IVF #2 officially kicked off today. It's a bit sooner than we anticipated but I'm at the mercy of mother nature. I went for baseline ultrasounds and everything is normal and looking good. In 2 weeks I have to donate 14 vials of blood so they can make a serum to be used for our co culture. Being a certified needle-phob, I'm not exactly looking forward to it....then again I'm not looking forward to any of this. Unlike most of you, I can't get pregnant for free or painfree. It was painful writing out that five digit check...it's even harder the second time around. It's still incredibly difficult for me to not become angry at those who make having a baby seem so easy.
This round of IVF we are trying co-culture. Instead of growing our embryos on the medium in the petri dish they normally use, they are going to harvest and grow my endometrial (uterine) cells. The theory is that this will provide a more natural environment for the embryos to grow on top of....the better the embryo, the more of a chance I have of becoming pregnant. Long gone are the simple days of having sex to get pregnant. It's the norm for us now to associate petri dishes and uncomfortable procedures with making a family...talk about a total mood killer. Instead of one man to make a baby, I have a whole team of them (and a few women). Science is amazing....it'll even be more amazing if this actually works this time. In about 3 weeks, I will have a biopsy to collect some uterine cells. Biopsies are never pleasant, especially when you're awake, but it's minor compared to the rest of it. Somehow they use my collected blood and uterine cells and grow them until time of egg retrieval. The whole IVF process this time will take several weeks, but at least the hormone injections won't be for another month.
As of now, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. We didn't exactly hit our financial goal and had to put some of our IVF on charge....nothing like charging a baby on a credit card. This isn't exactly how I envisioned being in debt. Hopefully it will work this time as I can't imagine paying monthly installments for something we don't have. Each bill, I'd be reminded what happened....or didn't happen. I'd much rather be saving my money for future baby-gear, day care, etc.....but this is my reality right now. For those of you who had kids the easy way....be thankful. Chris and I are doing our best at holding up emotionally. The past 6 months have by far been the hardest few months or our lives...we have good and bad days but are learning to navigate through this. I anticipate the next few months could even be harder depending on our outcome. Due to alot of reasons, mostly financial, we doubt there is another IVF in our future. So much of our lives and happiness is riding on this. I'd be lying if I didn't say I am a nervous wreck inside!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Our next attempt for a miracle is right around the corner....I should be going to the doctor any day and have already started acupuncture. Naturally my emotions are running more rampant as our fate of whether or not we get a chance to be parents is decided. It's a crap-shoot really. It could happen and then again, it may never happen. Waiting is the hard; not knowing what our fate will be is even harder. There are times when I feel fine, when I don't let my emotions get the best of me, when I can walk down the diaper isle without feeling sorry for myself, when I can stand next to a pregnant woman next to me in the grocery store and not break down, when I am thankful for the life I DO have. But there are times when I'm downright sad, angry even, times when I have hit rock bottom and literally wanted to die, times where I spend days crying only to pull it together long enough to go to work or hang out with friends. Most of what I write naturally comes to me on not so good days, so that being said, I'm not a basket-case all the time. If you truly know me, you know that our battle with infertility takes up a huge chunk of our lives and who we are but it doesn't define us as people; it's what I talk about MOST of the time, but not ALL the time. I'm capable of being normal, feeling normal and alot of the times suppressing my feelings so I can attempt to live a semi-normal life. But there are times when things get the best of me I feel things such as intense sadness and harbor anger inside about the cards we've been dealt, about the unfairness of it all. We all know life isn't fair, but that cliche is easy for people to say and lecture people about until you are on the receiving end of the unfairness. Unfortunately these feelings tend to come out of nowhere sometimes and present themselves at the most inopportune moments. There are times when I hear people say phrases like "I took my son to the baseball game last night" or "my kids love that movie". Knowing that I may never get to speak those phrases that start with "my son" or "my daughter" or "my kids" is a hard pill to swallow because it's something I want so badly. Knowing that I may never get a chance to actually experience these things is even worse. When I hear others talking about their families, I can't help to feel like an outcast or misfit. I feel like a failure because my body can't do with it's intended to do...what seems so easy for everyone else. I know there are thousands of people in my shoes, but let's face it....I'm the minority and none of these people are in my immediate circle. Because of this, it's easy to feel isolated and alone. I'm surrounded by people who have exactly what I desire. A part of me dies when I hear people talking about their children or grandchildren, pregnancies, family vacations, or just the day to day grind of family living. I don't hate these people but AM insanely jealous that they unknowingly have what I can't. I know I can't isolate myself from the world or place earplugs in when people bring up baby talk....but it's hard, SO hard sometimes to hear. I know it's something I must work at and it will take practice and time to heal but not everyone is so patient or understanding all the time. ...or even knows what's going on. I hope and know that with time this will become easier, but it's hard to wait. I know what's it's like to wait for something you want to happen, for something you want so badly that never seems to come. If I could find a word better than disappointment, that would be it. I know what it's like to have days turn into months and months turn into years. I know having children isn't a race but when everyone around you is having oodles of babies and you are constantly reminded your biological clock is ticking, it sure seems that way. I know what it's like to feel grateful for what you DO have and happy for others who have more, yet angry at the same time. I know what it's like to feel like a monster because you are so incredibly jealous and have to remind yourself to be happy for them and at the same time hope with every ounce that your day will come too.
As a woman it's my God given right to have children...only it's not....nothing is guaranteed. It makes you feel less of a woman. On the occasion that I get the "why don't you have kids yet" lecture or seeing the judgement across people's faces when I tell them I don't have children, it breaks you down even more. On the occasion where I get well meaning advice like "it'll happen when it happens" or "it all happens for a reason" or "I know you'll be a mom one day" or "why don't you adopt" it breaks you down even more.....because it's NOT that easy. I live it so I know it. Walk a day in my shoes....or a day in anyone's shoes of something you yourself aren't faced with day in and day out and dare to change your judgements, preconceived notions, and advice. Knowing your reproductive system works and that you can have kids is easy to take for granted...until you can't. While I know that raising children is the hardest job in the world and won't be all filled with lollipops and roses, I at least want the chance to get to experience that. I know there will be times when I will complain and think "I did this to myself, this is what I wanted", but I know the joys of raising a child will far surpass those feelings. I just want to be given a chance. It seems so unfair that the decision made for me, that there are plenty of people out there who have children who don't even want them...and. I. can't.
One thing I am grateful for is the perspective of life I have since dealing with this. I work with disabled people so I'm not naive to knowing there are people out there who have things worse than I do. While I AM grateful for what I do have, I can't help feeling a huge piece of me is missing. Infertility has made me appreciate the life I do have, makes me realize others have struggles too and make me sensitive to that. Everyone has their demons and struggles and has causes that are important to them. No one thing trumps another but when everyone around you has children it's easy to forget that. I am thankful for the great support I've been given over the past few months. There are some amazing people in my life who help me get through this in big and small ways and I am thankful for each and everyone. One way or another, with or without children I will come out of the other side. So yes to be honest sometimes well-meaning advice does hurt my feelings....I know it's hard to know what to say and when to say it. I acknowledge that, appreciate it and offer some leniency to those well meaning comments. But please say something to me. I need support even if it's just a simple hug, a hand on the shoulder or an "I'm sorry you have to go through this".