The sun doesn’t come up anymore; it is winter in Western Washington and I’ve increased my dose of vitamin D as per doctor’s suggestion. She didn’t check my levels, just said practically everyone she sees in our rainy climate is deficient so I should go ahead and take more. Maybe it will help with my depression, which is crushing and inescapable and I believe is at least partially artificial, an unfortunate fact of my body’s response to Femara — another issue is, of course, my grappling with giving up hope for a family of my own. I don’t feel like my moods are doing their bipolar cycling thing; I don’t think med adjustments will save me from the gravity of my feelings about childlessness.
I’m tired of fighting, of waking up and abruptly finding myself in a state of vigilance against possible heartache, my nerve endings already singing battle hymns as I descend into hypersensitivity. I check the news and am frustrated with those in power, but mostly I don’t understand why under an insightful analysis of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar there has to be an announcement that Chrissy Teigan is pregnant — like, does anyone care? I understand she has struggled with infertility but I don’t really know the specifics, or, indeed, who she actually is and what she’s contributed to the arts (I don’t own a TV and am largely indifferent to pop culture in my old age). I hate pregnancy announcements and find they are the most triggery thing I am regularly exposed to, and maybe she’s dabbled with assisted reproductive technology…all I know is she’s on number two and my broke ass is still on zero.
Oh god, I’ve witnessed so many miracles and I’m just left wondering, “Where’s mine?”. Ugh, enough of the self-pity. Once I get started, it never ends. And I’m 7dpo, I know it’s early but I already know in my bones that I’m, once again, not pregnant.
In December of 2014, I found out I was pregnant with Molly. I remember so clearly. I had sent Geoff to our favorite restaurant, a Mongolian grill where you assemble a meal and then they cook it, for takeout. He knew what ingredients I liked, I had the same thing every time…shrimp, scallops, broccoli, the sauce designated “sweet”, etc….unfortunately, the restaurant owner had decided to offer more exotic options that day, and my dear husband who refuses to invest in prescription eyeglasses and instead buys reading glasses from the dollar store mistook octopus for my scallops and attempted to feed it to me (I am not an adventurous eater). I didn’t even eat any, but I threw up for about a week from disgust before wondering if my distressed response was perhaps some sort of biological overreaction. Sure enough, it was morning sickness. We got our first BFP.
I was so fucking happy. We had only tried once. I honestly thought we were having a baby, that I must be pretty fucking fertile. Eighteen wonderful weeks, ending in despair like I’d never imagined, having to have a fucking second trimester abortion for fatal chromosomal defects. She would be two by now but instead my arms are empty and I’m ready to quit . It’s just a fluke, said the perinatologist, said the genetic counselor. It’s very unlikely it will ever happen again. Uh huh, right.
I remember how happy my dad was when I told him we were expecting. How he was already making plans to come out and see me And Geoff and baby, who was due in September. And I remember my mom not being happy at all, and me not even caring. And now I think nothing good will ever happen again. What will I do? Next summer at 40 years old, then at 50, at 60? What will I do?
Infertility stories are supposed to have happy endings, or, at least, they seem to have them for most of the people I’ve communicated with over the years. They are supposed to tell of perseverance and determination, of overcoming all odds, of blessings from above. My story ends in pain and suffering that will never go away. My head throbs and I find myself reluctant to eat and take my meds, shivering with anxiety as panic grips me by the shoulders. I pull my little cat close — I am very very sick today. I reach for some candy, and for the Restoril. I just want to feel better. Maybe tomorrow I will.