Wednesday, June 10, 2009

remind me to stop

To preserve my sanity - and because waiting till the next, no-procedures cycle to see how things shook out was the only thing to do, really - I told myself for the last two cycles that the practically nonexistent (and non-consecutive) fertile CM was because of the HSG and the SHG - and that it was just the immediate cycle that was messed up.

I bury my head in the sand and pretend that problems aren't problems all the time. But this time (as, I believe, with the pap smears), I think I did the right thing. I could have been frightened, and what good would it have done? But now is the new cycle and I am not deceiving myself successfully any more. The day (Monday) I said I could tell it was my fertile phase - I was wrong. The next day, Tuesday (that's yesterday) I saw my first fertile CM since the weird episode (once) during my period. So I thought the rest was coming, right? I mean, not to be graphic, but it's always been unmistakable before. It didn't. I did manage to establish with the little bit I got hold of that it stretched slightly. I had decided we should have sex yesterday at the latest so we did. And I waited for the transition to fertile CM after the SF today.

The swimming in CM - didn't happen. At the end of the day I finally found an almost invisible bit that stretched two inches. Never done the stretching thing either. That was a line I wasn't going to cross, because it was gross, and unnecessary. But now I have no taboos left - I'm desperate to believe I'm not getting worse, inexplicably worse, pointlessly worse. My husband laughed at me about the stretching and I cried. I don't even cry about my period coming. I know you can take pills to get your CM back. In theory, I could take a pill for every single thing that's wrong with me, but there's a limit.

Because if there's one thing wrong with you - say you don't have enough progesterone - you can take supplementation and you'll get pregnant, like Newt. If you have two things wrong it will take longer to find, but they'll figure it out eventually, maybe you'll have to have surgery first, and you'll get pregnant, after a while (I'm drawing a blank on an example here). If you have three or four things wrong with you it's a crapshoot. They can "fix" them all - cut out the endo, change your diet, put you on hormone replacement, stimulate your ovaries, whatever else it is that they do - but the system is delicate, it's complicated, and they can't necessarily fill in huge gaps in correct function. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't. I already have two kinds of cysts, adhesions, adenomyosis, elevated FSH, low progesterone, a uterine polyp, and an ovary that's fused to my uterus. Also it's indeterminate whether that fallopian tube is open, but we'll call that a package deal. It would be shocking if they could fix all of that. Even with surgery. Even with drugs. Even with a miracle, because I've asked, and no miracle is forthcoming.

But infinitely improbable as it would be to address everything that's wrong with me, it's literally impossible if every time they try to address one thing, another thing that was working collapses. And if I have to have some medicine or procedure to support every tiniest detail of my cycle, I don't have a chance. For the love of all that's holy, I didn't have a chance before. And I menstruated every month. And ovulated. Every month. Fertile CM, biphasic temperatures, and all. With FIVE CYSTS. And I couldn't get pregnant. What now?

It's funny. I've said more than once that my heart is no longer set on a baby. I'm not even sure what I've done with that emotion that I had that was attached to a little bundle of my own; I've forgotten what that feels like. But I'm still attached to being cured. That sounds irrational, because of course I would be cured if I were pregnant and not otherwise, but it's not the baby I want. It's to stop being a decomposing shell of a former female human being. Because that's what I feel like. And though I can't lay claim, just at this moment, to the yawning emptiness being faced by my blogging sisters who are now trying to make sense of the serious possibility of life with no baby, I am staring down a frightening possibility of my own: life with no cure. No realistic chance of anything working, and each thing suggested being monumentally more invasive and harmful, with vanishing odds of making any difference. My wretched beleaguered body getting feebler and sicker even as the horrible doctors plague me with instruments, pills, and an endless supply of condescension.

My husband suggested it might be the tamoxifen making me weepy. Hell, I'm on hormone drugs, maybe they're making me sad. But I don't feel hormonal, and I don't think that's it. I think it's fear - fear that I am actually watching everything fall apart. I've done the math meticulously. I've told myself that if I was supposed to ovulate 7-10 days after Friday, I could ovulate as late as Monday. Peak day could be even as late as Sunday. First day of serious CM, by my previous standards, could be as late as tomorrow, even Friday. It could be that I've just noticed what little I have so far because I've been paying attention; that I'd have missed it before until there was a lot of it. (That would make this cycle heavier on the CM than previous ones. Hah!)

So, if tomorrow I find myself visited by abundant CM, I chose too early to give up hope. There might still be a chance of a cure, and there's at least some vague point to the sexual marathon that we will (still) be pursuing this cycle. But that's not really going to happen. And when it doesn't, please remind me. I already know it's over. I don't need more medicine and I don't need surgery. I just need to let go.


  1. Oh, darlin. I'm sure this isn't the right answer, but I never had much CM, so we did the pre-seed thing. At least it's not a pill?

    I don't know when it's time to let go, but only you know your heart. Here to share the journey, wherever it leads--

  2. Dear misfit, I felt the same way during a big chunk of our IF journey.

    I didn't want to be a mom or have a baby necessarily; I really longed to be normal, or at least to know what was wrong and have it change. I got through that period by remembering that there are other sides to my femininity that I could control: I could get in good shape, look beautiful, shower my husband in love and passion, relish other sides of myself.

    It helped to some extent, though it didn't take away the feeling of being broken, which in some deep recesses of my heart I still have, despite it all.

    But even some relief from misery is better than suffering on.

  3. Don't give up hope, just hand the whole mess over to God and continue praying for guidance. Easier said than done. I've been trying to do that with our age and forward progression (motility) issues. I know there's no way on Earth with these two issues (and whatever issues we don't know about) that we're ever going to get pregnant on our own. We can't do it alone, not like normal people. We need a miracle, plain and simple. It's disheartening really. It feels like a losing proposition knowing that it's the only option we have. But on the rare occasions when I manage to actually let it go and believe that God's doing what he can to guide us, it helps. It's not so overwhelming.

  4. I don't know what to say, but I'm listening.

  5. I have nominated you for an Honest Scrap award: