Ok, so I start a blog and then do not post anything for a week – what gives? I thought about saying that I was just trying to give my readers (whomever those people happen to be) a taste of what it’s like to be in the two week wait with no new information driving you crazy, but truly I was only on vacation and completely offline during my time away. It was the much needed break I needed to return and hit the ground running both in my personal and professional life.
There are so many things I want to share on this blog and to remember them all and find ways to word it all can be a bit overwhelming. I figure the best thing I can do is share what is on my heart at the time I write each entry. Today is about secondary infertility. I am learning a new dynamic of secondary infertility – the affect of the fertility drugs on my family. During my first round of infertility I was able to gradually step up the medication as we progressively worked to find the right combination of medicine at the right time in my cycle. This gradual increase, while completely done for medical reasons, was both a blessing and a curse. It was exceedingly difficult to endure month after month of trying to get it right without success. It was trying for me emotionally as I felt less and less like myself and it was more and more difficult to distinguish if my personality was changing over those years or if it was the affect of the drugs. The one benefit of it, though, was that both myself and my husband could slowly learn how to deal with my changing personality as I got progressively more crazy.
Fast forward to secondary infertility: this time we have a plan that works. I immediately get to jump past all the months of failed treatment plans and start right in on the medicine and timing that works. Happy days – or so one would think. The moment I started on those strong drugs, I recognized the change. Perhaps the first clue was the shouting match I got in with my one year old daughter when she decided she wasn’t going to eat her mixed vegetables. After a few rounds of her refusing to eat them and me making sure she knew she was going to eat them or she would never get food again, daddy came to the rescue and gave her a more acceptable food that she downed easily and without complaint. Yes, she does need to learn to eat things she doesn’t like, but there is a point that one must pick their battles. Not eating for my daughter (who happens to be in the first percentile for weight) is really not an option…and squash really was an acceptable substitute if it meant her eating instead of grabbing and throwing the spoon. This rational reaction, though, was out of my grasp at the time and both mom and daughter are thankful daddy was home to mediate.
To summarize, I recently wrote my sister the following:
It’s so strange on these meds. It’s like I know things aren’t a big deal and yet I have no power over my emotions to be rational and look at things from a higher level than just the emotional level. It’s like that gut reaction is the only one I get to experience. I can’t wait to be done building our family so that I can be normal again. Last time I went through this I got to ‘step up’ into the higher meds and because it was gradual I didn’t feel a lot of my changing personality. This time I basically jumped in the deep end right off the bat and could instantly feel the affect. I don’t like it.
For me, the primary problem with secondary infertility is that it is no longer just my husband and I sorting out who I ‘really’ am while on the medication. My husband was pretty good at overlooking the ‘changed’ me because he knew who the ‘real’ me was when I was not on the medication. My daughter, however, is still learning and growing and every single thing I do is being processed in her little head. She does not understand that mommy gets a little abnormal when on certain medication. All she knows is what she sees – and I do NOT like the mommy she sees when I’m on these drugs.
Once again we find ourselves with three familiar choices:
- Continue fertility treatments, dealing with the crazy person I become and praying that there is no permanent damage to me, my husband, our marriage, and now my daughter
- Stop treatments and adopt – something we are not opposed to, but haven’t found ourselves led to pursue yet
- Grieve the loss of our dream of a larger family, embrace our small family and nurture it to the fullest
For the first time in my life, options two and even three seem to be more acceptable than option one. Perhaps this is God changing my heart to a new direction (my current plan is to do treatments as long as it takes until I have 4 children). Now, though, I can clearly see the affect of the drugs and I truly despise the person I become on my meds…and that person is not the person I want to be while raising my daughter. She is my miracle baby and I have always wanted to give her everything. Is it fair for me to steal from her a sane mother for just the chance at having more children? Maybe for a short time, but I don’t see that being an acceptable alternative over the course of years.
I had said many times during my primarily infertility that I just wanted to fast forward 20 years and see what God did with our family because I knew I’d be able to see the amazing way He brought us together and be thrilled with the end result. The hardest part is this waiting period while He is still working in us from all aspects: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
God, help me to be patient. I know you have a plan for our family. Help me to trust You with that plan. May my focus shift from building our family to pursuing whatever path You lead us toward. Lord, You know that my heart’s desire is that this most recent round of treatments worked and that you are already growing a tiny one inside of me and will continue to grow him/her into a man or woman after Your heart. Whether that be the case or not, I pray that you help me fully embrace Your plan for our family. If that is more treatments, help me to recognize when the crazy drugged up person is rearing her ugly head and give me the power to take a step back and return to sanity. If that is to pursue adoption then give us a burning desire to parent one of Your children who desperately need a parent who will show them Your love. If it is Your plan that we invest all of our time and energy into our family of three, then give me a peace that while few in number, You will still do amazing things with us to impact this world for the better.