Ms. Perfect-Infertile

There’s an image in my mind of the person I would very much like to be. Sometimes, I get to be her… but it never lasts for long.

I imagine myself loving and patient, emanating pure compassion, and being everlastingly positive. The kind of infertile woman who always feels joy hearing the news of other people’s pregnancies… who can cradle an infant without feeling a knot in her throat and wondering if she’ll ever get to experience the miracle of having her own child. The kind of woman who doesn’t cringe when people insist on showing her photo after photo of their child or worse – grandchildren! The kind of woman who genuinely believes that one day, it will be her turn and that the universe has a plan for her that will be better than her wildest dreams….

I call her “Ms. Perfect-Infertile” (she’s modeled after the “Perfect Woman” that lives in every woman’s mind – she’s always been with me, but I only found out about her when I went through the first PAX workshop). As is the M.O. of the Perfect Woman, mine has adapted itself to being infertile. She speaks to me all the time… it’s possible that she is me, or at least, a collection of all my experiences, ego, and societal norms & expectations all rolled up together. I regret that she even has a voice. But she does. And she talks to me all the time and tells me when I’m doing anything wrong (which is frequently, apparently.)

She tells me when I’ve eaten too much, or that I’m starting to get wrinkles around my eyes when I smile. She tells me I should be upbeat & positive when people are giving me fertility advice – even when they don’t have a clue! (The latest in this series was last week’s suggestion by a friend of my mother’s that I go to her son – the chiropractor – who can give me an adjustment that will allow me to get pregnant. “Why, it worked for so-and-so!”)

Really? I mean, really, are you kidding me?! Oh, yes… I’m sure that injecting myself with massive amounts of hormones, monitoring follicular growth via ultrasound, surgical harvesting of my eggs and in-vitro fertilization – not to mention ICSI and PGD – have all been a grand waste of time! All I ever needed was to have my back cracked the right way!!! Now, why didn’t I think of that? But Ms. Perfect-Infertile cautions me to bite my tongue, subdue my sarcasm and offer a gentle, grateful, “I don’t think that would work for me, but thank you.” Blech!

It almost gets worse when I start to think about the possibility that I might not ever get pregnant and carry a child to term. Ms. Perfect-Infertile says that if I don’t get pregnant, then I should really have a perfect body. What, with no pregnancy to blame for marring my figure – what could possibly be my excuse for not being in the best shape of my life, right? That one really stings because, well, I believe her and I’m certainly not in the best shape of my life. In fact, I’m 10lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day… and at 5’4″ – those pounds make a difference.

It’s no secret that food is my main source of comfort & reward. Alcohol’s not a bad second choice, but so much of that gets cut out when trying to conceive – that you just need to find something else. And food works, dammit. You come home from an exhausting day at work, and in my case – a three hour total commute, and you take the injectibles out of the refrigerator to let them reach room temperature. About 20 minutes later, you gear up for the shots… dose the syringes, choose a location on your belly or thigh (that hasn’t been bruised the day before), alcohol swab, air dry, pull the safety cap off the needle and… well, then it’s the psychological barrier to plunging the needle into yourself (a most unnatural act!) Some days it’s pretty fast and other days it takes several minutes to talk yourself into it… with each passing second adding to the frustration & fear. Eventually, you push the needle in, press down on the plunger (or pen) and empty the contents inside you. Slowly extracting the needle helps to prevent bruising – although it doesn’t always work. Then add that to the collection in your sharps container and rub the spot to help spread the medicine… and then… well, it’s a small consolation, but some ice cream or alcohol – or whatever you feel like allowing yourself to have – it’s the least thing you can do to soothe yourself.

Ms. Perfect-Infertile is talking to me now. She’s telling me this blog entry is really no good and that it’s depressing and self-indulgently so with no point. She says no one will ever want to read it. I argue that it’s primarily for me that I write the blog, but fear she may be right anyway.

All I can do is press on… and for now, press “Publish.”

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. There Is A Chance
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 13:53:12

    If only that “perfect” person would be there all the time. I know I have one, too, but all too often, I don’t pay attention to her. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts. And I’m so glad for your current success! It gives me hope : )


  2. msfertility
    Sep 18, 2012 @ 21:03:32

    I don’t think we’re supposed to pay attention to Ms. Perfect – she’ll drive us all crazy! (And it never ends!!!) If my story has any message to it, it has to be one of HOPE against all odds. It’s definitely worthwhile to continue to be as positive and hopeful as we can be (again, a perfect record is not necessary!) I wish you all the best and hope that you get to enjoy your happily-ever-after very soon!


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