There have been many times since July that I’ve thought about restarting my blog. A lot has happened since then, and it’s made me question a lot about our plans to live without children and how I deal with being infertile, overall.

After I had the L.E.E.P. procedure to remove the abnormal cells from my cervix in July, I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t want to pursue any additional treatment for infertility – ever. I know the two aren’t entirely related, but I just couldn’t imagine choosing to have anything else going on down there, and I knew that for a while, my cervix wouldn’t even be totally healed. After bleeding and spotting for almost a month, not being able to use tampons, not being able to go swimming, and having all kinds of strange discharge, I really just wanted to have as little going on in that region as was possible. My doctor said that my L.E.E.P. procedure was extensive, and the entire portion she removed contained no normal cells. It seemed like throughout that process, things kept turning out to be worse than expected. She said that because of the lack of normal cells, another procedure was also a possibility. I was scared, but I felt lucky in so many other ways…that it was being treated, that I had health insurance, and that I was otherwise healthy. I actually felt thankful that I had come to terms with my inability to have children, and I thought about how difficult the whole experience would be if that were not the case. Even though cervical dysplasia isn’t linked to infertility, I felt like it was a sign that I really needed to finally give up on the idea of having a child. I felt like I could accept it, and I just wanted to be healthy again.

I wasn’t really recovered (in terms of discharge and comfort) until the middle of August, and I spent the rest of August and September just happy to feel normal again.

October was a crazy month.

  • We closed on a house. It’s in a great neighborhood walking distance from a school, and on a nice day, I can literally hear the children at the school playing outside. I kept thinking what a great house it would be if we had children, but I moved on and made plans for all three bedrooms.
  • I had my follow up exam with my doctor. To everyone’s surprise, my pap came back NORMAL!!! There are probably some abnormal cells still hanging around, and it doesn’t mean I’ll never have this issue again, but this was fantastic news! It was amazing to see my body do what it was supposed to do, and then some!
  • My dad was diagnosed with cancer.

I literally felt like my head was going to explode by the end of the month. I spent November working on the house and talking to my parents almost daily. It was surreal to know that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer, and coming to terms with that was not easy. It was hard being away from my family, but my dad seemed to be doing ok.

Also in November, my good friend got pregnant on her first IVF attempt! I was, and still am, so thrilled for her. Another (infertile) acquaintance got pregnant on a medicated cycle, and I am happy for her, too (although I’ll admit that for some reason, that one did sting a bit). Hearing from both of them started to make me wonder if we were giving up too easily, but all our discussions just ended with a decision to talk about it later.

In December, I got a call from my mom saying that she needed me to come home because my dad had been admitted to the hospital. I flew there the next day, and what I thought would be a long weekend trip lasted until the end of the month. My dad was in the hospital for two and a half weeks and had two major surgeries, in addition to many other procedures. I had to stay strong for my family, which was not always easy. I took time off work, and I left my husband, new house, and dog behind. I was constantly torn between wanting to be home and wanting to be there for them, and I can’t even begin to explain what it was like to see my dad struggling and to see my whole family in turmoil – and to have to be the strong one for everyone else. I’m sure that anyone who has had a seriously ill parent can sympathize, but it was all new and overwhelming for me. I feel like I haven’t even totally processed everything that happened or how I feel about it, now that I’m back home.

I found myself – totally unexpectedly – thinking about our childlessness during the time my dad was in the hospital. It caught me off guard, and at the time, all I knew was that we needed to give it more thought – what our decision meant for us, and whether we were giving up too early. I still can’t explain exactly why or where these feelings came from, but I know they were there. I’m sure it’s something to do with my view of my family, my role in it, and the idea that we could have lost my dad – or that he may not be around as long as we imagined, but these feelings weren’t based in any concrete thought. They were suddenly just there. I decided I was going to talk to M about it again, when I was back home.

Then, one of my best friends – who until this point wasn’t sure she wanted children – told me she was pregnant. She went off the pill and got pregnant right away, and she and her husband were still a little stunned by the whole thing. It was a difficult conversation…I was happy for them, but I just felt so tired – tired of being supportive, and tired of wanting. I held back the tears until later, but it hit me so much harder than any other pregnancy announcement. I wasn’t ready for it, and I was already so worn down from dealing with my family. I felt like the tears were endless, and the feeling lasted for days.

Despite all my attempts to put infertility behind me and move on, I couldn’t help but feel like I was back where I started.

I’ll post an update on what’s happened since then tomorrow.