Triggers. We all have them regardless of our struggle. It could be a time of year, a moment, an event, a photo, a smell. I learned one of mine recently and believe it or not, it’s a word—just a stupid word!
Let’s rewind back a couple months. D and I had some pretty big appointments. We each had some blood work done in addition to other tests and we were sitting at the fertility clinic waiting to find out the results and learn our fate. We figured we knew what was coming, or at least I THOUGHT I did, and I was ready to take the next step and close this chapter of trying naturally and move on. I was excited because we could quit waiting around and doing more tests to get the results we already knew. I thought I was on the road to babytown!
Well, I was wrong.
So hear me out. They determined I had prime breeding grounds for having a baby! RIGHT ON! This is great news! That helps 50% of the situation. Then the urologist was pleasantly surprised to see that things had turned around for D. He wasn’t sure how, but things were looking up. SWEET! Right? RIGHT! So why the hell did I feel so emotional? I am so happy that there is a chance we can do this the traditional way. Thinking of the beautiful little human that we can produce that’s half me, half D and it will be free of charge! (Yes, cost is a factor when it comes to infertility and unfortunately, in some cases, it’s a deciding factor.)
Now we have to wait another three months to check things out again and that will determine if we have a chance of doing this naturally or not.
I was okay until I heard it…the trigger. Clearly, I was looking like I had just received bad news and the doctor looked at me when I confirmed that we were going to wait three months for more tests which means one more month for those results and I was obviously out of sorts. All he said was, “patience”. I wanted to punch him. PATIENCE?? SERIOUSLY?? Mr., you don’t know the patience I have exercised thank you very much! And that’s when I found out that being told to be patient was not something I was okay with hearing anymore. So, of course I cry because that’s what I do every time I go to that clinic! I am sure they think I am emotionally unstable. Every. Single. Time.
Okay, so let me explain some more. You know the saying, “once bitten, twice shy”? Well, it’s more than just a really good song by Great White. That’s how I felt. I was scared to be even remotely happy for fear of crashing and burning… again. Yes, it’s amazing that D and I have a chance of conceiving on our own, but what if I am happy and excited and my hopes are as high as the sky and then in three months the tests show otherwise?
It’s hard to stay positive when you feel like you are in a constant state of heartbreak.
I was ecstatic that we had decided to start trying to have kids only to be heartbroken to find out maybe we can’t because of possible male factor. I was so pumped as I was sure D’s test results had changed a while back only to find out they hadn’t. I was ecstatic that we were going to adopt and had found a great agency who actually lets us adopt a newborn, only to be heartbroken that we can’t afford the ridiculously astronomical prices they have. It feels like I have gone through 100 heartbreaks and I am done. I don’t want to be positive and get my hopes up anymore only to find out that in three months, nothing has changed. This is the curse and emotional roller coaster of infertility. This is when we find out the triggers we didn’t even know we had.
So with all that being said – how do we cope? Well we cope any way we know how.
We lean on our support system whether that be our partner, our families or our best friend.
We join support groups full of inspiring men and women who have been through what we have, have felt what we are feeling, and give us that tiny ribbon of hope that we need in our darkest moments.
I hate to say this one, but I am going to anyway—we avoid certain triggers.
Whether that be a baby shower, a birth announcement, or a pregnancy announcement. We avoid them because for some reason it feels like if you don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist and if it doesn’t exist, we don’t feel sad, angry, jealous and alone. I need to really make something clear on this one, please know that it is NEVER anything personal. Deep down, we are so super happy for those in our circle who are getting to experience everything we would love to. We are just learning how to deal with another baby bump making our dream feel a little bit further away.
We cope the best way we know how. It’s what we have to do to survive. Life around us can’t stop because we are watching our dream slowly fade away. We still need to get up and go to work, raise the kids we currently have, be a good wife to our partners, and a good friend to our friends who are struggling with their own issues. All we ask, and need is a bit of grace from our people as we head out on this bumpy road, when we are discovering our triggers and learning how to be the statistic we never thought of or wanted to be—that damned #1in6.
By Ginette LaVoie