Coping

I’ve noticed, recently, that blogs seem to have lost some ground to podcasts. Perhaps it speaks to the wider issue of our over scheduled lives. It’s easier to listen to something, while doing the laundry, than it is to sit down and read. Perhaps it’s just trendy, TikTok versus Vine, Snapchat versus Instagram. I’ve never been into trendy, and just Googled how to spell TikTok and Spachat, so I suppose I’ll stick to blogging.

Writing has always been a coping mechanism for me, as evidenced by 12-year-old Belle’s super cringey journals that I keep in my box of sentimental hogwash. So, naturally, when I found out that Jake and I were facing IVF or No Babies, blogging was my default… but I couldn’t decide what to write. I started this post on March 10th, during a high moment, when I was feeling hopeful and positive and actually had the emotional energy to write anything at all. Sharing that, though, seemed disingenuous, considering a few weeks earlier, I was an hour late for work, because I had a complete breakdown… sitting on the bathroom floor, crying and screaming so hard I couldn’t pull myself together to finish getting dressed.

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In a Disney movie, woodland creatures comfort you through infertility.

The weeks passed, however. Appointments were scheduled and rescheduled as I changed my mind on doctors and clinics, until finally my research culminated in a decision with which both Jake and I were comfortable. I spoke to the individual financing companies, who provide package deals through the clinics we were considering, and discovered that with male factor as our only known issue, we shouldn’t have trouble getting approved. I called my dad and tearfully asked for a couple thousand dollars… unsurprisingly never receiving an answer, though he definitely has it to spare. Jake traveled to his home state to tell his parents the news, both of us grateful that it would be better received since his biology was the issue. They wrote him a check for the $8,000 dollars his grandmother had left him ten years earlier and promised him $10,000 more when the time came. I set a countdown on my phone for my initial appointment with my fertility doctor. We might be able to do this IVF thing in July. I could be pregnant by the end of the year. I was feeling good.

Then… a global pandemic hit.

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I did everything right, y’all. After divorcing my psychopathic high school boyfriend in my early twenties, I vowed to make decisions that were directly aligned with what I wanted out of life. I lost a thousand pounds and taught myself to dress cute and wear makeup. I worked two jobs, while attending grad school online. I was responsible with my money, consolidating my debt and working on my credit score. I dated with a purpose and never even kissed any of those dates until I met my husband, despite the despicable pressure from my despicable friends to have one-night stands, when that wasn’t my thing. I worked my way up in an extremely competitive field, even spending a miserable year as a manager, before moving to a smallish town and rocking my dream job of teen librarianI married a good, hardworking, handsome, charismatic man, who is an excellent husband, and will be an excellent father. I overcame so much and now I have to be Infertility Girl?!?! As if that’s not enough, my options are now postponed indefinitely due to a global pandemic?!?!

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Getting pregnant is a plot device in my romance novels and teen shows. My 36-year-old cousin claims she got pregnant by accident, with father number three of child number three, in circumstances no one considered ideal, but I plan my life responsibly and I can’t do it on purpose at 32? I spent my grade school and middle school years listening to my parents fight over who got to take my brother and who had to take me, my high school years being physically abused and neglected by my mother, and now all I want is to be a good mom. Instead of doing it the fun and free way, though, I have to pay more money than we put down on this house and it might not even work! There are no guarantees that we will have a baby.

So, as for coping, I can’t even really say where I stand. My highs are almost as high as my lows are low. I’m excited and hopeful and angry and heartbroken. I’m all of these things a hundred times a day. Fuck coping and fuck infertility.

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