COVID and Conception?

Life is funny, isn’t it? You never know when the next pain in the ass thing is gonna come your way and toss your world upside down or at least cause significant disruptions in your everyday life.

Obviously, COVID 19 pranced into all of our lives in the last several months and just fucked almost everything real good. For me, as with the majority of adults (who were fortunate enough to not get laid off or furloughed), I was forced into mandatory full-time telework.

At first I thought this would be great. I could work in my pajamas or sweats everyday, not have to deal with traffic and idiot drivers, and even steer clear (even more than I already do) of office drama. The awesome feelings towards full-time telework lasted about a week or two.

I quickly learned that even though I don’t believe I am an extrovert, I do require regular human interaction. I found myself to be home alone 10 hours a day – in which sometimes I would not even talk to a single person on the phone. Then my husband would come home and we would cook, have dinner, and watch TV for the rest of the night. This made for a very secluded state of being that I stayed in for about three weeks before I broke.

I began feeling withdrawn and depressed because I was not used to spending so much time alone. Don’t get me wrong, I was taking part in Zoom meetings with friends, FaceTime chats with friends, etc. but not having that face-to-face interaction with other humans took a toll on me.

I did take steps to rectify the situation and to help get me out of my depressive state of mind. I began working in my husband’s office so I could at least interact with him, and sometimes his parents (small family business) off and on through the day. We began playing games at least a few times a week either during the evenings or on the weekends.

It is okay to go through these mental health struggles even if you were not devastated by COVID 19. By this I mean even if your loved ones have not passed away from this virus, that does not mean the circumstances cannot impact you deeply. It is recognizing the struggles and difficulties within yourself and taking the steps to help alleviate them that is most important.

Reach out to friends and family for support. Reach out to people you haven’t talked to in awhile and reconnect. It’s okay to tell your friends and love ones that you are struggling. Most people like being there and supporting their loved ones.

I brought up struggling with COVID 19 for two reasons. One being, it is okay if you are struggling during this time of unprecedented isolation. Recognizing your difficulties is the only way you start to do something to rectify them. Second, as I was trying to navigate my way back to a healthier state of mind, I was also weaning off of my medications.

My husband, Greg, and I had always planned to start trying to have a child after one year of marriage. Much to the displeasure of my mother who wanted a grandchild when Greg and I were engaged, I needed one year of rest and relaxation from the chaos that was my life for the three years leading up to our wedding and the summer of 2019. My mind and body were exhausted and I needed to recuperate.

You know what’s not fun? Weaning off your cerebral palsy medications. First, let’s start with the Botox shots. My body was naturally weaning off of those due to the set amount of time Botox chills in your body – 12 weeks. I had been doing exercises at least a few times a week so I haven’t really felt an increase in pain from coming off of Botox so much, thus far.

However, I also take baclofen for my CP and I have found weaning off of that to be quite a struggle. My spasms have increased a bit. But more so is the tightness in my muscles have increased significantly, particularly in my right arm. The muscles in my right arm have become so tight and stiff that my arm is continuously sore and in pain almost 24/7.

Sometimes my body and my arm act so crazy I just have to look at the aforementioned limb in complete bewilderment. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I have felt this “disabled” ever in my life. So it has definitely been a learning experience in regards to accepting things as they are, trying to be comfortable with the level of severity I am currently having with my disability, and still feeling desirable in terms of sex.

I want to highlight that although most people describe this process (trying to conceive) as exciting and fun, or at least it should be, it is okay to not always feel that way in your own situation. Each couple has their own journey for this process. Many couples are able to conceive with little to no problems, but there are just as many other couples who have fertility issues for one reason or another.

I know what you’re thinking. We only just started trying to conceive, how in the hell would I know whether or not we have fertility issues? Call it a hunch, being a Debbie downer… I call it living in reality based on my history. Everything I have tried to accomplish in life that involved my body has always been difficult and a struggle. So yes I am going to mentally prepare myself for that struggle should it come.

To balance the perceived negative thoughts of living in my reality, I have tried to remain calm and stress-free about this whole conception thing even while researching all I can on the intricacies of conception without having to go back to the OB/GYN.

You see in February, Greg and I had an appointment with a high risk OB/GYN because my neurologist encouraged us to. I can’t say that visit was all too pleasant. It was during this visit that we learned we could not try to conceive while Botox was still in my body. For the life of me I cannot comprehend why my neurologist did not lead with this information given that we had told her several times we would start trying to conceive around March and April.

The OB/GYN also repeatedly highlighted that I am not to be on any of my CP medications during conception or pregnancy… no shit Sherlock.

But then the OB/GYN discussed something that put the nail in the coffin in regards to us ever seeing her again. I asked her when could we come in and talk about other options besides conceiving naturally. She replied we would have to wait at least one year because that is the “normal” timeframe doctors suggest for couples to try conceiving before seeking infertility options.

Here is my issue with that, we are not a normal couple. I have cerebral palsy and it can make my life a real shit show. You want me to potentially live in an increased amount of pain with decreased body functionality for what could be two to three years minimum. One year of trying to conceive naturally, and up to the three years of seeking other options and being pregnant.

Through this entire process I will have to be off of my medications. I refuse to allow doctors to tell me I must suffer unnecessarily when there may be other options open to us. I have not worked my ass off throughout my life and gotten to where I am so doctors can tell me I am not allowed to seek resources available to me – until they say it is time.

I plan on seeing my original OB/GYN later on this summer if we haven’t become pregnant naturally. My original OB/GYN is a woman that I have been seeing for the last 3 to 4 years. I enjoy seeing her for so many reasons. One of the main reasons is she truly understands my life and situation. She had talked about a plan forward that is flexible and applies to our circumstances. She does not put the restrictions of what is “normal” on our situation and for that I am eternally grateful.

It has taken me the last 4 to 6 weeks to decide how much I wanted to share of the conception and pregnancy process as it occurs.  While I view this process as private and have only really opened up about it with a couple friends, I also know that there are many people out there who are also going through the same struggles, experiencing the same fears, and are just trying to figure this shit out. So I thought I would share my experience as it occurs, and hope they can provide some comfort to anyone going through the same process.

And don’t even get me started on the intricacies of trying to track my ovulation. Yes trying to conceive naturally is fun, but we have also had some interesting experiences with trying other at home methods. I will share this in my next conception/pregnancy blog.

Please for free to reach out or comment.

Until next time

-Lorraine

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