So another month I tried to time it well, and I failed again.
My moods are low, and lower back aches, and stomach cramps signify that my period will arrive soon…seven years, two pricey and body-draining IFVs, three heartbreaking miscarriages, and one dysfunctional marriage. There must be something seriously wrong with us because everyone else seems to be getting pregnant whenever they desire!
Infertility sucks. It wears me off everything, of my willingness to live. I forgot what it is like to be motivated, curious, and hungry for life, social connections, professional and personal growth, travel, meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiences. What it’s like to feel attractive and attracted to my husband.
Before, our intimacy, which to me was not just the sex, but vulnerable conversations, touch, trust, emotional honesty, supportive gestures, quality time together, his annoyingly endearing humming songs that I knew and hated, me burning his toasts almost every time (which he laughed about), arguing about our future holiday plans…this is all gone now. We don’t talk and rarely do anything together out of willingness; we simply cohabit and have timed sex five days a month when my ovulation is up. That is it. The whole Joie De Vivre is gone.
No friends either because real friendship means raw honesty, and I would explode in tears with pain, resentment, frustration, fear, pain, anger, and unmet needs and expectations, and people don’t like sad and pathetic friends.
The desire for something that you want so badly and you would do anything possible to get it. You pause your life on hold, and it just seems harder and getting further and further away from you. It feels like the Sisypehan task. (Sisyphus or Sisyphos is a figure from Greek mythology who, as king of Corinth, became infamous for his general trickery and twice-cheating death. He ultimately got his comeuppance when Zeus dealt him the eternal punishment of forever rolling a boulder up a hill in the depths of Hades.)
Infertility sucks because of the loneliness and separation it brings.
Nobody would understand the pain, emptiness, and grief it brings to my daily life. When I lost my father, I received condolences, support, and work compassionate leave, but when I miscarried, had unsuccessful IVF treatments or another damn menstrual bleed confirming that, again, I’m not pregnant, nobody gave a damn, and I had to hide my tears in the office bathroom and bury my pain in solitude.
Nobody seems to understand or popularise the grief of the unborn child. The pain of losing someone whom I had no chance to meet but was so looking forward to. That heartbreaking shame that I have done something wrong, am guilty of or inadequate, and that is so taboo that I must not share it.
Why am I left with this alone? Why has the medical system failed me with the diagnosis of “unexplained fertility”? How can a diagnosis be unexplained? Why is my good life and perfect marriage falling apart due to this? I blame myself so much. For my moods, hysterical behaviour, irrationalism, and living in the frenzy of my ovulation clock. I blame myself mostly for overpromising and under-delivering to my husband. I always knew that he wanted to have a family. And so did I. I blame my body and hate it so much.
I googled and apparently, 30 percent of women have or will struggle with conceiving—that is every third woman worldwide—and 40 percent of infertility cases are due to male factor. Can we do something about it? I can’t. But can the world do something about it? I’m just trying to breathe and pull through. Day by day. Ovulation to menstruation. Every month.