When I started my most recent IUI cycle, I had calculated out the dates and realized that the date we were supposed to test on fell very shortly after Arthur’s birthday. I remember thinking to myself that if I wasn’t pregnant, I really hoped that my period would start after Arthur’s birthday so that at least we could celebrate that in peace. I planned a nice evening out at a really good local restaurant, and told Arthur to pick out his favorite Tom Clancy novel-based movie. This plan made Arthur very happy, since “Patriot Games” is not generally my pick of movie.
I don’t know what it is about the powers-that-be surrounding infertility, but it seems sometimes that our infertility failures and sadness seems to fall right at the worst possible times for us. I was diagnosed with PCOS a couple of days before my 30th birthday. We found out that we were going to need an RE and expensive injectable medications to get me to ovulate about a week before Christmas. And of course, with this cycle, you guessed it, my period started – just in time for Arthur’s birthday.
Which makes me really, really irrationally angry. Pretty much every significant event or date this past year has been overshadowed by infertility in one way or another.
Yesterday morning, Arthur and I debated about whether or not to go to dinner. Both of us were crushed and we weren’t in much of a celebratory mood. “Let’s go,” I said. “At least it will get us out of the house and I won’t have to cook. Besides, I’m glad you were born.”
Arthur agreed. I managed to put on a sundress and some jewelry. Arthur had on a nice shirt. We drove to the restaurant and parked. Both of us looked exhausted and sad. My eyes were still puffed up and red from crying. I hadn’t even bothered to put on make-up because I didn’t want the mascara to run.
The restaurant was crowded and busy. We put our names on the list, and I requested a table outside on the screened-in porch since it was a beautiful day. The porch is also quieter and more private, and I still wasn’t feeling terribly emotionally steady. Arthur squeezed my hand. I sighed.
While we were waiting for our table, we wandered into a small gift shop in the same complex as the restaurant. As we aimlessly walked around, examining expensive little trinkets, I saw this:
Even I had to let out a wry chuckle. I picked it up and took it over to Arthur. “I bet I win!” I told him. “I mean, Follistim and all that.” He gave a small laugh as well.
Right then, our table was called, so I set the item down, and we headed out of the shop to go eat. Sitting on the warm porch, looking out over the lake, both of us started talking finally. Up until then, both of us had mostly just sat, crying and/or feeling bad together.
I was glad I had the foresight to insist on a consult with Dr. D this past week about our next step, even though we had every reason to believe the cycle had worked. I had insisted because I didn’t want to make major decisions if the cycle failed while both of us were emotional and unable to truly rationally consider our choices.
So we talked. Dr. D indicated that since this cycle had, for the first time, been such a promising one that he wanted to do another with Femara, Follistim, and IUI. If that didn’t work, we’d move on to IVF. Arthur and I decided that the best thing to do at this point is to take a short break from treatments. Yes, the cycle had been excellent, but I’ve had three cycles with two of those cancelled in a little under three months. It’s punishing on the body and the mind.
Additionally, because of an injury unrelated to fertility treatments, I haven’t been able to run for nearly three months. I finally got into the gym for a light workout yesterday, and ten minutes in felt like I was dying. A couple of months off would give me some time to lose a couple of pounds and get back in shape without worrying “Am I pregnant? Could this cause me to miscarry if I am?”. It would give us some time to save up financially again. Finally, we knew Dr. D had some plans to be out of the office, and decided we’d rather wait until after that to pursue another cycle.
We both felt sad that this meant delaying our chances, but both of us knew this was the right choice. The meal was excellent, the sun beautiful, and finally we started relaxing a little bit. After the meal, however, we had to make a quick detour back to the shop for the little trinket, which turned out to be blessedly inexpensive.
After all, why not try to poke some “fun” at the dysfunction infertility brings?
It’s poor consolation, but along with my other plaque, the pair still bring a small, slightly sarcastic smile to my face every time I glance over at them. Which is good, because the tears still seem to be coming at regular intervals for right now.