The numbers: day 21 progesterone = 18. Prolactin = 28. My doctor was happy with both, as the first indicates that I ovulated, the second indicates that what I refer to as my "coma pill" is working. But, but, but. The progesterone probably indicates that I am not pregnant. The prolactin is down, but still not normal. Good news, but not so good news - the story of my life.
I've blogged a lot lately about the general upswing that I have been on. And it is certainly true - for the most part, I've been less consumed by sadness. But the truth of it, dear readers, is something that I am just starting to unravel. The truth of it is that I've simply gotten better at squashing those bad feelings down, like snotty crumpled tissues in the bottom of my purse. Just because I choose not to acknowledge them (does that make me gross?) does not mean they have ceased to exist. There are still an embarassing number of snotty tissues in my purse. I am still sad. Sometimes, overwhelmingly so. And sometimes, life just goes on, and I laugh, and love, and cook.
As much as I despise how the people in my life choose not to acknowledge the trauma and grief that have defined me, I am also grateful to them - the ignorance of others is my bliss. For the three and a half years that I have had my job, I've been blessed to be surrounded by the ignorant. No one at work wants to talk about pregnancy loss and infertility (even on those rare occassions when I do) because it is so outside of their frames of reference. They don't have kids. They don't want to get pregnant, or have babies, and they probably think that I am insane for trying as long as I have. Even in my darkest moments, when at best my life could be classified as "merely existing," I had my job as my refuge. It's not glamorous - most jobs that involve animals and their various bodily excretions aren't - but it's fulfilling and has served me well as an escape.
That's all over now though. My friend A is besties with another friend, M, who also happens to be a client at our clinic. M is due any minute (or, as her husband told mine yesterday, "Any fucking day now, man. Any. fucking. day.") And somehow, the baby shunning women I work with have all turned gaga. People walk into work and, before they have even clocked in, check with A to see how M is. Every conversation turns back to the baby. Discussions of names, breastfeeding, labor - I overhear bits and pieces of them all, but of course only bits and pieces, because when I walk into the room, the baby talk stops. My refuge has vanished as surely as the shimmering illusion of a desert oasis. It sucks donkey balls, and I am left feeling as awkward and out of place in my work life as I do when surrounded by fertiles in my non-work life.
Sigh. To top it off, we have a lunch meeting coming up with one of our sales reps who - wait for it, wait for it - also happens to be hugely pregnant. I'll have to sit for an hour, pretending to listen to her lecture, wearing my "attentive" face, while all the while I'll be staring at her pregnant belly and hating myself for my failures, and the misery I've brought into my husband's life.
The gal who wrote a post that is so beautiful, and unnerving, that it brought tears to my eyes. It's about accepting the childless life after years of trying to conceive, and suffering loss after loss. She is struggling, and I wonder if I'll struggle too when we finally decide that our time of trying is over. I struggle now.