Saturday, April 15, 2006

Me and Matthew McConaughey

One year ago tomorrow J and I went to the movies. We bought tickets to "Sahara" at a local theater and then walked to a nearby drug store to buy some treats. In between the theater and the Junior Mints we made the final decision to start trying to have a baby.

I remember feeling so excited at the time. Like this was the beginning of a wonderful new chapter of our lives. J was starting his last year of medical school and ideally we wanted to have our first child before he graduated. I remember being elated at the thought that by this time next year we'd almost certainly either have a little baby or be pregnant.

Months went by and no BFP. One month I was out of town for work, then he was gone for two more months on rotations in Texas and Georgia. We kept trying, and I kept having some unusual physical symptoms that indicated things weren't completely normal. I charted, used ovulation predictors, and finally a fertility monitor. Nothing worked. Nine months after we started trying I hit a wall. January was a real milestone month for me--it was the first month when we could have had our baby, and we weren't even pregnant yet. I called my primary care doctor's office in tears asking for an infertility workup in February, and we're just now starting some serious diagnostic testing.

As anyone who's been reading this blog (or knows me in real life) knows, my moods have been all over the place lately. One day I'm fine, the next day I tear up at the slightest baby-related thing. Since we started trying several close friends have become pregnant, as have J's brother and his wife. Those announcements haven't been easy for me. Reminding myself that this WILL happen for us helps, but not all the time. For the first time in my life I'm struggling with depression. I'm working on it all the time, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I've never hidden my struggles from anyone (except the people I work with). My parents and J's family are fully aware of our problems, and they've been nothing but supportive. My younger sister has learned about infertility testing, I've had long conversations with my mom about my bloodwork, and I've shared my frustrations and sadness with a small group of very close friends, many of whom also have experience with infertility. I can't imagine going through this alone, and looking back on the last year I think the best thing I ever did was to tell the people I loved what was happening to me.

For the last few weeks I've been aware that the 1-year anniversary of our decision was coming up. I stumbled across the "Sahara" movie ticket stub in my wallet recently and all the memories of that day came flooding back. I've mentally written this post a hundred times since then, thinking about what I'd say and why. I seriously considered not writing anything at all, afraid that it would just hurt more. Should I just ignore tomorrow completely? Pretend that I don't know what it is? I don't think so. Repressing my feelings isn't going to make them go away, and I'd rather continue to be honest with myself and with the people I care about. Tomorrow is going to hurt like hell. But tomorrow will end, and I'll head over to the hospital on Monday morning to continue the process of trying to figure out what's going wrong with us. Tuesday I'll head back to work, and life will go on.

Tonight J and I decided to go on a date. I needed to get out of the house, and we both wanted to see "Failure to Launch" which was still playing at our favorite theater. As we were sitting in the movie the supreme irony of our choice hit me. It appears that Matthew McConaughey movies have bookended the last year of my life. I'm choosing to look on it as a good sign--that the hope I felt this time last year wasn't misplaced and that by next April we'll be welcoming a new baby into our lives.

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