Monday, April 23, 2007

My Journey - Part III

They say memory is a very selective thing. I don’t remember much detail about the treatment we went through during the next 4 years. The short and bittersweet of it are as follows:

  • 1996 – Trying every possible and impossible thing, from standing on my head after sex for 15 minutes to praying. We did a LOT of praying, but that is a topic on its own.
  • April 1997 – Laparoscopy: everything perfectly OK.
  • June 1997 – J went for some tests. Poor motility and all that jazz, but they kept saying the problem was 90% on my side.
  • September to November 1997 - 3 IUI’s with Chlomid. All of them failed dismally. We had the choice of using donor sperm, but the look on J’s face when my gynae mentioned it made me strike it from my mind. Next step IVF.
  • March 1998 – Specialist at Medfem Clinic told me I’m Infertile because of my weight, and to come back as soon as I weighed 80kg. He didn’t even take my blood pressure during the 10 minutes I spent in his office.

During this time, I spent about 25 months waking up in the morning with a thermometer in my mouth. I still have it – the blue cap reflects my mood during most of those years.

Anger was the emotion I most often felt and showed to perfection. It was easier to be angry than to give in to the sadness that threatened to drown me when I lost concentration even for a single minute. I was angry at everything and everyone. Maybe I’ll write something about it later, when the words in my mind are more organized.

Depression was the first uncontrollable monster to show its ugly head because of Infertility. My GP referred me to the resident psychologist at his practise. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I needed therapy, but once I hit a record low, I made an appointment with her.

Thinking back, I’m sure the GP was the devil in disguise. Either that or he had a perverse sadistic streak that he practised as often as possible on unsuspecting patients. When I walked into the therapist’s office, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My record low just plummeted a few fathoms deeper.

She was about 6 months pregnant.

The therapy was doomed from the start. Why I didn’t make a U-turn the moment I saw her, I’ll never know. Another mystery is how she thought she’d be able to help me. How on God’s earth can a pregnant therapist treat a woman with a serious depression caused by Infertility? All I could see was her hands on her tummy, her swollen breasts, and the glow on her cheeks. It was an excruciatingly painful nightmare to say the least.

June 98’ – my younger sister announced her 2nd pregnancy, the third one in our family. This marked a very important turning point in my TTC journey. H was born 2 weeks earlier than his due date, my birthday.

I skipped the violent emotions that rocked my world during my two sisters’ first pregnancies for a reason. It might turn up in a future post and maybe not. Right now I don’t really want to go there, and it would be loosing track of the topic.

The obsession of having a child of my own shut down unexpectedly later that year, during the Easter weekend. I was holding H and looking down into his eyes while he was clutching my thumb in his little hand. You know that feeling of resolve that fills you when you realise you’ve lost a game of something? Multiply it a few hundred times and you’ll know what I felt.

I gave up. I surrendered. I let go. Being too tired to fight Infertility anymore, I acknowledged defeat.

And that was when I realised that I lost more than just the dream of having a child of my own.

My marriage was an empty shell. We couldn’t talk anymore. We couldn’t discuss our pain, our lost dreams, or our confusion over why it happened to us. There was nothing left except anger. We fought something terribly. It was as if we tried to eradicate our own pain by hurting the other one as much as we possibly could.

We didn’t even think about doing IVF. The subject of adoption was swept off the table. No-one in their right mind would ever put a child in this broken home of ours. We wanted out, and by March of 2000 we were divorced.

During the toughest years of our TTC journey, my mother gave me the book by Linda P. Salzer: “Surviving Infertility”. There was a sentence in the book that has stayed with me ever since I read it. She said: “If your marriage can survive Infertility, it can survive just about anything.” I was proud to tell everyone who wanted to listen that our marriage was stronger than ever: we were surviving Infertility.

The day I had to take back those words, was one of the most difficult days of my life…


Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing all of are a very courageous woman....i'm sorry life has dealt you such a krappy, krappy hand...the fact that you can write so honestly is a testament to you...
thank you...

Pamela Jeanne said...

The journey you shared is so powerful I don't know where to begin. So many similar emotions and experiences. Right after I got the bad news about an IVF cycle that I was sure would take, one of the fertile myrtle pregnant office assistants burst into my office holding an 8x10 image of her latest ultrasound. I couldn't escape fast enough...I was hyperventilating on my way to the parking lot and lost it in the car. The pregnant therapist would have put me over the edge. I'm so sorry that your marriage was the victim of all of the sadness and anger. How little the world understands about the explosive pressure IF places on relationships of all kinds.

Kami said...

I am so sorry that you have had this journey. I remember the moment when I realized I needed help with infertility and turned to a therapist. Thankfully, she was wonderful. I don't know what I would have done if she had been 6 months pregnant. I hope your journey is taking a turn for the better. I will be exploring your blog more in the future.