I’m having a difficult time trying to give this post a title, so I’m just going to jump in and start typing. One of those stream-of-consciousness type things. First of all, Big Scary Adult Decision 2 complete! I’m in Toronto. My husband isn’t…yet, but he will be. We’re trying to make it less scary and more adult and he’s staying in Vancouver until June while I stay with my parents (that’s a whole other post, friends) and find work and a place to live. I’ve only been here three weeks and nothing yet, but it’s only been three weeks.
But that’s not what I want to write about tonight. No, tonight I want to rant, rave and be generally annoyed. More than annoyed. Don’t let it scare you off. You might be able to relate. I sure hope someone can, because right now I’m feeling very alone in this.
We made the decision to procreate. I knew, I’ve always known, that things wouldn’t be easy what with my slew of medical issues. My family doctor decided that the biggest hurdle, or at least the one we needed to jump over first, was my diabetes. My A1C wasn’t great. Sure, it improved since I became a cyborg and got my pump, but at 8.9% it needed to improve before we’d get the all-clear to try for a baby. Ideally, they wanted it below 7%. Thankfully, in Vancouver there’s a great program at Women’s Hospital for women with pre-existing type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as those diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. I was referred to the program and started seeing them in September. The plan was simple: adjust my basal and bolus insulin as required, monitor my blood sugar more often and follow a more strict meal plan in order to get my A1C down to that magic 7%.
The first few months were exciting. I was able to contact the nurses whenever I needed to for advice on dose adjustments and was seeing the team (doctor, nurses, dietician) once every one or two weeks. There was a slight improvement in my A1C as it dropped to 8.5%, but I wasn’t very happy with that.
Still, I was happy to get an appointment to see an Obstetrician who deals in high risk births and maternal-fetal medicine. Based on my prior experience with an OB/GYN who scared the living crap out of me, I had steeled myself to be presented with the worst. Instead, I found a doctor who assessed my knowledge quickly and was able to present me with the reality of what to expect if you’re trying to expect. She told me that when I became pregnant I’d have a busy pregnancy. (My love for this woman started when she used that word. When. Not if. When.) I asked about statistics. How likely would it be that my baby wouldn’t develop properly, wouldn’t be viable, would risk my life? She reassured me when she told me two things. One, that the biggest complication that she sees in pregnancies of women with type 1 diabetes is the baby not being full term. Second, that the biggest risk factor comes from the fact that I have T1D. Having a better or worse controlled A1C definitely plays into it and increases the risks, but my having T1D to begin with had already increased the risk the most. I left that appointment feeling informed and confident that, no matter what, we’d be ready to really start trying by the end of 2012. Regardless of my A1C.
The weeks wore on and, just before Christmas, I started to get really discouraged. It didn’t seem that any amount of work I did garnered positive results for my blood sugars. And even though I had decided to accept the fact that at some point we were going to have to decide to TTC, A1C be damned, it didn’t feel like the right time still. Not with my blood sugars the way they were. If anything, things were worse. It was frustrating to say the least and that, combined with other outside factors, left me feeling very stressed. Not exactly the mindset a 35-year old woman with T1D and known fertility issues should be in when attempting to get pregnant.
It was about that time that we finally settled on moving away from Vancouver. Work was less-than-stellar for both of us, my husband was just finishing up his degree and I was missing Toronto something fierce. It seemed like the right thing to do. But, it also meant putting the brakes on the baby-making plan. Part of that is logistics. He’s in Vancouver, I’m here. Obviously, there’s no baby-making happening at the moment. But it’s also a psychological thing. Even though we haven’t “officially” been trying, we’ve not been not trying for two years. And nothing. Maybe it’s stress? Maybe I just needed to get back here. To be “home”. Or maybe the PCOS and Endometriosis and who-knows-what else has rendered my baby-making ability useless. Maybe my body is a useless thing that I have to drag around with me day in and day out. I’m not sure at this point. I do know that, as much as I love the women around me and their baby-making ways, I’m tired of everyone else getting pregnant while I sit here like an infertile lump. So many of my friends have tried, conceived, given birth and are struggling through the first year of parenthood while I’ve tried to get my physiological shit together. I’ve even joked that I wouldn’t be surprised if my almost-67-year old mother were to tell me that she’s pregnant. Yes, that’s how fertile the women around me are. Even if they’ve struggled to get pregnant, they haven’t struggled the way I have. I’m sure of it. So, even though I’d never, ever say it to their faces, let me just for once, just for one little moment say this. IT’S NOT FAIR!
There. I’m done.
I will attempt to push that thought to the very back of my mind. I will love their babies and do what I can to help relieve the stress of the first few months for them. I will listen to delivery horror stories and how they’re not sure they want another one now that they’ve had to go through all of that. I will not be angry that they could so easily toss away the opportunity to have another one when some of us sit around desperate for one. Because it’s not fair for them either. They didn’t choose to have an infertile friend. And no one should punish them for being able to procreate. No, I will not be angry anymore. I will stop contemplating the fairness of it all. Because someone has to bear the infertility cross. Why not me?