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Entry Three, August 12, 1997

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Infertility Merry-Go-Round

We tried for years to have children. I stalled for a long time on dealing with my endometriosis, but finally got it resolved. That wasn't a quick or easy process, but it is under control. Then we started our long struggle as fertility patients. Do you know what is involved when people say they are on fertility drugs, such as Pergonal? It is really quite a process! First, we take daily shots. For a long time I thought the needles were three inches long! I really did! They are one-and-a-half-inches long. (Let me tell you, they look much longer when you are the recipient.) Then, for a period of about two weeks each cycle, we have frequent, sometimes daily visits to the doctor for ultrasounds and blood work. There is sometimes a lot of physical discomfort that accompanies the process as well. As you know, emotions sometimes track with our hormones. Well, fertility drugs really yank hormones around! I'm a pretty happy, even tempered person. I don't even experience pre-menstrual moodiness. But fertility drugs made me feel manic-depressive! On top of this, there is the purely emotional roller coaster ride. First one has desperate hope fueled by years of failed attempts at pregnancy. Couple that with the high excitement and anticipation that this intensive effort, medical intervention, and financial investment may make this dream finally, finally come true. And follow that by the bitter, heavy, disappointment when hopes are crushed one more time.

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It is harder to articulate what it feels like when you fervently burn with a dream, when you are doing your best to achieve that dream, when it seems the rest of the world achieves this very dream quite easily, and when it remains out of reach. That is what the infertility merry-go-round was like for me. (In case I am scaring somebody who is contemplating fertility treatment, let me tell you this: I know that a baby is worth every bit of discomfort. I don't regret a bit of this! I'd do it all over again. From what I hear from parents who started out as infertility patients, it is good preparation for parenthood too! But it is not a cakewalk).

In my case, I seemed like one of the lucky ones. I actually became pregnant on my second round of Pergonal! I will tell you more about that next time.
Kay Grames

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