By: Lex Jacobson
When you mix mental health issues with fertility hormone treatments, sometimes you get a bit of a mess, which equals me. I imagine hormone treatments to get pregnant aren’t nice for anyone who has to do it, but I really feel as though it’s poking at old wounds. Crazy wounds.
I really wanted to make an omelet the other day, so chopped up some onion, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms and grated some cheese. I went back into the fridge to get the eggs. We had no eggs. I don’t usually lose my head, but I got so angry I almost punched a hole through the kitchen wall. Devon came out of the bedroom to find out what was going on and once she realized I was mad, she held up her hands so that I could use them as punching targets. When I wouldn’t hit her, she called me a pussy and I cried. Yup – crazy wounds.
My depression was never the tearful or weepy type of depression. In months and months of living in different psych wards, I rarely cried. I was numb more than anything else. It was an internal battle that I kept very private and couldn’t stand the thought of showing weakness through tears. So the effects of fertility drugs are tough to deal with. And I know that this is absolutely nothing compared to what I’m going to have to face when I’m pregnant with all of those different hormones, so this should be a good test, if nothing else.
This whole process – fertility drugs or not – is crazy. My days are filled with peeing in cups, taking my temperature at 4:00 am, obsessing over calendars, cervical mucous, and how the opening of my cervix feels. Then add the negative results month after month. This process is not for the weak (nor for the poor, but that’s another story for another day).
For now, I just need to go through with the insemination this week and remember to stock the fridge before I lose my shit again.
By: Heather Somaini
I was on a flight to France last Friday and even as you read this, I’m still not home. As our plane headed out over the dark ocean and then turned back, revealing our City of Angels with city lights as far as you can see, I became dreamy and wistful of happy endings like in the movies. They always resolve everything in two hours and everyone is where they’re supposed to be with the right outcomes.
I realize that my happy endings are only valuable if I earn them. Anything that I get too easily must not have been worth much in the first place. Looking back to five and a half years ago, I’m sure I was infinitely frustrated that our process to start our family was not coming easily. I wonder if I would have devalued it if it had happened sooner and easier.
Some people say that we manifest our lives either very far in advance or maybe on a daily basis. Hard work was instilled in me young and it clearly has guided a lot of things in my life. I wish I didn’t take it so seriously and could have manifested an easier go of it. I’m sure Tere would have appreciated it too!
If you remember, I thought Tere and I had agreed that she would try 4 times to get pregnant and if it wasn’t working, we would move on to me. Well, we had already tried 3 times when we miscarried so she only had one more try left. We discussed expanding to 6. I was willing. Tere, of course, had always planned on 6 so this wasn’t really a discussion as much as it was her helping me see her point of view on the whole thing.
We took the month of December off as Dr. C suggested and sat on the sidelines and watched everyone around us actively engaged in the game. Tere didn’t want to waste any more time and was itching to get back on the field.
We met with Dr. S to decide what to do next. He highly recommended moving to IVF entirely because of Tere’s age but we just weren’t there yet. We felt that if she got pregnant on Clomid, she had a good chance again on it or some other fertility drug. Dr. S was clearly frustrated at our hesitancy but agreed to start Tere on injectable fertility drugs.
On January 9th we started again. This time we had lots of vials in the refrigerator and lots of needles in the bathroom. Tere’s pretty afraid of needles so I gave her every injection. She even came home early from a corporate retreat so I could handle it for her. It’s very off-putting to poke your beloved with a sharp needle, repeatedly day after day. I hate causing others pain and although she said it was fine, it didn’t feel quite right.
As time passed and the drugs became more complicated -requiring mixing and different gauges of needles, I became quite proud of my new skill set. I felt a little like a mad scientist with all of my vials and needles and other mad scientist items neatly laid out on the counter in our master bathroom. I know what you’re wondering and the answer is YES, of course everything was lined up and organized by color or size or something!
By the end of January, we knew that Tere was not pregnant. We tried again. By mid-February she was again not pregnant. Dr. S changed fertility drugs and we started again.
Tere had one try left.