Like most of us, my day was filled with a mountain of emotions. I know I am blessed to have a loving wife, a beautiful home, a good job, great friends and family, and for the most part good health. However, I found it very hard getting excited about Christmas knowing that the one thing I know my wife would love to have is a child of our own.
Being that this has been a difficult year for us with a parent lost, failed infertility treatments and the everyday stress of life, my wife surprised me with a beautiful Tiffany&Co smile necklace. I was so surprised and touched that all I could do was cry. She reminded me that through the storm, we still have each other and that we need to smile more. It is a great reminder that we are happy as the two of us and that we have to not let the delay of some of our dreams stop us from enjoying the beautiful life we have together.
Christmas has a rain cloud for me when it comes to my family. Five years ago my wife and I rushed home from her family’s Christmas to prepare a dinner for my family. That year, we were all ready and excited to spend Christmas with them because it would have been the first time my family spent Christmas at our house. As we waited for them to show up, the night got later and later. I called them a number of times and no one answered, so I figured they were not going to show up. Here we had rushed home, my wife prepared a lovely dinner and they couldn’t even show up. Shortly after I finally got them on the phone and I could tell they had no interest in really coming to my house so I yelled at them, told them don’t bother and hung up the phone. My wife and I ate dinner, put their gifts outside on the porch and sat in our house holding each other. Two hours later they showed up, but I refused to answer the door because I was so hurt. They finally took the gifts and left. That was the worst Christmas of my life!
That Christmas unfortunately forever stays in my brain when I think about my family. Last year, my sister was in between houses so needless to say my parents didn’t really have a place to stay, so after us living in our house for eight years, they finally decided to come spend the night at our home. Yet here is the kicker, my sister came with them….what the hell?!? You can’t spend the night or come to my house without my sister, why??!? Are you going to get the gay virus??!?
Knowing these two stories, this is the anxiety that I carry around dealing with my family and the holiday, so needless to say I was not the most excited about them coming over this year. My sister, nephews and parents were to come over for Christmas dinner and my parents were going to spend the night. Well around 1:30, my dad calls me and this is the conversation that takes place.
- Him – “Are you home?”
- Me – “Yes, we are waiting for you, what time are you coming?”
- “Well I want to ask you something?”
- “Can we change our night that we spend the night at the Satterfield lodge?”
- “Umm I guess”
- “We want to spend the night tomorrow night”
- “Umm ok, are you still coming for dinner?”
- “Yea, we are coming we will be there at 3:30”
3’o clock, I look on Facebook and my sister and mom have cooked at her house. 3:30, not here….4 not here…. 4:30 they finally show up. I was so annoyed that I couldn’t even be excited that they were here. My mom comes in and immediately starts going on and on about how I need to help her and my dad with their cell phones. Seriously, how about saying sorry that you are late; sorry that you switched plans on me, hope it is ok we stay tomorrow. None of that occurred. While my wife cooks, we talk about my dad’s health (he has MS and doesn’t take care of himself…ie see a Neurologist)and shoot the shit. Finally, I have enough of trying to explain to my dad the importance of his health and decided to give my nephews their gifts. That was the best part of the night, their faces lit up with excitement and I think they were truly shocked and excited. We ate dinner, which they enjoyed, since food is actually one of the things my family cares about. Afterwards, we watched a little bit of a movie, while my dad complained about his leg hurting because he didn’t have his muscle relaxers. They left shortly after. At no time did my sister, my mother or father say to myself or my wife, I am sorry that you two are going through what you are; or hope your procedure went well Tuesday, how are you feeling? Clearly, they don’t care, they just came over to get gifts, free food and clear their concscience…..Merry Christmas….
So when we discussed IVF Round 2 with our RE over the summer, she said she wanted to try everything possible to make sure we get the positive results we are all hoping for in the end. Just like a baby, we took our first baby steps to preparing my body yesterday. Our RE decided that she wanted us to undergo an endometrial biopsy. Research has shown that by performing this procedure prior to IVF that it can create a pocket for the embryos to implant after the transfer.
Research information on endometrial biopsies for IVF Endometrial Biopsy and IVF
The procedure went ok. As she thought beforehand they had trouble getting the catheter through my cervix since the biopsy one is not flexible and my cervix is curvy. So they weren’t able to pull out a piece of my endometrium like they wanted to, but they did do some scraping which will hopefully generate some pockets. She also went ahead and dilated my cervix to prepare us for the transfer in a few weeks.
I am feeling ok today physically but I have found that emotionally I am feeling quite vulnerable. As we prepare for this second round I find myself thinking about how we would have been weeks away or months away from meeting our peanut had our first round or FET been successful.
I thought I was doing pretty good until I found myself tearing up again today. My wife is getting her haircut and I noticed that her stylish is looking a little plump. The stylish proceeds to talk about her holiday plans and how she can’t drink and there is the confirmation. Here is a woman that just got married not even 5 months ago and is already pregnant. ugh! My wife apologized to me after we left and I told her I am not mad at her, just upset over the situation. Her stylish was weary to tell my wife at her last appointment that she was pregnant because she knows what we have been through. Are we now the “eggshells couple”?
The holiday season brings so many mixed emotions because it is about family, new life and hope, which I feel like we are missing. Don’t get me wrong, I know we are blessed for our family who loves and supports us as well as our extended family of friends that would do anything to help us change our situation. However, it is hard not to feel the hurt over all the family Christmas cards, pregnancy/birth announcements, and kid/parent Christmas traditions that we do not get to participate in since we can’t get over our infertility hurdle.
We took nine months off, traveled to some new places, experienced rest and relaxation, and changed our habits, all to prepare ourselves for IVF Round #2. My spirit and faith in our dream had been crushed in April and June. We were very positive and felt that all of the signs were present for us to finally be able to experience the joy of a child. Unfortunately things did not go our way and we were left wondering what we could have done differently.
July, August, and September were spent doubting every move and choice we had made. I began to feel like my world was closing in around me and with the stress of work, I really began to loose myself. I began to think that no matter what it wasn’t going to happen for us and that we were just meant to be a childless couple.
Since October, I have made some life changes to try to prepare my eggs for what is to come in Round 2. I went back to working out everyday, going to bed earlier and trying to follow a gluten free clean diet. I started acupuncture, which was probably the best decision ever made, to calm my spirit and prepare my eggs. I feel like acupuncture has really changed who I am and I will really miss it once we get going in this cycle. Through this practice, I feel like my soul is lighter and happier…all good things for going into this next round.
The past few days, there have been a couple of signs that I hope mean good things are yet to come. Bear and four leaf candy in our advent calendar and an empty nest in our Christmas tree. I will take it as our nest will no longer be empty because our four leaf clover is bringing a baby bear to us soon.
To learn more about Round One feel free to catch up on my old blog firstname.lastname@example.org