I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. I am sadly addicted to blogs. Not my own, obviously, or I’d be posting a lot more. No, I am addicted to a specific type of blogs: those of infertile women. Did you even know there was such a thing?? Seriously. Allie sent me a link a while back (a year ago?)to a blog of someone she knew who was struggling with infertility. IF, if you will. That’s what they call it these days, apparently. Anyhoo, Allie sent me a handy link to a blog, and then I went from that blog to another, to another. I’ve continued hopscotching my way through Blogland, reading about random strangers failures, losses, and successes. I find myself losing interest once they actually have kids, though. I have little to no desire to read about someone else’s spoiled kids, or see their pictures. I want to know how they got here.
At first, I convinced myself that I was reading all these IF blogs in order to know what to expect, to educate myself about my “options”, and to be proactive in our quest to conceive. That way, I could be ready to suggest things to Slush that would make things easier and faster based on my now vast reservoir of knowledge, right? Sure. However, what has ended up happening is that I have adopted the negativity, the skepticism, and the pessimism that seems to characterize your standard IF blog.
My negativity really hit home to me the other day as I was talking to Mom. As I’ve mentioned, she’s done the whole IF thing. So we were talking a bit, which I’ll get to in a minute, and I said something that I don’t think I’d even admitted to myself. Mom suggested that B and I not chart and focus on getting preggo, and instead just let it go for a few months and see what happens. She said that she doesn’t want me to be disappointed when I can’t get pregnant. I’ll address that in a second, too. But my response was to let her know that I have NO delusions about my fertility, and that I fully expect to be a colossal failure at getting pregnant. When I had a second later in the day to process, I realized just how true this was. I honestly have believed (convinced myself? been convinced by others?) that there is no way on Earth that I’ll get pregnant.
Here is what I’m realizing:
I have been on the pill since I was 17. I have never tried to get pregnant. Way too much information, but we haven’t even had sex since I went off the pill (long story. Long month). So I have absolutely no idea if I can get pregnant or not. Why on earth do I assume that I can’t? Two reasons in particular:
1.) Because my mom can’t. How about the fact that on my dad’s side of the family they breed like rabbits? Or that on Mom’s other side of the family, they also breed like rabbits? What’s to say that I’m not going to take after those fertile folks and pop out kids left and right? Not a thing. I can’t live my mom’s history; I have to make my own.
2.) I have PCOS. Hm. Big deal, I say. It is entirely possible to get pregnant with PCOS. An ultrasound in 2006 showed that I have completely clear, normal-sized ovaries now. That’s possible with PCOS, and bodes well for my chances of conception. So if I have clear ovaries, ovulated fine even while on the pill, and have never tried to get pregnant, why am I convinced that I never will?!
Anyone who knows me knows that I firmly believe in positive thinking. I don’t always do it, but I believe in it. Why on earth am I setting myself up for failure by immersing myself in negativity? That is officially over. Let’s go back to my conversation with Mom. She said she thinks I’m going to be devastated in a few months when I can’t get pregnant because I’m such an organized, regimented person. That is no shock; I have always been organized, and I function much better with to do lists, notes to myself, etc. I like to be prepared for every possibility, and I like to have knowledge on my side. Strangely, I don’t think that’s just a bad thing. I wasn’t a Girl Scout, but I am nothing if not prepared. So, she said the fact that I’m already charting my basal body temperatures and am focusing on getting/keeping my body in prime conception shape is putting too much stress on the whole thing. Most people tell you to “just relax, you’ll have a baby when you’re ready.” My mom says “just relax, it’s not going to happen anyway, just don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t.” Don’t get me wrong! I know she wants this to work more than I do, maybe. But she is a realist, and she’s been there. I totally understand her point of view, and am completely accepting of it. So, Mom, if you’re reading this, I gotcha. No fear. Here’s my thought: I have read the best book in the world on fertilit.y awarenes.s, and think that every woman in the world should be issued this book along with her ovaries. Whether you are trying to get preggo, trying not to get knocked up, or just want to know why on earth your body does that, it is a priceless resource. I think we would all be more self-assured as a gender if we all read this book and understood the principles. This book stresses observing your basal body temperature, your cervical fluid qualities, and the position of your cervix within your body at any given time during the month. This is not just to get pregnant, it’s to understand where you are along the cycle that all women go through in some form or another. Given this amazing tool that can help me pinpoint the 6 most fertile days of the month, why would I not use it from the get-go? Makes no sense to me. So, I’ll continue to chart and use the tools at my disposal, and I’ll continue to take my pre-natals as recommended by Slush, as well as a few supplements that help your body be ready to roll. And I will assume that I have perfectly normal fertility until proven otherwise.
Here is my rehab plan for breaking my IF addiction:
1. NO infertility blogs. Absolutely none.
2. NO PCOS blogs or message boards that have a negative connotation.
3. NO obsessing over fertility signs, only observing is allowed. I can chart, check cervical fluid and position, and record the facts. THE FACTS only. I may not obsess over the presence or absence of any signs. Expect positive ones, of course!
4. NO trusting the fertilit.y monitor. The manufacturer clearly states that the Clearp.lan Fertilit.y monito.r is not recommended for women with PCOS as we often have high levels of lutenizing hormone (LH) which is exactly what the monitor looks for. We don’t “surge”, so we may not get a positive reading. However, for some folks it works fine. I personally won’t hang my hopes on it!
5. NO assuming I am infertile until at least July 2008. Perfectly healthy people give themselves a year. After six months of concentrated effort, a couple is considered infertile. I’m giving myself three uninterrupted cycles before I think I’m infertile. Unless Slush has other ideas in May. She’s the doc. Meanwhile, I’m considering myself fertile.
The official New Outlook On Babies is this: my fertility is innocent until proven faulty. Anyone who wants to, keep me honest. Either to my face or on this blog, call me out. Do not let me be negative, and do not let me convince myself (again) that I’m not going to get pregnant. Cause I am.