Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Young lady, are you lost? This is the fertility clinic. Planned Parenthood is across the street."

When I was last at my OBGYN's office, I informed my doctor (specialist/surgeon/only person I trust with a knife in my insides) of mine and my husband's intentions to start trying for another baby.  He told me, "If you're not knocked up in 6 months, come back and see us."  (Yeah, my old doctor was pretty casual.)

Well, here we are, 6 months, hundreds of temperature readings, pills taken, and dozens of sticks peed on later and, big surprise, I'm not pregnant.

In theory, I knew it wouldn't be easy.  Even before I had all my health problems, I never had regular cycles.  I don't know why I thought that would somehow be improved after losing an ovary and a half (while acquiring innumerable adhesions).

Perhaps it's because I'm a control freak, but I suppose I thought that all the planning and beautiful, magical science I was using to try to conceive would guarantee success.  After all, if I know when I'm ovulating, getting pregnant should be super-simple.  Right?

Sure, if I ignore ovarian deficiency, adhesions, too thick/too thin endometrial lining, and the fact that my luteal phases are shorter than ticket lines for "Zookeeper".

So, my 6 months are up and, stupid though it may be, I feel like a failure.  (Yes, yes, I'm a control freak.)  Though I try to shut the negative thoughts out, my internal monologue just keeps running through thoughts like, "Why can't I do this?  I've had a baby before.  Why is my body failing at one of its primary functions.  I'm so young.  This isn't supposed to be hard for someone as young as me."  I know failing to conceive isn't the same as missing a free throw, but when you're someone who despises failure as much as I do, it feels the same.

Even if I could shut my own brain up, my close girlfriends and husband keep asking me the same thing:  "Soooo...have you made your appointment yet?"

And I keep coming up with crappy excuses like, "Oh, I'm going to wait until the end of this cycle," and, "It's still not exactly 6 months yet."  But the truth is, seeking assistance feels like conceding defeat.

What's so mindblowingly stupid about that is, I know plenty of people who've had their kids through Clomid or progesterone shots or IVF or whatever.  And I don't look down on any of them for it.  I don't think they've failed at anything.

But I'm also a lot harder on myself than I am on other people.  So I keep chalking up my failure to personal faults, whether it be a caffeine addiction or a lack of faith.  Or that I'm paying the consequences for the times in college when I drank too much and ate too little.  Though I would never hold anyone else to such standards.

And, to be perfectly honest, the idea of going to a reproductive endocrinologist is kind of scary and humiliating.  I find myself worrying that I'll be the youngest woman in the waiting room, or that they'll mistake me for a surrogate or egg donor.  I'll meet one of those cocky, condescending doctors who finds out I've been making one simple mistake and berates me for wasting his time.  "What?  You're not taking a vitamin A supplement?  Go try that for a few more months before you come back."

Or, bad news...that they'll run a test or two, and tell me, "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do for you."

Or, at the very worst, that my husband and I will spend time and money and tears on reconstructive surgeries, pills, and shots, and end up with nothing to show for it but more medical debt.

So...no, I haven't made my appointment yet.

But I'm totally going to.  At the end of this cycle.

Next month, at the latest.

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