I wonder how a woman that used to light up around babies can hardly even glance in an infant seat when she’s in public? I wonder how a woman that used to get butterflies in her stomach when she saw a pregnant woman has to turn her head when one comes in view? I wonder how a woman that used to wander through the baby section in a department store for fun now has to find the route that keeps her the furthest from it? And then I remember… The woman that used to light up around babies, now feels how heavy her empty arms are. The woman that used to get butterflies in her stomach when seeing a pregnant woman, now only sees a reminder of her barren womb. The woman that used to wander through the baby section, now only sees painful reminders of what age their child would have been. And I only know that because that woman – is me.
Sometimes I feel so dramatic about the situation God has given to my husband and I. I remember that there are women that have been travelling this path far longer than I have. There are women that have felt far worse pain than I’ve felt. But saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse, is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better. And just because it could be worse doesn’t mean my pain is any less real. It’s been really hard for me to see so many friends get pregnant. I’m overcome by feelings of bitterness and jealousy when I see the announcements. You see… it’s a fine line. That line between being happy for you and being sad for me. I haven’t learned how to walk it just yet. But I’m trying.
The saying “the things you take for granted are the things someone else is praying for” became very real and personal to me earlier this year. On a day that was challenging enough in it’s own respect, I received the news that someone that was once very close to me – who has basically thrown their life away for that “fix” – was expecting a baby. I know where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, what I was wearing. I will never forget hearing the news that had just “slipped accidentally”. The words “I’m sorry! We weren’t going to tell you because of the miscarriage!” swirled around through the fog of emotion I had been enveloped in. I couldn’t think about anything but getting off the phone as quickly as I possibly could – to save the person on the other end from hearing whatever it was that was playing tug-of-war with my tongue to be uttered. As I hung up, I don’t remember saying goodbye, and I can’t quite put words to the feelings that completely overcame me, but I do remember hitting my knees & trying to catch my breath. I can only liken the feeling to what I’d imagine it’d be like being hit dead-center by a MACK truck. Not fun. AT ALL. I remember it finally hitting me and thinking, “Wait? You mean you KNEW and you didn’t TELL me??” I hastily composed a text to someone very close to me, a text that toed the line between accusation & sheer amazement that they’d actually kept the secret from me. The response was simple… “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you.” I felt that now, not only was I dealing with the gut-wrenching fact that someone was getting the gift I’d been
begging praying for, but also with the fact that I’d been lied to. My head could grasp the concept of protection, however getting my heart on the same page has not been so easy.
When women that have been diagnosed infertile are trying to get pregnant, there is a long list of methods that are tested, through trial and error, to obtain the outcome desired. Although sometimes those methods have side effects that are unexpected. In March 2013, my (new) OB-GYN decided that it was time to try Clomid. Clomid is the given name for a medication that makes most women have mood swings that would make even the most pleasant woman go from 0 – BI*$% in 3 seconds flat. Thankfully, I didn’t have much of the mood swings. Hot flashes? Check. Headaches? Check. But then, about a week and a half after taking them, I went to the Emergency Room for severe abdominal pain. At first, the dr’s in the ER were completely puzzled. My symptoms manifested themselves as a classic case of Appendicitis – pain, nausea, loss of appetite. They did all the testing and everything came back mostly clear. The only thing that showed up on Contrast CAT Scans were the large mass of cysts that had developed on my left ovary – measuring 4.4cm. They weren’t convinced that there wasn’t something deeper going on and with the evident amount of uncontrollable pain I was in (even after large doses of morphine & dilaudid), they admitted me to the hospital and told me that the Internal Medicine Doctor would be in to see me in the morning. After a fairly brief discussion, he told me that he would give his recommendation to the Surgeon and I’d hear back shortly. The next I heard was a few hours later when the nurse came in the room and told me that I was to be prepped for Emergency Surgery. When the surgeon came in to talk to me in Pre-Op, he told me that they were going to go in laparascopically (three small incisions) and take my appendix. He also said that the cysts they saw on the CT Scan were large enough that he felt they would probably need to be drained. So, while he was in there he took my appendix, drained the mass of cysts and also ended up removing blood from cysts that had ruptured. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the pain. My hubby had to take me back to the ER only 9 days after surgery, to which it was discovered that the mass of cysts had not only came back, but were now measuring 5.6cm. Know what that meant? No more of that fertility medicine for this girl. The medication that has been used for YEARS to help women get pregnant was now on the list of “Things Dacina Can’t Take To Get Pregnant.” And to add insult to injury – the person so close to me that had gotten pregnant? She had her baby 3 weeks to the day before we would have been due. Hard to not let that little tidbit of information mess with your mind.
After everything kind of settled down with that, the OB decided that the next course of action would be to have my husband get an analysis done. The results of that first test were devastating, to say the very least. We were CERTAIN that the results were wrong. She wanted us to have a second one done, just in case something had actually gone wrong. (Gentlemen, there are SO many things that can affect your swimmers that you don’t even CONSIDER!) But in the meantime, she had referred us to… [insert ominous movie music here] an Infertility Specialist. As if it hadn’t been real before, now we had to see a SPECIALIST. We booked the appointment for the Specialist and the second analysis all very quickly. Thankfully, the results from the second came back completely normal.
I knew, through some research, that Kentucky is #48 on the list of “Fertility Friendly States” so when my OB told us that the best specialist around was in Cincinnati, we were okay with it. It’s only about 1 1/2 hours from where we live, but still… it’s 1 1/2 hours from where we live! Thankfully they had a satellite office in Florence, which is only about an hour. On our first visit, I remember the triage nurse asking me how far we’d driven to get there and when I’d told her just an hour, she said they’d just had someone there that had driven 3 hours! SHEW! I feel like he was totally worth it now! Then we met him and I KNEW he was totally worth it. The consultation and ultrasound actually took less time than the drive up there. It was so much information so quickly and I think my hubby and I both just felt completely overwhelmed by it all… but, now we had a gameplan!! We were on the road to getting pregnant!!
Of course one of the looming obstacles now is, the exorbitant cost of the infertility treatments themselves… But, we are taking it one day, one step, one breath and often days, one tear at a time….
Post Script: Resolve has since updated & Kentucky is now #50.