For several, several, several, several, long, long, long months now, we here at the Adams household have been trying many different strategies to conceive a third child. Many people have intimated that I am crazy to try for a third, a handful of people have suggested that I am selfish to want another child and of course, there are those who look at me and plainly state,
“Beth, you just don’t look like someone who would want another kid.”
To those people I want to say (but I don’t),
“Um, why don’t you think first before open your mouth.”
Thankfully, most folks, even if they don’t understand my crazy desires, are ultimately supportive. I want to thank all of those kind souls. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your support has filled the holes where my self-doubt is forcefully trying to creep in. Just today, I was graphically describing to one of you the bloody mass of tissue I woke up to this morning. You empathetically told me,
“Beth, I think it was probably a miscarriage. Remember to be tender with yourself over the next few days, because your hormones will be all over the place.”
To you, my friend, I say,
“Thank you for having my back.”
Whatever the bloody tissuey mass was, I am definitely not pregnant (AGAIN)!
Before you make a judgment of my mental state or make a judgment about what seems to be a very intense (perhaps a bit irrational) desire to get pregnant, I urge you to read on.
You see, in my journey to conceive, I think I have been forced once again to take a deep look into my soul. Truth be told, I have not always been pleased with everything I saw. Once I was actually ready to work through the layers of this issue (and because I am so damn stubborn, “once” took a long time to get to), I began to find some of the peace I have been looking for.
And if by chance, there is anyone out there, who has found themselves in a similar place, I hope my words can save you some precious time.
About a month or so, my life came to a head. My camera was broken (which totally paralyzed me). I decided to reconfigure my website, which didn’t go quite as smoothly and took much, much longer than I had planned. I was also coming off of the stream of houseguests, the holidays, the flu, birthdays and funerals. As my intuitive friend suggested,
“I think you have had enough going on to totally force your hand.”
I was finally forced to let go of the control and face the realities of my life. Fortuitously, a few months earlier, I think was being led to the place where my hand would ultimately be forced. One Sunday, Dave and I took our boys to church. While they were in their classes, Dave and I sat in the foyer. We started talking, which almost immediately escalated into yelling and screaming at one another, (Yes, we were screaming at each other at church, directly outside of the chapel). Dave abruptly walked out of the church and kept on walking to our car. I dramatically followed him into the car,
“Dave, You can’t just walk away from me.”
In the car, we screamed more freely about who knows what when he finally and wisely looked at me and asked,
“Is this about having a baby?”
“Will you feel better if we try?”
In that moment I literally saw something click in him and he finished with,
“Well then, I am on board.”
Let’s be honest, as much as I have wanted a baby, I have had a husband who was not completely sold on the idea. Sure, we have been technically trying to conceive for two years, but still, his heart wasn’t in it. And because his heart wasn’t in it, I was not fully committed either. Even so, I sought fertility treatment. I pondered adoption. I had Dave’s little swimmers tested and they are great. I freaked myself out and convinced myself if I did have another child that I would most certainly die or the child would be born with seventeen heads and sixty-three toes. I researched my options until I was completely overwhelmed and knew somewhere deep within me that I really couldn’t take our fertility to the next level without Dave. Until that moment when we sat in our car outside of the church, Dave and I had not been on the same page and we both knew it. As much as I wanted another baby, deeper in my heart, I knew that I didn’t want to trick my husband into having one. Psychologically I could not move forward until he was there with me. If we were going to have another child, I wanted our child to know that we both really wanted him or her.
Thank God, because in a split second something clicked and Dave lovingly jumped on board. With his encouragement, I felt confident to proceed. I bought more ovulation predictor kits. I spoke with my hormone doctor. I cut the caffeine even more. I talked with friends, who are also dealing with infertility (sadly there are a lot of us). And when I was ovulating (with my sister and her husband sleeping in the bedroom directly below my bedroom), I insisted that Dave and I have sex NOW.
The next morning:
“Beth, we heard you last night.”
Thankfully, Dominique followed with,
“And then we had sex too.”
As for having a baby, our hearts were really in it, but that wasn’t enough. Every month became this roller coaster of hope followed by ignoring the cramps followed by deep sorrow when my period came. Then, with Dave’s help and hugs, I would pull myself out of my sadness and start all over, convincing myself that this next month would be the month. I started back on Clomid (and didn’t even go crazy this time). I felt like a pro with my ability to identify the ovulary stages of my cervical mucous. And with my cervical mucous expertise, I made sure we had sex a few days before I thought I was going to ovulate all the way until a few days afterward. I continued researching and continued talking to my doctor.
Then last month, when my period came, I realized, I mean, I REALIZED, that it was going to take more than all my knowledge and our unified desire for me to get pregnant. For us to have a baby, I needed to push through the denial, stop tricking myself that having a baby will magically happen and actually commit to the task at hand. No more whining, because for us to have a baby, it is going to be a job.
If anyone had told me when I was twenty that I would be in a long holding pattern of secondary infertility, I could not have grasped what that really meant. I mean, really, at twenty, I was convinced that I would have all of my children by age thirty and I certainly would not have a five year (plus) age gap between my children. Somehow, before I had children, I thought that even if there was a glitch or two, I still could call the shots. Oh, the empathy, humility and compassion I have learned over and over and over and over again. The one quality I am still struggling with is patience: patience for myself and patience for others. When someone says something like how dumb it is to be forty or fifty when you have your first child, I am learning to bite my tongue and remind myself that they simply do not understand. Until they have walked in my shoes or someone with infertility’s shoes, they cannot grasp it, nor do they have to.
The patience for myself has been much harder to come by. I mean, come on, I am flawed. I can’t just get pregnant. My body is defective and my hormones are weird. I have scar tissue. One of my ovaries is quirky and all of these glitches add up. When I was at my OB yesterday, she even had another guess (and that is all it is, a guess) as to what may be causing my infertility,
“Maybe your body is attacking the sperm. You have such bad allergies and a huge inflammation response to allergens, maybe your allergies have transferred to your fertility.”
It sounded so hokey, but then I remembered my friend’s wife, who has exactly that problem. Her body attacks the fetus as if it were an allergen. She has to take high doses of prednisone to keep her babies to term.
Next week I go for a uterine dye test, which will probably be followed by a laparoscopy. Of course, Dave and I will still be trying to get pregnant the old fashioned way [wink wink and bring on Coldplay’s song, Fix You and I promise you that there will be sparks]. Aside from the consistent having of the old-fashioned sex, I have learned that I need to be assertive, confident, informed and at peace with my life. It has taken me a while to get here. At this moment, I am still not sure I will get pregnant, but I think I am coming to a place where I am finding closure, with or without another child.
I will keep you posted.
29 thoughts on “Stirrups, Paper Gowns and a Strong Resolve”
I’m so sorry for the miscarriage. I’m glad that you have supportive friends and that Dave is 100% on board. That should help immensely.
I’m so sorry to hear about the miscarriage. It sounds like you have made huge strides in dealing with infertility and have grown so much in the past few months. Wow. I share your wish that another woman out there struggling will learn from your shared experiences.
All sadness aside, it is just so great to read your familiar, wonderful writing again. I’m so glad you are back!!
thank you Beth. I’ve learned so much about marriage, unconditional love and personal growth reading this post. thanks for sharing your journey with us.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a more compelling entry using the words, “cervical mucous.”
My dear Beth. Your calm radiates through. I am sorry you have not gotten pregnant, and still, I am happy you are finding peace with whatever the world is bringing you, has brought you, and hopefully, what will give you tomorrow.
First I want to say, welcome back. I have most certainly missed reading your daily entries, about the boys, and such.
Second, thank you for writing this post. I could have on some levels written it myself. It’s as if you were in my head, picking my emotions apart. Having control, or lack there of was something that has taken me all twelve years of TTC & dealing with infertility to grasp. To grasp that I have none. None what so ever. The control freak that I am, it was so hard to just stop trying to control it all. I have finally come to terms with it all, as we approach our first IVF (after 6 failed IUI’s) next month. I was DX’d at 17 yrs old. I have primary infertility, and have been dealing with this the entire length of my marriage. So in some aspects my situation is different. But the pain, the emotioinal hurt, and the drain you feel is still the same. It’s still present in an infertiles life, regardless of how you got there.
Thank you Beth for writing this post. Although I wish it werent this way, I think it helps others deal with infertility on so many levels, when there is a face that goes with it. Know that you arent alone. Know that we infertiles are holding your hand as we all walk through this bumpy journey together.
God bless you a million times over. I am SO moved by this post, Beth. Wow. More in a minute.
Well, Beth, we actually had sex before we heard you. It was while we were trying to catch our breaths that I thought, “Cool, Beth’s on tonight, too.”
Powerful post. I’m so sorry about the miscarraige. I wish so much that I could jump on a plane to come give you huge hugs. I love you.
Oops, I almost forgot… I LOVE your new look.
This is the best entry you’ve ever written. Honestly.
Also, when do you have the time or energy for all that sex???
Beth, you are a powerful writer and a powerful person. Fingers crossed for you, and great work on the design!
thank you for sharing. best of luck!
So honest and raw…and very powerful. The truth always is. So many great families out there in the same situation as you. My hope for you is a peaceful outcome…whatever that may be.
Beth, Thank you for your kind little email. I am glad you are back. Your post today left me a little teary because I am going through the same thing…though it is not secondary in nature. Every month I ovulate and we try and every month I get my period and die a little inside. Thank you for writing all that I’ve been feeling.
Oh, Beth. I’m so sorry. I don’t have anything particularly helpful to say other than, I wish you good health and abundant peace. Keep writing/blogging/venting, etc. You are in my prayers. (And I’m glad you’re back!)
I am glad you are writing again.
Beth–Thank you so much for sharing yourself with all of us. I can’t begin to tell you how your words resonate with me, especially, “Every month became this roller coaster of hope followed by ignoring the cramps followed by deep sorrow when my period came.”
Please know that there are so many of us out here hoping the best for you and your family.
Beth, I often read your blog to brighten my day or to make me think. Today I read your blog and started to cry. I have been TTC for years, and have had little luck. We had one miscarriage months ago. I was thinking today that maybe I should take the next step in having a baby. My husband has been willing, but I have always thought, “Next month will be THE month. I know it.” The things you said were so true. I am going to call on Tuesday. I have waited long enough, and so have you. Good luck. And thank you so much for this post (among your many others).
THAT is why I love your blog. You’re honest. Your honesty is pure. Thank you.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting another child. Last week at work, we had a new patient day. A very nice woman brought her daughter in to be checked. Through some small talk, we discovered that she has eleven (yes ELEVEN) biological children ranging from ages 5 to 25. None of them were multiple births. She homeschools her children and is NOT on welfare. Her children are very well behaved and she’s a very happy woman.
On the flip side, I’ve been called selfish for not wanting another child. I have one and that’s all I want. People don’t seem to understand this. They assume that because my husband adopted my son, I should want to “give” him a biological child. I’m happy with having only one. I have my personal reasons for this.
I wish you the best of luck. You’re a wonderful mother with a big heart and a lot of love to share.
I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks last summer and haven’t been able to get pregnant since. I’m on Clomid now and I feel like I’m hopped up on goofballs. Next month I go to an RE. You’re right, it’s a job. I hope you have a new addition to your family soon.
This post is why I love you.
Thanks for the soul baring. And good luck, my friend.
I have been exactly where you are: surprised by, grieved by, and dealing with secondary infertility. As a person looking back from the other side of infertility, I was moved by your post. I also felt flawed. I still do. Part of me is tempted to see if I can get pregnant again, not because I want another baby but rather to see if I’m “repaired”. I remember crying to my mom on the phone, telling her that I wasn’t really a woman and I felt like I was cheating on test needing help to get pregnant. Oddly enough, I don’t think that of other people. I was much harder on myself through the process than other people going through the same thing.
I had that uterine dye test, and miraculously got pregnant right after. I don’t know why it worked exactly, but I’m hoping that the same magic that worked for me works for you.
Thank you for your candid and honest post. Lots of hugs and encouragement to you.
I totally feel for you. We are finishing our first cycle of Clomid. I have my blood test tomorrow, but according to my temperature I did not ovulate this month. It is HARD!! I have not written anything about it, because we are still kind of early in our journey, and I don’t want to sound mean, but I can’t even look at my sister-in-laws new baby without hurting.
Back in August we thought, oh, I’ll just go off birth control and it will happen. Then 28 days later, nothing. Then it was 35, then it was 37, then 46… you get the point. Now the doctor says I may not be ovulating at all. I have wanted a family for so long and we’ve been waiting to get our lives in “order.”
Just know that there are others out there who “feel your pain.” I’m sending hugs and hopefully good fertility wishes your way!!
I hope all the above support and mine included brings you hope and strength. Regardless of a womans decision of how many children to have I find it cruel that others feel the need to judge. We are all very diffent people with different needs –
Beth, thank you for your beautiful post. I know, all too well, what you’re going through, and I wish you a quick journey down this road. Blessings.
Oh, hon. You are amazing. You guys will come through this. Cheering you on, sweetie.
You’re brave and amazing. Your post was so honest and it hit a cord with me. I haven’t reach the having babies point in my life yet, but reading your words makes me think long and hard about it.
I wish you and your family nothing but the best-
Thank you everyone. Your generous comments have once again blown me away. You give me renewed faith in humanity. I know we will make it through this. To all of you going through the same or similar situations, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
All my best,
You are so brave. I admire your courage to share your thoughts and feelings with virtual strangers. I wish you and Dave the best.
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