You know that moment when you feel like your life is overwhelming and you can't get a foothold on it, then something happens that reminds you, life will be okay. So I have had a few good cries over the loss of our embryos. One was to my mom (sorry Mom) she was sweet and bought me flowers. Another was a couple nights ago. Little Miss had gone to bed, tears started welling up and Kevin was away on business, then I got a text.
It was from my guy.
He wrote the line he used on me before he got the guts to ask me out. Just one line, it was silly and a personal joke at the time. That one line made me laugh through my tears. That's how I have made it through my entire life, laughing through the tears. A gift I did not learn until sometime in my adulthood.
Many are probably wondering where we will go from here.
So, I was transparent through my ivf journey, and as it began, so now it ends. The embryos did not make it. Kevin and I have decided through our next journey, it will go back to being just us. No open transparency. We don't know where we are going from here, but we decided this will conclude our open IVF journey with all of you. Thank you for all your love and support. We appreciated it! I am unsure our next steps, but please, we'd rather not talk about it openly, as we have a lot to wrap our heads around, decisions to make. Thanks!
Tomorrow, my future children (assuming they result in pregnancy) will be conceived (during church - just not at church, so they most likely will be angelic beings, my friend Dawn told me so!)
This thought has reminded me of the statistic I have often heard that only 20 percent of naturally made embryos result in pregnancy - half in which miscarry, so I am trying to think positive when I think my chances are 54 percent per embryo although miscarriage rate is comparable.
The medicine I took last night has probably been the most potent of the drugs I've been on. I have been tired all day with slight nausea. I also am severely bloated, very uncomfortable. I am looking forward to tomorrow to remove this feeling that a bowling ball is sitting on my pelvis.
Tomorrow, they will remove the eggs, by Monday they will be able to tell me how many were healthy eggs and how many they fertilized. Kevin and I get to determine the cap amount (the most we'd be willing to have fertilized). The only reason it would be different than that amount is if eggs don't fertilize, which is a very real possibility. Even when an egg and sperm meet, that does not always result in an embryo - magic has to happen (in the words of the nurse). So many variables, so many things to affect the outcome.
I am not nervous, just uncomfortable. I'll be taking a cocktail of meds in the morning, a valium tonight, and then they will give me a similar drug they give to those having a colonoscopy.
Then we wait... for two months... minimum.
Today was my third ultrasound this week. Everyone was super nice and happy, maybe because it was Friday. I didn't see the doctor I hired, but a different one. It was fine by me. Still prefer the small business feel, but this is okay.
I went in and was glad to see the same ultrasound nurse. I really like her, she remembers me, and the familiarity makes me feel comfortable. Before she did any measurements she said, "Wow, you are so close to being able to do IVF." She shared her own story, she now has twins. Later, as I walked through the halls, a few other nurses I've met along the way, mentioned they heard how close I was, which made me feel special and gave me that small business feel. I'm also curious how many people were there as the ultrasound tech talked to the doctor, but hey, I liked it.
Back to the ultrasound, after checking my eggs, she then went to look at the uterus, and said, "Oh, bummer, it doesn't look like its going to happen this month." She made this news not feel so bad with her sweet demeanor and charming talk. She had me sit in a consult room, where I waited for the doctor. I felt good about what she shared with me, just a little bummed.
I got Dr. D today, which is by far my favorite doctor, and the one I've seen most frequently. He also gave me similar news. I felt good about it... well that is until I left and reality sunk in.
Today, I am on day five (or is it six?) of my shots. Tomorrow. I go in for another ultrasound and blood work. My last results were all good. I'd give you the stats, but they wouldn't mean much to you.
I'm focusing on laying low. At the beginning of the shots, my body reacted harshly and I had trouble handling the emotions that came with it. The last two days I have felt like myself. I feel in control of my mood and my thoughts. This was a relief since I upped one of the hormones and started a third. I thought for sure it would keep me in my funk. I now take one shot in the morning and two at night.
My saving grace is my babysitting jobs. They keep me busy and keep my mind off of everything. I'm trying to plan lots of activities, hoping that it will keep me from thinking.
Physically, I feel cramping. Truth is I feel cramping ninety five percent of days (slight exaggeration), which is in part due to scar tissue from my past surgeries, cysts, and who knows what else. Although this seems a little more pronounced, so I think its related to the hormones.
I have read that you often will have pregnancy symptoms while doing the shots, truth is I have none of the typical pregnancy symptoms, unless not being able to think clearly and rationally is one of them.
Despite this being the biggest thing in my life at the moment, my mind has been on one of three topics, none of which have anything to do with pregnancy or IVF. It's amazing, no matter how big our stresses and worries are, there is someone going through far worse. Pregnancy or not, I am blessed.
I know if I get pregnant, my life will only change for the better. If I don't, its not like my life will be forever altered. What this tells me, if my biggest problem today will only end in one of two ways, neither being irreparable damage to my heart or life, then I need to thank God for this unique experience. My thoughts and prayers are with people who are having true hardships.
Please continue to pray for Little Miss (she is getting hopeful... yay), that it will result in a pregnancy, that I can maintain clear thinking, and if it doesn't work that we will know what direction God would like us to go from there.
Maybe it's the hormones, maybe its because today is the first moment I have had a chance to stop and reflect on the process, but the emotions have hit... and they have hit hard.
Am I excited... no!
Am I scared... like you wouldn't believe.
I don't want to do this again. I don't want to hear yet another no. I am so afraid that at the end of all this, I will have gone through it all for nothing. I don't believe its going to work (yet at times I do), and I need someone to believe for me during the times I am too weak. I need a hug. I need to be allowed not to smile. I need to be allowed to just cry without anyone hearing or seeing. I am afraid that if I announce that I don't think it will work, that I will jinx it and it won't work, because I've showed doubt. I'm afraid to post this, because people will think I'm less than who they thought I was. I'm afraid to say goodbye to yet another means of growing a family. I am afraid my life will not be the life I thought it would be. I am afraid that if I let myself cry, I won't stop. I am afraid if I admit that I don't want to do this, people will think I shouldn't. I am afraid it will work, but I will miscarry. I am afraid of a stillborn. I am afraid of a premature baby. I am afraid of child with a life threatening defect. I am afraid people will tell me not to fear because fear is not from God. I am afraid I will damage relationships, because I'm not thinking clearly. I am afraid if I let people know my fears, they will say I am a complainer. I am afraid people will know I am afraid. I am afraid...
Truth is things don't work out for me. This is mostly pessimism, but there is a lot of truth to it too. For the most part, I love where my life has lead, but things don't turn out. Even in my strongest moment, I'm well aware I'm just seconds away from my life being completely and utterly changed forever. All of ours are, really.
I don't want to hear any platitudes. I don't want to hear, "be strong," "don't worry."
I want to hear you can be weak, I will be strong for you.
I am weak. I am afraid, I am alone.
I was told once, its good to be transparent. This is me being transparent at this moment. An hour from now, I probably will be laughing and strong. I will be optimistic and excited. That is me most the time.
But right now, this is me.
Tomorrow night, between six and eight, I will give myself the first two shots for IVF.
I feel weird saying this, but I am not excited, scared, nervous, or any of the expected feelings. In fact, I have not put much thought into it. Maybe it's the ten years that led up to this. I have gone through such a gamut of emotions that I don't have any left.
Or maybe, it's because it doesn't seem real. You know the first few days after someone dies. You know they are gone, you know you will never see them again, but the pain and grief have not yet hit you.
Or maybe it's because there is a part of me that figures this whole ordeal won't result in a child. I couldn't tell you how many times we have thought that our family was going to grow, we waited, we expected, and then nothing.
So many people are sure that we are going to get pregnant. They obviously have not gone through what I have, because they wouldn't share the same optimism if they had. It's refreshing and makes me happy. I truly appreciate everyone's support. This was our main reason for sharing. To be positive when we are not feeling it, and being there if it does not work. Either way, we have to mentally prepare ourselves for both if it doesn't work or if it does work.
I've been thinking of names again, which says there is a part of me that thinks it will work. I also have been considering my options if it doesn't. I have even thought of having Little Miss be an only child. There is a point when you do need to give up the pursuit - when you need to prepare yourself for the rest of your life. Ironically, Kevin and I have not discussed it.
So tomorrow, life will go on as normal. I will be busy, busy, busy. Pause, give myself the shots, go back to life.
I'm sure the feelings will hit me. I'm sure they are brewing somewhere inside me. Even though I stopped to write this blog. My thoughts have gone in and out of the other things going on in my life. Maybe its good I'm so busy these days. It keeps me from obsessing, worrying, stressing.
Still, please pray. Pray it will work, pray that we will be emotionally fine, and by the way, I know in the past I had said I didn't want to talk about it. I now feel comfortable, feel free to ask questions. I am at peace with things and less anxious about questions. Also, don't forget to pray for Little Miss in all this. This process will effect her in unique ways.
I have yet to meet with my actual IVF doctor. Every appointment seems to be more convenient for every other doctor than the one I actually hired. So today, I met with his associate (Dr. D) , whom ironically was my first choice, but was too busy when I picked doctors.
This neither upsets me nor annoys me, but rather a reminder of why I preferred my original fertility doctor. He met with me every time.
This new place is run more like a big business, which is something I generally avoid. I sometimes meet with just a nurse never even seeing a doctor. The nurses change from visit to visit, the consultation specialist is never the same, and so far I have met with a doctor three times, and all three times there was a different doctor. This doesn't exactly bother me, but makes me feel disconnected from the office. I was very attached to my last doctor and his nurses, even his office staff. At this new place, I'm just another patient. They don't know my story, just my chart. That's okay, but I do miss the personal connection with a doctor.
I had an appointment today for IVF.
The Plan: Do an ultrasound, meet with nurse, decide IVF start date.
Outcome: Did an ultrasound, met with nurse, did not decide IVF start date, because...
Therefore, I get to go again, next Friday, where they will assess whether my cyst has shrunk. If it has, then we may just wait until it disappears. If it has not, then I get to have it drained. Either way, the minimum delay is about a week and a half. So instead of a mid-June date, we are looking at a late June early July date.
Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I could have gotten worse news. I'm only mildly concerned. Just another day in the waiting game. I've waited four years (since we adopted Emily) and ten years since I first tried get pregnant. What is another week and a half. Right?
Today, from the most unlikely source, I was discouraged about our upcoming plans of IVF - on Mother's Day of all days. It was not a disproving statement, but a passive statement about the odds being against us and not sure the money is well spent. This was from the same person who discouraged us doing foster care. It makes me wonder how often, I, myself, have discouraged somebody through thoughtless words. Too often I speak without thinking about how the words impact others. I wish I could be a more positive influence.
I have to admit, the feelings of discouragement filled me for only a brief second, until I reminded myself of Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. Something I have been thinking about A LOT.
My entire life, I have never been able to take the road everyone else took. I have always felt like the black sheep.
When you are young and the black sheep, you think something is wrong with you. When you're older, you begin to realize how blessed you are as a result. Sometimes my road was picked for me, for, "we make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps," Proverbs 16:9. Other times, I clearly went against the grain on my own accord.
Not all roads were pleasant, but all roads were worth the travel.
So this year, I will be making two journeys, each through a road less traveled. They may lead to heartache or hardship, but I do believe, just as the great poem says, it will make "all the difference."
After six years of infertility, she was blessed with the adoption of her oldest daughter who now is a teenager. Six years later, she finally became a mother a second time, this time with a baby through a donated egg and ivf. Throughout that time, she fostered nine babies and toddlers, met wonderful women who helped her grow, and learned to rely on Jesus. She started this blog with the hope that she could share her joy, experience, and willingness to grow with others, whether they battle infertility, toddlers, or teens.