Friday, October 26, 2012

Being a young person with infertility when just starting your career

Dan McCarthy: silence is golden

I checked my Google reader subscriber number the other day and noticed that it jumped from 11 to 25 almost overnight (not that I check every day -- it could have been over a few weeks, really, but in my head, that's a big jump!).  So, hello robots and/or new readers!  Sometimes I talk about libraries and books, and sometimes I talk about infertility.  The two go together like Queens and Corgis, because I say so.

The Clomid + IUI combo didn't work.  I didn't really think it would since those don't have a huge high success rate, but it's still a little stab of pain nonetheless.  Nothing to write home about, beyond a "damn."  On one hand, sure, it's probably definitely good it didn't work career-wise, what with my whole starting-a-new-job-in-November thing, and not wanting to go to bed each night fearing a miscarriage while living alone three hours away, but on the other hand, this is our life, and medical things still exist even if we're not actively treating them.  What's more, to have to separate ourselves by three hours due to my new job makes this a Total Stopping Of Assisted Reproductive Technology And Even Most Trying right now.  There is no "maybe next month" for now.  To be fair, the last one-month break we took was a good mental respite, but at the end of it, we were still dealing with the conversations that are always a part of this situation.  Pretending it doesn't exist and doesn't affect the future doesn't work as a long-term solution.

Having to be in the midst of a life crisis that is ongoing, always there, always a part of everything, and then having to consciously step away from treatment is not easy.  Being in the midst of a life crisis with my husband is hard, but the idea that in a little over a week I'm going to a) still be in the midst of this life crisis and b) will be away from my husband and c) will not be doing anything to change the life crisis status... well, it's a little maddening.  Not in a I'm-going-to-cry sort of way, just in a long-drawn-out-sigh sort of way.  I also don't know what type of insurance I'm going to have, so all of the decisions we made previously are up for change too, since those were based on the coverage options we had with my job.

I found a support group that's just forming in my new city for infertility (it meets in one of the library branches, win? Or lose because it outs me to my employer -- that is if future coworkers aren't already reading, hello internet people), and the idea of going to it alone, sans a partner, is just kind of a huge super extra downer.  Again, I know, in the Pain Olympics, I'm not up for any medals (although the whole living-with-a-pregnant-housemate thing is, I think, completely ridiculous).  We have a general end-point of this separation, provided we rent out the house.  One of us isn't going overseas to Iraq.  I haven't been on the IF Train very long, comparatively.  I haven't even hit the two year mark yet.  I'm like some IF baby (har har).  On one hand, I don't want to go, seeming like the new kid on the block in so many ways, but on the other hand, finding peers dealing with this IRL is next to impossible.

So I need a group, because without even my husband around to understand, having some IRL people who Get It and who won't tell me "Stop stressing/Have you considered adoption?" (I get this All.  The.  Time.) seems necessary.  I hate that there's this idea in society that it's all about stress and it's clearly someone doing something wrong as the reason it's not working.  It all stems from the fact that it's still a taboo topic.  I'm not falling apart over here or anything (aside from the fact that this stuff can drive you a little bonkers -- 'What if I'm not conventionally pretty because from an evolutionary standpoint I'm like a clear signal to potential mates to avoid me but somehow someone stupidly liked me anyway?!' one might wonder, stupidly, in a fit of the same self-consciousness that plagues so many women on the planet).  But starting friendships and leaping straight into "Oh, hey, I've been going through this big life thing that's really hard and also it's something that makes people uncomfortable because it's all about sex!" isn't really the smartest move all the time.  So, seeking out specific IF people, here I go.  (That paragraph was weird.)

This is kind of a you made your bed now lie in it sort of situation, and I'm genuinely happy for the career move, because it's doing what I love, and even when medical things exist, time marches on.  At the end of the day, I can't make life decisions based on this stuff (we did that when we bought a house thinking we'd have a kid, hoo-boy, bad decision, lesson learned, exams taken, Bachelor of Bad Decision Science earned).  I have to make decisions assuming a family won't necessarily be a part of 2013, or 2014.  Life keeps going.  I'm a young person just starting her professional post-Master's career, and I have to do the things that one does with that.  The painted ponies go up and down, blah blah.  The idea of stagnating is always scary to me.  I would rather do something scary that changes everything than do the same thing forever and ever.  But the desire for a total change, while a sincere desire, is still scary nonetheless.

I'm pretty much just killing time between now and when I pack up and move on the 4th.  Thoughts ramble around in my head like a rock tumbler.  Clunk clunk.  That, and I'm stocking up on some new librarian cardigans, because hey, new job, new cardigans.  I am nothing if not a stereotype in that regard.  And now that Patrick won't be around to stop me, I might buy a sweater for Neville.  HAH.


  1. there's so many different struggles in this post that I totally relate to. On the one hand, wanting to do things to help my career even if they (at best) make more difficult or (at worst) undermine infertility stuff. Also the feeling of not quite feeling legitimate for finding it really hard, or not loving your situation because a) it's partly self-imposed and b) the perception that others have it so much worse.

    I so so so get both of those and have absolutely no advice other than to say - I so hear you. I hope the months of sorting this stuff through pass quickly and that you both get settled into your new job and find some time to make progress on the IF journey. Great to find a support group too.

  2. I was wondering if, in your travels/goings on with infertility, if you have looked into or researched trying something that mixes mind/body medicine with conventional medicine?

    I was reading this book called "Change your Brain, Change your Body" by Dr. David Amen, and one of his examples of how you need to get your mind in the right spot was a woman who was trying to conceive, and then in the middle of it, she somehow was given a stray kitten to care for, and because she had the maternal instinct kick in, she was able to conceive. I am sure it is not that easy and I am sorry I do not have anything truly helpful to say because I feel I cannot begin to understand since I have never been in your position. But I do care, and I hope that things work out smoothly for you :)

    1. I really haven't, although I've read that sometimes acupuncture can work in tandem with other treatments. Part of our problem seems to be that both Patrick and I have possible issues, so together we compound the matter, and because it's a medical thing, things simply won't fix themselves by relaxing or changing routines and such. :( (For the record, I absolutely know you care and I love you because you're you, but telling someone that it's a maternal instinct thing can be really hurtful in a roundabout way, since it can imply that if one still can't get pregnant/stay pregnant then they must not be fit to be parents. I figure, I might as well point that out just for future reference, simply because you *haven't* experienced this, and that's okay, and not knowing good vs bad things to say is totally normal and okay and I just like to educate as I go, you know?)

      I <3 you. I am so glad we're still friends.

  3. Very late to the party, but I must say: 1) I love that you have a Corgi and that his name is Neville Longbottom. 2) Cardigans are the shit.

    1. Corgis and cardigans should have been the title of my blog, dammit!