You’ve sent me so many words throughout and after my year in treatment. All of those streams of thoughts, grief and happiness in my DM, via email and here. You still send me messages when ‘it’s there’ – which really touches me deeply. And you also write when it isn’t there. When you, like me, experience an ectopic pregnancy and feel ‘well-prepared’ (insofar as that’s possible) after having read my post on it. When despair is gnawing.
If only we could enter fertility treatment with the knowledge that it would work out at some point – in six months, a year or five years; then we’d be able to deal with a lot. It’s the uncertainty that’s the hardest thing.
And uncertainty is gnawing at the toughest women of the day, who dares sharing her experience with PCO and fertility treatment. Sweetest, dearest woman. Please welcome her.
Furthermore, I want to share the tip that Thilde, mentioned by today’s writer, is launching her book soon, which some of you can win through me – once it’s out in a little bit. I saw Thilde myself. For me, it was just a single programme – as I really needed a break from everything fertility-related – but several of the women in Thilde’s class would come again and again and again. She is talented! As well as being the world’s nicest and most emphatic woman.
Where is my place in the fertility universe? I find it hard to decide. Old classmates and friends are announcing their pregnancy these days, after having tried for one, two, three months. And in my fertility yoga class, some have been trying for five years without even once testing positive.
I am … in the middle. A year and a half along in the fertility process. The first six months were like everyone else, after wedding and secure jobs, we threw away the pill and tried to make a small human being. But as time went by, my menstruations turned irregular and even faded out, and it ended up in a diagnosis. PCO. No ovulation (ever). Poor or practically no chance of becoming pregnant naturally. But lots of eggs! So, the verdict was insemination.
I approached the matter relatively light-minded. Yes, it was a bummer that it couldn’t happen at home. It was a bit annoying to have to give up sugar, starch and gluten completely (and alcohol, sigh). But these were tiny sacrifices compared to the goal of creating life, and I just had to accept that. But the missing ovulation, and hereof missing cycle, made the first period of time feel very long. The 28 days passed without an ovulation, which most people reach on day 14. Then 30 days passed, 34. I felt beat before even getting started properly. I was so eager, did so much, wanted it so badly. And then finally, on the 37th day of my cycle, an egg appeared. Which was inseminated on the 39th day, and I was so full of hope and happiness. Yes, the statistics weren’t positive, but I was young, 26 years, and had ‘good eggs’ so why not? 14 days later, the positive test appeared. I was totally shocked; it seemed almost too easy!? Two days later, the blood came. And then the blood test. Which confirmed a fertilisation, a so-called biochemical pregnancy, which wasn’t there anymore. That was the summer of 2018. Now it’s January 2019. Additional inseminations, but also three further cancellations.
Every time after long cycles, lasting an average of 65 days, only to be cancelled due to too many ripened eggs, too big a risk of too many of them sticking. Five eggs, six eggs, five eggs. Six eggs. And cancellations, while I’m lying on a bed with my legs in stirrups, a cup full of sperm ready to be injected, and then cancelled right before kick-off. Tears, snot and anger directed at the doctors, who refuse to inseminate, telling me that the risk of six fertilised eggs is too big. ‘Rather six than none,’ I hear myself say. But my opinion, my decision, doesn’t count.
Because they are ones who can and will make my child; I can’t do it myself. That’s the hardest part. What pushes me closest to the edge. That my body isn’t capable of doing what it is meant to do. Something so natural as a menstrual cycle, an ovulation, ripening the processes that I’m not producing. Is it nature’s way of telling me that I shouldn’t have a child? Am I such a poor representative of mankind that my genes have been deselected from the start? My poor husband, whose dreams are put to a halt by a defect wife.
Those are the thoughts that cause me to – now – feel okay about saying out loud that I’m suffering. That my fertility treatment is the hardest crisis I’ve ever faced. That I found it hard to get out of bed back in autumn, and hardly would have been able to do my job if my husband hadn’t forced me to go. Thoughts leading to panic attacks, a feeling of losing control of my body, which scared me. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s why I started seeing Thilde, my fertility therapist, and joined her fertility yoga class. I needed to see others, who, for various reasons, were in exactly the same situation as I. The difference that Thilde and the others in class make for me can’t be overstated. It has led to an accept of myself, and I’m not here because I’m wrong. As none of them are wrong. Neither are the ones who share their story in here. Neither am I. I also deserve to have a child.
It’s the fear of hoping that’s the hardest part right now. The uncertainty of how long this will be my reality. For how long will I have to keep poking needles into the skin below my belly button? For how long will I have to keep pushing pills up and hoping that they’ll be able to support a potential egg when my mucous membrane can’t? For how long will I have to be a little less happy, even on good days? For how long will I have to wait for my biggest dream to come true, while others, who started long before I did, have succeeded?
I’m looking forward to the day when I’m holding our little human being in my arms. To the day, when I can go back to being a caring friend, or the one who’s dancing on tables, an understanding sister and, not least, a good girlfriend. To the day when I’ll be happy for real again. I know that so much happiness is waiting in this life. And I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t happen.
My treatment has now moved to test tubes. I have lots of eggs, but now we can actually use them for something, now we can take them out rather than bin them. They can be fertilised and grown and inserted or frozen. But my trust in good statistics, young age and good eggs isn’t so strong as it was last summer. It was broken by too much adversity, my own as well as the adversity experienced through others or on this blog.
But I hang on to my hope. I really, really hope that my child will be on its way to me soon.