Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Time to expose myself

Sorry about the title but I couldn’t resist the opportunity for baiting, even in a post that is going to be serious and hard to write.

I’ve decided it’s time for me to write about something that has been an issue in my life for many years. Some of you will know a bit about this already, as you know me from various online forums. Some may have picked up a few hints from previous posts. Most of you won’t have a clue.

I have alluded, in the past, to things going on in my life that threaten my natural happy-go-lucky-ishness and my hopeless optimism. I sometimes think I wouldn’t have made it this far if I wasn’t a hopeless optimist.

Oh dear that all sounds terribly depressing doesn’t it.

Ok, before you all start thinking I’m suffering from some terminal illness or other, here it is. I can’t seem to get pregnant.

Believe me this is not for lack of trying (oh me back!) but it just ‘ain’t happenin’

It’s quite a long story so I’ll forgive you if you zone out at some point. It all started in the summer of ’69, actually it was the summer of ’87, but the other sounds better. I was quite an ‘active’ young lady and with the naivety of youth I believed I was invincible and took no precautions. This behaviour continued for several years and over time it seemed that I was invincible. So much so that I actually started to worry that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t fall pregnant. You see I knew one of the consequences sufficiently to worry when I didn’t get caught but was still stupid enough to carry on anyway, someone should have slapped me really!

Something happened to me in my student years to cure me of this stupidity and I settled down to a more normal (normal, me! LOL), safer lifestyle. This something I doubt I will ever share here. Moving on, I settled down with a man and in the fullness of time we got married and decided to start a family. At this point I had been on the pill for about 5 years so I stopped taking it.

That was the start of 2.5 years of trying and failing, of self-recrimination, depression and withdrawal. I had various tests, all of which came back normal. My cycle was seriously wacky. I’d have periods lasting 10 days or more and then not have one for 3 months, then have one every 2 weeks and then nothing again. The doctors had no explanation for all this so they fell back on the staple ‘blame it on the weight’ diagnosis. Yes I was overweight, badly so, but I was dieting. After 2.5 years the tests finally got to the stage where they wanted to see my hubby and that was when the other shoe dropped.

He suddenly told me that he wasn’t sure he actually wanted kids anymore. They would mess up his life and stop him doing what he wanted, when he wanted. He wouldn’t be able to just go out to the cinema or down the pub with his mates or anything else spontaneous. I was stunned. You could have slapped me with a wet kipper and I wouldn’t have blinked. Quite apart from the hellish time I’d been through trying to get pregnant only for him to tell me he’d changed his mind, it was because he wouldn’t be able to do all these things THAT HE NEVER DID ANYWAY! His response: “But I could if I wanted to.” (Aside: he still doesn’t do any of those things, he just doesn’t do them with someone else now). 6 months later he told me he wanted a divorce and I told him he could have one, that was Christmas 2000.

Three years (almost) ago, my best friend and I decided to make our relationship more than just friends. We had known each other for 8 years by that point and I finally realised it was more than just friendship on the day he told me about how shittily his ex-GF had treated him and all I wanted to do was go and claw her eyes out. I decided that to prevent any other woman from treating him that badly I would just have to keep him for myself (that's DBF).

Having known me for that long, he already knew about the traumas I’d been through and how badly I wanted kids and fortunately he did too.

Skip to 18 months ago when we decided we could stop preventing, even if we weren’t actively trying. Then back in October last year we finally moved in together and started trying more actively (no I don’t mean leaping off wardrobes or swinging from the rafters you mad lot!) However to date I am still very much unfertilised.

So now to the present. A few weeks ago I finally got up the courage to go to the doctors again (note: my cycle has remained erratic ever since I came off the pill 7 years ago). Based on past experience I fully expected to be told to go away and wait at least another 6 months, which I don’t want to do, I’m not getting any younger.

You can imagine my amazement when not only was I not told to go away, but the doctor actually understood my concerns and took it all seriously. She said that the year of half hearted trying counted based on my past experiences, and that while my weight may be a factor I have other symptoms that mean it could be something else (PCOS was mentioned). She feels that if there are any problems then they are most likely with me since I would be supremely unlucky to have 2 partners with problems, although DBF will still get called up at some point, just to check.

A few days ago I had a letter from the GYN department of the local hospital telling me that I’ve been referred and I should get an appointment within the next 4 months. It’s a long time, but after everything I’ve been through, just to know that something is finally happening is enough of a relief that I can wait a few more weeks.

I’m sharing this now for several reasons. I have wanted to before, but not had the courage to do so. I read a couple of other blogs written by women who have infertility issues, most notably (for me) Chez Miscarriage, and the courage shown by these women in sharing their story has prodded me into doing the same.

You needn’t worry that this is going to turn into a fertility oriented blog, that’s not my intention. I want to continue the tone of this blog much as it has been. Just every now and then I will write about how it’s going. What I’m finding out and how it’s affecting me, in the hope that it will help other readers in the same way that reading other blogs has helped me.