The Disgrace of Infertility- by Nate Pyle

The Disgrace of Infertility- by Nate Pyle

Click the link above to read his article first.

Nate Pyle is a man and a pastor, two qualifiers that surprised me in reading his thoughts/experience on infertility. It’s not often you hear about the male perspective on the subject. This article was refreshing to me on several levels. One, it reminds me that men suffer too from infertility, directly and indirectly. Two, he gives me pause on my relationship with God vs. The Church for support which don’t always jive in my mind’s eye. Thirdly, he recognizes that infertility struggles come with two counterparts: hope and other feelings. Other feelings including discouragement, frustration, resentment/jealousy and despair but after each of those hope comes again.

My husband is the most supportive man and will do ANYTHING I need through this process of IVF and adoption. Helping me helps him and my suffering causes him pain. He is an eternal optimist and a devout Catholic, he prays for me constantly and, I’m sure, for the baby he is certain will arrive. On Sundays he readies himself for church and he offers for me to join, though by now he is used to my shrugging reply. Going to church is a comfort for him, it gives him strength and hope. Sometimes I feel like because it does not give me the same feelings he thinks I’m ungodly and a bad Christian. What Nate wrote about the church being ” a good place to find support, but it isn’t always a tower of refuge” rings true for me. We have all of our friends and family sending us constant prayers, even prayers coming from people who I’ve never seen set foot in a church but count just the same to me. Their prayers do not fall on deaf ears. I am so thankful for their well wishes, concern and upwardly requests to higher powers. Attending a church service and communing with the general “Christian” populous does not give me the same warm fuzzies and sense of understanding or commonality. In many ways it can feel quite alienating.

“The American church is one place in our culture where marriage and kids is an expectation. Singles are constantly met with questions about when they will get married, and unnecessarily pitied or prayed for when a potential spouse isn’t in the picture. Young marrieds are bombarded about when they will start having kids, as if their marriage doesn’t really matter until a child validates it.”

I don’t need to go to church to be guilt tripped or to be pitied. My failing is that I know going to church is to give God thanks and should only be about God and not the rest of the judgmental and flawed congregation who attend it. People will always ask assuming and ignorant questions inside and outside of church but somehow when they come from straight-faced Christians it fills me with anger. Again, my issue, not theirs but these are occasions I just assume avoid. Some may find this terribly ironic given that I so openly talk about these issues on my blog. Somehow it is different though. I can type and you can listen. You can respond of course and that is ever-so-exciting on this blog. I can respond or I can delete. It’s kind of awesome. I feel no guilt deleting the thousands of robot comments, well actually WordPress does that for me…super awesome. This is my kind of place whereas in church someone will take you from left field and throw a curve ball at your chest and while you are trying to catch your breath, you just nod along and continue with the game. You never want to be a bad sport in church.

Going back to Nate’s article I find it reassuring somehow that even a pastor feels some contempt for the church body’s attitude. I think I would even enjoy attending his services. In the end I suppose it’s important to find the places you are comfortable sharing your story, your truth, your human condition. There are so many (too many) places where people can’t share who they are, explain without recourse why they hurt and how they feel. I am so lucky to be surrounded by those who can simply let me say what needs to come out. They can accept it is what is and don’t even necessarily have to put a band-aid on it. When God speaks to me he is telling me that he is sorry I am hurting but there is need to feel things intensely. There is need for struggles and there is need for great loss. There is need to feel these things in order to hope, in order to feel joy more immensely and love more completely. I’m listening too when I’m not lost in the weeds or playing defense in the game.


Being Diagnosed with PCOS: What does it mean for fertility? What, I need to diet?

This coming October will mark 4 years of marriage for Chris and I. We have had a great time together so far and have already experienced a lot of changes/life events. We have already gone through several job changes, purchasing and selling our house and buying our second home and moving across the country. We have had some stellar vacations and we have rescued two wonderful dogs. We are, by all accounts, happy but we have been looking to grow our family as many married couples choose to do.

I’ve been content for the most part, no need to rush things. Everything in due time…it all happens for a reason, all that jazz. I have been off the pill for over 3 years. 2 1/2 years ago I started looking into possible issues with fertility. I’ve never been regular in the period department so I guess in the back of mind I figured that there was a chance things could be “off”. I did bloodwork. I did ovulation predictors, charting my BBT (Basal Body Temperature)… Most recently I did a tortutous HSG, hysterosalpingogram which is a procedure where dye is injected to view if your fallopian tubes are open. (See I am already quite familiar with all the medical terminology and acronyms for things. I’ll try not to be one of those blogs spewing meaningless medical terms without first explaining them.) Then we moved and took a few months to get new doctors and settle in and what not. Two weeks ago, the morning before we flew out to California, we had an appointment at REACH fertility clinic and it is a full speed ahead approach: Full medical histories, more bloodwork, pelvic ultrasound, another HSG being ordered- grrrrreat, 3rd sperm analysis, financial advising, genetic counseling…OH MY GOD…we are really doing this, this is really happening to me, to us. Thank God we left immediately to go out of town, I needed the distraction from all that information.  It’s still not really sinking in. I think this whole thing is like having an out of body experience.

I was diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My previous doctor had casually mentioned that I had the condition but nothing was suggested in doing anything for it or the severity of it or the implications of how difficult it may be to become pregnant. That doctor pretty much sucked if I do say so. She was extremely unhelpful, unavailable and just twiddling her damn thumbs while the years went by. Oops, there’s my frustration spewing out onto this blog…my apologies. I’ve done my own research in the meantime and talked to my new Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Wing, who seems very competent and actually the founder of this clinic. So far he has prescribed me Metformin and recommends a low sugar/low carb diet since one of the main issues with PCOS is insulin resistance, sigh.

I love carbs. Croissants, fresh baked bread, pasta and everything potato are my great loves. What the hell, I feel cursed! I don’t want to be one of those gluten free band wagon people, one of those crazy cranky Atkins dieters. I am NOT a dieter. Is it terrible that I am more depressed about this than the prospect of having to give myself injections in the stomach? Actually that will seriously suck too. Geeez, I’m being a real downer right now. Of course it’s 3:45 in the morning, my time clock is all messed up from flying across the country and I have the flu!

On the upside the doc says Metformin may cause some weight loss on it’s own, yay. I started taking it this week and since I have the flu it’s hard to tell how I’m reacting. We shall see. I got the results of the bloodwork today and found out that I am a genetic carrier for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. 1 in 50 people are carriers and is the #1 genetic cause for infantile death. Now we have to get Chris tested and see if he is a carrier. I am glad to have the information, being prepared is good but the more I learn the more I realize what a delicate delicate balance life is and what a miracle it is every time a healthy baby is born.

Diets I’m considering for PCOS so far are the South Beach Diet and Low Glycemic Diet. After we get some test results next week we may know more if we need to go straight to IVF treatments with ICSI or if we can try other less invasive and more “natural” methods first….to be continued….