Thoughts On Infertility That Might Piss You Off

This is the continuation of my previous post Here's Why I Can't Have Kids. You Can Stop Asking Now. And you really need to read that if you're gonna read this. I don't ask much of you, so can you just not be the worst and read it already? 

The first post could be categorized as the "factual" one. This is the emotional one. Let me first start by saying that I'm incredibly thankful to have found all of this out by accident. Uterine anomalies of all types usually go undetected until someone has had so many miscarriages that they have to start exploring why, OR they end up in the hospital due to a ruptured uterus, which is usually fatal. The fact that I made it to 33 without either of those things happening and I ended up finding it all out due to a "hunch" that I pursued is really quite extraordinary.

I think you need some background regarding my lifelong thoughts about children because that sort of matters in this particular discussion. If I never wanted kids then I guess it wouldn't be disturbing news that I can't have them, would it?

Genetically, I am Italian. So there's that. Weird mob history aside, we like families. Big ones. Except my house wasn't like that. I grew up with one sibling, ten years my elder, and thus, never saw him. I also grew up in the middle of nowhere and went to the tiniest school of all time. And although I think I owe some of my creative tendencies to that rather isolated upbringing, it was quite lonely. As my childhood friends can tell you, I often talked about having approximately six boys - yes, they had to be boys - and starting my own little league team or some shit. Not that I could assist them in any athletic endeavors whatsoever. But I could definitely provide healthy snacks and endless embarrassment.

When I married, there was a mutual desire for a big family, as my husband grew up in a similar situation. Not to mention that we are the only hope for grandkids on either side of our families. Except I did just mention it.

THE INITIAL REACTION

March 2014 /Day 1:  Upon the initial ultrasound and the "by the way, you have two uteruses" conversation, I was just basically shocked. I didn't even know how to process anything as I was already beyond the point of being overwhelmed with aforementioned health mess. Upon a little bit of research, I realized that it wasn't good. It would likely mean a long, difficult journey to pregnancy if it was even possible. (Reminder: I didn't actually figure out the extent of my uterine abnormality until almost two years later) I cried a little. Then I cried a lot. Then I skipped out on some functions, because of my lack of being able to function. I didn't want to tell anyone til I knew what the heck was going on. And I wanted to prolong telling our families for as long as possible and let them continue to live in the grandkid bubble. So I did a lot of smiling and nodding when kids came up.

THE ROLLERCOASTER

Days 2-365: First you're sad, like, poor me. Then you're mad, like, so crackheads can have kids and I can't? Cool. And you curse the wretched stars and jeggings and Carrie Underwood questioning, why me? Then, you're just confused. Then you start thinking about things like adoption and In-Vitro. But I wasn't even sure if I was a candidate for In-Vitro. And while you're contemplating that, five more of your friends announce pregnancies and you have a nagging feeling that probably won't ever be you.

Then you start to wonder things like, but should it be me? Am I not meant to have kids? Is the universe speaking loud and clear here? But then you think of all your friend's IVF babies and you're like, well, that was obviously meant to be, right? I mean, we have science for a reason. And what about adoption? Could I really ever love that child like I should? Everyone says you do. Will I really, truly never experience bringing a child into the world that is a little bit of me?

And this went on for about a year or so. The next year, however, brought some welcomed clarity.

A PHONE CALL EPIPHANY

I realized I had two clear directions:

1. Be the girl who becomes helplessly depressed, avoiding baby showers, and crying big, elephant tears over every child-themed social media post - which is most of them.

2. Don't be that girl.

April 2015: In contemplating the above options, I had a call that sort of changed things for me. I had to book a pelvic MRI to get a clearer picture of what the abnormality was. 

So when I was talking to the scheduler, I could sense some empathy in her voice. She said, "I had this done ten years ago." "For this same problem?" I said with disbelief. "Yea. I ended up having the Septum."  {The septum is best case scenario— it means you have one uterus, just a tissue dividing it down the middle, instead of two completely separate ones} "Oh, well that's good then, maybe that'll be the case for me." "Can I tell you my thoughts after having gone through this for the last decade?" she asked. "Please do." I said, practically begging. "They removed the Septum, said everything would be fine. But the tissue kept growing back and after 5 miscarriages, several failed IVFs, enormous debt, and almost losing my marriage and my sanity, we decided to adopt after ten years. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it over and at least try, but..."

Ok. So let me remind you - she had the best case scenario.

Let me also remind you of the odds of me calling to schedule a procedure and getting a hold of someone who had the exact same issue when only 2% of the population is affected by this.

MY OPTIONS

June 2015:  Doctor asessed the MRI and presented me with my options after telling me I have two separate uteruses, not a septum. 

  • Surgery. If the second uterus is large enough, move directly to IVF and only implant 1 embryo. We cannot do IUI and take a chance that more than one embryo would implant in a teeny tiny uterus, or again, I die. I realize that sounds like I'm dying twice but whatever. However, even if the embryos take, I would immediately be a high risk pregnancy, on bed rest, and have preterm labor.
  • Use a surrogate

Ok. So that's pretty straightforward. Sign myself up for a stressful, costly, emotionally draining journey full of hormones and chemicals to have a very uncertain outcome per doctor's explanation. Or, sign up for the same situation except use a surrogate, which is out of the question financially.

MY DECISION: AND YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE IT

I know what you're thinking - well, you've got to at least give the ole IVF a shot, eh? Exhaust all the options. Hope for a miracle - "They do happen, ya know!" And, I'm betting a lot of women in my situation opt for that route. But, that's not what I'm deciding. Just because it's available doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

Is it because I don't want a family badly enough? No. Is it because I don't think babies should be made in a lab? Absolutely not. Is it because I don't have the strength for the journey? I would say given the journey I've already been through (and am still on) I could honestly say no to that as well. If there's anything the last few years have taught me it's that I have more self control, will power, determination and strength than I ever thought possible.  

I'm simply taking option #2. I'm not being depressed, bitter girl. And I'm accepting the fact that I'm not owed a biological child. And as much as we grow up thinking we are, we aren't. Where did we get this idea that just because we're capable of procreating that we can and that is our fate at any cost? A lot of people can't have kids - so instead of asking why me, I'm just saying, why not me? Everyone has something to deal with. And if I'm not going to have kids - then what else am I meant to do? Because we're all here to put some sort of mark on the earth, and I have a feeling there are a lot of other things I can contribute besides some of my DNA.

If I were in my twenties or lacked life experience, I might not have the perspective to come to this decision. Because when you have tunnel vision and everyone is having kids and you're not, and you think there's no other purpose to your life, and you're caught up in the pity party - you will literally move heaven and earth, go into debt, sacrifice relationships and sanity and health to have that biological child.

And sometimes that works out. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's just not what I'm personally deciding, mmk?

I've spent the last three years in a downward spiral of just confusion, illness, exhaustion, and testing. I'm currently trying to rebalance/ get my body functioning again, and I just don't see that going through IVF would be the right choice for me. Not to mention, it's extremely risky. Is it worth almost losing my life? A complicated, high risk pregnancy? Pumping my body full of hormones and having continual stress, and reversing any progress I've made? I have to focus on continuing the journey I'm already on without rushing into another.

So, I'm dedicating myself fully to all of my passions. I figure I have them for a reason. Health blogging, writing, wedding photography, building inspiring relationships, and getting better. My long term goal is to get certified as a Integrative Nutritionist and pursue health coaching. I have always had boundless ideas and creative thoughts, only lacking the ability/energy to pursue them. I consider myself blessed to work for myself, wake up every morning, and do whatever I want. I'm incredibly okay with all of it. I really am.

And I'm going to travel the crap out of the world and just be free. 

Oh. And I'm gonna get that surgery soon so I don't accidentally die.

Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.