Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | September 22, 2008

really spilling the beans

Today I told the first person in real life about our infertility issues. I called my aunt, who also happens to be one of my best friends, just to say hi because I hadn’t talked to her in a week or so. She was at a landscape materials yard, looking for the perfect large rock for her yard.

It sounds silly, but we have a history with rocks. When I worked with her at her school, we created a mossy rock garden for the children, which included a huge boulder that we ended up calling “the thinking rock”. It really was a great place to sit and think. We carefully chose smooth stones to create a path through the different textures of ground cover we planted – baby’s tears, isotoma, and scotch moss. We spent hours planning out how to place the stones, so that it was slightly challenging for the 4 year olds to hop from stone to stone, but not so challenging that it was frustrating. We ended up with three paths that they could take.

When I was the teacher in that classroom, I had a rule that you have to stay on the stones – the moss is delicate and won’t be able to grow if you step on it. I did not allow them to pick the greenery (the other teachers thought I was mean, but we had plenty of things in our vegetable garden that the children could pick – beans, peas, tomatoes), and the moss grew and flourished. It was a lush, cool haven on a hot summer day. The little clumps that started when we first planted them filled in and formed a green carpet and it was beautiful. The children had little watering cans and they watered it and respected it. Then I left for my new job and the teacher who took over did not teach them to take care of it, and let them bring sand from the sandbox to the moss garden and let them dig in it. It looked like shit within a month. Kids will take good care of stuff if you set limits and show them how.

Anyhow, we have a history with and a love of rocks, and choosing the right rock for the right spot is quite an undertaking. It was quite appropriate for us to be talking while she was getting a feel for her next big rock.

When I called, she was literally climbing and sitting on rocks and trying to imagine how they were going to feel in her yard. Out of the blue, she asked “Hey, when are you going to get pregnant?!” I had told her a month or two ago that we were ready to start trying, which wasn’t quite true, since I was on my 5th round of clomid at the time, but I didn’t want to tell ANYONE yet about our infertility, even this dear friend/aunt. So, when she asked today, it all came out. ALL of it. I should have known she would have beautiful, comforting things to say. She always does. But I hadn’t told her about this over the past six months because I was afraid she couldn’t relate. I knew that she easily conceived her two children fairly quickly, and was almost too fertile. I was afraid that she’d say oh just relax, or eat only organic food, go on vacation, or some other thing that infertiles hate to hear. But she didn’t. She was so gracious and kind and sorry to have asked so directly. I told her that I was actually glad she asked, because I had been needing some support and just couldn’t spit the words out the last few times we had talked. The floodgates opened, and while she sat on rocks in a landscape materials yard with bulldozers driving by every few minutes, I told her everything. About my shitty ovaries and S’s shitty morphology. How the clomid makes me crazy. How we may have to do IVF. She was shocked that insurance doesn’t cover it. It made me realize that normal people just don’t know about infertility, and it’s partly because people like me don’t share their stories. Not that I’m going to start telling everyone. I’m not that strong. I asked her to keep this news to herself.

I told her how I was concerned that if my period doesn’t start in the next day or two, this cycle will be ruined because of the wedding in California that I have to go to. She suggested something that I hadn’t dared to: skip the wedding if need be. I hadn’t let myself consider that as an option, but really, is this person’s fake wedding (who I’m not really close to, and hasn’t returned my emails asking about how his wife’s pregnancy is going) worth wasting another month on clomid and not doing an IUI? No. It would be somewhat hard to explain why I wouldn’t be coming at the last minute, but everyone is so excited about this person’s wedding that my relatives probably wouldn’t even notice or miss me. I could reschedule my trip so that I come during the 2ww.

That realization that I could put my needs first was so freeing. I actually laughed. I was worried about the $100 change fee, but really, we are going to be spending money on ultrasounds and clomid and trigger shots and IUI, and that’s far more than $100! All that stands between me and actually getting a chance this cycle is my period (still nothing 5 days after my last provera pill), $100 fee to change my ticket, and some pesky familial guilt.

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