While in Birmingham I visited an old friend whom I had not seen in four years. It was great to catch up over tasty local beers at the brewery where he works. Midway through beer No. 2 I felt bold and when asked how my health was I was honest: the maybe lupus is currently at bay, however I recently lost a baby.
My friend was so kind, saying he was so sorry and asking if I was ok. “I’m hanging in there,” I said, and explained that all considering I was doing well.
The conversation evolved to other topics and it was not until later that night that he returned to how I was.
“I mean, how are you really? I know a loss like this is so hard on a woman, emotionally and hormonally. I know you are not just ‘hanging in there.’ Be real, Belle,” he said.
I was a little floored. What do you mean? Of course I’m doing fine! I assured him that while some days are harder than others, I’m doing quite well and changed the subject back to his new job.
This morning I was filling out the ream of paperwork for our two consultations in Cincinnati on the 18th. One center requires both Mr. Husband and I to complete a “Psychosocial Inventory.” I’m a little put off by this honestly. My psyche does not have much to do with the empty state of my uterus or bum ovaries, does it?
The inventory is three pages long. I did well for the first few questions. Name, date, years married, years TTC, pregnancies, etc. Then came “How has your experience with infertility affected you emotionally?”
I stared at the page with a blank mind, which those who have been around for a while know is rare. I am, let’s say, verbose.
It has fucked me up royally. I hate my body more than ever before (and let me tell you, that is a lot). It has left me hopeless, lost and an unpleasant person to be around.
Can I really write that stuff on a psychosocial inventory and expect this doctor to even entertain treating me? He might treat me with a straitjacket. So I played it safe and wrote:
I feel a sense of loss. Sad & tired. It interferes with work and creativity.
Sort of true.
The next question: “Describe the effects of infertility on your relationship.”
Infertility has fucked us up and not in the good way.
Nope, don’t think that will fly. How about we play it safe:
Stresses our relationship a lot. Interferes with travel & intimacy.
Midway on page 2 I find this question: “List the person/persons in your life that provide you with genuine support?”
My first response: My blog readers. And I wrote that. You know why? Because you are truly my only consistent support. My readers are always there, they always have a kind word and are willing to humor me by gushing over my cats. My readers, those people in cyber space whom I will likely never meet, are the glue that holds me together. That kind of sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? I’m sure normal infertiles have a tender mother to talk to, a doting husband, a gaggle of friends in real life offering a shoulder to cry on every time another cycle ends in red. So I added more.
My blog readers, girlfriends & husband.
That last one, the husband part, that was only because below my response he has to write his, meaning he will see my answer. So I lied.
The final question before you get to the Yes/No about alcohol, drugs and cigarettes leaves me wanting to cancel the appointment. “What is the most satisfying aspect of your life right now?”
I have absolutely nothing to write here. Nothing. At all. I have cats, but even they are dysfunctional and on antidepressants. I have a job but it leaves me feeling empty. I have parents with whom I have not spoken since they day I saw Pip’s heart had stopped. I have a husband who actually told me to “just let it go” and that he “didn’t want to hear it” when I cried last week that yet another couple in our social circle is pregnant. I live in a house that belongs to my husbands parents. I don’t have my own car. I don’t have any travel coming up because we are too poor and I’m constantly in the midst of some form of fertility treatment that requires needles and garbage up my lady parts.
So you know what I wrote?
Not being on fertility drugs for the first time in ages.
And even that is not true. I’m devastated to not be on fertility drugs. I’m so pissed off that I have to sit here in anovulatory hell while my friends get knocked up left and right. I’m angry that my baby died and I have to wait until my “next menstrual cycle” to try again.
According to this “inventory” I am not ok. I’m so not ok that I lied on my Psychosocial Inventory. Who the hell does that?
Today I feel like I took 12 steps forward and then 100 steps back, do not pass Go, do not collect baby.