As someone who struggled with fertility challenges before getting pregnant (thanks to the help of all sorts of drugs, needles, doctors, and, ultimately, IVF), I take getting pregnant very seriously. It’s a terrible feeling, wanting a baby when you’re a healthy, financially secure adult who loves your husband and is ready to create a loving family. All of these reasons, combined with the reality that as a woman, you aren’t able to do the one thing you were placed on this planet to do, make for a gut-wrenching sadness. And seeing others around you who get pregnant in a snap – especially those who aren’t in what you would consider similarly “appropriate” situations?
It’s infuriating, frustrating, and depressing. Because the first time took me a lot of work, and, certainly, following time(s) will too, I will always envy people who are fortunate enough to get pregnant the old-fashioned way. They don’t know how lucky they are, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much it hurts when they take it for granted, especially around those of us for whom it will never be that easy. Granted, while I hope this is the worst thing I will ever have to endure in my life, I don’t wish it on anyone.
I remember right before I got pregnant with my son, Britney Spears got pregnant with her first kid. I had been through 6 months of unsuccessful fertility treatments, which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of all things infertility-oriented, yet it had taken its toll on me; I was nearly at the end of my emotional rope. It was bad enough that I was surrounded by pregnant gals at work – one of whom was in a total weirdo relationship – but Britney? All of 22 and married to Vanilla Ice 2.0? What the fuck?????? Was the world just playing some horrible cruel “gotcha” joke on me?
When you go through crap like this, all sorts of other fertility-challenged gals come out of the woodwork, and you all become friends. Perhaps it’s because you’re all united in your struggle, but it’s more likely that it’s because no one – no matter how wonderful or empathetic a friend or family member – can understand why the idea of Britney pregnant – or anyone else, for that matter – is enough to make you run down the street screaming.
I remember my friend S., who had a baby girl after her 2nd IVF, said that she used to hate seeing pregnant girls or women with babies stroll their kids down the street where she lived in New York. It made her want to scream, cry and ball up in a fetal position right in the middle of 3rd Ave. After she got pregnant, she wanted to make a shirt she could wear that said “Really, I had IVF to get pregnant”, just to give moms who were once in her situation some hope. “You only see the pregnant women,” she said. “You never see the ones trying.” It’s so true.
You would think that once you have a child, or even two or three, those feelings would go away. Well, they don’t, and it’s not just me. Now that a lot of my fertility-challenged friends and I are thinking about or even engaged in round 2, each one has confessed to me that to some degree, those old feelings come creeping back. I guess it was silly for me to think that they wouldn’t. Emotions are never rational, and they’re always powerful.
So, for me to have another kid, I’m probably going to have to go through a frozen egg transfer. Essentially, this means I will have to contact the NYC fertility clinic I last visited and arrange for a bodily tissue courier service (oh yes, those exist) to transport the 3 frozen embryos I have leftover from my previous IVF cycle to the DC area where I now reside. After they arrive (and let me tell you, the legal paperwork involved in the said transfer is serious), I’ll have to begin a 6-week uterus-readying cycle of injections and pills.
Assuming the embryos survive the thaw, which is in no way certain, they’ll implant two or so back inside me, and hopefully, they’ll “take” (actually, hopefully only one will because the thought of twins is truly scary). Assuming one does, and there’s only like a 30% chance of that happening, which isn’t terrific, I have to receive progesterone shots for like 10 weeks following. Not sure if you’re familiar with that protocol, but it involves getting a foot-long needle loaded with a thick, oily substance jammed in your upper hip/ass daily. Nice. And if it doesn’t work? You have to start fresh again, which is about another 8 weeks filled with much of the same, adding in surgery. Not exactly a romantic dinner, wine, and sex with your beloved, huh?
Needless to say, as much as I know I want another baby at some point, the thought of going through this again is depressing, to say the least. I guess it’s been on my mind a lot more recently, as my son will be 2 in October, and it seems sort of “time”. Because it is, this Nicole thing is throwing me for a loop. Here’s a barely 85 pound former (?) heroin addict who is due in court on July 11 to answer DUI charges stemming from her December 2006 arrest. If found guilty, she faces 90 days to one year in jail because of a previous DUI conviction in 2003.
This woman, one whose career involves starring on a television show celebrating her overprivileged brattiness and rudeness, and who has hopped from bed to bed of Hollywood’s lamest and worst boys, has been awarded seamless conception? SHE gets pregnant? In a snap? And I have to arrange for a frozen tissue courier service to transport the frozen popsicle babies that may or may not survive the unfreezing process, stick to my uterus and stay with me for 9 months? Are you there God, it’s me, Chelsea, and I need to know, are you fine kidding me???
It’s hard enough when dear friends of mine get pregnant. I am happy for them, but I gotta tell you, except for the ones who had to go through fertility treatments (they earned it!), it stings. People like Nicole Richie, though….it’s enough to send me through the roof.
I’m done now.