My husband and I have been in pretty deep denial about our TTC situation lately, I think. With all of my issues at work and my slow recovery from surgery, his comprehensives coming up, and my general unwillingness to do the deed,* we have managed to avoid thinking about that last SA and what it could mean. I don’t even know what cycle day I’m on without looking at a calendar and counting.** We have been going about our lives, both worried about other things, almost as though infertility wasn’t the only thing in the world.
Two things happened recently to bring it back to the center.
First, we got a package from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, whose baby is due ANY MINUTE. For some reason they sent us a box containing a dozen of these.
(My husband and his brother have a long standing tradition of sending each other fairly ridiculous gifts as jokes. We wives don’t really get it, but they seem to think it’s funny. Whatever.) Foam parrots are not even all that weird considering some of the things those guys have sent each other in the past, but then we got to the bottom of the box, where we found at least two dozen home pregnancy tests.
We didn’t know what to think. Were they supposed to be part of the joke? Some kind of strange encouragement for us?*** My husband got very angry and immediately threw them in the trash; I just felt sad. It was like a punch in the stomach. When we talked to BIL and SIL about it they were totally surprised that we would not be pleased to receive those HPTs as a gift from them.
Apparently when they decided to try to conceive, they ordered tests in bulk online. Well, they succeeded with very little trying, and wound up with lots of leftover tests, which they thought they would pass along to us “to save us money.” It didn’t occur to either of them that sending that particular gift to an infertile couple just before their own easily-conceived baby is born, packaged with what is clearly a gag gift, might feel like a bad joke to us.
There were apologies all around; I think they really feel bad about it, and I certainly feel terrible about reacting so negatively, since I do think they had good intentions. I just feel awful for not appreciating their gift, and of course I know their focus right now is on their baby coming, so it’s totally understandable that they didn’t succeed at seeing it from our perspective. What do you all think? Was it a weird, insensitive gift on their part, or did we react to a kind gesture from a warped IF perspective? Or both?
Anyway, the second thing that happened was that the nurse from our clinic called. We have been playing phone tag for the past few days since she keeps calling while I’m on the phone at work (and I am maybe avoiding her just a little), but she wants to set up my husband’s urologist appointment and his third SA.
And she wants to know if I want to get on the schedule for their November IVF cycle.
It’s hard to type that.
It’s so hard to accept that this is really the situation. I know so many of you have been through it, but it just doesn’t seem possible to me. Every fiber of me is screaming “NO!” This is not how it’s supposed to happen. And it seems so fast: after one bad SA, our fate is sealed? No chance at natural conception, ever? We want to wait and see, do the urologist workup and the third test, and go from there. And that’s what I’ll tell the nurse if I ever get her on the phone.
But part of me wonders–am I just in denial? Is this really what it’s come to?
I think it’s time for my husband and me to have a serious talk about IVF.
*We have actually made it happen a couple of times, but it’s still painful for me.
**Apparently there is this whole other system for marking time without reference to the menstrual cycle. Instead of thinking of a day as “CD26,” for example, I can simply call it “September 15.” Evidently this other system is fairly widely used. I seem to recall using it myself in the past.
***And if so, what were we supposed to do with the parrots?