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Unexplained Infertility – When There’s NOTHING Wrong

I remember the day that we were finally diagnosed with unexplained infertility.

Unexplained infertility means that there’s nothing wrong with either one of us and no medical reason that we shouldn’t be able to have a baby. We spent so much time and money just to find out there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with us. Five years of trying, with not even one scare, and there nothing wrong.

After finding out we had unexplained infertility, we joked that we “just didn’t do it right,” but peel back the layers of joking, and you found a lot of ugliness. Ugly things like anger. And depression. And jealousy. Oh, and there was pain – lots of pain.

To find out that there was nothing actually wrong with us, but that medically it was still a problem was very frustrating. We had struggled with infertility for years.

We talked to our doctor about our options and I immediately began researching our situation and possible options and solutions. We could try to take fertility drugs that would make me produce several eggs in one month with the hope that the sperm would have a better chance of fertilizing one of them. Cheap and less than a 50/50 shot. We could do intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. More expensive and even more expensive, and not much better odds.

All of those options frustrated and saddened us. We wanted to have a baby the old fashioned way. We didn’t want to “buy” a baby or have a baby “made” for us in a petri dish. We thought about it. We talked about it. I prayed about it.

We decided that fertility treatments were our only options at this point. For us, the “medicine” for having a baby was coming to terms with not only the fact that we’d never have a baby the old fashioned way, but also coming to terms with the fact that we wanted a baby so badly that we would do whatever it took to have one. The “medicine” was the love that we had for one another and our future family. The need to see what the two of us put together would produce. The need to get rid of the constant clouds hanging over our heads every month that passed where there still wasn’t a baby.

Two fertility treatments and three kids later, I’m so glad we decided to take the necessary steps to have a family. God gave us a bumpy, rocky road to travel down, but made it worth it. I am grateful and very humbled by the blessings that we have received.

I think of all of the other men and women still struggling with infertility. The ones that have done in vitro 5 times and still don’t have a baby. The ones that can’t afford fertility treatments. The ones that don’t even know yet that there’s a problem. I send my prayers and best wishes to them.

I know how hard the process was for us, and how hard it was to deal with every single day.

Truth Be Told

I dread the day, but I know it is coming. The day when she asks why she doesn’t know her grandpa, or if mommy has a daddy, or why grandpa doesn’t talk to mommy but he does talk to her uncle, or why grandpa doesn’t want to know her or love her. It is coming.

It would be so much easier to tell her he was dead. I wish I could say that were true. If it weren’t for the fact that he is still very much a part of my brother’s life, and the likelihood of her knowing that he does exist is high, I might have no qualms lying to her and telling her that grandpa is dead and gone. Because he is dead to me.

It will be six years in January since we spoke.

The angry phone call that started with me announcing our engagement and ended with him telling me “good luck with the rest of your life” was the last time I could feel the hate in his voice vibrating through my bones. After telling me he could never be happy for me and reminding me what a huge failure I was for marrying someone who doesn’t hunt or watch NASCAR or eat meat and has tattoos, the phone clicked and I knew that would be the last time I spoke to him.

At four months pregnant, I mulled over the idea of informing him about his future grandchild. I decided to do the responsible thing and write him a letter and tell him he is welcome to know future baby if he so chooses. Why I offered such a gracious peace offering to him is beyond me now. A month passed with no response and I assumed he just didn’t give a shit, which, he obviously did not.

When I received his three-page hate-letter, my heart stopped in my chest. All air escaped my lungs. The words I was reading were piercing, deliberate, familiar –filled with hate and such inconvenience– the way I felt my entire childhood under his rule. The words and filth and lies he wrote made me grateful to no longer know him. It made me realize that even though the choices I had made were difficult to make, and the process of breaking generational cycles felt like trying to run a marathon underwater, no one is destined for a life reflective of the one from which they came.

It really solidified the choices in life that I had made up to that point and showed me that I truly have been, and always will be, a better person than he could ever dream of becoming.

I know the day is coming, the day she asks who her grandpa is. If he isn’t dead by then, my only wish is to handle that conversation with truth, grace and compassion like a champ, in a way he never could.

A Letter To My Now Dead Abuser (Daddy)

This is a letter I wrote to my deceased abusive father. My father died in 2000 of lung cancer. I am now, 46, but as you will see, I always called him “Daddy.” I never matured to the name of “dad” or “father”.  My therapist told me to write him a letter and it did help. I just thought I might share it.

Dear Daddy,

You shocked me, Daddy. You had me confused. Since I only visited you once a year, during the summer, and you were my real one and only daddy I would ever have; and boy did I love you, why did you do this?

That first night it happened, I was asleep and the pain awakened me. I’m guessing you felt my body tense up, so you quit and got off my bed.  Then, two nights later, you started again. Once again I awoke with a start. This time I faked sleep and rolled over away from you on the bed. This is when the confusion really set in. Because I didn’t know the rules of a father, I wasn’t sure if you weren’t doing a duty all fathers perform. I knew about child molestation already, but I was not sure that applied to fathers, I was so young.

After you left my bed, and you went to bed that night, I woke up one of my step-sisters; whom you raised full-time.  I pulled her into the bathroom with me and told her what happened. She just looked at me and shook her head knowingly. You had apparently been doing this to both of my step-sisters for a long time.

That is when it hit me! Daddy, you molested me! There was no so called “duty.” I may only have been a young girl, but I knew right then and there that what you did was wrong; and it would never never ever happen again.

I quit going to sleep before you did. Then, the situation changed to different offenses. I remember walking by the kitchen table where you were sitting, and I was wearing a tube top. You told me to lift it up so that you could see how my breasts were maturing. I adamantly and strongly denied your request. You just seemed to laugh like it was a joke. I was wary of you every day, for the rest of your life.  However, amazingly even at that young age, I felt empowered that I did not take the abuse any more. But I still loved you, you were my Daddy.

During the next 20 years I had set my boundaries and kept them. For those 20 years, I waited for an apology. Over the years, I only told a few very, very close, trusting friends.

Then you got sick, Daddy. I couldn’t leave your side and stayed 24/7 at the ICU. My friends, who knew the secret, questioned my loyalty. They kept telling me that I owed you nothing.  But you see, Daddy, I still loved you, all along. During those last few days, I thought just maybe the apology would come. It never did, even when you knew you were going to die.

I’ll never forget when the day came that you asked me to unplug the machines and let you go. We both expressed our love for one another. I did as you asked, and then crawled up in bed with you and held you until you died.

I know you did wrong, and I know you knew it too. But I always did and will love you. And I know you loved me.

If I hadn’t empowered myself so soon after the incident, I don’t believe we would have had the life-long love for each other. I believe the fact that you did not say you were sorry upset me more than the abuse. I didn’t realize your death would affect me so much, since you were mean and abusive.

But I love you and miss you Daddy.

Fluctuation Of Pain

I’m having trouble getting over my ex-boyfriend, and to be honest, I don’t know how normal it is. I don’t know if something is wrong with me – because it seems eerily like there is – or if this is something most people go through. As this was my first relationship, so I don’t have a basis of comparison.

I met him online, through a mutual friend of ours. When I realized he was dealing with depression, I wanted to help him. I spoke with him almost every day for a couple of months. At some point, he told me he loved me. I stuttered in awkwardness, for a minute, before he explained he meant it as a friend. I instantly relaxed and responded to the affirmative.

The second time he told me he loved me, I took it as the same meaning from before, but it wasn’t. He’d fallen for me, in spite of having a boyfriend of his own. Two days later, he told me he intended to kill himself that night. I kept talking to him until he decided not to go through with it.

The following weekend, I realized I loved him too. The next few days were filled with the duality of trying to keep him alive, and being hit hard whenever I feared for his life. That Friday, I was due to go camping. I told him how I felt about him before leaving for the long trip. My phone died before I could say much, and to my despair, there was no signal at the campground.

In full honesty, that was my worst camping trip ever. I had very few idle moments that I wasn’t repeating song lyrics in my head, with either a headache or stomachache. When I got back that Monday, things were so much better. We talked, and our relationship blossomed.

For the next five and a half months, I thought everything was good between us.

I don’t know when he stopped loving me. I had no idea until he snapped. Everything seemed normal, great even. He had launched into a fit of self-hatred and depression, and I was trying to comfort him. He turned on me in a heartbeat. He started yelling at me, and within minutes, I was in shambles. He wouldn’t talk to me after that.

Despite what had happened I still got him a present for his birthday a few weeks later. I asked him to come back to me, but he wouldn’t. When he found out I had gotten him a birthday present, he seemed angry about it. He had repeatedly told me since the split to leave him alone. I told him I would kill myself.

I picked a day to kill myself. Six days before my chosen suicide date, a friend who had just been released from a mental hospital turned up online. I started to have second thoughts about killing myself. Later that day, I spoke to another friend, and I asked him to stay with me. He surprised me with a show of compassion I didn’t expect from him, and I called off the date.

During my bad moments, I wonder if I should have gone through with it. The first week after being talked out of my original decision, I was mostly fine. I had a surgery that Friday, to get my wisdom teeth out, and that kept me mostly occupied. I didn’t really have bad moments that weekend, nor the following few days.

But over time, things seeped in. I gradually started having bouts of depression, mostly at night. Sometimes I would wish to die, but I never carried through. My friends were always there to support me. I fell back on them many a time, despite feeling like I was dragging them down. Things kept on the bad track for a while. I never physically hurt myself – though I considered it. Even in my happy moments, some aspect of the past would rear its head, and I’d drop again.

I’ve spoken to my ex plenty since. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes, not often, it doesn’t. Many of my particularly bad downward spirals were triggered by those conversations.

It’s been a month and a half since the breakup, and I’m still fluctuating emotionally. I still love him, I still want him back. He has told me many times that it wasn’t my fault. He has even openly admitted that he used me, but I still feel like it was my fault. I feel like I failed for not being a complicated person like he wants, like I failed by being too clingy and not caring enough. I feel like I was too open, when he wanted me to be a puzzle he could open for himself.

I continue to drop like a rock, despite all reasons to be happy and efforts made to make me happy. The day after Christmas I went to an amusement park. I spent a good deal of my time trying to figure out how to fall to my death from the rollercoasters. I’m ashamed to be spiraling down like this, without a way to stop. I’m even more ashamed to want my ex back even though he doesn’t love me.

Thanks in advance for any advice you could give me, and thanks for taking the time to read my story.