Jan 18, 2008


I hit a new low. The weight gain had been bad enough with every month five pounds heavier it seemed, and no matter what crash diet I chose for any given month there was little hold on the gain. Now I was infertile, the very opposite of what a woman should be. I felt like I had tricked my husband; he had found himself a cute, young wife, and the minute he married her she ballooned up and crushed his dreams of offspring. I stepped cautiously in our marriage, waiting for him to announce that he was leaving me for someone good enough for him. Every day I felt more and more of a burden on my shoulders until I finally got up the courage to talk to him about it. As I expressed my fears, he stared incredulously at me, he had no idea I was feeling that way. He crushed me close to him and told me he loved me, that he married me for ME, not for future children. I hold those words in my heart still, so much relief they did bring me.

It didn’t ease up my yoke much though, instead, I felt anew how wonderful he was, and what a failure I was. I was determined to give him children.

I grew up under the natural wing of a hippie-turned-conservative midwife. Doctor visits were rare in our house, hospitals were non-existent. I was born at our home in Georgia where we lived for two years before moving to Ohio and staying here. The only time I can remember in all my childhood of going to the doctor was when both my mother and I had the flu. I was furious at the end of the 2-hour waiting room stay and the 10-minute actual face time with the doctor only to learn that we had a “bug”, and there was nothing he could do. I was ten years old and miserable, and from that moment on shared my mother’s disdain for the medical field. I got to see a lot of things most children didn’t, being home schooled. I was the only child I knew who had witnessed the miracle of birth that wasn’t my own. Mom would take me to births if she couldn’t find a babysitter, and when her mamas came to our house for a prenatal she would let me sit quietly in the room watching her press lovingly into their swollen bellies. I got to hear their excitement at having a home birth for the first time, and my favorite part was when Mom would draw with a magic marker their baby in a head-down position on their bellies. If the mama was tolerant enough, sometimes I even got to feel the baby kick. What thrills for my young hands!

My homeopathic preferences and medical contempt followed me into adulthood. I found it the pinnacle of irony to marry a pharmaceutical rep, who, by the way, did not share in my disregard of medical doctors. Ty was agreeable about a home birth, as well as home schooling our future children, but I never could get him to take a homeopathic without rolling his eyes and giving me a ten-minute digression on why drugs are better. Consequently, when I was diagnosed with PCOS and given the option of taking Metformin to control it and possibly aid in conception, we had an argument. I knew that there had to be a better way. If I started taking Metformin, I argued, I would be on it for the rest of my life. I needed to change my diet and take different vitamins to make myself healthy. He gave up, and I followed my mother’s suggestion to see a Naturopath. The initial consultation cost about $150 in services and vitamins which I went home to take. I had a follow-up a month later – another lost cycle – to do a hair analysis to test for metal toxicities. That consultation left me in tears as my hands kept gravitating to the chunks of hair missing against my neck. It was a silly thing to cry over as it was all in the name of baby-making, but it was yet another piece to make me less of a woman. I had another supply of vitamins to fill up on; eighteen capsules of varying colors, sizes and tastes to take three times a day. Each month’s worth of vitamins cost about $200. The worst problem with preferring a natural route is the insurance company’s reluctance to agree with what is a medical necessity and what you are just doing for pleasure. Apparently $200 worth of vitamins falls under the “funsies” category.

I knew going in that the first month and cycle of vitamins would probably not be successful. It would take a while for the vitamins to balance the metals in my body and get my reproductive system to function normally. When the witch showed up at the end of that expensive cycle, I expected her. I started the next cycle with a determination close to desperation, anticipations high and expectations running along the two-pink-line kind. It wasn’t enough though, and another $200 and seven thousand attempts to manually choke myself on a handful of grass-tasting pills later and I was running back to the store for more tampons. This time I was frustrated. I was willing to give the vitamins one month to get settled in and adjusted. But the second month I expected results. We could not afford to do this month after month, and frankly, my self-esteem couldn’t handle one more conversation where I let my husband down. “Not pregnant!” Was the standard call from the bathroom following a Big Fat Negative (BFN) on a pregnancy test; AF showing up ten minutes later as if she was just waiting for me to waste a test.

With an attitude and a facial expression suited for eating crow, I called my GP and requested a prescription for Metformin.

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