Every New Years Day I hike by myself 3 miles up to the top of a bald knob overlooking the gorgeous national forest and Blue Ridge Parkway near my house. I bring something with me to think about while I sit atop all this beauty on the first day of a brand new year.
Usually I take something to read, but a few months ago I found a new podcast by Steve Wiens, This Good Word. I subscribe to his newsletter—The Actual Pastor—so was looking forward to some new year inspiration from his podcast. Imagine my surprise when the first one I downloaded happened to be on infertility. Not the subject with which I expected to ring in the new year , but it was a great listen.
Steve and his wife Mary, who he interviewed for this podcast, struggled with infertility for 7 long years before finally getting pregnant. They know something about wrestling with disappointment, anger, sadness, and God.
There are so many hard things about infertility—the unbelievable ache and emptiness you feel being at the top of the list. One of the things mentioned by the Wiens on This Good Word Podcast that you might not think about at the beginning of treatment but builds up over time and wears you down is just how invasive infertility treatment can feel.
Of course the most obvious invasion of infertility treatment are the shots. You are literally invading the protection of your skin by injecting hormones that may very well make you feel like crap or a raving lunatic. Yes, the ultimate purpose is to help you conceive, but in order to succeed your body and blood must be inundated with foreign hormones.
And then there are the actual penetrations into the nether regions of your lady parts. Sure, a vaginal ultrasound isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but it is still an invasion of sorts and can feel pretty darn intrusive after a while, especially when the results are not what you want.
Oh, and let’s not forget all the intrusive questions about our romantic life. (Ha! Once you’ve been trying for a year, it’s not all that romantic!) How many times are you doing it, when are you doing it, what positions are you using, do you use lubricants, and on and on.
Sadly, the invasions continue to our wallets and bank accounts. Most people pay for infertility treatment without the help of health insurance, and few people have an extra $12-15,000 sitting around for each cycle. The result for many patients is a constant state of pinching pennies making it impossible to enjoy a guilt free night out or vacation.
The issue here is not whether you willingly and perhaps even enthusiastically accept these invasions of infertility treatment. You want this child; you are willing to do just about anything to get this child, but why, oh why, does it have to be this damn hard!
Some other interesting Creating a Family reads, I think you’ll enjoy:
- “Can I Do IVF If I’m Religious?”
- Please Keep Your God Out of My Infertility
- Do You Deserve to Be Infertile