Getting over the hump
When most people imagine their ideal life they picture certain milestones and achievements. When entering into adulthood most people envision their lives much like this: you graduate from high school, go to college or find a job you like, land your dream job (or at the very least something you like to do), get married to the love of your life and make a beautiful family together. But what happens if life doesn't go according to plan and you have no control over it? I've seen people I love or know live with a life changing illness, loss of a loved one, deal with an addiction, or struggle through a divorce; clearly things no one plans on or wants to happen. But I've usually been a bystander, merely looking in the window. I've always felt helpless in these situations and tried to praise God that even though my life wasn't perfect I was glad I wasn't dealing with their struggles. But now the tables are turned. I never thought anything "big" and life altering would happen to me...those things only happen to other people right? Wrong! Why do most people get married? My answer is because you love them more than anything else and can see yourself having a family together. For most couples, the main purpose of marrying someone you love is to make children with them. When Chris and I first had trouble getting pregnant, we both thought it was pass. Now that it's been years and it hasn't, reality has really sunk in that this may never happen for us. It's not easy to re-imagine what you are going to do with your life and to give up your dreams.
Unlike most of you reading this, our lives the past few months have been filled with doctors appointments, surgeries, procedures, injections, schedules based around my body, and many many tears of hurt, frustration and anger. After failing our first IVF attempt, we were both devastated. While we knew it wasn't a guarantee, we still hoped and prayed with every ounce of your being that things would work out. Sadly we don't have the resources to pay for countless attempts and I don't think our sanity would survive through all of it either. We know we have only one to two more tries and then we have to throw in the towel as painful as it is and as much as we may or may not want to.
I don't want everyone thinking all I do is sit around and cry, mope, and feel sorry for myself. I don't...at least not all the time. I've had many times where I've laughed, enjoyed life and have been happy. However unfortunately more often than not, it has been filled with more tears than I'd like to admit. You learn to get pretty good at hiding them and from time to time and pretending to be happy when your dying inside. No one wants to hang out with a "Debbie Downer". Thankfully, this blog has provided me with way to say things I can't otherwise choke out. As much as it hurts, the more "normal" I try to live my life sometimes the better it feels. I am trying my hardest to try to live life, enjoy things the best I can, and not take things for granted. But sometimes it's just plain hard and takes every ounce of courage to get it together. I don't want to "check out" on life since I already feel so much of it these past few years has been stolen and consumed by this disease called infertility.
Time is drawing nearer to our next cycle and phone calls and tests are being done in preparation for our August timeline. I've blocked out baby-making and our dreams for a family for the past few months after our IVF failure. It simply hurts to much to rehash it. Our IVF failure was a hard hard thing for me...for the both of us. By far it's been the most painful obstacle in my life and I'm sure Chris's. No one gets married with the idea this will happen in a marriage. But I thought I began to heal. At one point I nearly felt normal again. I really thought I was over the hump. I was thinking I was ready to play with the crappy cards I've been dealt and live childfree if this next attempt failed again. As a couple, Chris and I started to re-invent our new lives as just a family of two. We thought about our "second best" way of life and imagined the freedom to travel and do other things we probably couldn't with children. It seemed like even though it's not what we wanted, it would be ok...WE would be ok. We were both starting to begrudgingly accept it.
I've been told that healing is never a steady upward progression but filled with peaks and valleys and that with something like this, you truly never get over it. I guess I hoped they were wrong. Things were status quo until recently (that explains my lack of blogging). A lot has happened to trigger some pretty painful emotions and ironically all at once. I've had my 35th birthday. While it may not seem like a big deal, in infertility land it's the official drop off rate for fertility and failed IVF cycles. It's a big deal. It was also Father's Day. While not as hard as mother's day for me, it's still not how I imagined spending the day. I knew it was a hard day for my husband too. He's by far the best I know at hiding his sadness and disappointment when it comes to all this. Facebook is going to be the death of me. I learned of two birth announcements: one from a fellow IVFer whose cycle worked. While I'm happy for them, I'm just sad for me. Why not me too? As far as the other birth announcement, as bad as it is, I was mad that someone was one their second baby and I can't have even one. Again, I wish them no ill will but am just jealous as hell. I also learned of a pregnancy announcement from a friend. While I'm honestly ecstatic for them, I'm dying inside for myself. Why not me too? I've been trying SO incredibly hard for the same thing and am hit with month after month of disappointment, tears and loss of a dream. It's hard to hear others getting pregnant for free when I have to spend so much money on something that's not guaranteed. It's the most difficult thing to watch someone else live your dream. I won't lie when I say that each of these things took a piece of my heart away. Again, I wish no one ill will...I'm just grieving for myself. I know they didn't wish this upon me but it still doesn't make it any easier. It's a mixed bag of emotions and difficult to feel happy for someone else but horrible for yourself. It makes you feel like a bad person and a bad friend in a situation where you already feel bad all the time. Like some may think, I don't hate people with children or those who can have them, just understand that I'm just dying inside for myself. I'm grieving our loss that we are unable. It's hard to watch and be around others who have what you can't. A day after the pregnancy announcement, Mother Nature was kind enough to remind me I'm not pregnant...again...after 33+ months of trying. It's just not fair that it's so easy for some people. Mother Nature had bad timing or was really trying to mess with my head. The same week the rest of these things happened, I had to go for bloodwork for our next IVF cycle. In the waiting room was a pregnant woman. Ironic that she's there because she IS pregnant and I'm stuck there because I CAN'T get pregnant. It's so incredibly hard to get through the day without falling in a heap on the floor with constant reminders everywhere. I know not every week will be this hard and it seems everything happened at once. I hope it gets easier. It seems unfair that everyone I know will be enjoying their newborns, their families and their pregnancy in August while I'm injecting myself with needles for just the hope that I can. I just ask all the people who care about Chris and I to be patient and understanding through the next few months. This isn't easy.