Trigger warning: Infertility, anxiety, mental illness
What I wish would have taken place in my mind at this time. I had always dealt with anxiety, to a minor degree, but I felt it growing. The thoughts in the back of my mind subtly taking center stage, dropping bombs on my conscience.
“This is somehow your fault.” They said to me.
“You’re much less of a woman for this.”
“Maybe you’d be a mom already if your body actually worked.”
“The lord said go forth and multiply; you’re a joke.”
“Where is your faith? Maybe if you weren’t so Godless, you would not be experiencing this.”
As the saying goes, “You are your own worst critic.” I carried so much guilt and shame in my heart and mourned the loss of femininity. In the same token, a feeling of relief washed over me. Relief that, for a brief period, perhaps I wouldn’t carry the burden of infertility, of failure. It was a complicated emotion in the wake of overwhelming grief I felt.
As the days, weeks, and months ticked by, I couldn’t help but think there had to be other options. This couldn’t possibly be the end of the road. I started to research physicians who specialized in tubal procedures, specifically, reopening them.
My first stop was an obstetrician 15 miles away. I had heard great things about her and her surgical abilities. I was due for an annual check-up anyway, so I made an appointment and forwarded my medical records. My appointment arrived and I sat on the exam table, heart in my throat threatening to leap out at any moment.
The doctor walks in and takes a seat in front of me. In her hands is my medical record. It’s at least 2, if not 3 inches thick. The silence in the room is deafening as she thumbs through the pages of my record. With a half-hearted smile, she looks up and says “You are a very complicated patient.”
Yes… I know. Thank you. Now skip to the part where you cut me open so I can make a baby, thanks!
Except, that didn’t happen. We discussed my options and my desire to have my tubes opened. After researching every possible option, I was sure she wouldn’t say no. Until she did. “If you already had a doctor tell you that IVF is your only option, I really think you should consider it. Or consider adopting.”
This wasn’t the first time I had been told to adopt. And as an aside – If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, DO NOT SAY THIS. This is the surefire way to break their hearts – and that is exactly what happened.
I could have cried. I’m a crier, despite trying not to. I felt my cheeks flush with despair. I swallowed the lump in my throat. I choked back tears as she performed a pap-smear. Why did I schedule this at the same time? On her way out she says “I wish you the best of luck.” The look in her eyes says something completely different. I’ve seen that look before and in my heart, the chances of being a mom were slipping further out of reach.