Saturday, December 8, 2012

The past few years Christmas season have always been a stressful time of year for me.  Besides the fact that I'm busy like everyone else is trying to work and to find time and money to shop for gifts, I'm also thinking overtime about our infertility.  This is my third year that I hoped I'd either be pregnant or have a family for Christmas.  For most, Christmas revolves around children so I feel very left out and sad that I don't yet have what I want so badly.  It doesn't help that I can count over 5 people off the top of my head that just had newborns or are pregnant.  It seems the pregnancy and baby announcements are a daily occurrence.  And while I know I'll be doing it once I finally have my family, it doesn't help getting Christmas cards with pictures of children, babies and families.  The other stress come from the fact that just because I don't have children, doesn't mean I'm not busy too.  I have a career, interests, hobbies, and responsibilities too.  Sometimes it frustrates me that others with families take advantage that.  Why are my responsibilities any less important than theirs just because I am childless?  Why do people always assume I have more money to spend for the holidays or for day to day things because I have no children?  Why am I always the one to travel to meet up with people or for the holidays?  I agree that maybe I have a cleaner house with no toys cluttering the living room and take extra vacations because I don't have children....but for the past 2 1/2 years, this hasn't been my choice.

To put things into perspective (if you have children) how I feel now:  the amount of time and intensity you spend loving your child and doing things for them, is the same amount of time and sadness I have thinking about and dealing with our infertility.  It isn't as easy as turning off a switch. Try having that hang over your head when everyone else seems to be enjoying the holidays.  

I can't wait until it's my turn to be busy with changing diapers, or trying to find a sitter, or being stressed out because my child is sick, and freaking out because I have no time for myself.  I have no doubt these things are difficult but I welcome them.  I'd take that any day over living through what I feel now.  I just hope that I have a few close friends who will remind me of this when I start freaking out to them or posting complaints of facebook when I have a family.  Something tells me that the first few people who remind me of this will be the people who LEAST understand what I'm going through now.  I feel that my putting my thoughts out for all to hear is like condemning myself from never being able to complain or to have a bad day when (and if) I have children.  I'm sorry but living 28 months through testing, poking, prodding, uncertainty, sadness, guilt, anger, loss, embarrassment, jealousy, and grieving gives me a bit of a license to complain a bit from time to time.  Everyone is entitled to complain, but it's the people who complain about their life and kids that don't think before they say something or don't first acknowledge how lucky they are that bothers me.  

As the year ends, there is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.  Chris and I were one of the finalists for an IVF grant though a non-for-profit organization called Baby Quest.  We were one of 4 chosen recipients!  For me this is the most amazing thing...someone actually read, understands, acknowledges and is willing help with what we are going through.  I'm still not sure of what we have exactly won but it appears that we will be getting some help with medication costs (which can range from $2,000 to $6,000).  We will be responsible for the remaining $11,000 for the actual IVF procedure.  While this is exciting that our IVF is around the corner (I'm hoping for March), it's also a scary time too.  For those who've never dealt with infertility, they see this as only amazing and exciting and while it is, it's also horribly scary.  Obviously we hope and think IVF will work, but there's also a small chance that it won't.  It is NOT a guarantee.  I know this all too well with living through a few other failed procedures (IUIs) and 20some plus months of trying on our own.  It never gets easier. Ever.  And the more effort you put into it, the harder you fall.  This IS our last resort like any other couple who seeks IVF.  There ARE no other options for us to have a biological child.  Sure, we could try again, but coming up with $15,000 again isn't easy.  Sure we can adopt, but that also costs $20,000 to $30,000 too.  Besides, even though I may have a baby by the end of it, I'm am definitely NOT looking forward to juggling work and doctors' appointments 3 to 5 times a week, shooting myself with needles, side effects of hormones, painful surgery to retrieve eggs and having strangers invading my personal life and body.  I know going through this is essential but something about a foot long needle up my who-ha to retrieve eggs doesn't seem like fun to me and THAT is why I have mixed feelings.  But bring it on because I'd rather try and not succeed than not try at all.  What I could get out in the end will be my greatest reward.