Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keeping Secrets

When I first decided to jump head first into trying to get pregnant, I was 24 years old and had been married to h1 (husband #1) for 2 years and with him for 6. I had been having a very sharp pain in my abdomen, the kind of pain felt at ovulation time. The only problem was that this was not ovulation time, my period was supposed to start at any day. I went to the doctor and was told that I probably have a cyst causing the pain. I was not educated at all about my ovaries so of course I went into full panic mode and thought for sure I was going to be told that I couldn't get pregnant because I heard women with cysts can't have babies.

I got myself checked and sure enough, it was a cyst. I was assured this was a "functioning" cyst and nothing to worry about. H1 and I decided that NOW was the time for a baby. We were so giddy with the prospect of getting knocked up and having a baby and giving our parents their first grandchild on either side. It was a very dreamy and magical time. We decided to keep it a secret because we wanted to surprise everyone. We wanted the big reveal...you know the kind...like on America's Funniest Videos where they give a gift at Christmas with a sonogram picture or a teddy bear or an empty picture frame...something along those lines. I was even arrogant enough to determine which month(s) I wanted to get pregnant in because there were certain months that already had too many b-days. Silly girl.

I dove in to TTC like someone walking the Mojave might dive into a swimming pool upon first sight. I read EVERYTHING on the Internet to find out about the timing, the signs and symptoms of fertility, the best/worst foods/drinks...I was a sponge. After 3 or 4 months of nothing working I bought the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I cannot rave about this book enough. Even if you read it just to educate yourself on the female body it's worth it. After reading the book I started charting....I was so primitive at the time I was using paper charts and an actual pen to keep track of everything. With all the technology available now it's almost like I was a pioneer. (insert chuckle here) Once I figured out that I was ovulating on time and everything was "by the book" I figured it must be something with h1. Again, silly girl. Once we hit the 12 month mark I called my primary care physician and made the "family planning" appointment.

Now the secret became even more important to keep because something was obviously wrong. And I cannot accept failure so therefore I was definitely not going to announce to our families that we had failed and now we needed a doctor to tell us what's wrong. No way, no how. Well, during all this secret keeping time we had a teenage girl on each side of the family announce a pregnancy. Well F me. I cannot even tell you how disappointed we were. First, we were upset at these girls for being so stupid and not protecting themselves and all the other things that go along with a teenager announcing a pregnancy. The real disappointment came when we had to face the fact that we wouldn't be "first" with any of this baby stuff. That sucked donkey balls.

We had to field questions from time to time about when we were going to have kids. I always came back with "we have plenty of time" and "we just aren't ready yet"...lie, lie, lie. I still had the hope that it would happen for us so I was still excited over new babies and baby showers because I just KNEW I would be next. Did I mention what a silly girl I was?

Once h1 got his swimmers analyzed and all was found to be fine, we were referred to a regular OB/GYN for further questions. By this time it had been about 18 months of trying. The OB/GYN looked at my charts...stellar. Checked out the swimmers...stellar. "Hmmmm" he said, "you should have at least had an accident by now after all this time." He put me on Clomid for 3 cycles. Nada, nada and more nada. And if you think I was telling anyone that I was taking fertility drugs you are crazy! Not with everyone thinking that you get 4-8 babies with ANY fertility drug you take...my gosh woman, what were you thinking? And so the secret stayed with us. The OB/GYN sent me to the fertility clinic. Gasp!

The fees were too high and the bank account was too low to do anything so we just decided to stick it out and keep trying naturally. My dad asked me one time about us having kids...it went something like this:

Dad - when are you going to have kids?
Me - I don't know, I don't know if it's in my plan. (I meant the plan God had for me, not MY plan)
Dad - oh, what plan?
Me - my life plan, I'm not sure when, at some point hopefully
Dad - oh....

And that was as close as I got to spilling the beans to my dad. It never got brought up again until h1 left. He wanted to know who's idea it was to NOT have kids. So I had to tell him that we tried and failed. Not an easy thing to do when he just found out that my marriage was failing too. Like I said, in my family we don't accept failure. I know that's not how it's supposed to be viewed but at the time those were my failures. H1's family found out a few months before we split about our struggles. No real support was given so I guess it didn't matter that we hadn't told them. There was other drama going on at the time that I will share later, so my TTC woes weren't front and center, and understandably so.

I spent over 4 years in silence about my struggles with this with h1. I have recently told my family and BJ's family about our medical help needed since we have been at this for over 3 years. Both sides have been very supportive. So much so, that I almost wish I would have let my family in on it sooner. I think there need to be ground rules about what is ok to say and suggest and what is not. One of my main reasons for keeping this secret was that I didn't want all the comments and questions all the time....try it like this, eat that, don't think about it so much and my personal favorite, JUST RELAX. I haven't gotten any of that in part because I think everyone knows by now that I have tried EVERYTHING possible on my own and it DIDN'T work. So now they just wait for my updates to find out when my next appointment is and how my follies look. It's actually quite calming having it all out in the open. It's a personal decision tailored to each family involved. If you know your family can't handle it, don't tell them. If you think they will be supportive, lay your cards out on the table...there's not much to lose but there's a lot that can be gained.

I'm sorry this is now a novel and if you made it through, thanks. I think I've mentioned that I can get very long winded. At least you know I'm honest. I am headed out of town tomorrow after my follie check so I won't be able to update until Monday at which time I will have at least 2 follie checks under my belt....so I'll see you then!


April said...

I didnt know you were blogging now! I havent been on the board much lately but just noticed in a post about your blog! :) You have been on a long road! I hope that this next cycle will be it for you guys and no major bumps in the road! Looks like we'll be finding out hopefully around the same time!! YAY! (ivillage alorvick21)

TeeJay said...

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for reading...I'm so new at this so I know it's a bit scattered but I am too, so I guess it's fitting. :-)

Pie said...

Welcome to the blog world! I found you thru Mel's LFCA.

Good luck with your cycle this month!!

callmemama said...

Here from LFCA - welcome to blogging!