Tabi is the contributing editor for Surrogacy (Intended Parent). She writes and posts images at The ART of Being Infertile.
My misfit uterus has settled down on the ultimate island of misfits -- Manhattan. Just like those misfit toys in the Rudolf movie, New Yorkers are not standard-issue. Like others I have found here, I've never felt like I work exactly as the instructions say. I never really took a straight path with my career. I struggled through my 20s to find a life partner and finally found one at 33, and now I battle infertility. But instead of returning us to the manufacturers, we can find refuge on an island that accepts us for who we are. There is some comfort in knowing that you can find ample amounts of women in NYC who marry later in life, who have kids later in life, or choose never to marry or have children. Everyone seems to have a red honker guiding their own sleigh to where we want to be. It's not to say that my battles with infertility have not made me want to shout on every rooftop,"Why me and nobody else!!" But at the very least, New York City is a lover of misfit-hood. It's not a surprise I live here.
But the blogsphere has opened up a whole other kind of home. There is a tremendous healing in knowing people's silent battles are being heard. My trials with infertility began in 2006 when we decided to try to start a family. I was turning 35 and feeling a little on edge about getting pregnant but decided to dive in and try. I didn't know how much drowning would be involved. After a year of trying naturally we began fertility treatments. Several IUI/Clomid cycles later, we decided in 2007 to opt for the big guns and try IVF. Nothing can compare to the joy we felt with a positive beta. Nothing. But as you can imagine what a high that was, you can imagine how far I fell when we discovered it was ectopic. After a long torturous recovery, we tried another IVF and to our relief I got pregnant again in my uterus, my misfit uterus! But this was not going to be the fairy tale we hoped for. I miscarried at 7 weeks right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. Yup, thanks for nothing. I began blogging after this loss as I felt like writing would be the only way to get this anguish out. People all around me were progressing with work and popping out babies and living normal lives while I felt in total isolation. Just me and my best friend the internet. So I decided I wanted to write and I wanted to visually capture some of these emotions and experiences that were happening to me. So my blog, The Art of Being Infertile, is my canvas (writing, photography, video, graphics, craft) and a way to find community.
In 2008, I chronicled my third IVF and all the hopes that went with it. But we learned that lightening can strike twice. I got a 2nd ectopic (this time in the opposite tube) and had to get surgery to remove the pregnancy. Now 3 losses and many tears later, I start a new road as an intended parent in hopes that surrogacy might be our answer. Blogging really came as a big relief for me through all of this and will continue to be as I move forward. I am just beginning my road to surrogacy and like all other obstacles I have already plowed through, somehow you adjust to the ebb and flow of this insanity. As I stated on my very first blog post, "I have come to see that even though there is clearly an art to getting pregnant - scientifically, philosophically, and divinely - there is the other side of the coin. After my multiple IVFs and pregnancy losses, after countless wrestling matches with anger and despair, after blowing a kiss good-bye to my notions of fairness and yet still showing up for my doctor appointments, after somehow retaining some sense of dignity after countless indignities, I have never more strongly believed that there is truly an art to being infertile."