I just knew that this is our time. I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. At the end of this week we will know how many babies we are having! I am terribly nervous and super excited for this first of many ultrasounds! I’m going to quickly recap our journey for when I officially announce our pregnancy to the world [after I see the babies, of course], I want THIS to be the first post to share with friends and family and if they are interested they are more than welcome to read our entire blog.
Infertility is a BITCH. We started planning this process well over 3 years ago by talking to Joe’s Endocrinologist. Once we finally talked to all the doctors, finding the best doctor for Joe, and after several months of fighting with insurance (with the outcome of NOTHING being covered), Joe began his segment of the treatments. Joe had to do injections every other day for a year and then every day for another year and when his treatments finally got us to the point where we needed it to be it was my turn. The doctor and nurses always complimented us on how involved Joe was in the whole process and they rarely see that from the men (He was at every single appointment even if it was just blood work!). Could it be because he had to go through treatments himself and understands how hard it is or is it just because he is that great of a guy? I’d say a little of both 😉
IVF (or any form of ART & Infertility in general) is a very involved and draining process. Only those who have been through it can fully understand just how much you put into this. You are basically taking your life and putting it in the hands of a doctor (so you better make sure it is someone you can trust!) and allowing them to rule your life for several weeks at a time.
Our first attempt resulted in a failure, but the success rate of only one attempt is smaller than that of multiple attempts…it happens but we weren’t one of the lucky ones. The end result caused a world of pain I never want to relive again. Just knowing that I have seen my babies from when they were just eggs to having a picture of them only 5 and 6 cells big, knowing they were inside me growing was a miracle…but it was all ripped away from me when we found out that the treatments and procedure did not work and my little Batman and Robin did not make it. They were my babies and I still cry even today just thinking about them. I love them very much and I know they are looking down on me and Joe just reassuring us that they knew it was not their time. I miss you babies.
The first attempt I had no idea what to expect. There were preliminary tests that were just pure torture before we could even start. I had no idea I had to give up my schedule (which is a VERY difficult thing for me to do) and be at the nurses beck and call. There’s no room for error in this so you must follow every instruction to the T, wait for calls on dosage of the injections, take injections at the same time every day, come in whenever they tell you to for blood and ultrasounds, give up your dignity because everyone in that office and then some will have seen your down under parts, and just throw your hands up and don’t even fight about why you can’t come in a certain day…you HAVE to whether you are going on a trip or not, you HAVE to do what they say even if it means driving to the hospital on Thanksgiving morning at 7am before your 2 hour drive to see family because there was a mix-up with your medication. Infertility waits for no one so they are in the office every day, weekends, holidays, you name it…they are there…and so were we. The whole experience was just overwhelming for me, I was a nervous wreck, I was constantly stressed, I hated every part of it, I really hated not being in control…and I most especially hated needles…that is by far my worst fear, but I want a baby more than anyone can even imagine so I had to set that fear aside and just do it. It did help that Joe was an excellent injection giver. (Love you!)
That experience was so hard to handle after losing our babies. The whole cycle was just negative from how stressed I was, to Joe losing his job, to none of the other embryos making it to freeze, to losing our babies. We received the news of the failure a couple weeks before Christmas. I will never forget coming home from work to see Joe’s face with tears in his eyes because he got the phone call…it was devastating, I lost it. I had to try to pick myself back up in the couple weeks between then and Christmas so I could attempt to keep myself together in front of my family. I was doing really well until I held my niece and she started singing Christmas songs so softly in my ear…I couldn’t hold back the tears, I wanted to have that, I wanted to hold my child while they sang softly in my ear, I wanted the love that I felt for my niece in a child of my own…I’m making myself cry just thinking about it…it was a very difficult thing to deal with.
I’m going to veer off my story for a minute and also explain my state of mental well being (or lack thereof) during the process. I basically hid myself from most people during my treatments (I even removed myself from Facebook for 6 months because I didn’t want to deal with 10,000 more pregnancy announcements before mine). It is a hard enough thing to deal with by ourselves but I think I would rather deal with it by myself than with most other people (there are some exceptions!). I would imagine it’s very difficult to think of something to say to someone when you have NO CLUE what they are going through. The emotional strain this takes on a couple is more than I can describe in words…this desire to go through anything to get what we wanted no matter what the cost emotionally, financially, and physically is not all too common in people and trying to relate to something they never had to deal with is probably very uncomfortable so more often than not a seemingly harmless statement is relayed but it is not often the best thing to hear by someone in this position. A little advice to those who may have someone they love going through this…instead of saying “just relax and it will happen” or “my sisters, best friends, cousins, neighbor did IVF 6 times and ended up getting pregnant by themselves” or “you can always adopt” or my favorite “I have enough of my own, why don’t I just give you one of mine” how about you say “I am so sorry you have to go through this, I may not know how you feel or what you are going through but I just want you to know that I am here for you and if you need someone to talk to I will listen”…this will go so much further than those other statements because, let me tell you, we have heard them all and then some and each time I hear them I try to hold back the she-hulk from lashing out! Also, prank pregnancies…not funny…I have seen more of them this year than any other year (probably because I wasn’t paying attention previously) and it really hits hard…it is no joking matter especially to those who have spent so much time, money, and emotion on this. I just ask that you think about what you are saying before you say it as you could be (inadvertently) causing pain to someone.
OK…on to round 2.
After dealing with the loss and healing, emotionally, for a couple months (and saving a butt load of money again) Joe and I decided it was time to try this one more time. We took some precautionary steps and did more tests and procedures (one of which was very painful) before diving back in so that we knew our T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted (and most importantly to give me some piece of mind – all of this is described in my blog so I won’t get into specifics). I also wanted to surround myself with positive energy; I was/still am so done with negativity. I decided to just let go of all the negatives in my life. I stopped cursing. I removed myself from negative situations. I kept a positive attitude. Most importantly, I stayed calm no matter what the scenario and thought rationally and never reacted immediately…and trust me when I say I think someone was testing my patience to see if this was for real…it was. I plan on doing a humorous post soon on IVF bloopers (maybe not so funny to others but you need to have humor in your life to overcome some situations).
After 10 days and over 30 needles it was time for the procedures. Eggs came out, eggs got fertilized, embryos went back in…3 went back in to be exact (R2, D2, & C3PO as we named them). We were informed that this cycle went so much better than the first. The nurse even told me after the transfer that she just knew this was going to work because I had so much positive energy surrounding me. Both procedures went more perfect than they could imagine…it was “textbook”. Unfortunately none of the other embryos made it to the freezer as they weren’t of the minimum quality to make it. Why add extra expense and heartache if the doctor knows that the embryos won’t survive the freeze? Joe seemed a little more upset with that news than me but I look at it this way…last time our embryos all stopped growing on day 3…this time on day 6 they were still growing but they were not of good enough quality to make it. The BEST embryos went back into the environment where they would better thrive…and here we are.
I can’t say that I enjoyed this ride but I definitely can say that it was worth it. We will have our end result. We will be parents soon. Now I get to enjoy the journey of pregnancy, something that I have been waiting for many years to happen.
To those who feel I have neglected them for whatever reason, I am truly sorry. Secluding myself was the only way I could handle this in order to avoid the inevitable question of “What’s wrong?” and I just was not able to share it openly. To those who think they are alone in this world because of their struggles, I can assure you that you are not. I started my blog to get everything off my chest and I felt so much better when doing so. The community here is so supportive and uplifting I was thrilled to update and share the good and the bad with everyone because I knew that no matter what the result I would have support from others who are or have been in my shoes. There were a few people that I placed my trust in when I needed someone to talk to and it was so nice to just share my struggles with them and have someone to listen. And if anyone ever has any questions on what we went through, I am here. I will always be here. Depending on what study you read, as many as one in six couples deals with infertility in some form. We are one in six. It is a very lonely world and if you need me, I can help make your world a little less lonely.
Thank you to all of those who kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to all of those who gave me hope. Thank you for all the crossed fingers and toes! Words can’t express how grateful I am. We finally did it!
I’m going to be a mommy and Joe is going to be a daddy.