Infertility Wars: A New Hope

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I spent a month trying to get in to see my new fertility doctor. I called every Monday and Wednesday for the entire month of October, asking if anyone had cancelled their appointment for the following week. Every time I called I was told to call back again—that no appointment was available. I kept trying and trying only to have the door closed in my face. The nurse was gentle and kind as she assured me a yes was coming; to stay patient and have faith but I was getting discouraged.

 “I wish every future mom was as courageous as you,” she told me two weeks ago when I made my usual call.

“Thank you,” I said holding back tears, “I’ll talk to you again on Wednesday.”

Wednesday came and I got another “no”. “I’m sorry,” she told me, “we have no cancellations next week, but please try again on Monday and I hope I have a better answer for you.”

I was wallowing in self-pity by Friday. I don’t do this often, but when I do it’s related to infertility.  Infertility is hard: it’s hard on your heart, your soul, your finances, your relationships and your emotions. It tests your courage, your patience and your ability to keep choosing joy. It feels like your body is betraying you over and over.  After years of feeling like my boobs are too big, my metabolism is too slow and my skin still breaks out even though I’m 34 freaking years old you can’t help but wonder when I get a break. It’s hard to explain how every “no” feels like someone punched you in the (literal) baby maker but also how it motivates you to go back for that magical “yes”. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartache, stress and sadness on anyone: it’s truly been a test of my faith, perseverance, courage and strength. It’s tested my marriage: made it stronger, made me more vulnerable, made us better communicators. But man, ask me how these last few months have been and I will tell you:

Zero stars. Do not recommend.

“I’m tired of being told no,” I told Kyle when I called him on my lunch break, “I think I’m just going to wait until after Thanksgiving. This has to be a sign that it’s not meant to be right now.”

I mean, a girl can only be told so no so many times before it becomes reminiscent of most of her dating life when literally every guy was like “nope!”

I should also add that I look for signs everywhere. I’m kind of big on looking for signs. So far, they haven’t let me down, and lately I find myself begging for them to show up anywhere: just please, please, please let me know everything is going to be okay! Please, please, please let me know our luck is about to change!

At 2 pm my phone rang. “Ashten, we had a cancellation next Tuesday. Can you do 12:45 pm?”

DO DOGS PEE ON FIRE HYDRANTS?! HELL YES I CAN. CANCEL MY MEETINGS, HOLD MY CALLS, THIS IS THE SIGN!!!

Tuesday afternoon at 12:45 pm, armed with the 24 pages of new patient paperwork, I sat in the waiting room, head bowed.

Waiting.

Praying.

Anxious.

Don’t get your hopes up, Ashten. Don’t get your hopes up. I repeated it to myself over and over while praying for a sign. Just please, please, please let me know everything is going to be okay! Please, please, please let me know our luck is about to change!

After every doctor’s appointment for the last 9 months, when I feel sad or lost or hopeless in this journey I listen to the Beatles “Let it Be”. I also listen to “Let it Go” from Frozen. As I belt out those songs (with voice cracking, I am no Adele) I remind myself to let myself feel, I remind myself to be strong and I let it go. I have been doing this for months.

As I sat there, praying for a sign and trying not to get my hopes up I heard it: ever so quietly in the background, meant to be quiet ambiance: the Beatles.

Maybe our luck is about to change, I thought.

Two and a half hours and eleven vials of blood later, we are in a much better place: working together to create a treatment plan and confirm my PCOS diagnosis by checking my testosterone levels (something my last doctors didn’t do, apparently). Though it feels a little like we are back at square one, it feels good to have a doctor who is listening to me, who answers the obnoxious questions I ask every step of the way, who wants to get to the root of what is going on and isn’t throwing medicines and procedures at me. There are still so many unknowns, but I left the office that day feeling hopeful. I haven’t felt truly hopeful for a few months.

I’m still looking for signs. I still listen to my songs when I’m feeling down. But, I’m feeling better. We are, after 14 months, getting somewhere.

The 10 o'clock Walk

Things I Do and Things I Don't