Friday, March 18, 2005

The crazy, the obsessed and the pregnant...

Friday, 4DPO

This title is what characterized my day; not the date, not the time, not the weather but Days Past Ovulation. Today its Friday... and its 4DPO.

I woke up this morning and lugged my body from the bed to the couch where I have spent the large part of my week. I had fallen asleep on the couch the night before and the night before that, and the night before that, because I could not stand my husband's insesant snoring and also because I feared my wonderful, but big and clumsy hubby would hurt my swollen and aching belly in his sleep.
He woke up at 5.30am, when he got up and in a sleepy voice he said "are we never going to sleep together again?"
It just broke my heart... I don't remember if I replied but I dragged myself, hugging my pillow to the bed and in seconds I was asleep again. After George had gone to work, Beau our cat-baby, joined me, still licking his lips from having his pre-breakfast. Within minutes he was comfy and we both fell asleep.

My world changed in the last 3 weeks so fast I am still trying to get a grip. We were catapulted from trying to conceive on our own, to being an "assisted conception" couple. It felt like an author in a similar situation said, that our love was rapidly jumping from the bed to the laboratory.
Like so many other women that craved a child, yet were unable to conceive one, I endured test after test, sonograms with a condom covered probe and I gave myself injections, dutifully, every evening, at the same time, praying to anyone who could hear me for hours every day, that "please let me get pregnant and have a healthy baby".

My prayers became more and more detailed. I wanted to get pregnant, keep the baby and deliver it healthy and I wanted to get pregnant this cycle and deliver the baby this year.
In some twisted way I thought that God was like a genie; ready to grant your wish but with a twist. As a child I often spent hours thinking up ways to make a wish to a genie, but to be so specific that no matter how witty the genie was, he couldn't outsmart me and trick me.
My prayers started sounding like a legal contract with no little windows... Does God know what I am praying for, even if I don't say it? And is God like a witty genie? Giving you what you want but with a twist? If that was the case, would God help me get pregnant, but in 10 years from now? And if I got pregnant this cycle, if I forgot to tell God I wanted to keep the baby, would I have a miscarriage?

This new little strange world I was embarking to, everything felt so strange yet familiar somehow. When I was told I was infertile a couple of years earlier, somehow I knew it already. I had feared it as a child; or maybe I had sensed it, like I have sensed so many other things that happened in my life. But for all the diamonds in the world, I could not sense if a baby is growing in my belly right now or not.
Injections became a daily routine. Popping 3 pills the minute I open my eyes also became routine. Checking CP and CM was routine already since I used FAM. This was the world of "assisted conception" and we now lived in it.

I was thrusted into this world which entailed a lot of things, one of which was massive amounts of money. Now was the time I needed all I could get and now was the only time I could not work! At first I couldn't think of anything other than the injections, their possible outcome and my visits to the RE (reproductive endocrinologist). Then I was so sick and uncomfortable because of the hormones, I couldn't work if I wanted to.
But somehow, feeling uncomfortable made me feel comfortable as well. It meant that something was happening inside of me. The goggs of my female machine which had been jammed for the last 2 years, were now slowly turning again. So what if it hurt to breathe, move, cough. Who needs to do those things anyway if you are having a pink, beautiful baby to show at the end of it?
When I had my trigger shot, I couldn't help myself and a few days later I took a pregnancy test. I was injected with the same hormone that the pregnancy test detects so I knew it would be a false positive, but I so wanted to see two lines for the first time in my life, I didn't care it was false.
When the pain got too much those first few days I would look at the test and think "this is what you are fighting for"...

And Friday 4DPO dawned. I got out of bed, gingerly, careful not to shake my aching body too much but after the first few steps towards the bathroom I realized my body wasn't aching anymore! How odd!! I felt much, much better and I was even able to have a BM!!
I popped my pills, had my breakfast, my fruit and my glass of milk and plopped down on the couch to read a book. "I am getting some work done tonight" I told myself as I started reading.

When you are trying to conceive, you obsess; and the longer you have been trying the more you obsess.
You read every little symptom you can find in online or printed publications and try to see how many of them you have.
You pinch your nipples twenty times a day to see if they hurt still and if they do hurt, is the pain more or less since last time. More pain = good. Less pain = bad.
You freak out every time you have a cramp that signifies you might be getting your period.
You pray and you make bargains with God. "Please God, let me be pregnant this time and just let me have a baby.. just one! I promise I won't mind if I never have another one"
You get mad at women who whine about not being able to conceive their 5th baby in their late 30's while here you are in your late 20's and you can't even conceive your first.
You are no longer dating the days by their calendar numbers. Its no longer Friday 18th March. Its Friday 4DPO (or CD20).
And the worst, if you have been trying long enough, you are subjected to the cruelest torture of them all: having to live through the experience of your friends getting pregnant and having babies and be expected to be blissfully happy for them.

Men don't react the same as women to this. Most will raise their eyebrows at the news of their wives IF problems and wonder how much its going to cost them and once the treatments begin, most will complain about their wives nagging and make their demands no less than before. They do not care their other half is subjected through a zillion tests or is injecting herself in the bathroom in hopes that in 2 weeks from now, she will be able to shake a pregnancy test in front of her husband and announce to him he will be a daddy soon. They don't give a damn if their wives spend hours thinking up the perfect way to break the news to them... all they care about is that their meal is hot, their clothes ironed and their houses clean.
A baby? They couldn't care less if the stork brought it and left it outside the door... I had the misfortune to hear my husband say to me that if he had married another woman, he might have been a father by now.

I didn't tell my mother I was having (yet another) fertility treatment.
I am sure she would react like the last time when I was on fertility pills. "But you are SO fat; how can you even think of getting pregnant?" or "of course you can't get pregnant! You are SO fat!!"
Yeah mom, thanks. That coming from the woman who delivered me at 4lbs because she was starving herself during pregnancy because she didn't want to get fat. In fact if that doctor hadn't refuse to give you another abortion because you just had one the month before, I wouldn't even be here right now. Wish I knew who he was so I could say thank you for allowing me to live.

But for all my bravado and "steady steps" and reading and knowing all I could about the treatment, deep inside I was petrified so I told my mother in law.. I needed someone on my side and though she too is not the most supportive person, at least she is easier to be wooed to my side.

The days roll by so slow and I don't feel pregnant. I pray but in my heart I know we failed.
I interpret every sign, every cramp, every flinch, every pinch...
I know and I know and I know that this is all a waiting game. I know and I know and I know with the same certainty that the sun will rise every morning from the East that there are no guarantees, no percentages and that all I can do is wait.
But the part of me that is not influenced by facts, still goes on to analyze my bodily reactions, trying to figure out if the $2,000 treatment that left me so sore and aching, worked.
I wish I knew... To alleviate my worry, I imagine myself as having a tiny microscope looking inside my uterus right now... and I could potentially know right now, what has happened.
Whatever was bound to happen, is done. There is nothing I can do to influence the outcome of the beta test scheduled for the 27th. I have no control and that drives me crazy.
All I can do now is pop my pills dutifully, not lift heavy object, not stress, eat healthy and pray...

Why can't I be allowed a glimpse into the future?
I am one of the people who would ask someone who has already seen a film before me, how does it end?
I am one who would like to know when I will die... I want to know my future beforehand but I can't.
I keep reminding myself that time will go by because time really has no choice. Like me, he is doomed to stomp forward with every passing second, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock... he cannot stop to make a good moment last a little longer and he is not allowed to rush forward to make a bad moment last less. He must move with the same pace ... a second at a time.

So here I am, 27 years old, TTC #1, doing extraordinary things in an ordinary day, to get what most people achieve without second thought and even abort, murder, dump or treat badly... a baby.

Am I crazy? Am I obsessed? Is this normal?
Probably I am normal... A normal person in an abnormal situation trying to keep a sliver of hope, something to justify the amount of money spent, the pain endured, the tests done...

Am I pregnant?
Honestly, I don't think so. I want to believe in miracles but one has never happened to me. Every little thing I can say I achieved in this life, I worked hard for. Just this once, only this once God, I would like to get my way the easy way. Answer this prayer God... and if you think I have asked too much, too often in the past years, then surely you owe a favor to my husband, or my mother in law... if I have fallen from your Grace for any reason, please allow my baby to be conceived and born so that they can become a father, a grandmother, an uncle, an aunt...

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