April Fools: What is NOT Funny to Infertile Myrtle
Our Fifteen Minutes of Fame
April 1st will be here in just three short days, bringing with it April Fools Day, and the jokes that follow. Personally, I'm not sure WHO invented the popular pranking day, and I'm sure Wikipedia could tell you, but I think the day sucks.
Seven years ago, I totaled my car in the pouring rain, and when I called some friends to pick my college roommate and I up from the hospital later that afternoon, they adamantly said NO, thinking I was playing a prank. Hours later, my mom had to call a friend of hers in the area, and all my "friends" at college had major guilt when they realized I wasn't joking.
Once, in third grade, some kid pranked another kid and a tiny little third-grade bum ended up with raw egg ALL over it. All I remember is the kid crying. No, it wasn't me. Needless to say, I think April Fools is a miserable "holiday."
It doesn't get much easier as an adult, either. Almost one year ago, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure. I was told, at the age of 26, that I was approaching menopause so quickly that it was surprising that I had not yet had hot flashes. They came, eventually. I had a gloomy outlook, and our fears were confirmed with our cancelled IVF cycle, when I had not a single egg left in my body. I am in a more fortunate circumstance than most. My husband and I chose an egg donor, racked up tons of credit card debt, and now have five frozen embryos that are awaiting Daddy's return home from Afghanistan. Not all are able to make the financial sacrifice. Some save for years.
Aside from the financial toll, the emotional toll is disheartening to say the least. Infertility sinks you lower than low. I'm a Christ-believing woman, and I was still at the lowest emotional point of my entire life. Some are never able to travel the route of modern medicine. Some cannot afford to adopt. Some simply make the hard decision to accept a childless life, against their wishes. Even in my "privileged" circumstances of my infertility journey, my daily goal is still self-preservation. I no longer follow the "TTC community" of Instagram. I do not join infertility groups on Facebook, and for those I have previously joined, I do not receive updates from. I even un-friended my high school best friend of 14 years recently because she decided that I was the appropriate person to complain to that she is "pregnant with twins and really wanted to wait until her one-year-old was older." Note: NOT appropriate. It was not an easy decision. She was one of those friends that you could always pick up where you left off, and no beats were ever missed. But, she is fully aware of my circumstances. I'm incredibly open. I blog. I've been published in a health magazine with a fancy picture of my husband in uniform, our fertility clinic office manager, and I. Nearly everyone I know, knows our situation.
I'm not alone in these behaviors, nor am I alone in feeling like an empty, barren, dried up well. I think my ovaries have tumbleweeds. Seriously. And, as Friday approaches, I beg you to remember that ONE in EIGHT couples face infertility. Whether you know it, or not, someone you know is going through the struggle of a bum reproductive system. It is emotionally draining. It is financially draining. I have NEVER seen two pinks lines on an at-home pregnancy test. I have peed on sticks month, after month, after 36th straight month.
As Friday quickly approaches, think about that "joke" of a fake ultrasound or an announcement of false pregnancy on your social media accounts. Let me be the first one to tell you: IT'S NOT FUNNY!