After my super painful HSG test, my husband and I went back to trying to conceive naturally for a few months. Apparently, just having my stenotic cervix opened could have been the only thing we needed to do to be successful.
The next few months were not easy. I allowed myself to believe we would get pregnant this time around, and was therefore disappointed cycle after cycle as my period made yet another appearance (and another).
May was a really difficult month for me. Despite going to visit close friends for a wedding in California, I found that I was incredibly depressed.
Mother’s Day was heartbreaking. I was at work on Saturday (the day before Mother’s Day), and I had just gotten my visit from Aunt Flo. I was in a lot of pain, I was hormonal, and well meaning women kept asking me if I had children. I know they just wanted the chance to wish me a happy Mother’s Day, but it ended up being too much for me to deal with.
I had a panic attack, and escaped to the back room where I ended up collapsing in sobs. This was the first time (though not even close to the last time) that would happen at work.
One of my co-workers saw me in the back crying, and he quietly walked up and sat down on the floor beside me. He asked if it was “okay if [he] just sat here” for a moment, and I nodded.
After a while, I started talking. I shared our sad story, for the first time at work. It was difficult, but it also felt somewhat liberating. I had been keeping our infertility, even the very fact that we were trying to conceive, a secret from so many people in our lives.
I made a new friend that day; someone who has helped me check in with myself ever since, and for that I will forever be grateful.
The actual day of Mother’s Day was also pretty painful for me, but starting that conversation at work ended up being a positive thing.
I learned something new that day. I learned that I needed a break. I couldn’t keep putting myself through that pain every month. I stopped trying to get pregnant, though I never really told my husband. I just quietly stopped having sex when I was “fertile.” I needed a few months off, a few months when I would just know I wouldn’t be pregnant so I could quit waiting for that positive.
It brought me a few months reprieve from the pain, but left my husband wondering why I had backed away from his affections.
I realize now that what I thought was a break in the rain, was really just the eye of the storm. Or perhaps, the first eye of many, many storms to come. “In the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment.”
Nothing got better. It was just a momentary break, before things would get much worse.
When a close friend privately told me about her own pregnancy in August (she got pregnant without even trying) I totally lost it. I shut down. I shut her out. I shut out everything.
My husband was incredibly upset to see me so distraught. I finally told him everything. About how I felt on Mother’s Day; about how I had to give it a break; about how doing nothing didn’t really help, anyway.
He wanted to do his part. We finally scheduled his seaman analysis. It was time to find out if he was also part of problem.
I wanted him to be.
I didn’t want his results to be bad. I just didn’t want them to be perfect.
I was hopeful that we were in this together. I was hopeful it wasn’t just me. I mean, I wanted anything wrong with his sperm to be easily fixable (diet, vitamins, lifestyle changes). But I needed it to not just be about me.
The reality of our situation would blow the storm right back on top of me.
We were no longer in the eye. We were in the midst of a full blown hurricane. We wouldn’t find our way back out.