It is so hard to believe that the time is finally here and that we will be reunited with our babies. It seems I have waited months and months for this next step. I have had so many emotions leading up to this moment; excitement, hope, fear, and anxiety, but today I am letting that all go and embracing our new adventure…
So last month I read “The Girl on the Train” and I found it pretty hard to read. The main character Rachel had infertility issues and after a failed IVF, she became an alcoholic and her marriage fell apart. Reading her story and her experience totally hit home and I fear that if the infertility train does not pull out of the station, it will break me.
People truly do not understand the emotions and the weight of all of the feelings one experiences when trying to have a baby and not succeeding or knowing why you are not succeeding. I am dealing with a perfect example of this currently. Someone close to me who knows how hard I have been working to remain positive and have a good attitude, told me last week that I am depressed and should speak to someone about it. This really hit me to my core and rattled my cage a little bit. I wake up everyday, put on clothes and a smile and try to not show on the outside the fact, that some days I feel like my insides are dying. When you want something so bad, work so hard to get it, and cannot find a reason why your efforts are not working, you have to fight the urge to throw in the towel everyday. Some days I succeed and others I do not, I am not going to apologize for that fact.
Three weeks ago before I went out of town for work, I found out that my acupuncturist was leaving the practice. I was heartbroken. Over the past year, she has changed my view on acupuncture/eastern medicine and showed me that it really does work to quiet the body and the mind. I have not left the practice as they specialize in fertility and I have been assigned a new acupuncturist. I am giving her a chance and hope that we will have a good connection as well with time.
Last week one of my closest infertility friends had her miracle baby. I am beyond happy for her and her husband that they have a beautiful baby boy, but when his due date arrived and it was finally real that he is here in the flesh, I lost it. Not because I am unhappy for her but because I am sad for us that we might not ever get to have a birth story or hold our miracle baby in our arms.
So before my cycle started, I decided that I was going to try to put these emotions aside and bring positive thoughts to my body and mind. I went to the Vitamin Store and purchased what seem like a small fortune on supplements. I have been trying to do yoga every morning and add in meditation. I have been trying to remain positive and continue to chant mantras to myself that “I will grow and birth a healthy baby.” However as we get closer and closer, I am starting to feel the anxiety and fear of failing again.
Today that fear and anxiety snowballed with the results of the election. I respect that we all have our own political views and opinions as this is what makes this a great democracy, however I find it very hard to understand how people can get behind a candidate who has clearly voiced his hate and dislike for so many Americans. I had one of the worst nights of sleep in a long time and woke up at 3am in tears and fearful for my wife and I’s future. All I could do was pray and try to go back to sleep as I knew I had a busy day today and needed to nurture my body with sleep.
This morning we had our 2nd monitoring ultrasound and all is a go for us to proceed with another frozen transfer a week from today. Knowing that I will be reunited with my babies soon is exciting and scary. I want so bad for this to be our time but with today’s election results I am scared that our children will be hurt, punished or worse in a world of hate because they have two moms. So in order to create a welcoming safe environment for my children to grow, I will be turning off all social media. I cannot allow the anger, sadness and hate that surrounds this country to make my body toxic to my family’s future. We have our beautiful house on its way and I want to make sure our children’s home is just as ready.
Please pray that my doctor will have an easy and successful transfer, my body will be relaxed and accepting of our babies, that our babies will be strong and ready to make a home for the next nine months, that they will grow into healthy beautiful babies that I will bring into this world loved and healthy, and that they grow up in a country that allows them to be the miracles that they are…
4 years ago this month, we submitted our new patient paperwork and started our infertility journey. It is crazy to believe that four years have gone by so quickly and we have yet to experience the joy of a positive pregnancy test.
We finally had our WTF appointment and yet again our RE does not want to change anything about our protocol. She has not written off our chances and thinks we are still going down the right path to success. She did tell us that if we go through our last four embryos (which still look good) and do not have success than she would like us to do another round of IVF with genetic testing. This way they can determine if it is or embryos or uterine implantation problems, as all looks good on paper right now. Let’s hope we get success and that we do not have to go down this route.
I did get good news after complaining to the practice and our RE regarding our financial employee benefit. The practice manager called me and said that she agreed that the benefit should have been better communicated and they agreed that if we do have to do a 3rd round of IVF they will give us the employee benefit cost, which is easily $5k less.
I have started going back to acupuncture and realized how much I missed it. I am however very sad to find out that my acupuncturist is leaving the practice. I have really developed a good trusting relationship with her and I am going to hate to see her go. She is not only a great acupuncturist but has been a great sounding board and beacon of support with our failures over this past year.
This weekend we celebrated our six year wedding anniversary. It is so crazy to believe that six years ago in front of our family and friends we confessed our love for each other no matter what the obstacles. It seems like that day of love, laughter, tears and joy was yesterday. I couldn’t be luckier to have one of the best wives in the world. No matter what we have each other and the love we share.
However, as we look back at our wedding photos, there a lot of friends that we have lost touch with over these past four years. A lot of them do not understand what we have endured month after month to try to become parents and the support, rather than criticism, that we need along this journey.
Regardless of those drifting relationships, I will continue to push through this journey and we will continue to grow as people and a couple whether we are parents or not.
Tomorrow is another day that I dread every year (just like Mother’s Day, and kid-theme holidays). It is the first day of school for kids. I understand this is an exciting time for kids, their parents and teachers that actually enjoy their jobs. I was that kid years ago that loved the first day of school, I would plan my outfit, get excited about my school supplies and get so excited that I couldn’t sleep the night before.
Now this day brings on a completely different set of feelings. My heart aches as I drive through the three school zones on my way to work, seeing all of the kids and their parents documenting this important day. Now with school media, my feeds are covered with cute pictures of excited/scared kids holding a sign saying first day of whatever grade they will begin.
While these pictures are adorable and something I would so enjoy as a parent, instead these pictures are like knives to my heart and nails on a chaulkboard. A constant streaming reminder of a dream that has not come true. So to all of my family, friends and acquaintances, I apologize for not liking your first day of school photo. Not because I don’t like the photo, not because it isn’t adorable, but because as someone who struggles with unexplained infertility and the uncertainty of ever being a mom, it hurts way too much to see these photos…so excuse my hiatus …
So this week has been a challenge yet again. I feel like this has become my norm by the end of every week. I always attempt to start the week off on a positive note and then the feelings, stress and disappointment creep back.
I signed up for a TTC card exchange. It has been nice to get a word of encouragement from people who are not familiar with our struggle. However, as I continue to follow the TTC community, I have seen more and more positives and not change in our situation.
I have been avoiding the WTF appointment with our RE as I know she probably does not have a solution or an explanation. At this point, I am not sure if it is worst to not know or to be told that it will not happen.
This weekend we are hanging out with friends for their kids birthday. I love these kids but it stings to be around families. All week we have been around our favorite kids (old neighbors came to visit) and it breaks my heart every single time to see how happy my wife is with these kids, knowing that I am failing to make this happen for us. I have continued to try over and over again and not succeeded.
While we were with our friends the topic of surrogacy came up. Our friends have offered to be a surrogate for us before and while I greatly appreciate the gesture, I am having a hard time even considering it. I know that my wife and them do not mean anything by it, but bringing up this conversation and discussing it as our next step makes me feel that they have all given up on me. They do not believe my body will succeed and that we need to think about other options.
While all of the negative cycles continue to bring me down, it is even harder to accept that I will not carry our child. That I will not feel that bond of life growing inside of me, the experience of child birth, or the closeness bond of breast feeding. I am not ready to give up on this dream…
Sorry I have been MIA. After our failed FET in April, I was feeling very alone and isolated, even by the infertility community, so I needed to take some time for personal reflection away from the “noise.”
Then life got super busy…before we knew it was June. We decided to sell our home. Another birthday crept up and we spent it at the beach just the two of us. Then off to Boston for work and a weekend in NYC to visit friends and celebrate Pride…let’s just say it was a busy June.July we spent getting our home ready to sell. Who knew you could accumulate so much crap in 10 years. It felt great to declutter our life and get rid of the bad and old.
We were convinced that with the changes made that we would for sure be changing our luck in the infertility department.
We went in for our third FET on July 20th. Let’s say that the transfer was a comedy of errors by far. Our clinic has had a lot of turn over with the front desk and nursing staff, so the new people do not know us or my history. A nurse called the day before to confirm and remind me to show up with a full bladder, I had to remind her that I was going to be sedated and thus would not have a full bladder since I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight. Then we get to the clinic the next morning to check in and the front desk representative makes me give a urine sample. 🙄 We get back to the prep room and the anesthesiologist had to put in my IV. Which he promptly put in my hand. Ouch! Where is the nurse!?! Then our RE comes by to tell us that they had to thaw three of our embabies to get two viable ones for transfer (so now we are down to four), so we lost one…I wanted to cry but held it together. Then she asked if my bladder was full and I told her no since they made me give a urine sample. She just shook her head and walked out the room to go fuss someone out. The clinic had given the front desk instructions to make sure they got urine samples for a hysterscopy procedure, not a transfer! She came back and said they were ready but the med tech was not around, so I had to carry my own IV bag as I walked back to the procedure room. All Heather and I could do was shake our head at the disfunction of the day.
They do the procedure and bring me back to the room after waking me up. Our RE told Heather all went well with the transfer but that I woke up in the middle of the procedure and I was feisty. Umm what happened? What does that mean? I don’t remember waking up so who knows what I did when I woke up on the table 😰.
Since I tend to be quite stressed, I took off the week of the transfer. I spent the days before the transfer focused on getting things done around the house to get it ready for listing at the end of the month. Then I had two week days and the weekend off after our transfer. Heather took my work laptop and hid it and I removed all of my work emails from my phone, so I would not be tempted or frustrated with work.
The day before the transfer I had a massage which was great. Then I had acupuncture the night of transfer day and 2 days after, so needless to say I was feeling good about my relaxation and low stress levels surrounding this transfer.
I went back to work the Monday after and our Associate Director immediately told me how much they missed me and she appreciates all that I do, since she had to deal with my frustrating/difficult clients while I was out. That evening our realtor came by to take pictures of our house and told us that we did a great job getting it ready and that it looked great and she was pretty sure it would sell fast. That was a big weight lifted as I had a complete progesterone emotional breakdown the night before worried that we would not be ready to list the house.
Throughout the nine days post transfer, I felt cramping, slight nausea and breast tenderness. As always deep down I was trying to remain positive and that I was growing two lives. Last Friday, we both decided to work from home and headed off to our blood test at 9am. We asked the medical tech to remind the fellow (our clinic is part of a teaching hospital and has fellows) that when they call with the results, if I do not answer that they need to leave the message on my voicemail so that Heather and I can listen to it together. She said she would try to remind them. We tell the front desk specialist the same thing when we check out and she looks at us like we are aliens. Ugh incompetence. So on the way home, I sent an email to my RE and asked that she remind the fellow to leave a message.
Around 1:30, my cell phone rings…Heather and I both hold our breath and answer the phone. It is one of the fellows that we don’t particularly care for and she was like should I tell you now or call back and leave a message. Immediately we knew it was not…good news. I told her please tell us now and she said unfortunately your test was negative.
NEGATIVE!!! AGAIN?!? I immediately shut down and tried not to burst into tears. I had an acupuncture appointment and needed to calm myself to drive to the appointment. I went to acupuncture and told my acupuncturist the bad news. She was pissed off, upset and frustrated for us as well.
Since Friday, I am have been trying to concentrate on our house selling and not be in the infertility space. We listed our house last Thursday and had a showing that day. Since then we have a number of showings but no offers yet. Let’s hope the offer comes soon…we need some good news bad!
Birthdays are always hard for me, but they have been especially hard over the past three years. Each year I have hoped that I will get the ultimate birthday present of a healthy pregnancy and baby, and wished that the coming year would bring that gift wrapped in all the glitter, bows and joy.
Lately, work and life has been very challenging aside from our infertility issues. Due to the difficult past few months we have had, my wife took me on a short getaway to the beach. It was filled with great food, beach sunrises and sunsets, desserts and Rose.
It was exactly what I needed to take a step back and refresh, reflex and focus on what is important. I love my wife unconditionally and I am so luckily to have her to support me and be my cheerleader.
So this birthday, I celebrate the following:
– I have made it another year with good health
– I have a loving wife who is my greatest love, rock, cheerleader and best friend
– I have stuck to my commitment to better health choices with exercise, diet and acupuncture
– I have a stable, well paying job
– I have been able to travel and see new and exciting places
– I have the best furbabies who just want to give me unconditional love and snuggles
– I have a comfortable space to call home
– I have great friends and family that continue to show me that no matter what they will be there for me
So here is to all the good things that will come over the next year!!