Guest Post! Premature Ovarian Failure & Missing the Pre-TTC Life

The other day, I had the good fortune of stumbling upon a fantastic blog post by Cheri, the creator of No Kid On The Block. Smart, funny, and seriously kick-ass, Cheri generously shares her journey, the reality of living with premature ovarian failure, and spot on musings about the life she lived prior to trying to conceive. I couldn’t help but nod and shout, “Amen sister!” Cheri has generously given me permission to share her post with you here.

Love on this post people, and check out this incredible woman’s site!

9 Things I Miss Most About My Pre-TTC Life

The other day I picked up a pack of birth control pills for the first time in a year and a half. This was before this month’s treatment was canceled because of a rogue cyst, back when our RE was trying to delay my cycle so I could start injectables. She had me take one pill the day after my period started. And it might sound ridiculous, but popping that little candy-colored tablet brought back so many memories. Memories of a simpler time.

I’m not going back on birth control any time soon (besides, I’ve basically got my own built-in birth control in the form of lazy-ass ovaries) but I did get a little nostalgic thinking about the old days. Here’s what I miss about life before TTC.

Sex was just sex. Sometimes it was awesome, sometimes it was meh, but it always good clean (or not-so-clean?) fun. It was lighthearted. It was spontaneous. It was recreation. These days sex is a lot more regimented – and loaded with emotion. That’s just part of TTC. Don’t get me wrong; we can still have fun. But I can never really let go. There are always those nagging thoughts in the back of my mind: either a teeny-tiny hope that maybe, just maybe, it will work this time around – or a sadness at the realization that what happens so easily, and so naturally, for other couples just doesn’t work for us.

Facebook was a happy place. I could stalk my friends in peace. Pregnancy announcements, ultrasound photos, baby shower invites – they all rolled off me like water off a duck’s back. These days, each one is like a dagger to the heart. And please don’t get me started on the fake-pregnancy-announcement breast cancer awareness post phenomenon. So, so stupid.

Babies didn’t make me cringe. Okay, I’ll admit it: Sometimes, particularly when people wanted me to hold their babies, I cringed. Just because I don’t have a lot of experience holding babies, and it makes me nervous! Mostly, though, seeing babies used to make me smile. I smiled at their newness, at their potential, at their wide-eyed wonder at anybody and everything. But most of all I smiled because I naively thought I was getting a sneak preview of my own future – and I happily pondered what it would be like to be a mom with a baby of my own. I still think about it, but without the same cheerful naivety.

My skin was (almost) perfect. After a round of Accutane cleared up the acne I fought my entire teenage existence, my 20s were characterized by glowing skin. I always had at least a pimple or two, but it was nothing a little concealer couldn’t take care of – and it was mostly contained to my face. Now that I’ve tossed the birth control and started taking DHEA, I’ve got adolescent-worthy acne all over my back, arms and chest. It’s so severe that I wouldn’t dare wear a tank top or swim suit – but because I’m TTC, my treatment options are limited.

I could read my favorite blogs. There’s a core group of food/healthy living blogs I’ve been following for years. I read them for recipes, but also for glimpses into the lives of the people I feel I’ve come to know. I remember when the first of these bloggers – Kath of KathEats – announced her pregnancy. I was so genuinely excited for her! And then, one after the other, they all started to get pregnant. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every few weeks I open up a blog, see a post thanking readers for their well wishes on the big announcement, and *click * close the website, not to return again – at least, not on a regular basis. On the plus side, at least my cookbooks are getting better use.

I spent a lot less time analyzing my underwear. Sorry to be gross, but it’s true: I miss the days when a trip to the bathroom involved nothing more than peeing and flushing. Nowadays every time I pull down my pants or swipe the T.P., it’s another opportunity to check for pre-period spotting or CM. Even the basic act of rummaging in my drawer for a clean pair of undies in the morning forces me to think about my infertility: Do I wear a black pair today or a white pair?

I could enjoy unlimited coffee and beer. In many ways, I’m glad that I’ve cleaned up my diet since trying to conceive. But I do mourn the freedom to pop open a beer after a long day and not worry about what it’s doing to my eggs or, potentially, a future baby. These days, I feel guilty if I drink two nights in a row or if I pour myself that second cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine and booze – the only good things about being not pregnant, and I can’t even enjoy them anymore.

My doctor’s office didn’t know me by name. In my pre-TTC life, if I wasn’t sick, I didn’t go to the doctor. Nor did I go to the laboratory or acupuncturist, or spend countless dollars on vitamins, supplements, and prescriptions. The closest thing I had to a healthcare routine was taking that one little birth control pill every morning. I didn’t know how easy I had it.

I felt good about my body. I don’t have a perfect body by any means, but before infertility, my body always did what I asked. Whether it was kicking butt in kickboxing class, climbing a mountain, or, you know, knocking boots – I knew I could count on it. I felt healthy, sexy, strong. Now I just feel broken. I am grateful for my health – for the fact that I can walk and talk and generally be active – but I can’t help but feel a little betrayed.

But despite all my bitching, I know there’s no going back. I’m jaded, yes, but also a little older, and hopefully a little wiser. For instance: I now know I would never, ever post a pregnancy announcement or ultrasound pic on Facebook. You never know who is going to be hurt by it.

TTC is a struggle, but it’s one I accept. All I can do now is hope that, when all my suffering pays off, the reward will be that much sweeter.

What Do You Miss Most About Your Pre-TTC Life?

Share 1 Thing You Miss in the Comments Below!

(I know I missed wine!)

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With Love + Respect,

Rosanne

© 2014 Rosanne Austin, From Maybe To Baby

Rosanne offers a variety of programs to help you on your fertility journey — from Self-study, to Live, to Private Coaching.