I woke up feeling like I’d crossed a barrier, and could once again rejoin the human race. I am no longer shaking violently; I feel well-rested and perhaps I’ll even leave my house. I hear crashing and banging from the kitchen — the cat has clearly gotten into something, but I feel too okay to risk poking my head in there and finding some sort of exasperating situation. Today, I am myself again. We’ll see how long it lasts.
Feeling like myself, however, has not eroded my bitter streak. I skipped my 7dpo progesterone draw due to a strong sense that nothing matters. I filled Scruffy’s trough with straight up bourbon, because I don’t want him coming around and prodding me to check my boobs for tenderness (this just in…they seem to have become much smaller so I kicked Scruffy in the shin). A woman in one of my online forums uttered my most rage-provoking cliche, whether we’ve been trying 3 months or over a year, we’re all in the same boat, lolz! Fuck you, you’re in the boat and I’m floating out here in shark infested waters, clinging desperately to the Styrofoam lid of a beer cooler. 🗡🗡🗡 At least bitter me is still me, and I’m not currently being drowned by the pain of rage and sorrow.
I’m hesitantly letting my mind dwell on very raw and soul-crushing thoughts: what if Molly is my only child? Would I be okay? Would I ever be happy again? Adoption or more advanced fertility treatments are not options for us (I would not pay a plug nickel for my own eggs at this point and my RE agrees that ship has sailed…just as an aside, my Femara is only $0.55 a round and is my final desperate attempt at something). I can’t imagine childlessness without fat tears forming in my eyes, so having just put that out there, I think I’ll go for a walk…
All I think about these days are babies, but my thoughts are akin to my occasional fanciful flights in which I dream of winning the lottery. Babies aren’t tangible or palpable things to me, they are like a whisper of wind that I cannot get a grasp on. I have these prosaic thoughts–maybe we should endeavor to get a four door car so a child seat would be easier. And it disappears in a flash as my natural pessimism takes hold. I want to feel empty so that maybe someday there will be space in my body for new life to take hold, but instead I’m crowded inside with bitterness and grief, pregnant only with hate.
I wonder if I truly want a child, or if I am desperate to recapture the innocent version of myself that I lost along with my daughter Molly. Geoff and I were so blissfully happy, newlyweds bathed in the joy of possibilities. Two and a half years later, and I am cursing the brutality of a Universe that doles out miracles to everyone but me. Why would a girl crammed full of hate and loathing be rewarded? My psychotherapist of almost fifteen years, her eyes grow wide with alarm as I try to tell her about my anger, my hurt. God has forsaken me, I tell her as I blather on about my atheism as if it’s the ultimate act of revenge. I feel the confusion grasp my heart and I know i will not sleep again tonight.
A photograph on Facebook: my childhood friends having a reunion, smiling on a beautiful Massachusetts beach as their children play in the sand. Back together, and the next generation! the caption reads, and I long to be there next to them holding Molly in my arms, and take a deep breath and consider making myself a stiff drink for breakfast.
Who am I, to feel so entitled? To whine incessantly about things I can’t have? My husband believes we will eventually get a break, that we will be happy bears once again sometime soon. I lay prone on the bed, staring at my new bottle of Femara on my bedside table as my cat tries to comfort me with snuggles and purring. I am not ungrateful; I am acutely aware of my blessings in life but I want more anyhow and maybe that is what destroys me.
Laying on my belly, trying to type with shaky hands…the luteal phase of my Femara cycle feels worse than when I was actually taking the pills. I’m 6 days past my ovulation per ovulation prediction strips; temping has not been accurate since I am plagued with insomnia. I figure that since progesterone peaks at 7 days past, after tomorrow my P4 levels will start dropping, and maybe these intense moods will dissipate.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a friend, the last time I spoke with anyone besides Geoff and my crack team of mental health professionals. I shook violently through my psychotherapy session this morning, terrified of even discussing the grief I feel when I imagine living out the rest of my days childless. I long to hold Molly in my arms for even a moment. I am 39 years old and can’t fathom waiting another 40+ years to be with her again.
This isn’t me. In the past, I’ve been described as “vibrant” despite my struggles with schizophrenia and bipolar. Now, I am flattened on my bed as my hormones rage, the sky pressing down on my brittle body. I am lonely, and yeah, I get it–my grief and misery make people uncomfortable. I feel badly for them when they awkwardly try to make contact, so I spare them and keep my distance. And I lay in bed, trash and dirty dishes piling up around me. I am so sorry, Geoff–it was never meant to be like this.
I don’t indulge in post-ovulation symptom spotting, as progesterone causes symptoms that mimic the symptoms of early pregnancy, and it bothers me to hear other women go on about their sore boobs and mysteriously watery cervical mucus. I usually have no luteal phase symptoms at all, anyways, but here I am wondering if perhaps I’m having “implantation psychosis”. The thought cheers me slightly; I’ve seen women on forums wondering about much sillier things so why the fuck not?
I lack optimism about my first Femara cycle. As my moods continue to plummet into the most severe depression of my bipolar life, as I continue to behave atrociously to my ever-patient husband, all I can think is that this is all for nothing.
I think I used to believe suffering was always rewarded in the end. I don’t think that anymore. It seems like suffering exists only for suffering’s sake, and that the black-hearted people of this world may never find relief.
And right now, I can barely move. I can’t imagine that after all of this disappointment and loss, I will ever get my take home baby. And I’m terrified of a BFP, two pink lines on a First Response Early Results test means nothing but more grief and despair coming my way. Because, like a fool, I still get my hopes up.
I hear my upstairs neighbor’s children laughing. She is going through a messy divorce and I don’t believe she has full custody. I often hear her crying. I can’t feel bad for her.
1. ::theme song to my first medicated cycle ::
2. I spent all night fighting with Geoff, woke up to find these on my filthy bathroom sink…
3. My loyal companion 4eva!
Being part of online infertility forums means I’ve met a lot of women struggling. I take comfort in knowing I’m not the only one feeling sad and bitter and jaded by this “journey” (“road to perdition” is more like it). I’ve met women I with whom I hope to stay connected to for my entire life…but it’s not that simple.
I’ve watched women survive so much devastation that the word “devastation” seems trite and overused. I’ve watched women for whom hope is crushed again and again, who suffer dizzying and expensive disappointments and brutal losses. And then I watch them move on and do the unfathomable: they get that bfp, they achieve their hearts desire after a seemingly predetermined amount of agony, and they go on to have what are basically healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies.
And here I am still suffering. I am happy for them, but all of the sudden there is a giant wall between us. They move on and I am happy for them, but I grieve the loss of their camaraderie. And my loneliness festers, and I think about how statistically there will be a couple of us that must face a childless life and it’s likely that the poor unfortunate is…me.
Maybe I’m a complete sociopath. Or maybe I’m unlucky and I know it. I’ve read other women’s words about this very same topic, and then bam! pregnant. And I’ve achieved pregnancy myself and possibly elicited like sentiments in others, until my baby dies and they welcome me back with more grace than I’m ever able to muster.
And my loneliness festers and festers and festers, and my soul feels black and ridden with cancer, and all I can do is steel my reserve and keep travelling.
I am, ostensibly, 1 dpo today per opk. I miss the security of confirming ovulation with BBT, but I cannot sleep lately and there’s nothing to be done about that until my insurance agrees to my new medication dose schedule–I am trying to change my antipsychotic routine so I get the majority of my total intake at night, hoping it will facilitate a few more zzzzzs at bedtime. Geoff finally woke up yesterday morning, gave it his all, and managed a decent final performance on ovulation day.
Now that the pressure has subsided, I begin my tww. I don’t obsess over testing like I did when I still had faith. Scruffy seems hell-bent on destruction so I keep him plied with alcohol and cigarettes so that he won’t come in to pester me. He’s out back, passed out cold as I listen to my tww theme song on repeat — The Future Bible Heroes’ Hopeless, worth looking up on the YouTubes if you’re looking to not feed your own unicorn. I am constantly braced for disappointment these days and try to avoid overstimulation.
Please forgive me. I am genuinely not a morose individual, but these days I need to protect my delicate heart. My husband is extra kind to me when I get this way, but I regret the negativity I can’t help but project. I’ve been given so much false hope in the last couple of years. I have to exist on the plane of brutal realism.
My opk is back to negative, BBT is unreliable since I only got 2 hours sleep, lady bits are sore from all the action they’ve seen since my CM went fertile. It’s 3.21 AM and it’s an early day for me and hubs. I lay in wait so we can bang one out before things get hectic. Now, Geoff needs at least five cups of coffee before he can think about performing, and likes to relax and read his aging-punk-rocker Facebook group. I have online infertility forums; he has “Punk’s Dead and I’m Not Far Off”. Usually my loyal little cat has him up by now, but he is snoozing away in a carry-on suitcase with a faux sheepskin coat from Forever 21 tucked inside. I set it up for him yesterday. I wasn’t planning ahead.
My husband sleeps the sleep of the righteous, snoring away as if he is a man that did not marry a neurotic psycho insomniac like myself. I bide my time, waiting for a reasonable hour to pounce on him with all my seductive glory. I shiver in my Eberjey bralette–it is a utilitarian style, not particularly sexy, but it was pretty expensive. Ah well, it will have to do.
I have been trying to prove the hilarious theory that sex makes babies since November of 2014. This, however, is my first medicated cycle and those five tiny yellow pills I ingested one at a time from cycle days three through seven have taken the last shred of sanity I had left. It’ll be okay–I see my psychiatrist at 8am and since on Femara I’m ovulating a tad earlier than normal, she can feel free to ship me off to Western State. Antipsychotic medication has been shown to be safe for any schizo bitch like me to take while trying to conceive.
One last fuck and I’m through with this cycle. I just have to manage not to lose my shit. I swear, the sense of urgency I feel about every tiny little thing, the sense of urgency that is completely absent in my dear husband’s inexplicable brain–totally an East coast/West coast thing, nothing to do with my mental health diagnosis and Geoff’s lack therefore of…
Deep breaths. I hear the cat’s collar jingling; he’ll be in soon to beg for breakfast and then I can strike…stay tuned, sport’s fans.
…and lo and behold, a positive ovulation test on CD 14. If we manage intercourse in the morning, I’ll feel we’ve done all we can. Regardless of the outcome of this cycle, I feel 100% better because I fucking survived.
Femara has not given me an easy ride. I feel as though there are not a lot of women with psychotic disorders that seek assistance in getting pregnant. And successful conception means nothing to this hardened rpl’er…two beautiful pink lines on a First Response Early Results certainly does not mean I will bring home a baby. Rather the opposite–my suffering will increase as grief is piled on top of grief until I am suffocated with the rage of repeat loss.
I feel like I can barely keep my head above water. I sputter tasting salt as the waves of sorrow and anger strike again and again. I’ve never been caught in a riptide but I know you’re not supposed to fight it. I can’t stop fighting. The most dangerous waves are the ones that bring hope. There is nothing more painful in the entire world to me than hope.
And my god, am I lonely! I want my mother to soothe me as she did before my sister passed and she became hard. I want my husband to understand that none of this is my fault, these post-Femara moody days in which I’ve been terrified for my sanity. I want my friends to look me in the eye and not fidget because my grief and infertility is uncomfortable.
My cat noses in between me and my phone, snuggles close and starts to purr. I bury my face in his soft fur and cry.