There are only 3 hours left of this 2009. It's been a great year for me in some respects, especially from January to October. After that it went south, but I think averaging it would make the numbers come out in the positives.
A New Year's Eve party invitation I did receive. In fact, I received three. But against popular opinion (read: my honey's wishes), I decided to stay home and be quiet. It sounds so simple and maybe dull or even depressing. But it isn't to me. Staying home and being quiet are both active stances. And for the introvert, they offer many opportunities for renewal. I've got my eye out for some renewal at the moment, so I feel thankful to be offered this opportunity.
It was in January 2009 that my partner and I initiated fertility treatments. Shortly after the new year had been rung in, I made an appointment with my family doctor in order to get referred to the fertility clinic. Shannon, my family doctor, is a woman I respect and like. She is so lovely! I was one of her first patient when she started her practice and when she reviewed my file on the first visit she smiled and said we were the same age and born the same month. She was so excited about making the referral to the fertility clinic and told me she would follow my pregnancy, were I to become pregnant.
We had our first appointment in March, but it wasn't until May that we started with treatments in earnest. There were many tests to get through before attempting to conceive. I already knew what was wrong with our fertility: moi. The diagnosis was conveyed nonetheless: hypothalamic amenorrhea. The treatment team said it was warranted to be cautiously optimistic and so we went forth, cautiously hoping.
The first cycle in June was a flop. The injections did not work as we hoped. I remember the first day I had to give myself an injection. It was June 13. On that day, we attended a lovely wedding in our community. The bride was pregnant and I thought it was a good omen for us. We went over to my friend's house (she's a nurse practitioner) and she helped me get everything set for the first injection. I was shaking with nerves. How the heck was I going to put that needle in my own belly? But I did it, and did it again and it became easier. I used to play this one song by Kathleen Edwards when it was injection time. 'I make the dough, you get the glory'. It's a happy tune that makes me laugh, so it helped me relax.
The treatments then took a different course, in order to help my system become primed for the injections. And then in September, a new treatment cycle started. Despite the priming efforts over 3 months, still my ovaries were unresponsive. This meant there was nothing more they could do for us, aside from assisting us if we found an egg donor.
During one of the treatment cycles, my honey sat outside the ultrasound room and chatted with the husband of a woman also waiting for her turn on the ultrasound table. The husband said that he and his wife had been coming to the fertility clinic for six years. 6 YEARS!! When my honey told me this afterward, we both expressed our incredulity. How could anyone do this for six years! Not that we didn't believe them, it was just that it seemed that someone would get off the roller coaster of fertility treatments way, way before the 6-year mark. But not them. They were still trying. I couldn't imagine us going through this for another six years. I would be 41 by then, and the thought of still being childless at 41 distressed me.
Six years was not the amount of time we spent on the roller coaster of fertility treatments. No. We spent 9 months. And while that's the time it takes to grow a baby, it was instead the time it took us to find out we could not conceive. It may seem like a small grace, but as I reflect on the year, it emerges as one of the blessings of the past year. This process could have gone on for years without conception. Instead, we have the information we need to make choices about how we want to create a family, given that the obvious option is not possible. I feel very grateful for this.