In honor of April being National Infertility Awareness Month, I thought I might attempt to answer the one question I’m being asked a lot lately…
Q: You know you’re not infertile, right?!
A: Yes, I do know that. However…
I do tend to forget that I don’t actually fall into the “infertility” bracket of the blogging community I’ve landed in over the past few months (ALI: adoption, loss, and infertility – I qualify on loss alone). There’s a lot of outside influence from the amazing women I’ve met here, many of whom have been classed as infertile, and together we feed into this mob mentality of doom. The general mood/message coming from any one of us (myself included), on any given day, goes like this: “I will never get pregnant, and if by some miracle I do get pregnant, I will automatically miscarry.” Of course, there’s a lot of positive things to be said for this community and the amazing people in it, as well. I’m just saying that if I forget for a moment that I’m still fertile-until-proven-otherwise, it’s because there’s a lot of empathetic fear-sharing going on here.*
And yes, “fertile-until-proven-otherwise” is the term I’m going with. I have that pesky PCOS diagnosis to contend with, and one of the drawbacks of PCOS is that the irregular ovulation it brings can make conceiving difficult. So far, given my one experience with pregnancy, I have proven myself to be, in fact, fertile. The magic number to net you the infertility label is 12 months of unsuccessful trying, and Doug and I were only having unprotected sex for eight or nine before I got pregnant. As for what happened with that pregnancy, PCOS has no effect on one’s ability to grow/keep a baby. Some huge percentage of first pregnancies end in miscarriage, and as far as anyone knows, I was simply part of that statistic. There is no reason for me to believe I’m going to be a repeat miscarrier, even though there is that tiny little reason for me to believe I could one day end up with the word “sterile” rudely scribbled in my medical chart.
I am pretty hopeful, though, that I will one day be able to coerce my ovaries into producing at least one good egg in a timely manner, and will then be able to sweet-talk my uterus into carrying at least one baby to term. I do carry around a lot of fear, and I do only have that one disappointing experience to base my fertility-self-esteem off of, but all in all…
I believe this will work out for me. I believe that my place in the ALI community will forever be carved out by that one traumatic loss, and nothing more. Maybe it’s naive to sit here, still a long ways from even trying, and announce that everything is going to be fine, but at this point in my life, I truly believe that it will be.
Yes, I know that I am not infertile.
And I am so, so grateful for that.
*This is the main reason that I have to get out for a while, stop writing on this topic and find something else to write about. So much exposure to other people’s fears and losses, while constantly focusing on my own loss, is not going to be good for my sanity long-term. I need to take some time to be who I am right now: young, unmarried, uncertain. Then, once I am ready to try to conceive, I can jump back in with both feet, knowing that I already have this great support network waiting for me.