I feel stripped of my experience. I’ve been thinking about Month 6 ever since Month 3 was unsuccessful – because this month was my next step in the ladder of stats (80% of couples are pregnant within 6 cycles). Well, here I am at the halfway point, and instead of the overwhelming sadness I had been prepared for, I’m flooded with anger. I’m angry that I experienced an anovulatory cycle when I was finally starting to think I was getting somewhere, angry that I was forced to waste an entire month, angry that I still held onto that sliver of hope that maybe it somehow worked. And…I’m afraid. What if it happens again? What if it has always been happening? Struggling to conceive has been a fear of mine since I swallowed down my first birth control pill at the ripe old age of fourteen. Any time I brought it up, I felt like a weight settled at the bottom of my stomach as a warning of what was to come. I used to think it would be my decade+ of BC to blame, but instead other worries have begun to plague my mind: Endometriosis. PCOS. Short luteal phase. Thin lining. Tilted uterus. And then you come upon the forbidden words: Years. IVF. Infertile. Am I strong enough for that? For any of it? I know I’m getting ahead of myself – but most of the announcements I see are after 1, 2, 3 months or….1, 2, 3 years. Where does that leave me?
I’m at the point now where I’m starting to dole out advice to all the beginners out there who are feeling the anxiety after their first few months, just like women did for me. “That’s not that much time….it can take up to a year…have you tried this method?” When really all I want to say is, “I know, isn’t this horrible?” Because it is horrible. We’re consumed with this overwhelming desire to create something extraordinary with our SO’s and we just. can’t. We’re sitting here thinking that maybe we’ll make a January baby…okay February…how about March….October???….how old am I going to be? I can barely grasp the fact that we’re already halfway to the year mark when every week feels like it’s dragging. Six long months of dodging the dreaded question, “When are you going to have kids?” Sometimes I feel like I’m going to shatter into a million pieces unless I scream out, “I’m TRYING! Can’t you see? Isn’t it obvious how much I’m hurting?”
I’m just waiting for the day that someone says something at the wrong time and I burst open. Like, when I went to a barbeque at my brother’s place the same day I confirmed I didn’t ovulate, and I had a mini breakdown (what is it with me crying over burgers?). He teased that I was pregnant because I wasn’t drinking and I finally snapped, “No, actually I’m not and we’ve been trying since before you found out you’re having your second and my ovaries decided not to work this cycle so I’m having a pretty rough day, okay?!” Stunned silence followed. Or, at least I imagine it would have if I actually said that. Instead, I awkwardly laughed and took a sip of his beer to prove him wrong, when the only horribly funny thing is how badly I wish he were right. Everyone was fawning over my nephew, because he is the most amazing two year old, and they kept asking my sister-in-law about her second we-weren’t-really-trying baby that’s on the way. I slipped inside and found my husband alone in the kitchen as I choked out, “I’d give anything to be in her place.” and I couldn’t stop the tears from crawling down my face. What would it be like if they did know? It’s not as if I can say, “Please tell your son to stop being so adorable, and also I’d prefer if you refrained from discussing your second to-be-born while I’m present.” I don’t want people to tiptoe around me for fear of offending my uterus. So, I went with my only option: I wiped my tears away, shoved my sadness deep inside, and walked back out with a fake smile.
I wanted Month 7 to be my “let’s not actually try” month, but instead I have to temp and use OPKs and test my progesterone to make sure I’m fully up and running. I felt nauseous with anxiety when I purchased my BBT thermometer – I didn’t want to do this, but the not knowing would be far worse than confirming whether or not I’m “working”. I know I’ll find my optimism within a week, there’s always a hint of it lingering, but at the moment all I can think is: this lost month is all my fault. My body completely gave up on me – how do I keep myself from giving up on it?