Fertility Treatment: A Round Of Poisoning And Some Escapism Later…
Childlessness moved into our relationship in 2013.
It didn’t burst through our doors in the same way as our daughter would eventually end up doing later on. It came sneaking. Little by little. Just like the seasons keep coming and going, it rolled into our lives as silently as the leaves change colours. Gradually, and then suddenly. It started out like butterflies in my stomach every time the ovulation test was positive, and a deep sigh every time the pregnancy test was negative. It was part of our daily rituals, by which we meticulously described everything from my temperature and moods to my sleeping patterns and detailed observations about the climate down south (note: my vagina; not Spain). It emerged in my envy towards the baby happiness of others, my shame towards the defects of my body and my anger and frustration directed towards not being able to fulfil my fucking humble wish of having a kid. It was there during Christmas Eves, birthdays and travels. And then I’ll tell you it was there in the bedroom as well, where something that used to be better than pizza (shout out to Jonas!) now had become tiring and awkward. It was with me at work all over the world, in boring hotel rooms and on grand adventures. It constantly hung across my shoulders as a heavy rucksack. I so wanted to be pregnant, but no matter what I did, the two lines just wouldn’t appear.
I visualised. I manifested. I prayed to the universe, to God, to L. Ron Hubbard and to Buddha. I did a 6-hour Nupo diet, I stopped drinking red wine, I stopped eating tuna. I went on stress-relieving retreats, where I lowered my useless body into water and asked it telepathically to just start working. I listened to people’s mad tips and ideas and believed gullibly their premise circling around it probably just being my own fault because I ‘was so busy’ and that I ‘just needed to relax.’
I tried everything.
Our time in fertility treatment is still something I view as some of the most challenging we’ve been through. I often describe having become a mum as standing at the epicentre of an earthquake that only you feel, and the same sensation is what characterised my fertility treatment. I felt as if my insides were twisting and turning, and that my foundation was squeaking and falling apart and that no one but me was able to sense it. The only fixed point in our fight was humour. Allowing ourselves to laugh out loud at all of the absurd situations we found ourselves in. That’s what energised us and acted as a protective shield against unhappiness.
My daughter’s conception! … I mean, you know what I mean.
My husband made an Ocean’s Eleven worthy plan for us. He’d prepare the needle, hand it over to me, after which I – lying down in order not to hurt my head when fainting – was supposed to insert and detonate the needle myself! Perfect, right? My husband was then supposed to remove it from my belly so that I wouldn’t get stuck in an endless loop (pass out – wake up – see the needle again – pass out – wake up – see the needle again…). The plan was eminent. We were both proud and, despite needle-induced anxiety, super thrilled. You may already have guessed that it didn’t quite go as planned.
My husband kept his part of the deal and prepared the needle like a pro. And after what I’d still describe as his life’s best pep talk, I managed to insert the needle into my belly and pull the trigger. Honestly – I really thought it stung, and I clearly remember thinking that it wasn’t super practical to have such a thin container for such a big amount of liquid. I fainted – completely according to plan, but woke up again and was super proud of myself! Right until my husband uttered the now famous words; ‘wow, that’s weird – we don’t have enough for 15 days at all; we’ve spent much more than half of the amount!’ ‘Oh well, then we’ll just have to buy some more,’ I reply with a smile and glance out the window.
A few seconds later it occurs to us that it actually does sound more than just a bit mysterious. We realise that we’ve given me an overdose – that is, 10x the designated amount! PANIC! I admit that I called the poison line and perhaps expressed myself a bit unclearly (i.e.: ‘MY HUSBAND POISONED ME!’), but after a brief explanation of what really happened, they immediately hospitalise me for an examination. At this point, we actually find it quite hilarious. Of course, we’re shocked, but we’re mainly just giggling at our own stupidity. When we arrived at the emergency room, we were joking that he’d poisoned me to get access to my fortune (DKK 5,400 in a piggy bank).
When we see the medical student who’s on duty, we immediately sense that the situation makes her feel very uneasy, and she reminds us more of a shaking chihuahua than a doctor. We explain the situation with a laugh and ask (AS A JOKE!?), ‘it’s not lethal, right?’ Do you know what the lady replies??? YOU KNOW WHAT SHE REPLIES!! She says, ‘I can’t confirm or deny that at this point in time!’ WHAT THE FUCK? WHAT THE FUUUUCCCCKKK? What did you say?! Now the real drama starts… I’m COMPLETELY shocked and pass out immediately. Wake up on the floor a few minutes later and stare straight into Doctor Chihuahua’s face as she and my husband are holding up my legs vertically in the hope of moving some blood from my toes to my head. Being a solution-oriented woman, I obviously ask whether we can amputate my stomach so it won’t spread to the body. That’s not an option apparently. Modern medicine, my gosh. The only option is to just wait for the real doctor to appear 7 hours later. WELL, THEN! I’LL JUST GO AND DO THAT! At 7 o’clock, the doctor arrives and removes my death sentence with a huge laugh. He tells me not to worry, but suggests taking a month’s break from fertility treatment. We gratefully agree to a small break.