I’ve learned a new language. I am now fluent in the language of Trying To Conceive (or TTC for my fellow infertility friends). Yep, you read that correctly. It has its very own language and if you have just entered this crappy world of fertility treatment I suggest you learn it quick smart or you will be left behind still wondering why someone has in all seriousness asked you….
‘How long you and DH have been TTC?’
‘Are you going to do IUI, IO, ISCI, IVI?’
‘Are you going to use a RE or FS?
‘3DPO FET or 5DPO FET?’
‘Do you know when your LP is?’
What CD are you today?’
‘Did you get a BFP or a BFN when you POAS with you HPT?’
Do you track your ovulation with BBT, CM or OPK’s?’
Yes these are indeed all questions that I now completely understand and my answer to all of them used to be is WTF!? On any forum, FB group or Instagram page this is the language. The only language. If you don’t know it, then see ya later, come back when you do because it’s here and it’s not going anywhere. These women (and some men) could win a gold medal if the Olympics had an event for most acronyms used in one sentence.
I’m not mocking them (ok I did a little at first) until I found myself also using it occasionally. Yikes. I am a member of a couple of Facebook groups and forums where this secret language is used frequently, you can spot the newbies to the group easily and quickly…I mean does she really not know what ‘I am 8D P3DFET and I was just wondering if anyone else is in the TWW before a HPT to see if it is a BFP or BFN?’ means?? It clearly means I am 8 post my 3 day transfer of frozen embryos and was wondering if anyone else is also in the two week wait until you can do a home pregnancy test to see if they have a big fat positive (yay) or a big fat negative. Now do you see what I mean??
So now here I am a few months into this crazy journey of infertility treatment and trying to make a baby with the help of science and crossed fingers and without realizing it I have become a fully-fledged member of a secret society. A society that I knew nothing about. A society I never wanted to know the inner workings of. Yet here I am; blogging about it, reading about it, talking to fellow society members about it and to be honest fully committed and consumed by it. It’s funny; before I was a member of the infertility community I had no idea about it. No idea how many women (and men) are affected by it, no concept of just how long and physically exhausting the process can be and I certainly never really thought or fully comprehended just how truly heartbreaking infertility truly is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an insensitive person, but to be honest I haven’t really had anyone close to me that I know of who has been through this. You always hear of someone who is having IVF or who has had a miscarriage and of course you think oh my gosh that’s really sad, and then you go on with your day, right? Unfortunately, this is pretty much what happens. Unless it is happening to you I guess you can’t really understand the full weight of the situation. I don’t do that anymore. I will never do that again.
It’s been 4 weeks and 1 day today since we had a miscarriage. 4 long weeks. 30 days. 720 hours. Not one day has gone by that I haven’t thought about it. Not one of those 30 days have I felt like ‘it happened for a reason’ or ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ because I call BULLSHIT on these statements! Yep, logically I can tell myself these things but I don’t believe them. What’s the reason that I can’t fall pregnant and carry to term a beautiful baby? Why isn’t it meant to be, I am ready, my partner is ready, we want this more than anything else in the world! So when people say these things, I nod and smile and say ‘yep, you’re right’ or ‘absolutely, it will happen when it’s meant too’ I lie! They are not right! And it is meant to happen right now! But that’s what most people want you to say, it’s what the old me would have wanted you to say if I asked you how you were. Miscarriage and infertility is such a taboo topic. Why? It happens. It’s real life. It is MY LIFE. So why are we all so scared to talk about it? I have been wondering this over the past 4 weeks, when a couple of people have had very nonchalant attitudes towards our miscarriage.
I think they might feel like they don’t want to upset us by asking how we are, or how we are feeling, and I have come to terms with the fact that it is a strange subject to talk about. Maybe from the outside it looks like we are doing great, that we don’t think about it anymore, that we have dealt with it and moved on. To a certain degree this is true, because you have to deal with it and move on otherwise we would never get out of bed in the morning. But each day I think about it, every couple of days my partner and I talk about it, we ask each other; How we are doing? Chat about starting the process again; Are we ready? What if it happens again? What if the next cycle doesn’t work? Is it sadder to have a failed cycle or a cycle that works but the pregnancy doesn’t last? Serious conversations that neither of us want to have but we have too. We want to be having the conversations that our friends are having about which new restaurants they have been too, what happened when they went out on Saturday night, but that’s not our life at the moment. To be fair I don’t want that life, I want mine…but if I could change a few things I would. I would choose to be pregnant, or even better I would choose to have a baby in my arms, or be up all night with a refluxing and screaming baby. I wouldn’t choose this path.
But the choice is not ours. Do we want a baby, a family? Yes! Then we start again. Choice made.
This morning I checked my emails and I had an update from a pregnancy website I joined telling me my baby/pregnancy was 8 weeks along…I swear to God I have never tried to find the ‘unsubscribe’ button so quickly, thank goodness I was alone because the swear words coming out through the sobbing were more like the words of a sailor than a 31 year old female. I messaged one of the girls I have met through this process who has also recently had a miscarriage, her reply was simple ‘oh F***, I meant to tell you to unsubscribe the other day. I got one too.I also got a new phone because the one I was reading the email on was promptly thrown against the wall’ I have met some really nice girls throughout this journey, some of who have just started and a couple who are further into than I am. We understand each other in a way that even the people closest to us can’t, we know the ins and outs, the ups and downs and the general ‘shittiness’ of all things infertility. Some I have never even met in person, yet they seem to understand me better than I understand myself some days. Each of us working our ovaries off to try and start a family.
When ‘it’ happened 4 weeks ago there wasn’t one part of me that could have started another cycle straight away, and if I am truly honest there wasn’t one part of me that was entirely sure I could ever start again. How could I do it? How would I start again and put my body and my heart through this all over again? How do people pick themselves up and start again? How would I ever be able to watch my partner go through this again? I was happy that our specialist wouldn’t let us go again this past month and that he wanted us to wait until next month. I was relieved that the choice was not ours to make, even though we had both said we needed a month off to regroup and heal. I was happy when the Dr made the decision for us because even though we both wanted the same thing, I am not sure if either of us would have felt like it was 100 percent the right decision. So we planned fun things, we spent time with our closest friends who know what is going on, and when the real world got too much we retreated back home to our ‘bubble’. We made a bubble, no one could enter without permission, it was just ours and inside the bubble it was safe. There was no outside noise, there was no one who could say the wrong thing, and there was no one inside that bubble except us. The two people who had just worked so hard to get something and when we finally got it, it was taken away and we were left alone and empty. But we have popped the bubble, we are moving forward, we are literally counting down the days to start again. Turns out we have become the people we said we would never be. The ones who are consumed by this process. Not consumed in a negative way, or consumed by it so much that all we do is talk about, in fact unless we are asked about it we don’t talk about it. For two reasons, one; simple – if the small group of people who know about all of this want to be part of it or check in, they can. If they don’t they won’t. Two; we promised each other we wouldn’t forget the rest of our life is still happening at the same time, and we haven’t.
We are consumed with wanting a baby, to have children. A family. We are consumed by knowing what we have to do to get it. We are not people who sit back and wait, if we want something we work out how to get it and we work as hard as we need to. Don’t get me wrong, I am petrified. Absolutely petrified. I lie awake at night, I think about it in the shower; I zone out and start scenarios in my head while watching the Kardashians. Anyone who knows me knows that I am pretty much as stubborn as they come, and when my mind is made up it won’t change, to my own detriment occasionally but that is who I am. When my live in boyfriend reminded me of this the other day it gave me the push that I needed. He reminded me that he is yet to see me give up on something regardless of how hard it is. He told me that he has never had a doubt that we will have a baby together because he knows me and how hard and how far I will push myself to get there.
So now we wait, again for those who know me I may be as stubborn as a mule but I am also the MOST impatient person you’ve ever met, so this part is super fun!
Hopefully soon my FS starts our FSH on CD3 and on CD16 I get a good sign on my OPK and then after the TWW I can POAS and see a BFP (see what I did there?! Fluent!)