One in six. Those are the stats. So before you’ve even pulled off your knickers, you’re already fucked (don’t worry, the fun part of that sentence packed its bags and left long ago). Which means if you count on two hands all the women you know, chances are at least one of ’em is about to discover, or even worse, knows already that her chances of having a baby are more slim that Em Rata’s waistline.
It would seem that for some of us, our uteruses (don’t say that with a stutter, you’ll need a brolly) and ovaries were not put in our bodies simply to reproduce…but rather just to sit there and observe the very lovely non-reproductive work they are doing by instead delivering something resembling a very severe form of internal Chinese torture every month.
And for one of those one-in-six chickadees, them stats won’t be the first to deliver a flat out upper cut to the face. No siree, that’s just the beginning. Fertility is all about numbers from the very outset. You’ll be given numbers and stats about your age, about your egg count, about your hormones, about your weight, about your ovarian reserve, about the odds of anything actually working, about the age of someone’s sister/friend/cousin who miraculously cured herself and got pregnant, about how many days it’ll take to fertilise, about how many cells you need for a viable embryo, about how many days you’ll have to wait to know if your embryo took (which your hormone-ravaged brain will neurotically divide into nanoseconds). About how long until you can have your first scan, about the odds of you having a chemical/non-viable pregnancy, about weeks until your second, third, fourth and fifteenth scan. About the likelihood of some sort of birth defect. About whether you’ll have multiple babies…numbers fucking numbers not even Count Dracula would like.
As I type this I can hear a gorgeous model who, when asked if she has any baby plans in the near future, has all the grace and complacency of a 28-year-old with all the time in the world. ‘No way, not for a long time,’ she quips. And why wouldn’t she? She’s got #life #goals before she even contemplates reproducing. Oh to afford that decadent nonchalance once again. Take me back to my mid-twenties when I conceitedly and perhaps ignorantly thought pregnancy and children were my woman’s right and would be there waiting for me whenever it would eventuate that I should need them. I’d like to share my more recent stats with her, or even those of women I know much younger than her who’ve battled with infertility for years, to share my Mr Miyagee-like wisdom that the simple fact of the matter is, one-in-six is some pretty fucked up odds. But I’ll keep my shit to myself. No one likes a know-it-all twat so pull your head in.
Right now I’m in the midst of some sort of (totally wanky) reboot. After what was the terrible awful most fucking pitiful failed IVF cycle ever I told myself that maybe if I stopped drinking and instead swapped it for two cups of dandelion root tea (yes it tastes as shit as it sounds – think ground up gravel with a hint of horsesweat), swore off shit food (all except chocolate, that’s just sacreligious) and took up pilates three times a week, this little health binge might kickstart my body into thinking it could possibly have the teensy ensiest slither of reproductive potential if we just meet in the middle somewhere, have a quiet coffee and talk about our feelings.
Six months later and we’re still not talking.
There’s every chance that it won’t make a blind bit of difference but at the very least it’s seen me shed my ‘IVF kg’s’ that really weren’t welcome anyway so high bloody five to me (insert fairy clap here). And yes that is Drew in caramello you see dangling from my shoulder 🙂
I’m still completely haunted by our last ditch at a ‘super cycle’ which turned out to be an even shittier comeback than Basic Instinct 2. The emaciated little group of eggs that were so dusty they couldn’t even get themselves together enough to make anything even close to an embie has given me the worst kind of stage fright ever.
We have every intention of doing Ovulation Induction but I’m even more scared of that than I was of our last cycle. Probably because I was naiivly (stupidly) more positive than Charlie Sheen that it would work. There is only so much disappointment two people can take and it tears huge fat gaping holes of fear all through my heart that it might not work either. I’ve been procrastinating with a whole bunch of bullshit excuses – which while some are completely vaildated – most are just really full of shit. There was the trip to Hawaii, there’s the fact we’re selling our house, and then building a new one. Then the fact The Vet is ridick busy, stressed off his face and exhausted. And I forgot to take my multivites for two weeks. I could bore your face right off and write an encyclopedia of excuses but most of them would come back to the same thing…fear.
I would love my identity back. No really. I’d love for almost every conversation that comes out of my mouth not to begin with the words, cycle, failed, embryo or ovulation. If the little teeny fertility people who live inside my head and occupy most of the space could kindly just fuck off and leave some room for creativity, kind thoughts and normality to move back into their old room, it’d be real swell.
For the one-in-six fertile-challenged who read this, or to anyone just going through their own sort of shit on any level, to those who are stuck inside a pit of pain with 10 metre high walls, to those who feel swept under the current of fear, loss, grief and panic who find on some level my crazy bloody ramblings give you any sort of comfort or sistahood like warm hug and a hot milo…I sure be humbled. Love, hugs and supercalifragilisticexpelia-fucking-docious luck, healing and strength to anyone with numbers of any sort hanging over their head. Lady MamaGxoxo