I have to admit, I am not immune to having days where I get angry and bitter about the struggles with infertility. Today is one of those days, so bear with me, if you will.
1) No Insurance
Both my husband and I work, qualify for insurance, and pay a hefty premium every pay period to have insurance coverage. It frustrates the hell out of me that our insurance doesn’t cover any treatments for infertility. Apparently they don’t consider having a family medically necessary, or something like that. But they seem to have no problem covering issues where people make poor lifestyle choices – congratulations on your open heart surgery – can you pass me one of those bacon double cheeseburgers and light me up one of those heaters? Oh, I know I’m supposed to be managing my diabetes, but “I don’t feel like” checking my blood sugars. I guess I’ll have to be re-admitted to the hospital [again] and spend thousands of dollars on medical care, treatments, wound care for that non-healing foot ulcer, and maybe an amputation along the way – should have chosen to check those blood sugars and monitor my diet…no worries, I have insurance coverage.
What can be fixed, should be fixed. Shouldn’t there be some equality here?
2) Rollercoaster ride
Cycle after cycle of careful monitoring of fertility signs, checking temperatures, using ovulation predictor kits, taking meds, office visits, procedures [poke here, prod there], timing sex. Although I’ve learned to expect the let-down on cycle day 28, I’m not sure it has gotten any easier. What did I do wrong this cycle, what could I have done differently? All frustrating unknowns. Infertility really fucks with you, doesn’t it.
3) The Annoying and Ever-present Question: When are you going to have a baby?
Although it appears that Everyone around me is able to not only choose the number of children to have but also when to have them, most of us reading this do not. I can’t even relate to their presumptuous planning. Some days it’s more maddening than others. I am going to get pregnant/have a baby: after I lose 10 pounds, when my daughter goes to pre-school, after we go on vacation, in the month of June so I can have my summer off…And it usually happens that way.
Usually I just conceal my irritation and smile. They don’t mean to be insensitive, they just have no idea/appreciation of the hurdles they crossed so easily to become pregnant.
4) People say stupid shit
It’s maddening to listen to my pregnant friends and co-workers complain about ‘petty’ pregnancy things that some of us would be more than pleased to embrace, such as: healthy pregnancy weight gain, fatigue/needing to take naps, giving up wine and caffeine….
Equally annoying are the complaints about the ‘wrong’ sex of the baby, having to spend money on the basic needs of their child like diapers/formula/daycare, ‘only’ have 12 weeks off for maternity leave, not having ‘the right months’ off, the list goes on. Obviously they don’t understand that some people spend tens of thousands of dollars just at the chance of becoming pregnant [remember it was free and easy for you!]. Suck it up, you’re pregnant so quit your bitching.
Another of my favorites is, “you’re so lucky you don’t have to …[fill in the blank: deal with daycare, spend you whole day running the kids around, help out at school, deal with fighting kids all day…]. LUCKY???
Again, I don’t believe they are trying to be malicious or insensitive, they are just unaware. How I react to the comments is variable, depending on my mood. Sometimes 1) I ignore them and don’t comment, acting as if I am totally unaware of how insensitive and selfish they sound, 2) I half smile and respond kindly, trying to be empathetic to their situation, and 3) sometimes I’m a little bold with my reactions and give some sort of truthful and honest summary of the world of infertility, in the process reminding them that the things they are belly-aching about would be more than welcoming to an infertile couple. [This last way usually ends up making me regret my decision of possibly OVER-reacting].
I typically stick with the first or second route, mainly because I don’t want to feel or sound bitter – it’s not fun for me and it just makes this whole process worse; and secondly, I don’t want people to feel like they are walking on eggshells around me, because MOST days, they shouldn’t :).
Fortunately, most of the time I don’t let things bother me, and I am a happy person who doesn’t spend her day obsessing about fertility issues. I am incredibly blessed with the most amazing family, that I know. But some days, infertility changes your whole frame of reference, you know what I mean? Some days, I’m tempted to feel bitter [like today], but fortunately the better half of myself quickly resurges. Despite my difficulties with conception, etc. etc., I’m still happy and excited for others, still rooting for the best for them. Their happiness does not equal my sadness, I know that. In fact, their happiness contributes to mine. I just wish that I became pregnant as easily as they all do.
Since I do not have any friends/family going through this, I’m glad to have this outlet in which to learn from, share, and bellyache with once and a while!