Getting pregnant was not easy for me. I never thought it would be. We began fertility treatments the same month we moved into our new house, one week before Christmas 2006. It was not easy. I lost friends who did not seem to understand what a difficult process it was. Rifts were formed in relationships after so many insensitive comments were made. I told everyone what was going on, because being infertile is nothing to be ashamed of, and its easy to feel so much shame. I had these horrible, intrusive, painful procedures and I pounded my body with carcinogenic drugs that made me bloated, aggressive, depressed, tired and it didn't work. I felt so alone because so few people understood.
My doctor wanted to move on to "the big guns" as he called it and I started to inject myself nightly with absurd doses of artificial hormones that made every muscle scream in pain, made my head pound with a migraine that wouldn't go away and made me so weak and tired that I couldn't climb the stairs. I bloated more. I cried and cried and felt sorry for myself because no one else did. Every morning I had to drive fifty miles round-trip to the clinic at 6:00am for blood draws. My arms were bruised, my belly sore from the hormone injections. After my blood draw, I would go to my office, meet with my clients, run support groups and go on with my day feeling like I just wanted to lay down and die. People said, "You just need to relax," and "A lot of women who wait as long as you did can't get pregnant," "I'm not really ready for you to have a baby anyway," "Having a baby is just like getting another dog," and I would just stare at them, wondering how they could be so rude, so ignorant, so insensitive. Worst of all, my supposed "best friend" just stopped talking to me. When you face a personal crisis, you really see peoples true colors. On the other hand, people who I never expected, totally stepped up and amazed me with their compassion, understanding and humor. Thank the gods for the people who without even trying managed to say just the right thing at just the right time and they probably didn't even know that they did it.
So in exactly 39 minutes from now is the anniversary of when I nervously staggered into the doctors office in Reading. Kevin came in to tell me that there were 1.4 million sperm loaded up in the catheter. I gave him a high-five. Dr. Weiss and four nurses performed the IUI and it was pretty uneventful. It wasn't a high point of my life. After I lay there for ten minutes, I drove home and watched daytime television with my feet up.
Two weeks later I was sitting at my office, waiting for the call with results from my pregnancy test. They were supposed to call my cell phone in the late afternoon like they usually did, so I was caught off guard when my office phone rang around 11am. Janel was there with me when I found out that I was pregnant, sitting at my desk in the North Shore Rape Crisis Center where I worked. She was the perfect mama to share the moment with. I called Jamie to tell him, and he actually dropped the phone. Thus began Ms. Donovan's Wild Ride through pregnancy. The first trimester was scary, not knowing if Hazel was going to choose to stick around or not. But she did, and we got through it. I hated being pregnant, and I would go through labor a thousand times before I had to be pregnant again, but everything was worth it when I finally got to meet my silly, perfect daughter. Plus, I can use everything I had to go through to get pregnant with her for the best guilt-trip of all time.