-D didn’t work.
I went on vacation with my girlfriends.
I had nothing to lose by trying to be happy.
In retrospect, it sounds like a piece of cake to switch gears and decide to be happy. It was not an easy task. This being a shitty first draft, I see where I need to fill in the details of the pain I was in to properly illustrate it.
Below is an excerpt from my journal.
Anger Stage of Grief: This is what self-loathing looks like a week after miscarriage number two from IVF number four.
April 2015 – I am angry; at myself for wanting this so fucking badly, at my body for not fucking doing this for me, at the pregnant bitch showing me her fucking ultrasound picture. I don’t give a fuck, keep your enthusiasm to yourself you stupid hoe bag. To the other one, nosey fuck, it’s none of your fucking business when my IVF is, I fucking hate you. Most of all, I really do hate myself right now. My fucking sister is telling me how brave I fucking am, how awesome my fucking body is for trying and trying. No, I’m not brave, I’m a fucking idiot who doesn’t fucking know when to quit. My body is not fucking amazing, all I’ve gotten is two fucking miscarriages. I am obese with a BMI of 30 from the anxiety, eating my feelings and the fertility drugs. I don’t feel amazing or maybe I do. You know what I think of the word amazing? It’s overused and most people don’t know what it means. They glorify things that are not amazing, like parents who call their toddlers amazing for hitting milestones they should have hit months ago. In that case, yes, I am absolutely amazing, an amazing fucking loser.
After I wrote this entry, I screamed into a pillow and cried for about three hours. I did not let Matt or anyone see me like this. My heart, body and soul could not take it anymore. The physical and mental pain was exhausting and would probably kill me if I didn’t do something.
My daughter is now ten months old, the fifth IVF worked. I don’t know if it was the change in mindset or the odds finally being on my side. I am beyond blessed to have her. I do not take her or motherhood for granted.
I would like to think that if things hadn’t gone the way they did, I would have found a way to be content. Happiness is a tall order. Even when you get everything you want, there are too many horrors in the world for me to be truly happy.