Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby Making in the Infertile World: Not Glam

For most people, when you start to think about having a baby, you think romance and glamour. You picture soft music, romantic lighting, a little BOOM-CHICK-A-WOW-WOW, and two weeks later, your boobs have exploded and you're puking up your breakfast. OK, actually that last part is not glamorous at all, but I digress.

When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, this is pretty much how we approached it. We went birth-control free, we had a little fun, and waited expectantly for the lines to show up on the little stick.

By the third month, I think the fun was over and I was starting to approach baby-making with all the romance, glamour, and vigor of a Four-Star General entering battle. After the Red Army invaded each month, I would allow myself a good cry and chocolate-fest (there's a lot of crying in this battle) for the first two days. Then, I would look at the calendar and plan our strategy for the month. I would share the plan with my second-in-command, Major Hubby ("OK, this month, we're going to attack every other day from days 12 to 18" or "OK, this month, we're going to place two days between attacks from days 11 to 19", etc.). Major Hubby would instantly forget the plan, so I had to give him a daily briefing on what was happening that day per the plan.

At the six-month mark of our battle, we visited my OB/Gyn, who had advised me not to wait longer than six months of trying with no result, but to come back and see him due to my advancing maternal age...of 33. Our test results were defeating...there was no way we were going to get pregnant without medical help. Apparently, my eggs were nice and cozy up in my ovaries and did not care to march down to my uterus each month, which was a shock. Since no ovulation=no baby, let the indignities begin.

It started with Clomid...a nice, innocent looking little pill that turned me from an emotionally fragile mommy wannabe into a RAGEAHOLIC GOING INTO MENOPAUSE. Seriously. I got hot flashes all the time (mostly at inconvenient times at work), began to sweat in completely unglamorous places, and felt anger of monumental proportions coupled with deep sadness multiplied by extreme bitterness. I unleashed this horribleness on my husband, parents, friends, coworkers, God, everyone.

After several months, we moved on from my OB/Gyn to a reproductive endocrinologist, who kept me on Clomid and added in a side of sticking a wand up my va-jay-jay every time I saw him to get a look at what the heck was going on inside me that was not resulting in a baby EVER. Totally embarrassing the first time or two I visited him...OK, pretty much mortifying every time it happened (which was A LOT) for the next five months.

In the end, the way this Four-Star General and her Major Hubby won the battle against infertility and made a baby involved the aforementioned rageaholic drug plus extra estrogen, "buttering the corn" while watching porn (poor hubby, see Bill Engvall), and more things being stuck up my va-jay-jay, from the hubby's swimmers to twice-daily progesterone caplets I had to insert like a tampon to make any potential pregnancy stick. Uh, definitely not romance and glamour.

The first time we did this, it didn't work and I was once again devastated. I had spent over a year fighting a battle that had turned me into an unhappy, constantly hot and menopausal person who was also 10 pounds heavier than usual (again, thank you Clomid). This General was ready to rip off her stars and give up. Major Hubby, who, bless his heart, had suffered many of his own indignities in this battle (see buttering the corn), did not waver. He gave me a little pep talk. He thought we should give it another try. This isn't how I pictured it, I told him. It isn't going to work anyway. I'm tired, I'm fat, and I don't want this to ruin Christmas, I said. The odds are better on the second try, he said. I think we should do it.

So we did it, on a Saturday morning, two days after receiving news via the va-jay-jay cam that we had one little soldier egg who looked primed to make the march to the uterus. One magical little trooper, ready to go. I didn't even allow myself to hope that our little magical soldier egg would turn into a baby. We did the deed at the doctor's office and went home and hosted a Christmas party for 15 people at our house. We celebrated Christmas with my parents, although I was mostly going through the motions at this point. We made no plans for New Year's because I had no hope of good news or a good New Year to come.

Sixteen days later, on the morning of New Year's Eve, we found out that we had won our battle. I was pregnant with our miracle child. It was one of the best days of my life. I cried and cried at the news (and had a chocolate-fest), but for once they were tears of joy. I went from feeling like the most ugly, unglamorous, bitter woman alive to feeling like the happiest, most grateful, most beautiful woman alive, because I was going to have a baby, finally.

My now-19-month-old daughter is a rosy-cheeked, blonde-haired, blue-eyed angel. When I was in my darkest hours, she saved me. Today, the often messy, decidedly unglamorous life I lead as a working mom, a life where my bed never gets made, toys are taking over every room in the house, and I spend entirely too much time doing laundry, a life that would surprise my formerly pristine self, is the best life I can imagine. I am a mother to a beautiful, whip-smart toddler. She is the greatest victory of my life and well worth every tear I shed and every indignity I suffered along the way to becoming her mother. So while babymaking in the infertile world=NOT GLAM, beating the odds and triumphing over adversity? Definitely glam.

No comments:

Post a Comment