it ain’t just a river in egypt

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?


6 responses to “it ain’t just a river in egypt

  1. My husband too had a bad SA (and I had my own issues). The thought of IVF turned me off, so I spent two years researching holistic therapies and anything that could possibly help us. I finally bit the bullet, did IVF, and found out that it wasn’t that bad. Moreover, at age 39 I finally became pregnant.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  2. Oh GOD, I would have been horrified to open a box of hpt’s. That IS a cruel joke. On the other hand, I kinda like the parrots :).
    I know they didn’t mean it to be cruel, but there’s really no other way an infertile couple can take it.

  3. I think that it would be appropriate for them to offer the tests– but not to foist them. And certainly NOT in the same box as a gag gift!! Pretty tasteless, but I do agree that they are just clueless and didn’t mean anything by it.

    I don’t see any harm in waiting a bit. Particularly since you are still healing. You want to give IVF the best shot it can possibly have, and I’d say that would be after you feel fully recovered from surgery. Not to mention that your body (and your mind) probably isn’t ready for more *procedures* yet– right?

    A few months from now won’t make any difference in the long run, and it’s important for you to feel strong and ready for this.

  4. Oh boy, I would have been devastated to recieve that gift. Seriously, you shouldn’t feel bad for how you reacted. It’s nice that you’ve managed to clear the air with them now so you can all just move on but I can’t really understand how they wouldn’t have known you’d be offended, it was SERIOUSLY bad taste. Like off the charts bad taste.
    As for being scared of IVF, its normal I guess and you have to be mentally prepared for these things so if that means delaying it a few months while you get your head around it or try naturally (or IUI) then surely thats worth doing. x

  5. Well that’s just bone-headed. It IS a nice gift, just not in the context of a gag gift. I would have been just as confused and hurt.

    Your struggle with the IVF decision echoes my own in that I wondered if I was weak or didn’t really want a baby bad enough to fight with every last breath. While my husband and I made this decision, I spoke to a friend of mine who had ben successful with IVF through donor eggs. One thing I really wanted to know was, in her support group, did she find a typical response to IF in terms of what people were willing to endure? Did most people who remained unsuccessful end up at IVF?

    It was a relief to hear that she was surprised by the diverse responses people had. Some were guided by religion, others finances, others personal concerns. It’s such a deeply personal decision, and I think your decision to gather more information is right on target.

  6. Pingback: deserts, part 2 | ginger and lime

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