One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn’t belong
Can you guess which thing is not like the others…?
The Sesame Street song was in my head as the nail tech pushed back my cuticles at the American Fertility Association‘s Manicures & Martinis event last week in Denver.
I was in a room full of beautiful 20-somethings. Tanned legs, cute sun dresses, fresh skin. These young women had not been marred by the trials of infertility, nor were they even aware of the dreaded torso creep* that will begin to happen to them in a dozen or so years (yes, this is what I noticed about them — very long torsos).
I ONCE had tanned legs. I ONCE wore cute sundresses that didn’t have spaghetti sauce in some not-so-hidden crease. I ONCE had fresh skin. I NOW am fighting back torso creep.
I never, in my 20s, worried about my fertility. Back then, women my age were trying hard NOT to get pregnant. And, we were told, “people have babies well into their 40s — you have plenty of time.”
So when I didn’t meet my husband until I was 31, I was not concerned. When we married at 32, I was not concerned. When, after a year of not exactly trying to become pregnant but not really trying not to, I began to grow concerned.
I could have used a night like this back then. Or even before then.
After welcoming remarks by AFA Executive Director Ken Mosesian, Drs. Swanson, Bush and Albrecht told about substances and activities that can decrease fertility in both men and women. They shared results of studies on everything from egg health to treatment success rates to timing of intercourse. They entertained questions about an alphabet-soup of issues: PCOS, POF, MFI, OHSS, IVF, IUI, HSG and the rest of the infertility lexicon.
(I am now reading The Land of IF: Understanding Infertility and Exploring your Options, so I was able to follow the technical parts quite well.)
The good doctors were informative and charming, and I could see trusting them with my fertility hopes, if I had been like the others instead of being a tired mom having a rare night out with an organization I’m now blogging for.
How did my story turn out? Well, Roger and I never did get the better of our fertility. Our one shot at IVF was a failure, and we faced it alone and isolated in the days before online support groups, blogs, forums and the AFA.
But, as many of you know, we did become parents, nonetheless. In 2001, we were at our daughter’s birth, and remain in contact with her first parents in a fully open adoption. Two years later, her brother joined us as an infant, and our family was complete.
Even though I was not like the others — wanting to know the ways to preserve my fertility — I did somehow manage to enjoy my manicure and martini.
Some things are universal.
* Torso creep is what I call the slow migration from the top of my bottom and the bottom of my top as they move toward each other, millimeter by millimeter over time.
(Originally appeared on the American Fertility Association website. Check it out for a plethora of resources.)