Dear Kindred Spirits

IMG_3553

To my sisters in the online infertility community…

I read about your struggles, your joys, each step along the way in trying to bring forth a life you already deeply love even before it materializes into flesh and blood. We are bonded by this indescribable desire for a baby and we somehow manage to face these incredible challenges with the insurmountable strength, will and courage of a superhero(ine).

I admire each and every one of you, and I feel so grateful that there is such a supportive online community of ladies who have the dream of motherhood ever-present in their hearts.

Since my HSG test a couple of days ago when I found out that there is a problem with one of my fallopian tubes (hopefully just one…) and that this is yet another hurdle I will have to face, along with the innumerable amount of fibroids and polyps I have; my spirits have been shot. I feel numb; like a zombie going through the motions of everyday life. It’s been a beautiful start to Spring here and I feel like I should be reveling in the sunshine, breathing in the much warmer air, and looking forward to finally packing away my boots and winter gear and doing all of the wonderful outdoor activities we only have 6 months of the year (sometimes less!) to enjoy.

I did go online and found some success stories of women who have been able to deliver healthy babies even though they only had one working tube and fibroids/polyps. This definitely did make me feel a little better and I no longer felt like the world was crashing down on me like I did on Tuesday.

But the anxiety of seeing my doctor next Tuesday to find out the final results of the HSG test and whether or not IUI is off the table now with IVF being the only option left, has me on edge. If this is the case, my brief journey may then be over. I looked up the costs (our provincial healthcare as well as my work insurance does not cover anything fertility related) and for one cycle of IVF, it will be at least triple the amount I had planned for a couple cycles of IUI. I am limited in finances as a preschool teacher since my fibroids condition and thalassemia prevents me from being able to work full-time. I had tried to apply for a loan last year for some major emergency dental work (damn rollerblading accident years ago!) and they rejected me since I wasn’t making enough income. So I know that won’t be an option unless I maybe try another bank…The only other possibility that has entered my mind is maybe selling my beloved little loft and moving in with my mom…She is great but of course this is not ideal after being accustomed to living on my own for what feels like eternity.

Facing this possible fork in the road, I am struggling these days.

I am surrounded by pregnant teachers all around me at work and my best friend is due with her first in the next little while. I have been avoiding contacting another friend who gave birth recently. Yes, I do feel guilty about that. My baby niece and her parents will be in town this weekend and I will be babysitting her for the very first time. Originally, I was over the moon excited about it but now I admit that I am dreading it. I know, it’s selfish. Must stifle this green-eyed monster. Unfortunately, (or rather, fortunately I suppose) I do not have any family or friends (that I know of anyway) who have or had any fertility issues so I feel really alone in that regard. I know that if I really wanted to talk to some of them, I could; but how can someone understand when they don’t face infertility themselves? I tried to look up to see if there are any local infertility meet-ups but so far, I have been unsuccessful. There must be though and I will continue looking. Although these last couple of days, with the exception of S, I have isolated myself from everyone and have absolutely no desire to converse with anyone.

I know that I am a bit more short at work with people, shameful to say, that this includes the little ones. Good thing the weekend is coming up. I will also admit (so much easier to type it rather than to say it out loud to someone) that my relatively clean and healthy diet has been straight out the window and has been replaced with ranch chips, pizza, cookies and cream chocolate and vanilla wafers. I know I will need to stop this self-pity and emerge from this saturated fat, black hole at some point soon. I know that doing some meditation, yoga or Buddhist reading would probably help my emotions but it is just one of those times that I just cannot muster the strength or motivation to do it. I am glad that the antidepressants are preventing me from falling down too far and I have been trying to book an appointment with my therapist for next week. I am aware of all the resources and ways to help raise my spirits again. I just wish I could somehow reach deep inside my soul and find that yearning again soon to give me enough strength and guidance to keep me standing in this battle.

After tirelessly crusading against the inevitable treatment of these inoperable fibroids being a hysterectomy, and suffering from the constant bloodshed and literally having my life drain away for the last 9 years or so, I don’t know how much longer I can stick it out for.

Maybe fate is telling me I can put off the hysterectomy no longer.

If I am somehow miraculously able to conceive, it will be another battle in itself to keep that pregnancy. I see how many of you out there face pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss, over and over again and I don’t know if I am strong enough to be like you.

I have lived through an abusive childhood, depression and being suicidal, losing all my hair to Alopecia, a couple of cancer scares, going about each day with a hemoglobin level averaging around 80, major financial debt, heartbreaks from men all along the way, and the presence of a real-life Mommie Dearest in my relationship with S.

And yet I feel like this is what is finally going to break me.

To my fellow sisters alongside me on this long-winding road – How do you do it? How do you manage to always pick yourself up after each and every setback and keep staying hopeful??

M

 

The Elusive Acceptance

thumbs-up-629878

It was over special fried rice and Shanghai noodles a couple of weeks ago when I finally discussed with my mom the reality of my decision of becoming a mother on my own; some particulars on the process with the fertility clinic. We were talking on the phone the night before and she was excitedly gushing over the latest photos of the first baby in our immediate family, my niece. She religiously checks the website where my brother and sister-in-law post the photos the moment she wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed at night. I admit – I do check daily too…seeing her brings a smile to my face each and every time.

Anyway, she pointed out how happy my brother and sister-in-law look and how much they must be enjoying new parenthood. She then gave me her blessing on my choice to pursue single motherhood. My happiness was instant. She even mentioned that she had talked about this with my aunt. To me, this translated into the significance of her being okay enough with my decision that she was even comfortable sharing it with someone else.

As for the rest of my immediate family, other than one extremely lengthy email that initially turned me into a puddle of tears with its appearance as an authoritative scare tactic which I have now chosen to trust was written with good intention and love; my siblings are pretty much avoiding the topic altogether. This is probably for the best as I don’t wish to strain our relationships and cause tense disagreements right now. It will only cause me stress and anger, emotions I do not wish to invite into my life right now. I am not planning on telling my dad anything at this point.

As for friends…I have to admit that I am avoiding a number of them because I dread telling them about my decision. Even my best friend. Who is due with her first child very soon. I know that the conversation will not affect our relationship (or at least I don’t think so…), but even though we have a long and relatively close friendship despite not living in the same city, my worries exist because of her religious and cultural beliefs. I know that to this day, I still have not lived up to her fairy tale life that she has envisioned for me over the last 20 years. I have never dared to tarnish her impermeable innocence with the sordid details of my dating life but she should have an idea at the very least of who I am. I know I will have to tell her eventually but at this point, I do not want to risk spoiling the first moments of her own motherhood journey.

One friend I told never replied back to my text.

Another one diplomatically just listened to me, without ever stating her opinion, and only commented that she has never known anyone else to do this.

The only other friend I have discussed this with was filled to the brim with sympathy for my situation and even said that hearing about all the things that I deal with always helps her feel less depressed about her life. Huh. And then wide-eyed, eager and curious, she soaked up every detail of the process thus far. The number one being how to choose a sperm donor, of course. Even my mom had asked me how I would be getting the…ummm…”stuff.”

Fortunately, I also have one wise older friend in her 60s who has always been like another mother to me. She has always been a champion (the only loyal one) of my relationship with S and she was the first one to tell me to pursue single motherhood. She was the one I sobbed to after I realized S was not going to father my child. In those early heated moments when I was considering natural insemination by strangers through co-parenting sites, she was the one who talked me down and pointed out that S is a traditional sort of man who would undoubtedly have his heart destroyed if I slept with another man. She was adamant that I find a sperm donor through official channels. Am I ever glad that she had talked some sense into me. If not, I am certain that any chance of my relationship with S continuing on would indeed be non-existent.

I am aware that I cannot go on continuing to avoid my friends so that I don’t need to talk about this. And if they are indeed my true friends, they will in the end want happiness for me and so would support my decision. I am going to be selective about which friends I will be telling, as well as which stage I will be doing it at. My current priority is to be as calm and positive as I can be for this journey as I want to be creating a healthy emotional, as well as physical, home in my body for a baby. In the meantime, I will surround myself with people who want to share in this unique and special journey with me and I hope that understanding will eventually reach those who don’t. I will focus on those I am so incredibly fortunate to have in my life right now.

I know it really shouldn’t matter what others think of personal decisions but it does really mean something when loved ones are on board with your choices. Especially moms. I was thinking I should share with her at some point that maybe a huge part of why I desire a baby so much, regardless of all of the struggles in the process, is maybe because I want to have a relationship like what we have had with my own child. I want to be able to unconditionally love a child and share the journey of entering and exploring each and every part of life with him/her. I want to pass on all of the good parts of me I have gotten from her onto her grandchild; the continuation of her beautiful love to future generations.

M