I can’t stop touching my nipples.
In other news, I am an idiot.
You see, I have been torturing myself these past few hours. I’ve ventured into the scary alternate universe that is the fertile woman’s internet pregnancy forum.
Fertile forums are strange places. Uneducated places. Full of ladies who don’t know how their menstrual cycles actually work because they’ve never had need to learn, and don’t have any idea about the pain of true infertility, though it doesn’t stop them moaning about it.
Reading posts on these forums kind of makes me want to poke my eyes out with daggers, yet once I find myself in the midst of their ignorant bliss I struggle to escape.
Let me give you a few examples I’ve come across…
“I ovulated yesterday, and today I had a small amount of spotting. Is this implantation bleeding?”
“Most likely! Congratulations!”
What?! I don’t even…
“I’ve been TTC for 2 whole months now and I’m starting to become so depressed. Is there something wrong with me?”
“You’re being so brave hon! I know exactly how you feel I tried for 4 months before I got pregnant with my son. It’ll all be worth it I promise!”
Two months? Four months? Please go away….
“I knew I was pregnant right after we DTD!! It was instant!! But then I lost the baby about a week later. So devo. I’m hoping this month we will conceive again.”
“OMG you poor thing! Sending good vibes and baby dust your way.”
You did not know you were pregnant because you were not pregnant. You can’t lose a “baby” before it even implants. This is horrific on so many levels.
I could go on and on with a myriad of equally disturbing examples but I’m sure you get the general idea. As I said, fertile women are blissfully ignorant and their forums are therefore downright painful to read. Torturous.
Of course there are a number of ways infertiles can torture themselves. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. For starters there’s Facebook and it’s newsfeed that constantly reminds us that all our friends and family members are happily pregnant. Yes, all of them. There’s the walk through the mall or department store, where every second female you pass is inexplicably pregnant or pushing an infant in a pram. Let’s not forget YouTube. In moments of terrible weakness we’ve all searched for “baby eating lemon” or “giggling baby” then cried salty tears into our keyboards.
I try to avoid all of these temptingly vile places as much as I can. But I’m not always successful because I’m a masochist. All infertiles are, otherwise we wouldn’t willingly go through the mental anguish of continual failure or the physical torment of injections, medications, surgeries, internal ultrasounds, blood draws, dye studies, MRIs and all the rest of it. But I’m being serious when I say I wasn’t seeking out a Monday afternoon pity party today. I was simply looking for some clear medical advice.
Having never ovulated before, I wasn’t sure if the things I was feeling were normal. I wasn’t sure if there were things I should be feeling that I wasn’t, or things I was feeling that I shouldn’t. So I simply googled ovulation. From there, it was an unfortunately simple hop, skip and jump to the wretched aforementioned forums.
And it was there that I noticed the same thing coming up over and over again. These annoyingly fertile women kept on insisting they knew they were pregnant only a day or two after ovulation because they had sore nipples. Sore breasts and sore nipples.
Are my boobs sore? I thought, poking and pushing them through the thick fabric of my dress. No. Maybe? Sort of? A little?
The rational side of my brain told me that my breasts were no more sore than they were a week ago. I have hyperprolactinemia and I’d been on FSH for over three weeks. Of course they were a little sore. I should have been worried if they weren’t sore. Was it related to a fertilized egg? Absolutely not.
But the nipples…well they stumped me. I didn’t have sore nipples. My nipples felt a-ok. No matter how much I pushed or squeezed my nipples I didn’t get the reaction I was looking for. I only gave up touching them when a colleague walked in on me in the bathroom while I was poking my chest. Thankfully she didn’t bat an eyelid and said “ugh my bra is driving me nuts today as well” and I just nodded and laughed.
Even though I knew I was being completely and utterly stupid I couldn’t help but stress. I mean come on, why was I letting those fertiles get to me? They didn’t know how implantation worked, they didn’t know how progesterone and estrogen worked, they probably didn’t even know how ovulation itself worked. Once they’re inside your head, it’s so hard to drown them out though.
At the moment I only have one symptom – I’m feeling quite crampy. But I know that’s because there’s extra progesterone in my body at the moment from the ovulation, coupled with the fact I’ve had more sex in the past week than I have in the past six months. It makes sense that I’m tender. I know definitively it has nothing to do with an egg, neither fertilized nor unfertilized.
I need to work on keeping my mind off “symptom spotting” and more importantly, I need to stay off those damn forums.
I will say though, there was one fertile lady on those forums who was working her hardest to put the others straight. She was repeatedly explaining the science behind ovulation, and explaining how the body doesn’t start producing hCG until the embryo implants. As this usually happens from day 6 – 8 it was incredibly unlikely all these women were experiencing pregnancy related symptoms a day or two post ovulation. But did they listen to her? No. They were all actually getting mad at her. One posted “I don’t care what medical rubbish you’re trying to shove down our throats, we know our own bodies!” and all the others vehemently agreed with her and congratulated her for standing up for the truth.
Infertility is awful and debilitating, but never in my life have I been more glad to belong to a group of women that is equally diverse and inclusive. Infertile ladies aren’t ignorant of each other, or the unique circumstances that make each of us unable to conceive. We give advice and we take advice. We don’t lose the plot when we’re told something we don’t like, instead we’re glad to hear other opinions. So I guess I just wanted to say thanks to all the infertile women reading this blog post. Your support and understanding gets me through the dark moments. Maybe sometimes it isn’t so bad to belong to this club.