(In)Fertility Stories (26w4d)

There’s so much to update you on! But I want this post to mainly focus on one idea I’ve been ruminating about while here in Indiana, so I’ll start there and then decide whether to break things out into separate posts or just keep going.

On Christmas Day, I called my family back home (as is my custom now) to get the update on what everyone got, how the food was, you know – the usual. My mom gave me the standard details, then told me that my cousin and his wife – who I’ve mentioned before on this blog – are pregnant! 10 and 1/2 weeks, to be precise. If you’ve forgotten their details, I’ll remind you: They were seeing the same fertility clinic as us, after having tried naturally for a long time and having one early miscarriage. They did 3 IUIs at the clinic last spring/summer, and were waiting for open enrollment on my cousins insurance to add his wife, as they’d have coverage for IVF. That open enrollment period was between Nov. 1- 15, and they found out just days later (after they’d switched, of course) that they had conceived naturally. They are due July 20th – which is actually the same due date my sister in law had for Liam two years ago. When I spoke to my cousin-in-law on the phone, she sounded apologetic – like she was sorry they’d ended up pregnant unassisted while we are expecting an IVF baby. But I very honestly feel nothing but genuine excitement and relief for them; I wouldn’t wish IVF on anyone.

So, they are Fertility Unicorns, Urban Legends come true. They are not the only Fertility Unicorns I know. La reminded me that HER cousin also conceived naturally, while waiting to save for IVF. That baby is about to turn 2, although their fertility luck didn’t carry over – he was born at just 28 weeks gestation and spent a lot of time in the NICU and still has a G-tube to get all of his nutrients. And there are a few folks out in the blogosphere as well, who have gotten lucky on their ‘hail mary’ IUI or while they actually were ‘relaxing’ or ‘taking a break’ or trying to adopt.

I don’t begrudge any of these people their conception. But I do hate that these are so often the stories we hear most often – the miraculous, the impossible, the ‘inconceivable.’ And, unfortunately, its those stories that allow La’s aunt to say to us, while talking about her son and daughter-in-law who are currently TTC, ‘she just needs to calm down! it’s never going to happen unless she calms down!’ and feel justified in her opinion. It’s these stories that cause the trite and obnoxious bullshittery that all of us in IF land – no matter how or when or if we get knocked up – have to hear and suffer through.

Which is why I am grateful to be a part of a community of story tellers, like this one. Not because I don’t want my cousins’ story told – I do – but because I also want all of YOUR stories heard. I want the stories of success after 4 FETs, or choosing thoughtfully to remain childless, or forgoing infertility treatments altogether to adopt, or donor eggs or gestational surrogacy – I want ALL of those ways of building a family to be heard. The more stories get told, the more the naievely fertile have to reconcile that while going on vacation and getting knocked up does happen – so does IVF cycle after IVF cycle. So does people remaining childless. What you are doing is adding important voices to the greater narrative of (in)fertility, creating space for more stories, more experiences, more feelings. I am genuinely grateful to be a part of this community. Thank you.

Here are some other things that have happened since last we spoke:

  • I failed my one hour glucose test. I am pissed off. I felt really confident that I wouldn’t, since I have consistently had good blood sugar/metabolic panels (my PCOS is the cystic ovaries and androgen variety) and I’ve only gained 7 lbs since my pregnancy started. Apparently none of this matters. So, I’m going in tomorrow to get my three hour test out of the way before I head back to work. Please say some prayers that I pass the three hour test. Apparently 2/3 women who fail the one hour end up passing the three hour, so the odds do seem to be in my favor.
  • We have spent too many days in Indiana, and specifically, too many days attending huge family events for this certified introvert. Last night I sat in the bathroom, preparing myself to go out into the family dinner of 15 and I thought I was at my breaking point. I made it, but I am excited to head home to quiet and (relative) solitude. I am less excited to head home to negative temperatures. It’s practically balmy out here in the midwest!

I’m being summoned to ball yarn for my mother-in-law, so she can keep knitting the most adorable baby blanket on the planet for little SF. . . toodles, and HUGE CONGRATS to my buddy at LadyLoveandBabyDust for her much deserved BFP! ❤


18 thoughts on “(In)Fertility Stories (26w4d)

  1. I don’t have an end to my story yet. I will share it when I do. I’m pretty sure it will include only one or two medicated cycles, then addition through foster care.

    The craziest fertility story I’ve heard is about a couple that for knocked up naturally after a failed ivf cycle.

  2. I love this! So many people do not understand the means people go through to have a child. The emotional and physical stress and of course the money. It is so nice to read that there are others out there who can relate.

  3. I’m definitely a unicorn and I am always sorry about it. But! On another note, I failed my first glucose test as well and passed it the second time. It was a pain in the ass, but I hope you have the same luck I had! Oooh. I just can’t wait until this little one comes out! I’m still so uber excited for you guys.

  4. We definitely appreciate your story and you and La’s journey… This resonates with me because I too feel it is important for these stories to be heard. Sometimes especially by medical professionals so that they can be more sensitive to LGBTQ issues… And infertility issues in general… We should start a class or lecture or do a TED talk with compiled TTC stories and the struggle… Will be sending you good vibes to make it through your 3 hour test!

  5. I failed my 1-hour test by one effing point. That 3-hour one was miserable. About halfway through the nurse told me about the family waiting room where I could go lie down at least and I slept through the second half. Good luck!

  6. This is such an important topic. Thanks for writing so eloquently about it an articulating what a difference these stories make to real people.

    Also, I read that some places are doing a 2-hour glucose screen to start because of how many false failures there are with the one hour.

  7. My wife failed her 1 hour and passed the 3 hour. The drink made her so sick and so did the multiple blood draws, so be prepared to take it easy the rest of the day! Good luck! 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope to join you in the “win” column in 2015. And as much as it sucks to go through it all, I, too, have appreciated the little community here, so thanks!

  9. I am really grateful that you posted this. It exhibits such perspective, grace and compassion. I also share your desire for peace and quiet. I’ve had enough busy time lately too! Prayers for a great glucose-tolerance test result said (fingers crossed, too). Sorry you failed the 1-hour; I’d be pissed, too.

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