I’ve been strong my whole life. For the most part, it has served me well. But over the past several months, my strength has been tested time and time again.
Since April 2014, I’ve been through two hysteroscopies, five cycles of IVF, two attempted embryo transfers, and one failed embryo transfer of the only normal embryo that was achieved out of the multiple cycles of IVF. Just typing these words puts a pit in the very bottom of my stomach.
I’ve had my moments of despair, mostly at home alone. But overall, I’ve soldiered on with a smile on my face. Although I’ve never been shy about sharing my experiences, I've largely kept my true feelings on my fertility to myself.
But I’ve decided that for myself and for other women who are in my shoes, I now need to break the silence of infertility. This is how I really feel:
1. I feel guilty.
I remember during my years of medical training and career-driven madness telling people that I’d be OK if I didn’t have children. I was a career woman with lofty goals and a Type A, obsessive-compulsive personality who had convinced herself that a successful career in medicine would be fulfilling.
At 37, I thought about freezing my eggs but never pursued it because I was too busy with my studies and still wasn’t “there” yet. But I realized I was totally bullshitting myself the moment I met my husband.
Marrying at age 39, I knew time wasn’t on my side. And yet for some reason I felt I had time. I was so wrong. I should have frozen my eggs. I should have tried to get pregnant before we married, as my husband suggested, instead of insisting we wait until after. I should have looked at the bigger picture.