Just fair warning…this blog post is kinda sweary. Okay, very sweary.
Why? Because this last fortnight has been absolutely fucking awful. One of the worst periods of my life. Just really, really bad.
In fact, you might want to skip this post if you don’t want to read an extremely long, angry and rambling diatribe from a disturbed young woman.
My problems are mainly down to this new drug I’m taking – ethinyloestradiol. It’s the medication we’re using to plump up my uterus lining in preparation for my FET. Before my last FET we used progynova and that medication did the job without causing me massive dramas. But ethinyloestradiol appears to be my kryptonite. It is the devil’s drug. The devil’s drug I tell you!
First of all the nausea is ridiculously bad. I couldn’t really keep any food down for the first couple of days, but after that my body acclimated somewhat and the vomiting stopped. But the nausea has certainly persisted.
It is particularly bad when I’m driving, sort of like bad motion sickness. It means I’ve been late for work a whole bunch of times the past fortnight because the nausea overwhelmed me and I had to pull over onto the side of the road until I could swallow and breathe normally.
When I mentioned to my doctor that the nausea was really bad on this drug she looked at me like I was some sort of moron and told me that if I couldn’t handle the nausea caused by estrogren maybe I shouldn’t be trying to get pregnant, because when you’re pregnant, you get nauseous a lot.
That comment made me angry. Really fucking angry. Because I’m not an idiot. I am aware that pregnant women experience nausea. Also because I am not forking out my entire life savings in an effort to get pregnant, I am forking out my life savings in an effort to have a child. Notice the subtle difference there? Pregnancy is a means to children.
I know pregnancy can be shitty. I know you can be sick a lot. But I don’t care. I honestly don’t! If I have to vomit everything I eat for the next nine months I do not care.
And the nausea you experience during pregnancy is a little different to the nausea you experience because of a medication. It says on the damn pill bottle to tell your doctor if you have persistent symptoms. So why is it a problem that I mentioned my persistent symptom to her?
I mean honestly I took her comment as a subversive threat. I feel like she does this a lot now. I tell her about a problem I’m experiencing, she tells me how life is much harder when you’re pregnant/a mother and then looks at me weird and kind of suggests maybe I shouldn’t be doing IVF.
And I take it as a threat because I feel like she is going to cancel my cycle due to my honesty in describing my physical and emotional responses to IVF. Like OH I’M SORRY I AM VOMITING IN THE FRONT SEAT OF MY CAR LET’S MAKE THAT MY FAULT AND DENY ME CHILDREN BECAUSE I SIMPLY MENTIONED IT TO YOU.
And plus, we all know how she feels about people who give up on IVF (in case you missed the memo, she thinks they’re not cut out to be parents in the first place) so I feel like when she questions me she is not only saying I can’t handle IVF or pregnancy, she is also calling me a bad parent. And that is not ok. How dare she question my hypothetical future parenting skills or ability to be a mother because I confessed I’m struggling on a new medication. What kind of doctor would do such a thing?
The second major problem with ethinyloestradiol are the mood swings I am experiencing. You may have already guessed that from reading this post…
These mood swings are on a whole other level to what I’m used to. It is unlike anything I’ve ever gone through before. It started about 24 hours after I went onto the medication. I started crying all the time. I was absolutely distraught and nothing could cheer me up.
Then the next day, I was angry. Super angry. I suddenly hated my husband, didn’t want him near me and didn’t want him to look at me or touch me or breathe in the vicinity of where I was standing. I don’t even know what he did to trigger such a reaction. He would reach out to me and I would scream at him to go away. It caused me to become angrier and angrier, and my husband to oddly become clingier and clingier.
The more I screamed at him to leave me alone, the more he insisted on following me around the house like a sad little puppy, constantly asking me why I was upset with him and how he could make it better. It was a fucking nightmare. I almost packed my bags and went to stay at my parents house just to get away from him.
My moods started rapidly swinging back and forth. One minute I was happy and normal, the next minute I was weeping, and then I was looking at my husband like maybe I wanted to scalp him with a kitchen knife.
Not only was it hard for my husband to cope with this, it’s also been devastating for me. I don’t want to behave how I’m behaving. I don’t want to make him upset or push him away. And I don’t want to feel like this all the time because it’s exhausting and maddening.
We looked up the common symptoms of ethinyloestradiol and surprise surprise! Common side effects include depression, anxiety and rapid mood cycling. Doug promised to be understanding, and just keep on loving me the best way he knew how. But after about a week his resolve started wearing thin. He started biting back when I snapped at him, and we started arguing constantly.
When I mentioned to Doctor Holiday that I’m having these awful mood swings she told me that ethinyloestradiol doesn’t cause any such problem. She suggested if I am having mood swings I have a mental health issue, not a drug side-effect. She said I need to go and see a counsellor to get my mental health issues rectified because whilst IVF is hard, being a parent is much harder and if I can’t cope with this I won’t cope with being a mother.
Do you see what I mean about the threats?? I mean come on! Stop subversively insulting me every time I admit to experiencing an emotion or symptom.
To make matters worse, the doctor said that to me in front of my husband. So suddenly he’s thinking that I’ve just been acting like a bitch for no good reason, and that makes me a bad wife for treating him in such a way. Like hey Doctor Holiday, thanks for making my hard life HEAPS harder.
I showed him all of the evidence that proves the doctor was wrong, and I think he mostly believed me when I said that I’m honestly not choosing to behave like this. But I know there’s doubt in his mind. So that’s great.
Then Doug started getting really depressed as well. He told me he knew it wasn’t my fault, but this whole thing is killing him. He said infertility isn’t like another illness that you can fight and overcome. With infertility you either win or you lose, and you don’t know it’s beaten you until you’re completely driven into the ground. He said he can’t do any more IVF. He can’t mentally or emotionally handle the failures, he can’t stand idly by and watch me get sick and depressed, and we can’t afford it because we have no money left. But then he said he can’t imagine living a life without children. It’s his number one wish in life to be a dad, and he just can’t live a childless life.
Then, the following evening, he casually mentioned that he had been speaking to his mother on the phone, and they had joked about how there should be a compulsory physical examination before couples enter into a long-term relationship. I know that his mother hates me, and she has expressed in the past that he would be better off without me, but never did I ever expect him to even make a joke about such a thing. My own husband was “light-heartedly” implying that had he known I was infertile right at the start, he would never have married me.
After that pretty much all hell broke loose. I told him in no uncertain terms that I wanted to divorce him. I didn’t want to be with someone who would say such horrible things about me, and also because I didn’t want him to live a childless life. I didn’t want him to hate me or blame me for causing him to be stuck in a situation he didn’t want to be in. I said positively awful things to him. I suggested he wouldn’t even be upset if I left him, because he doesn’t really love me anyway. I told him that he would have a new girlfriend straight away and he wouldn’t miss me or think about me at all.
Once again, he bit back and started accusing me of clearly not wanting to be with him either if it was so easy for me to suggest we split up.
I pointed out that leaving him would be a huge personal blow for me because there’s no way I’ll have time to meet another man, get him to see past my massive medical problems, move in together, get married, and then attempt IVF before my 30th birthday (around the time I’m due to have a hysterectomy). Therefore, I was making a huge sacrifice and he was not because he could go out and get any old bitch knocked up and have ten thousand children.
He then accused me of not seeing him as a husband or lover, and only seeing him as a sperm donor to achieve my goal of having children. He shouted that I was clearly only staying with him to use him for his sperm, and not because I actually wanted to be with him.
Do you see what I mean when I say this past fortnight has been hard? We completely hit rock bottom as a couple. It’s a place we’ve never been before.
We continued sleeping in the same bed, but were hardly talking to each other and not touching each other at all. It got to the point where his leg would accidentally brush up against mine as he rolled over in his sleep and I would grunt and roughly push him away like he had supremely offended me.
A couple of days ago we started talking through our issues, and we are doing okay now. There’s still tension there, and I know a big part of that is the fact I’m still on this awful fucking ethinyloestradiol.
In my good moments we can laugh again now, and we snuggle up on the couch in the evenings to watch television. I know that we love each other very deeply, and we’re both going through something awful at the moment. We just have to try our hardest to stick together.
We’ve never been a couple who fought much before, so this is something new and hard for us. I have to hope we can make it through to the other side together, and stronger. He is honestly the best thing that’s ever happened to me and now I’m scared I’m going to lose him too. I couldn’t cope with losing him and my chance to have children at the same time.
The only good news is that the ethinyloestradiol is doing it’s job. I had a scan yesterday and my uterus lining is now measuring 9.6mm triple which is great news. I have started progesterone twice a day, and my FET is set for Wednesday.
I am starting to become really nervous already, and it’s only Friday afternoon. Jelly is our only embryo. If he doesn’t survive the thaw, or doesn’t expand properly, we have nothing else. The whole FET has been for nothing and we don’t get any of our money back. I have five more whole days to wait! I don’t know how I’m going to make it through.
If you have read this entire post I thank you sincerely. And please don’t judge me!
We can’t have a good day every day and I think sometimes it’s helpful to admit that you aren’t strong or good all the time.We all have moments of weakness when times are tough, and I just shared my weakness with the entire internet! I think that takes guts. Am I right or am I right? I’m so right.