Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TTC Tuesday: Explaining the Hurt

Over the past year, I've tried really hard to come up with some comparison for how much pain I feel each month that I'm not pregnant. For the common person (who is fertile and had no problem conceiving) I don't think they can fully understand how much it hurts. I'm sure they can imagine how much it would suck not having a baby but the pain behind it is almost indescribable.

It isn't just broken heart pain. It is physical pain from shots and blood draws. It is emotional pain from imagining your life without kids. It is the kind of pain that distracts you from your job and makes you cry on your way to work. It is isolating pain that causes you to turn down invitations to social events when you know women who have kids will be there and talking about motherhood. It is all encompassing. I can't personally think of anything that I have experienced that compares to that.

But as far as the frustrating side goes, I think I came up with a comparison.

Imagine you want to lose weight. Not just 10 pounds but 50 pounds. You want to lose 50 pounds within 6 months. 8 pounds per month, 2 pounds per week. Doable. You mentally prepare yourself for the challenge. You talk to your doctor who gives you advice. You buy a food scale, new workout clothes and a gym membership. You dedicate yourself to only eating healthy foods but allow yourself to have a small, low calorie snack a few times a week. You are mixing cardio, resistance training and even some tennis, basketball and workout dvd's. You are doing everything that you should to lose 2 pounds a week. Eat less, move more.

The first month goes by and you have lost zero pounds. Another month goes by....zero pounds lost. You are busting your butt to lose weight but nothing in happening. Nothing. No inches lost, no pounds gone. Your body just isn't doing what it is supposed to be doing. You see your doctor who has no answers for you. Bloodwork doesn't show any strange issues. He suggests a few diet changes but has no real answers on why the weight isn't coming off. You are getting frustrated at your lack of results. You are doing everything you should be doing but nothing is working. Can you understand how horrible that would be?

This is infertility. Sometimes, there are no answers. Sometimes, you do exactly what the doctor says but your body has a different plan. You aren't sure where things are falling apart or why this tried and true method isn't working. Imagine doing everything you can to lose weight over a 6 month period and when you reach 6 months, you have lost ZERO pounds.

Now imagine doing that over 24 months and still....zero pounds. It would be enough to drive you insane. That is infertility. I hope I'm making this clear that I am in NO WAY saying that trying to lose weight compares to trying unsuccessfully to have a baby. I'm saying that the frustration of not getting the results you want despite doing everything you should be doing is on the same level. I hope that people who have not had to deal with infertility can understand that side of what we are going through.


Angie said...

i seriously want to give you the biggest hug right now.

Kelly Jean said...

GREAT way to describe it. I've described it in two other analogies: 1 - You're in high school. You work your butt off at your studies, but for some reason, you just keep failing. Over and over you fail, as your friends move on to college. No matter how hard you work, you fail year after year and eventually, all of your friends are away at college and you're still a Senior. And 2 - You're drowning. Every once in a while, something pulls your head from the water and allows you to take a breath. But then you submerge again. Some of your friends are drowning also, but every once in a while a lucky one gets pulled from the water. And it's so easy for the ones who are standing on the dock to tell you to hold on, and that you'll eventually be saved too. But for now, you're still drowning. What sucks it not knowing if you'll ever lose weight/graduate high school/be pulled from the water. :( :(

Kelly said...

I love you and I'm crying. Another one of my friends is having the same problem... except it's been more like 5 years for her and her husband. And while it took us a little while to concieve, I always knew in the back of my head that we would. What kills me, breaks my heart, makes me want to grow a baby for you and give it to you is that I KNOW what kind of parent/mother you'll be... and that is what's the really really unfair part. You have a wonderful, loving marriage, a fabulous home that you take pride in, a fantatic family that would surround you and Chris and your child and encourage and love you through everything... but still, you have nothing. And some 15 year old gets knocked up in the back of some high schoolers car during some random Friday night hook up session... and they are crappy parents that won't ever be able to offer that child all the things you could. And yet, I announce that I'm pregnant... again, with my second child... and you congratulate me and I know you're happy for me... but I also know that it hurts you and that kills me. I will be thinking about you and chris, praying for you... not a lot of people believe in the power of prayer anymore, but I do and you're on my list :) And I love you and I'm so sorry that you ever have to go through this. And I know it doesn't mean much coming from me, but I really hope you guys don't give up, you are so deserving.

Kelly said...

FYI, that response, although it was directly from my heart, was powered 100% by hormones. Gotta love 'em!