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.


Served On A Silver Platter

Happy 2014! Merry new resolutions and half-ass attempts at healthiness to you all. I for one have not really made any resolutions because they are made to be broken. I just can’t do that to myself this year, it’s exhausting. On the the other hand I have plenty of crafting projects, home upgrades, family events, a back log of recipe testing and last but not least the deepest most pertinent desire to have a little one running around this house! While I have many diversions and tasks to keep my mind from drifting off into the sea of sadness and “why has no one picked us??” thoughts; I am fueled to wholly focus on what needs to be done to become a mom.

Leading up to the fantastic moment I get to become a member of the mommy club and spend my life catering to another beings every need and wish…I decided it’s going to be all about me for awhile. Yes that’s right I’m just gonna do things for me, cook things for me, read things for me, buy things for me and serve everything to myself on a silver platter…literally.

After this last year of waiting to adopt and the pain and the losses and the depressing-ass-shit that all went down we decided (my husband and I) that we have nothing to lose in trying to conceive through IVF. This is a bit of a 180 from exactly one year ago when I was so certain, so very sure that adoption was THE WAY to start our family. I have always felt like we are meant to adopt, that not getting pregnant naturally was a sign. I still feel that it WILL happen but it just won’t happen in the way I romanticized it in my head. I’ve had my reality check. So we are doing this thing backwards, a reverse order of steps that most people take I suppose. We are not putting our adoption plan on hold but we are concurrently doing IVF and waiting to adopt at the same time.

This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections
This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections

It’s all happened pretty quickly once we decided IVF was a go. We got our financials lined up to do a multi-cycle plan. Basically we will have the option of up to 2 fresh and frozen embryo transfers that we paid for up front to get what I would sum up as bulk discount. We decided it was wise to plan on multi-cycles since my doctor will only be implanting one embryo at at time due to a condition I have called unicornuate uterus. With this condition I have half the size of a normal one. Carrying one child is already high risk, having twins is not an option and therefore implanting only one embryo. This is combined with my husband’s 1% normal morphology issue and my PCOS…all contributing to the ineffectiveness of natural conception.

IVF meds 002

The week leading up to my trial embryo transfer, sonogram and consent form signing I was completely freaking out. I had started birth control which they use to take control of the hormones. My first day of the pill was the day I flew home from California after Christmas, the 27th. The nurse has instructed me to continue taking it until the 6th of January which is today, woohoo. Of course for me, birth control drops my estrogen levels and is a sure-fire way to a migraine. I endured a 3 day hell in which I had a hormonal migraine and had gotten a flu/cold from my family while visiting. Nothing like your head pounding to make you second guess everything you had set out to do. That was a fun pity party and no I was not excited about starting IVF. I was just plain terrified.

IVF meds 003

Then I joined a group of women through my fertility med website. There are forums and monthly “cycle buddies” so I can talk with other women going through the same thing as me at the same time. Several of these women have already done multiple cycles and some it’s their first like me. I can not say how thankful I am to have these women, total strangers, to bring me out of my cloud of negativity. They shower each other with wishes for “lots of baby dust”, they are hopeful like me, nervous like me and having lots of emotions like me. It’s so easy to think things are only happening to you when going through such a difficult time. It’s so easy to believe absolutely no one understands what you are going through and you are alone in this crazy, isolating journey while the whole world is happy and couples make babies just looking at each other. It’s so much easier to just not try, I’ve thought, because trying and failing over and over again will break me into a unglueable amount of pieces. These women are doing it though, THEY are trying and they are EXCITED! I’m trying to be excited with them and to let myself believe that this WILL work. We hope for the best and plan for the worst, it’s excitement tempered by self-doubt.

IVF meds 004

And so here are all these drugs and needles before me, staring me down. I will serve them up to myself on a silver platter because during this time I want nothing but the best. I want everything around me to be aesthetically pleasing, to be a stress-free zone, a zen sanctuary. I will take them and be thankful that we have a chance to try and try our best. Bring on the 4 times a day stabbings in my stomach, the steroids, the catheters, IV’s and probes. I’ve made up my mind and I’m doing it, despite my intermittent terror. No one dare tell me they know it will all be fine and all work out because the truth is it might not be fine and it might not work out and for a lot of people it doesn’t. It’s life and it’s reality. People just can never think of anything else to say. The point is for me that I’ll give it all I’ve got and there is nothing else that can be done.