Saturday, August 17, 2013


"Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief." ~ C. S. Lewis

This perfectly sums up the gnawing sadness that I attempt to cope with each day.  I say attempt because there are days that I'm practically stellar at living and enjoying what I have, but there are also a handful of days that it takes all of my being to just exist and basically try to hide in a fertile world. Some days are hard because of silly things strangers say, others are hard because I have physical pain that seemingly comes out of nowhere that's like a personal reminder that something is physically wrong with me, some days because it's a significant date-like a should have been due date.  Some days are hard because of silly things that have nothing to do with fertility, but I take everything so personally...always have...that I wrap it back around to 'this must be why'.  Infertility is not the best juju for your self-esteem.  

I think it's easy for people to shrug off my grief, because "I've never really had anything to lose," or "I am so blessed with so many other things."  It is true that I am very fortunate to have a husband who is better for me than I deserve.  I have my family who loves and cares for me more than I deserve, a lovely house, and things.  Yet, I'm not willing to "just be happy with that."  It's not that I'm ungrateful or unappreciative, it's just that I built relationships, collected, and worked for this blessed life I have so that I could share it with the child BJ and I were supposed to conceive.  For 94% of couples...this is not too much to expect.  

Honestly, everyday I wake up I am moving towards one goal, to be my child's Mother.  C. S. Lewis' quote is poignant.  Everyday I take a handful of medicine that re-emphasizes the point that my body parts aren't working right, and I can't have children.  So I may not be emotionally sad, but cognitively I understand each day, that the one thing I truly desire in life may never happen.  No matter what route we take, how hard I work, or badly I want it. 

Everyday, despite what people think I should feel, or expect, I have grief.  I wear grief on a necklace that simply says, "Eventually".  I wear grief in the scars on my abdomen from the surgery I've had. I wear my desire in a tattoo that reminds me to slow down and take one step at a time.   Most days, that's enough to honor the grief that I have, so that I don't have to "feel" it.  These things let my heart know that I recognize what I've lost, but that today I have to live.  And when I live, I choose to live happy.  

Unending grief has turned into the reason I get out of bed every morning. The reason I will be resuming a more active approach to battling infertility.  The desire to abate grief with joy is why I continue to fight.

Peace, Love, and Life,
Mary Katherine

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"It's Awful"

"It's awful." - Jimmy Fallon when speaking about dealing with infertility.

It does sum it up nicely.  It's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy. It's certainly not easy.  If anyone watched the True Life:  I'm Desperate to Have a Baby episode, it was a fair attempt to try to follow some relatable, non-celebrity folk through the difficulties of infertility.  But there is no possible way to wrap up years of struggle into an hour long episode and really understand how painful and desperate it is.  I've been reading Chris and Candace's blog, Our Misconception, the couple whose cycle did not take on the True Life episode, and you cannot even begin to imagine all the difficulties they went through for that cycle even though it was being documented by MTV the whole time.  Or all their difficulties before and new difficulties they are facing now as they continue on their quest to become parents.  Infertility is not simple, it's awful.

I can't thank Jimmy Fallon enough for his short, honest response.  Too often we get the post-baby sugar-coated 'we tried for years but with a good attitude and lots of prayer our dreams were finally answered.'

Well, shit.  How in the hell do you have a good attitude about having one of life's most basic properties denied to you?  I mean I can take 3 shots a day and not complain, be hopeful, pray every spare second I have and even when I don't have spare moments, and appreciate the opportunity to go through fertility treatments, not ruin other's baby showers, and love on my friend's children...but that is between the breakdowns, the hours of sobbing on the bathroom floor, the physical pain of endometriosis, the self-deprecating thoughts, the doubt, the questioning of God's plans, the stress on your marriage, the financial toil, the strange diets, the odd schedules, having to plan socializing against treatment cycles, the vitamin cocktails that have to be taken at all sorts of times, the anxiety of it all, the fear of loss, and the actual losses.

I don't like being different in this way.  I don't like not being able to have children. I don't appreciate being asked when I'm going to have children.  I don't like not being included in the "adult conversations" because I would never understand what it's like to have kids.  Or I wouldn't understand the expenses of children, because I'm sure figuring out how to pay for fertility treatments at costs of $15,000 a month simply can't compare to the cost of diapers and childcare.  I don't like being told that I'm trying too hard, thinking about it too much, and not recognizing that 'it's just not my time.'  I don't like being told that I should adopt, because "wouldn't it be simpler?" or even better "I know someone who got pregnant after they adopted." AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I think it's fair to assume most people you meet will not have difficulty starting a family, thankfully! But I urge you to use caution when asking about their family plans, anyway.  You know, not once when we've been told "God has other plans..." or "It's not God's time for you," have any of those people offered to pray for us.  I just find that in the Bible Belt and all...You'd be astonished at how many people I've met online have been told that their infertility is atonement for their or their family's sins.  Fortunately, we've never been told this to our face...

Time Magazine published this article about Jimmy Fallon and pointed out how it was ok in Hollywood to talk about your alcoholism, drug or sex addiction but admitting to the fact you used an egg donor is taboo.  Honestly, ask yourself how so many actresses get pregnant in their 40s?  I'm not saying it can't happen, but for women holding SAG cards and the ability to conceive in your 40s seems to be much higher than for average non-SAG card holding American women...

It IS awful.  Again, I can't thank people like Chris and Candace, and Jimmy Fallon, for standing up for our minority and breaking the silence that we've been expected to suffer in. Since when does not being the norm or not making up the majority of the population mean we deserve less consideration?

Peace, Love, and Dr. Seuss,