Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

My Scarlet Letter

As you may have picked up, I’ve been all over the place lately, bouncing around like a ping-pong ball in a dryer.  Up, down.  Happy, sad.  Rational, irrational.  Gracious, jealousContent, Angry.  I’m the yin to my own yang these days.

So, I’ve spent the past few weeks re-evaluating things — the TTC process, my relationships (marital, family and friendships), my goals, my dreams, my emotions.  Just trying to get a grip on myself and find some semblance of the person I once knew.  Because this ticking time bomb of a blubbering mess ain’t it.  I used to be so strong, so optimistic, so determined.

Now, I’m just broken.

We’ve previously talked about the Silent Struggle, and questioned why it has to be such a secret; why it’s ok to publicly mourn the death of a loved one, but not the loss of an unborn baby.   So, I recently decided to stop being so silent about it.  I’m not screaming it from the rooftops, or writing, “Hi, My Name is Infertile” on my conference badges, but I’m opening uhello-my-name-is_infertilep to more friends and family about my struggle.

I thought it would help.  I was wrong.

The good news is, these people don’t look at me like I’m a total bitch anymore.  And they don’t look at me and wonder when I became so emotionally unhinged.   Now, they just give me that look.  You know the one.  The pity eyes.  The “I don’t know what to say” look.

And now, I’m a marked woman.  I walk the halls at work with a Scarlett M on my chest.  M for the miscarriages branded in scarlet red – how apropos.

Now, the pregnant women on my hall look at me apologetically, and ask a drawn out, soft spoken “How are you?”

Now, my mother doesn’t ask me how my week has been.  She asks me, “How are you?”

Now, my friends monitor my drink order at dinner and when I order wine or a cocktail, their faces drop. “So, how are you?”

I’m marked.

I’ve decided that being open about it isn’t the answer.  It’s being open about it to the right audience.  Talking to people who will say more than “I’m sorry” or “Just keep trying” or “It’ll get better in time.”  Talking to people who understand the complexity of this; the confusion; the burden.  That it’s more than just not being able to have another baby.  Or a matter of time til I can try again.  It’s so much bigger than that.

My heart has been wound too tightly, trying to suppress my emotions so as not to appear marked, to protect others from their discomfort in talking to me about this.  The pressure has built, and I’m about to explode.

In the words of the oh-so-insightful Britney Spears,  I need to scream and shout and let it all out.

Last week, I met with a counselor at work.

She assessed that my emotional fuse isn’t detonated because of just the inability to get pregnant, or the disappointment of getting my period; rather, it is the grief I never truly dealt with during my miscarriage(s).  She told me to stop differentiating between my “real” miscarriage and the two “chemical pregnancies.”  She told me to stop downplaying it, and to call them what they are – 3 miscarriages – because I downplay it only to make other people feel more comfortable at the risk of my own healing.  She assessed that I never truly grieved for them, and when I get my period every month it’s like revisiting the miscarriage every month.  She also told me that grief has the same symptoms as clinical depression, and if the grief remains untreated it’s like being clinically depressed without getting treatment, which is why I become unhinged.

The best part?  She reminded me that this is temporary.  It’s not Scrambled 2.0.

So, this week, I’m visiting a counselor who specializes in infertility and miscarriage.  And I’m going to talk to someone who won’t give me the look.  Someone who will give me an action plan other than “keep trying” – and maybe, just maybe, help me rip this letter off my shirt.scarlet-m

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Off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of IVF

Well, it’s official.  We have started our IVF journey.

The TTC journey is supposed to feel like you’re walking on the yellow brick road.  Beautiful, colorful, hopeful.

Right now, I feel more like I’m in the forest being pelted by fruit from angry trees.

We went for our first IVF consult this week.  In that appointment, we learned all of the aspects of IVF that you don’t realize.  You start off thinking, “Oh, they’ll just take some eggs, take some sperm, mix it up in a lab and baste it up in there.  Viola.  Done.”

Mmmmm. No.

FOURTEEN prescriptions, three sizes of syringes, and questionable insurance coverage later – we’re shell-shocked

When you start IVF you have to completely change your frame of mind.  It’s no longer just an emotional journey.  Now it’s a business journey.  For me, it became a second job. I’ve spent at least two hours a day for the past five days on the phone with HR directors at my company and reps with my insurance company trying to get my coverage straight.  Yes, I realize I’m very lucky in that I have IVF coverage and many people don’t.  However, when you aren’t bargaining on any substantial financial investment, any uncovered procedures can throw you for a loop.  In our case, our doctor was adamant about us performing pre-implantation embryo genetic screening, which was allegedly not covered by my insurance.  The cost of this, if uncovered, would limit us to ONE round of IVF, as opposed to the three we thought we were going to have.

Fortunately, I have gotten them to change their mind and my procedures will be covered.  But not before screaming at four different people on many consecutive days via phone and email, writing letters, researching online, and becoming completely consumed with this process.  I had to detach myself emotionally and put on my business hat.  This was hard.  Because what is this journey, if not emotional?

So now, it seems that we’re out of the fruit-pelting angry tree forest and past the sleep-inducing poppies.  We’re off to see the wizard.   But, I can’t just kick back and let the doctor work his magic.  Oh no.

I have to go pick up 14 prescriptions at the pharmacy on Friday.  I have to start giving myself shots.  In my belly.  Every day.  For ten days.  I “should expect” to become irritable and bloated, with knots in my muscles from the shots.  Oh, and I get to do this for the first time alone, from the comfort of a hotel room, as I will be on a business trip during this critical period of time.  DH can’t be there to help or comfort.

Next time I hear someone tell me they got pregnant on accident, I may stab them with an empty syringe.

I don’t know where the road ahead will take us.  I hope it’s to a good place, full of miracles and wonder.  We have the best doctor, and the best insurance.   Our doctor has high hopes that this will work for us.  I want to trust him.

But I may click my heels a few times, just in case.

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