And the heartbreak of infertility.
To remain locked in the bathroom in an attempt to mentally prepare for the inevitable heartache of seeing the lonely pink line appear.
To imagine the look of utter disappointment spread across my spouse’s face as he, too, notices only the lonely pink line on the test.
To feel overwhelmed with guilt. We are lucky and are parents to a beautiful 5 year old ray of sunshine. Why isn’t that enough? Why does my heart still sting upon seeing the lonely pink line?
To think of what to say to everyone who asks when we plan to have a baby. To debate whether to lie or to tell the truth about the struggle with fertility.
To fill my brain with sickening, toxic positivity.
It’s just not your time.
It’s all part of God’s plan.
Try not to think about it.
Things could be so much worse.
Relax. It will happen soon.
It will happen when the time is right.
Fuck all of it.
To reflect on all of the tests. All of the never-ending appointments. All of the treatments. All of the supplements and medicines.
The myriad of test tubes that become filled with blood.
The HCG test that feels eerily similar to labor contractions.
The many ultrasounds externally and internally.
The egg extraction.
The egg implantation.
All of the physical exhaustion.
To become physically ill when engrossed by the financial burden caused by this lonely pink line.
$1,000 for supplements. $500 for this. $3,000 for that. $1,500 for this and that.
$90 for each doctor appointment.
$150 for a semen analysis showing abnormalities which causes your husband to experience tremendous, irreparable amounts of disappointment and guilt.
$1,832 for pumping my own blood out of my body into tiny test tubes.
$1,670 for HCG testing which consists of labor-like pains while determining if your fallopian tubes are open.
$23,606 for required genetic testing.
$386 for each failed artificial insemination.
$20,000 for the only option left; IVF, in-vitro fertilization plus
$1,760 extra for each frozen egg transfer,
$2,210 for more genetic testing each cycle,
And $200 each round of IVF for Zymot Sperm processing.
Plus an estimated $3,000 for medication per cycle.
Insurance coverage? $0
180 seconds to ride through all of the motions and emotions.
To feel myriad amounts of sadness, heartbreak, guilt, disappointment.
To feel slight glimmers of hope.
To beg with the universe that two lines appear instead of one.
Until nature’s clock starts over and the emotional roller coaster resumes.
To once again greet the lonely pink line.
And countless minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to question your womanhood.
Society pressures women to reproduce and then questions their femininity if they cannot or choose not to bear their own children.
The questions make their way into my own head as well.
“Who am I if I can’t have a baby?”
I’m still someone, in spite of that struggle.
And so are you.
You’re strong. You’re brave. You’re resilient.
You’re enough–As a woman and as a person.
Even when you lose hope, when you’re discouraged and beat down and frustrated. When the waiting feels endless, and when you’re not sure there’s an end in sight.
Remember that you’re still more.
More than those three minutes.
More than the hardship you’re facing.
More than the lonely pink line.
And you always, always will be.
To everyone experiencing infertility, you are incredible.
You’re doing the best you can and I admire you.
Sending so much love to you and your family.