I know I will miss some things that many people dealing with infertility see. If you think of more, let me know. I only know from what I experience and what I read.
You know you are dealing with infertility….
1) When your life revolves around your reproductive organs. My uterus and ovaries tell ME when they want something. My follicles tell me when I have to get shots and when I have to force my husband to perform his marital duties. The medications I take are on a strict schedule. My RE appointments are how I plan my day.
2) You spend every waking moment wondering what that twinge was. As I type this, I am concerned with the status of my ovaries. I am wondering if I have, in fact, just ovulated or if my follicles are growing into “nice, fat, juicy eggs” as my doctor calls them. I think about the burning I had on the right side and wonder if that was another follicle or if I had gas. Don’t even get me started on my boobs. Those bad boys take a sharp pain and I immediately think there was an immaculate conception.
3) You have an un-natural bond with the vaginal ultrasound wand. The fact that you have this thing digging around in there looking for signs of anything can be humiliating. When you first meet Mr. Wand, you are shy and timid and have a little difficulty allowing him to do his job. After I would say the first 3 months of being shy, you shed all of your inhibitions and you walk in the ultrasound room and before the nurse can say “Undress from the waste down” you are waiting covered in a paper blanket and ready to get it over with. That wand gets more action than….well…everything.
4) You know every single fact about your diagnosis. Unless it’s unexplained and that is a whole other ball of wax. If you have a solid diagnosis, you are almost more knowledgable about causes and treatments than your doctor and sometimes you can mess with their heads if you can give them solid information they don’t have. I personally enjoy debating the statistics with my doctor. That’s a fun time. Also, when giving advice to friends and other IF people, you can tell exactly where they are in their journeys by what treatments they have done and what drug dosage they are on.
5) If you happen to have a friend TTC at the same time you are, most likely you talk about your cycles a lot. Not only do you talk about cycles but you discuss “relations”. Example: Candi is trying again. I know what cycle day she is on, the status of her OPK’s, and limited details of her sex life. In fact, on multiple occasions in the past few days I have told her to go get it on with her man. NEVER would I have thought that I would know when someone was getting lucky nor have I ever imagined that I would be cheering them on once the deed was done and reported back to me. I also report to her. It’s like a fact checking system or something.
6) You know what cervical mucus is and you know how to check it. I won’t go in to details because even I have trouble with this topic.
7) You have been told at least once “You can always just adopt.” Well, yes, thank you. I hadn’t considered this option every time I got a negative test or been told we missed the timing this month. Or hey, even when I was told that getting pregnant was going to be very difficult I forgot there are millions of children waiting for homes. This thought crosses my mind everyday. Trying to adopt is like trying to get pregnant. It doesn’t always happen the first time. There are failed attempts. It costs a butt load of money. My DH and I looked into it and found that in order to have a newborn infant adoption completed it costs close to $20,000.00, international adoption $30,000.00 give or take several thousand dollars. Domestic adoption of a child from “infancy” to 18 costs a few thousand unless you do the foster to adopt thing and then you can get in the program for less but your chances of actually getting a child that will be “ok” in your home right away are slim to none. I am not bashing adoption. We are probably going to go that route if I don’t get pregnant again here very soon. I’m just saying, it’s not something you just do.
8) You have hormones and you know how to use them. Or you have no idea they are going to hit you and you become insane. That’s what I do. I go nuts for a few days. Once the first set of hormones are done I move to the 2ww hormones. Those are a monster. You mix in some pms in there? That man of yours is in for a treat. And men, don’t think about hiding…no. Even if we say “get the hell away from me”, don’t. If you value your life, don’t.
9) You know your spouse/significant others sperm count…or your donors sperm count. I know for a fact that my husband could single-handedly (hahaha that made me laugh) repopulate the world if there was a world crisis and his sperm was the only thing could fix it. I also know how well those babies move and swim. Mobility and motility. If you haven’t gotten to the point in your journey where your husband can give you a “sample” without so much as a slight glance of discomfort, then he hasn’t had to offer up his seed enough. I hand my DH a cup and say “you have 5 minutes before I leave the house.” Poor guy doesn’t know what romance is anymore. It’s either a sterile cup or “wham bam thank you ma’am” and I’m laying with my feet in the air meditating and willing the smart ones to reach the egg in time.
10) You feel that the skill of peeing on a stick may be on your next resume. I know I have mastered the art of pos. When I got pregnant in March, I didn’t believe the doctor. I took 27 hpt’s because I thought I would wake up one day and it would all be a dream. I think next time I get pregnant I will just believe them. Had I not been so lucky to get all of those tests for free from work, DH and I would have been buying stock in EPT.
11) Last thing for now that proves you know you are dealing with infertility. You know every single abbreviation I have put in this post. You may even use them in spoken word. I know what a text from Candi means if it says “OPK is +. bbd tonight. this better make a sticky bean b/c I’m tired of ttc.” That’s like infertility shorthand.
Tell me your signs…I have so many more but if I go on any longer I may miss my LH surge.