The Truth Behind The Secret “Infertility”: A Personal Diary Of My Journey To Motherhood

Nonfiction by Fran Meadows

 

1. I finally convinced myself that my husband and I had to see a specialist.  Scary, but the reality these days is infertility is the new cancer.  It’s not openly spoken about but it’s reality for some.  Infertility back in the 80’s was like a sin, but now in the new millennium it’s like a secret sin, accepted a little more but still not talked about.  It’s as if you have a profanity written on your forehead, walking around, and everybody stares. 

2. I would put the sample in a sterile cup, label it and put it in a brown lunch bag.  I would drive to the doctor’s with it in between my legs to keep it warm.  I would be freaked out on those mornings, trying to get it on, get ready, get the sample, clean up, get dressed and go!  I would pray not to hit traffic or get pulled over with a warm sperm sample in between my legs. “Sorry, officer, I was speeding to get this sperm sample to the doctor’s office to get it injected into my vagina today in the hopes of becoming pregnant!” 

3. During three failed cycles [of infertility treatment], we both tried to be positive, but it was hard.  I was becoming obsessed with wanting to get pregnant.  After each cycle, I would even think I was pregnant by saying, “Hmmm…I think I feel sick or fat or something” to make me believe I was going to be pregnant this month.

4. I never imagined how many things could cause infertility and became more and more frustrated. After having three failed IUI (intrauterine insemination) cycles, the doctors were telling us that the cause of our infertility was unknown.  There were some factors that could be contributing to infertility, like my husband had low sperm levels; I had cervical polyps that might be blocking the flow of the sperm, even though the polyps were removed and all tests showed my tubes were clear.  They also found out that I had a thyroid condition that needed to be maintained.   I had no idea of this until I started going for treatments.  Apparently these things had something to do with getting pregnant, too.  I began taking Synthroid for my hypothyroid condition…and we now moved on to the next step in medication.

5. Prior to beginning my IVF cycle, I had to participate in an injection class to teach me how to give injections. I felt like I was in a junkie class instead of a class to assist in making a baby.  The nurses helped me understand how to draw up the medicines, mix them if necessary, and inject.  We injected needles on dummy skin like props. 

6. We kept going strong and never quit.  I was quite shocked that my husband worked together with me on this.  I thought for sure he would have said, “Forget it, this is not working,” and give up.  Sometimes I wanted to give up but felt that we got this far with failed cycles…there had to be one good cycle coming.  We would never know if we quit now. 

7. The pregnancy test was just a simple blood test, nothing more.  I went in very positive.  I felt good about the day.  I gave my blood and they wished me good luck.  The nurse called me that day.  I didn’t want to answer my cell phone since I was at work, so I let the message go to voicemail.  I listened to the voicemail by myself on my way home from work.  You could tell by the voice what the outcome was.  Not pregnant!  I remember pulling over, crying hysterically, and then composing myself to go home and tell my husband. During this time of uncertainty for us, many people became pregnant, including my dog….  Some people put absolutely no effort into trying, just spread their legs and they’re pregnant…served on a silver platter.  Good for them, sucks for me!  I wished that silver platter would be there for me.  Every time a pregnancy announcement was made I would break down inside.  I became numb to the announcements.  It’s not that I wasn’t happy for the person; it was that it just made my situation more painful.  

8. “When are you having a baby?”  I would smile, grit my teeth and mumble to myself.  I just wanted them to stop asking and mind their own business.  Didn’t they get it?  Then, “When the time is right,” would come out of my mouth with a giggle. What if I said, “We are having some problems. What business is it of yours?” It probably would have worked, but I went with the quick answer, and I knew that answer would be rude.  I got through many of those parties and then went home and cried. 

Fran Meadows has written a book about her journey with infertility. She lives in Queens, New York. You can visit her website to find out more about her story and her book.

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