WARNING: This post may be offensive, I just want everyone to know how most people generally feel when going through infertility treatments. I know everyone's experiences are different, this is what my experience has been like. Feel free to add anything I missed.
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), learn more about PCOS here. In a nutshell, my body makes more male hormones than usual, everyone makes them some more than others. I do not ovulate every month, sometimes I don't ovulate for many months, which makes it very hard for me to conceive.
Just so you know.......
This is how my typical month of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) treatments go (this is the last cycle, bear with me here), get my monthly (I know, TMI), day 3 get a scan and a blood test, wait for the results, get results, start taking the medication concoction du jour for this cycle, wait another 3-4 days, get another scan and blood test, wait for results, find out my follicles (aka eggs) are not big enough yet and I need to come back for yet another scan, wait two days, get another scan and blood test, get results find out I didn't produce enough estrogen this time around and now there is a bigger chance the IUI will not work but we are going ahead with the IUI anyway (hey you never know unless you try, right?), make appointment for the IUI, 36 hours before the scheduled IUI inject more hormones into your body at the specified time, go to the RE, the Hubs goes first (again TMI but obviously it takes two, just saying), wait an hour and a half for them to separate the semen from the sperm, now it is my turn, sit on the table wait for the doctor to come in, we verify everyone is who they say they are and then we sign some paperwork to the effect of we are who we say we are, the procedure is somewhat like a internal exam, it doesn't hurt and it is fairly quick, DONE, doctor says "good luck", shakes hands and he is out the door, lay there for 10-15 minutes (put your legs up for good luck), leave, wait for two weeks. The two longest weeks of your life, so excruciating that you make yourself believe that every little symptom means you are pregnant, when in reality it is a side effect of the hormone you take after your IUI because your progesterone levels are low too, become borderline neurotic, buy at least 2 early pregnancy tests hoping this is "the month", only to be crushed that it came back negative both times, 2 weeks after the IUI go have a blood test that actually confirms you are not pregnant. Cry, A LOT, become very angry and hate most of the world, get your monthly and start all over again......Whew, did you get all of that? It is crazy
I don't want to even know what IVF patients go through, I have heard stories and I choose not to put myself through it at this point. But it is still an option.
P.S. My doctors, Dr. Leondires and Dr. Richlin, are awesome and not cold or uncaring in anyway. During the procedure we talk about other things besides what is going on. It helps keep your mind off of it for a little while. This past time we talked about the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma", great book, he already read it, I was reading it. Had a conversation about drinking raw milk too.
Answers to some commonly given advice.........
It will happen, just relax.......No, it won't just happen if I relax, drink this, eat this, avoid this, put my feet up, have sex in this position. I have asked my Reproductive Endocrinologist a lot of questions about my condition and he has indicated there was something wrong that diminishes my chance of conceiving easily. He is the only one I trust at this point.
Maybe you just shouldn't try anymore, I mean you already have children......We feel our family just isn't complete yet. And if you get cancer, go into remission then get it again should you just give up hope? I mean you already survived it once. Duh...
Invites to baby showers and the like.......If I do not feel like attending "baby" related things, even if I RSVP yes, please don't get upset with me. I am aware you took the time to plan this and asked for me to let you know but sometimes I feel like I can face it, then right before I just can't do it. It is a constant reminder to me that I do not have another child that I so badly want.
It "just happened" for us.....Really? To me that's just insensitive. Nonetheless, I don't want to hear how it just happened for you, the condom broke, you never intended to become, you used the pull out method.... Apparently none of that has worked for me.
You should just adopt or have a surrogate.......Adopting and surrogates too expensive. I am lucky my insurance pays for a lot of the costs. They do not pay for surrogates or adoption. Plus with adoption you have to worry about the birth parents coming back to take the child, it can get a little messy. There is nothing wrong with adoption, it is just not something we are ready to explore right now.
Boy you sure are moody.......Yup I am. Realize that I am going to have good days when I am happy and things are right with the world. As well as bad days were I would rather hide in my house and become a hermit. This can also vary hour by hour. Also, I take a lot of medications and hormones, a lot of them, so if I am a royal you-know-what to you, please chalk it up to this and walk away. My emotions get the best of me. I have noticed that even as I sit here and type I become angry, stop writing and have to come back to it. It is not you, it is me......no really.
"I am curious about ______?"or "What about______?".......Feel free to ask but please don't be offended if I tell you I don't want to talk about it.
You should be grateful..........Yes, you are right I should be grateful, and I am grateful I have three beautiful children. But again we feel our family is just not complete yet. This was a decision between my husband and I. In fact, we discuss this ad nauseum for over a year now. Thanks for your opinion but please feel free to keep it to yourself.
Don't take this the wrong way.......I probably will so please, don't even go there. Plus that is never a good way to start any conversation.
Are you pregnant yet?..........No, if I was most of my close friends and family would know pretty much right away. Again don't ask.
Well you are getting older.....Heck, I'm not that old. I am only 32. It is not uncommon nowadays for women to have children in their 40's. Age plays a small role in it but not until you are much older.
Know that eventually I will want to talk about things, please be there for me and be sure to bring tissues and a sturdy shoulder (and chocolate, cause chocolate makes everything better!). I need a shoulder to cry on not an answer or your opinion/advice.
Thousands of couples go through infertility treatment each year and I do not think infertility is something people should keep quiet about. But I realize it is a very personal and for some people a very shameful thing to go through. I feel if we talked about it a little more maybe everyone who has or will go through it wouldn't feel a little less alone and scared.
So please take this guide and remember sometimes the best advice is none at all.