Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not the Momma

Venus
Photo credit: Daniel Lobo
I'm feeling my infertility lately. I hadn't much cared before. Even before we started trying to get me knocked up. I always said that my biological clock came with a snooze button. I was in no hurry and if it was too late when I was ready, that would be OK too. I'd read about adopting from the foster system when I was still young enough to theoretically be in the system, so I figured I could always go that route.

But the complete disaster that was our first attempt at older child adoption has me regretting my faulty ovaries. At first, I grieved the loss of the specific child that we had. These days, I fill in my daily entry in my 5 year journal and see that last year we were visiting with The Kid and I don't know what to feel. Wistful for a time when things were going well? Regret?

I see pregnant women and I don't think about how I couldn't pull that off. But I see men with newborns strapped to their chests and I think about how that will never be my husband, and that's because of me. We won't be adopting an infant because my migraine situation means the sleepless nights are a sure recipe for migraine-palooza. And we figured that if we had to adopt anyway, we might as well skip that part.

And we are going to try again once we've recovered emotionally and financially. 

But I feel robbed. 

Not by my body that let me down yet again by not functioning properly. But by my doctors. Telling them that I was trying to get pregnant meant that they pretty much said, "Have fun being in pain until you're done with all that."

To quote this amazing article from Slate, "pregnant women are often seen as just vessels, with their own health regarded as secondary to the health of their unborn child."

For me that meant no medication for my acid reflux (OK, fine), no meds to try to prevent my migraines and NOTHING to treat my migraines. Nada. None of the triptans that are specially designed to stop migraines, and nothing stronger than Tylenol for the pain (yeah, right). My health rapidly went to Hell--migraines became more frequent, reducing my physical activity level to almost nothing, increasing my migraine frequency even more.

So when I did manage to ovulate, the hormones gave me a crushing migraine. And well...not tonight dear, I have an an agonizing headache. (Infertility treatments were never an option--just not my bag. But since they involve hormone pills & shots, they'd only send me right back into migraine town. So, a royally bad idea for me anyway.)

I discussed this conundrum with my neurologist, who told me that I should just have sex anyway under these conditions.

Now, during my corporate career, I have been accused of having a short temper. Yet I did not tell this man to go fuck himself. Short tempered, my ass.

Fast forward a few years, and I've tried more than half a dozen medications that could have prevented my migraines, but didn't. Including Botox. And when the cow poison fails, you're pretty much screwed.

But now my new neurologist (from the same practice as the old neurologist) has me on something that seems to be helping. Before he wrote the prescription, he told me that I really, really shouldn't get pregnant while taking this medication.

I almost ripped his throat out.

Because what he seemed to be telling me was that I was denied all the other medications because no one knew what they might do, so better to make me suffer than risk a lawsuit. Because I'm just a vessel, so my health and well being don't really matter.

I've only seen New Neurologist since giving up the baby chase, but it was like he was saying "We didn't really mean it when we were denying you all those medications that would've managed your pain. But I'm only going to tell you that now, four years later when the only way you could get pregnant is through major intervention from the medical industry, and possibly the Vatican."

Every doctor who told me to stop taking medicine said the same thing. That birth defects happen before you even know you're pregnant, and why would you take the chance? 

Because I'm not trying to conceive the savior of the universe. Because my health is more important than my fertility. And because ultimately, I was left with neither.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that you have to battle this. Being part of an infertile couple, I know how hard the path is to your solution. We went through everything, all the hormones, injections, etc and it just wasn't fun. I wish you good luck on however you decide to proceed!

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