There are a lot of unspoken rules in blogging. Like don’t share about money or don’t talk about politics or my own personal mantra: never, ever talk about your mother-in-law. There are just some things you simply don’t talk about, either by choice or because of some nagging feeling in the back of your brain that maybe talking about bum ovaries isn’t something you’re supposed to do.
A few Octobers ago, my friend Katie talked about her struggles with infertility. Her advice to other women struggling: Don’t keep it a secret. Share and be cared for. Let your truth out so that others can share their own truths. Don’t. Be. Afraid.
Here’s my story.
A few years ago on a snowy winter day, a young doctor with kind eyes told me that my chances of conceiving a child naturally were slim to none. Exact words: less than a 1% chance. He also confirmed what I already knew: my ovaries were broken. More specifically, they were polycystic, forming cysts instead of releasing eggs. If you paid attention in health class, you’ll see the problem. If there’s no egg–there’s no chance of an embryo.
It was sad.
Over a year later, I peed on a stick in my work bathroom and almost passed out. You can read more about that in Surprise! There’s An Alien In My Uterus. It was pretty exciting, especially after years of being poked and scraped, trying to understand and fix my bum ovaries. I didn’t cry, but I did laugh. I laughed because even when I was 14 years old and my body wasn’t working the same way my friends’ bodies were working, I said: I will have a baby someday, darn it. Don’t try to stop me.
My story is not unique. In fact, it’s not even all that bad. I know women who have waited for years. Some for decades. You want to talk to real fertility warriors? They are out there. Quietly struggling, quietly stowing away money for IVF treatments and adoption, quietly waiting to be mothers.
We were lucky, dare I say blessed, to have Waylon. He is here! He is healthy! He says full sentences like “Mama Poopy Butts!” Hallelujah! The pregnancy seemed to fix my periods, too. If you are a man and reading this blog (hello!), you may want to skip over this part because apparently menses make you nauseous. Whatever. After Waylon was born, my period came back with some regularity. It was weird and I hoped it meant getting pregnant again someday wouldn’t be impossible.
So far, no luck. It hasn’t been long since I’ve had baby fever, but it’s been long enough that I’m already stomping around and letting out heavy sighs every time I have a negative pregnancy test. Full disclosure, we haven’t been using any birth control since Waylon was a few months old. I didn’t want to be pregnant then, but I know my body well enough to know it doesn’t just make babies.
This month we are on our second round of Clomid, a drug that stimulates ovulation and gives you night sweats. Awesome! It also makes me incredibly crampy, bloated, and irritable. Austin has been patient, but there’s a limit. A few weeks ago he made a joke about the house being messy and I just about burnt the house down. My advice to anyone shacking up with a Clomid user: check yourself before you wreck yourself.
If this round doesn’t work, they’ll double my dosage and then likely move onto shots. We haven’t talked about how much further we’ll go beyond drugs. Austin has always wanted to adopt, and I feel similarly, but that’s not in the cards right now financially. Clomid costs less than 20 bucks for 5 pills, a steal compared to a few years ago when it was over 200.
I’m taking it day by day. At this point I’m not obsessively worried. Waylon isn’t even two and I’m not even thirty. We’ve got time. The point is that when you’re trying and it isn’t working, what do you do? Why is it so weird to talk about? Who came up with this rule that reproduction is a big secret until you’re 12 weeks pregnant? I don’t get it. I don’t care if you know I’m taking Clomid and having scheduled sex (boring!). In fact, I prefer it. I prefer you knowing that’s why I’m randomly sweating bullets in the middle of our lunch date. Nope, not going through menopause, just pumping my body full of hormones, thanks! Excuse me while I remove my shirt.
Austin and I always wanted to have our babies close together; churn out a whole batch of kids and raise them up in a little wolf pack. My prayer is that my bum ovaries don’t put a damper on that dream. My other prayer is that I stop googling “secondary infertility” and “ectopic pregnancy.” (Seriously, Google is the worst).
Cheers to baby making.
Cheers to sharing.
Cheers for the ability to say, “My ovaries are malfunctioning and now I can’t button my pants.”