Monday, August 22, 2005

Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Melanie.

I think my last post might have been a touch dramatic. Of course, I was wholeheartedly, completely devastated by the news that the IUI didn’t take. And I really don’t have any hope of another IUI working if that one didn’t. But the future of which I dream, filled with family outings and carpooling children to various activities is still possible. I do believe that some day, some how I will be a parent. It’s just taking much more time and effort and expense than I ever would have thought.

I spent the last week dealing with apartment stuff and didn’t have time to blog about what I was feeling. Besides the depression and sadness that came with the news, I was also quite angry. Not at the world but at my sister-in-law and her husband. You see, last weekend we went to visit D’s family and when we arrived at his mother’s house we learned that his sister, whom I shall call Mary, and her husband (“Joseph”) were not joining us as expected since they had just received that afternoon the results of their post-coital test and it wasn’t good.

A little background: Mary, age 36, and Joseph, 41, married in March of 2004. They have been trying to have a child ever since. Mary has talked about becoming a mother since she was a kid herself. Before she met Joseph she had a plan to adopt on her own. Mary & Joseph met at church. They are devout Catholics. In fact, Mary converted to Catholicism on her own when she was 13 (D’s dad is Jewish – though really he’s an atheist, D’s mom is Episcopalian Protestant).

Now, when D’s mother explained to us that Mary’s tests hadn’t shown any problems, but the post coital indicated there may be something sub-optimal with Joseph, I started ranting about how the post-coital test isn’t a clear indication of anything, how my RE doesn’t even use that test anymore, blah-blah-blah. I really wanted to know if Joseph had had a semen analysis. I knew he wouldn’t do it the traditional way because of his religious beliefs, but Mary had mentioned in the past that they could have sex with a special condom that had a hole in it and bring in the sample that way. But as it turns out, they haven’t had luck getting a sample to be tested. So how can they know for sure if there’s a problem with Joseph’s sperm or not?

We listened to their impassioned explanation about how they believe G-d believes that sex should only occur if it’s both unitative (husband and wife together) and procreative (the possibility of pregnancy exists). I cannot begin to tell you how infuriated this made me on so many levels!

Mostly, I think I’m angry because I so desperately want a diagnosis. Unexplained infertility is not cutting it for me. Doesn’t there HAVE to be a reason for why I can’t get pregnant? And so to know these two people, who could possibly find a reason for why they’ve yet to produce a child, not do everything they can to determine why is maddening. Particularly when what is involved is jacking off into a cup. Not surgery, not drugs just a freakin’ orgasm. Come on!

Granted, should they learn that there is a problem with Joseph’s sperm, they wouldn’t take advantage of iui (and certainly not ivf) so I can see why it’s almost a moot point. But then I get pissed off that they find themselves in our situation, that they’ll be entitled to the same sympathy as me and D, because they could do something about it and I can’t. And I so, so want to have something to do about it - besides just trusting in G-d, I mean.

21 Comments:

Blogger k #2 said...

I am glad to see your post...I also found myself so devasted this last time, that it took awhile to post again.

I can completely understand frustration over your inlaws. I can understand the "god" thing...but why did God let this medical interventions be invented? Just my humble opinion (hopefully I won't be spammed for that opinion). I would have trouble relating or offering any advice if they have no intention of seeking help. They are choosing their religious path. Hopefully, their God will help them through IF better than mine has, then!!!

So glad you are back dealing with apartment madness!

August 22, 2005 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

yes, i'm glad to see you post again. i was worried after your previous post.

i don't think i have any words of wisdom when it comes to God. after losing our daughter and then 2 subsequent miscarriages i've been having some serious issues with God and His "plan".

i wish there were answers...real answers...i'm sorry.

August 22, 2005 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm Catholic too but not devout and sure as hell planning to go through with IVF asap. I've read the Catholic churches views on it and I just don't agree. And I can't believe that God would damn me for doing IVF. I just don't. I think He gets it.

August 22, 2005 9:38 PM  
Blogger Spanglish said...

Glad to see you back in blogland! I missed you.

August 22, 2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger Jamila said...

good to see you back.

I haven't really thought about the ART/Catholicism thing other than to roll my eyes and get annoyed that the church has actively fought against congressional mandates for insurance coverage of ART. I haven't thought of how difficult that would be for a seriously devout couple, the implications of not being able to do tests or treatment. I can't even imagine having the restraint to know the treatment may be out there and not trying to access it. I know I'm such a heathen, but I see so many ironies in this. Like, if his sperm is seriously bad, them having sex is NOT procreative. And the only way to possibly make it procreative is to...do something else non-procreative (s/a, IUI, IVF...). Interesting.

I'm rambling. It's late. :)

August 22, 2005 10:21 PM  
Blogger K said...

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!
That is all I have to say about that.

August 23, 2005 12:22 AM  
Blogger K said...

Being raised a pretty devout Catholic, my husband had concerns. I am Catholic, but have always felt the church was "behind" on certain issues.

My husband and I were ravaged by horrible diseases and survived. Had we chosen not to pursue infertility treatment because the church disagreed with it, we would never be able to have a child. Yet, we both felt compelled.

The priest who married us counseled Mark when we started treatment. He understood how difficult adoption would be for us and how lesser medical help would not benefit us. He told Mark that to have a loving couple ignore their desire to be parents simply because IVF is viewed in a negative light would be horrible. He sent my husband away with some peace of mind and his support.

If they are really that concerned, they need to speak to someone. This may sound harsh, but they may need to designate a priority, good Catholics or parents.

I'm again so sorry about your negative.

August 23, 2005 12:39 AM  
Anonymous thalia said...

Another infertile friend of mine is a devout catholic and this is so incredibly hard for her. I thank heavens that judaism is more relaxed about this. I'm so sorry you had to deal with this and sorry for them in what they have to manage.

August 23, 2005 3:27 AM  
Blogger Chee Chee said...

It's good to see you posting again!

I was raised Catholic and attend Catholic mass every now and again but I simply don't accept many of the tenets of the Catholic Church. I don't believe that God would condemn me for seeking fertility treatment any more than I believe that He'd condemn me for marrying someone who is divorced.

August 23, 2005 11:12 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Unexplained infertility is an oxymoron. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't exist. Its just that you haven't discovered the reason yet (and by you, I mean doctors). I'm sorry you have to deal with family issues on top of your own devastation. Why is their plight worse than yours?

August 23, 2005 3:53 PM  
Blogger Larisa said...

So glad to see your post. I do see your frustration with them - if nothing else my logic works like Jamila's - they aren't having procreative sex now - they are trying to accomplish that. Anyway.

August 23, 2005 6:04 PM  
Blogger P. said...

Glad to see you back.

And, Ditto what K said on the whole Mary and Joseph thing.

August 24, 2005 3:27 PM  
Blogger Em said...

I'm sorry about your IUI. I'm a Christian and I sometimes worry about the implications of assisted conception but I have heard of loads of Christians who have had IVF etc. I do struggle with trusting God. All my friends (that know about our IF) assure me that God has a plan. What is it?

August 26, 2005 3:55 PM  
Anonymous thalia said...

Just checking in to see how you are. Hope you're doing ok.

September 05, 2005 2:24 PM  
Blogger P. said...

Hey - you haven't posted in a bit. Are you okay? I am thinking about you.

September 09, 2005 12:02 AM  
Blogger Mony said...

I understand your frustration. I really do. You see a wasted opportunity. You know that given their path you would act differently. You would pursue every possibility whole-heartedly. There are answers available to M & J and they are overlooking them. I actually feel sorry for them. Their road could be so much longer than it need be. They are facing hurdles that they don't have to.
I sometimes wish I had faith in a G-d or higher force, maybe that would help me deal with bitterness or make me more gracious & accepting. But if being religious means I must rely on guesswork & chance to secure child, I cannot embrace it. I am too selfish. I pray to modern science. And to my own heart. Of course, this is only my small view. I do not make light of the strong Christian faith many of you have. In no way.
I think it was really brave of you to post about this, I hope you have found something enlightening in it and I hope you come back to talk with us soon.

September 09, 2005 7:07 AM  
Blogger k #2 said...

How are you doing? I feel a connection with you since we shared that last devastating BFN.

September 09, 2005 9:24 PM  
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November 12, 2015 5:47 PM  

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