Egg Hunting for Adults

Mushroom hunting – described as an “Easter Egg Hunt for Adults” (Evan Bush/The Seattle Times)

Hey guys, I’m still here.

You might be wondering where I’ve been these past couple of months.

Well, in my attempt to “focus”, I cut out almost everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary, including blogging. Sometimes, when you’re working on something big, you just don’t have the capacity to do much else.

I wish I could say that the big thing I’ve been working on is something exciting, like a renovation or a baby or a big promotion or a big move. Nope.

Instead, as it turns out, I’m one of those women who has trouble getting pregnant. “Trouble” here is a euphemism – it looks like it’s not possible for me to get pregnant on my own. So the big thing I’m working on? The thing I have to go in for almost daily bloodwork for, countless appointments and errands, spend a lot of time researching? It’s a basic biological function, something most women – and men!- don’t ever have to think about, except when they want to prevent.

So, instead of writing about funny movies or books or cool things I’ve seen, I’ve spent the last couple of months holed up, processing my grief. That, and working with my doctor to do what I now think of as “my ultimate egg hunt”. Because basically, that’s what we’re doing: hunting for one good egg.

I don’t want to talk too much about this, at this point (don’t worry: this is not an infertility blog). Partially because I’m still actively dealing with it, and there’s so much uncertainty with it. But also partially because there’s a lot of ignorance about it, and I want to protect myself.

I can’t tell you how many people have said to me: “Just relax, once you relax it’ll be fine!” Or will tell me stories about their friend who tried for years, etc etc, and then the friend miraculously conceived one night on a holiday in Mexico.

Sure, those stories exist – but for every couple like that, there are at least 10 other couples who never conceive. I don’t have the energy to tell every single person who offers me well-meaning but erroneous advice why, exactly, they are wrong. You can be hopeful and still cognizant of the facts.

I love Ask Polly, and she’s written my favourite piece about infertility to date.

Infertility is tough: you don’t even find out you’re infertile until you’ve tried to conceive for a long time. When the doctor tells you: “Well, looks like you’re infertile”, you kind of want to respond: “No shit, Sherlock.” But you don’t say that, because you know Captain Obvious is just trying to help, and you need him to write you prescriptions for drugs that will take you on wild hormonal rollercoasters. Rollercoasters that will cause you to both be more aggro with your husband than you’ve ever been, and then to love him more than you’ve ever loved him – all in the span of about a minute. Rollercoasters that will make you both rage at the world and its injustices, and then cry because you realize how much you have – how many times you’ve been the lucky one, on the upside of the world’s injustices.

It’s exhausting. The hot flashes, the tears, the joy, the whole ride. It’s physical, it’s mental, it’s financial, it’s (as Ask Polly says) your immediate and distant future all wrapped up in to one. If you are interested in reading an account of it, I highly recommend the Ask Polly piece.

And, to all of you who are in the midst of very, very difficult trials – trials where the odds are stacked against you, and you are willing yourself forward, one step at a time: May the odds be ever in your favor.

How I’m Approaching This Egg Hunt