Monday, September 06, 2004

Novice

I'm new to this, comparatively speaking. While I've been trying--diligently, most diligently--I have yet to see specialists, have tests done or take fertility drugs, much less have any form of ART. J's sperm has never even been professionally tested, just that little bathroom science experiment of a home test we did a few months ago, and all I have to go on as a measure of my own fertility is a collection of promising biphasic charts that never amounted to anything at all.

So, I'm a novice. While I know, deep down, that nothing will happen without some form of intervention, I am also deeply frightened of taking the first step. I'm afraid that the first step will not work, and I'll be on to the second. And that the second will not work, and I'll be on to the third. That, in the long run, nothing will work. That I will have bankrupted my financial and emotional reserves just to confirm my deepest, most crushing fear: that I've missed my chance, that it's hopeless. But while I'm still in the dark--untested, unprodded, unmedicated--I can reassure myself that I have this rich array of options still left open to me, that something will be my magic bullet.

Is this preposterous? Is this simply the overpowering paranoia of a lifelong pessimist? Is it insulting to those who have been so much further down the road that I fear joining you?

What I want to know, more than anything, is how other people cope with this. For all of the resilient women who have graduated to the intermediate and advanced infertility stages, how do you stay strong and hopeful? How do you put your heart on the line again each month? How do you stay a part of the outside world, hold down your jobs, buy the groceries, laugh at your husbands' jokes? I feel, quite urgently, that I must buffer myself with your insights before I proceed.

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