“Gifts wrapped in sandpaper.” I had heard this term years ago and was reminded of it again a few weeks ago. The idea is that many of the experiences that make us who we are came from rough, undesirable times. How you view them can change your life, for the greater or not. This got me thinking about my diagnosis and journey through infertility.
Infertility is isolating, painful, full of mourning, and can literally rip someone apart (emotionally, physically, and spiritually). This has not been untrue for me. The seven year long journey that lead to my miracle babies was more difficult than I could ever explain. But I tried, through sharing my journey with family, friends, and anybody who would listen (or read) my blog. That opening up healed to heal and make my journey a little easier.
Then time came to try again and every fear a bad feeling of isolation came rushing back. And to people on the outside I assume it’s just another attempt. But with it comes a whole encyclopedia of emotion. Something I don’t think people understand unless you go through it yourself. Even at 15 weeks I still find myself questioning how things are going and if this is even real, despite constant morning sickness.
But, I realized something when I was reminded of gifts wrapped in sandpaper…my voice, my experience, and my two (soon to be three) miracles have shaped me in to an amazing, strong women who is willing to speak up for those that suffer silently (much like I did initially). This journey really has been a gift wrapped in sandpaper. And I am better for it!
As I make my way through this journey the fear and anxiety that infertility brings never really goes away. Yesterday marked 10 weeks gestation. That means I am really, truly pregnant with another mighty miracle. Modern medical science has provided me once again with the opportunity to bring life and love into this world. And while I battle terrible morning sickness (or should I say afternoon and night sickness, mornings are much easier to handle), I can’t help but revel in the fact that I was given this chance again.
With that said, there are real fears still lingering. We announced a little sooner then anticipated because my belly popped quickly, making me nervous as we aren’t really out of the safe zone yet. But, if I have learned anything on this journey, it is that opening up and accepting love and support can help you through most anything in life.
So, here is to modern medicine, and ALL Mighty Miracles created with love and test tubes!
It’s been a couple years since I have posted and in that time my life has changed. I am a tired but extremely happy mother of two-and-a-half year old twins. They are the light of my life. I wouldn’t trade the crying, giggles, tantrums, and snuggles for anything. Yet, the fear and anger of infertility hasn’t really gone away.
In August my husband and I decided we were going try for a third child. I made all the appointments, went through testing, and an FET in relative silence. I told only a few people what we were doing but wanted to keep things quiet this time around. Why? I really don’t have a good answer.
Early on in making our decision I was dealing with guilt. Wondering if I was being selfish and pressing my luck. Wondering why I wasn’t “happy” with what we already had or why I felt I needed another baby. Wasn’t our little family enough? An honestly, the answer to these questions could be: “Yes, I am happy with my little family.” But, why should I have to stop building on that perfection simply because I am not able to build the family in the traditional sense. People who do not struggle with make babies most likely don’t have to wrestle with these things…never second guess their decision to extend their family, never have guilt for wanting more.
I felt ashamed I was having guilt. I felt anger that I had to go through the process again. That I had to put thousands of dollars on a credit card for a single chance at making a baby. I had a lot of anger and resentment that my life isn’t like others and I can’t just make a decision to quietly get pregnant, wait for the 1st trimester to end, and then make a perfect Pinterest announcement like a normal person And on top of all of this, I face a lot of fear that things will not work out the way we want.
But, I realize now that I am not like everybody else. My life and the manner in which I build my family is mine, and sadly, like thousands of others . My struggle can prove to other people struggling that it is possible to build a family through IVF publicly. And in fact, can be more healing to do it openly than it is to hide it from the world. I have found that this cycle has been challenging for me and I have held in so much more than I did in my first two cycles. It doesn’t feel healthy. I needed to share that my journey continues.
I likely will never fully understand why my path at creating a family has to be so hard, but I have come to an acceptance that it is my reality.
I will never hide again. Because in hiding there is shame. I will not be ashamed. Because in shame there is wrong. And there is nothing wrong with me.
Friday morning as I was driving from one work location to another I was rear ended. My immediate reaction was to the lives inside me. The only thing that mattered was whether or not they were safe.
I drive a Subaru Legacy, a mid size sedan. The guy who hit me drives a GMC Sierra, aka “big ass truck.” Luckily he realizes how close he was to me and tries to change lanes. So instead of hitting head on he hit the passenger side and drove up onto my vehicle. The bumper, trunk, back windshield, and side panel are all destroyed. Auto shop says they will have the car for 10-12 business days so long as no parts are back ordered.
As for me and the little ones? After two hospital visits and some monitoring, ultrasounds, and cervical checks it seems the babies are fine and despite constant uterine tightening, I am not currently at risk for loosing the babies or preterm delivery. Thank God! It has been a stressful few days and even though things look fine it’s hard not to worry. I pray nothing changes and things move forward smoothly. Tomorrow is our anatomy scan and seeing them wiggle will ease a little oft fear.
It’s funny. I thought that once I made it past 12 weeks the heavy veil of infertility would lift and everything would be right with the world. Sadly, that was not the case.
Still, at 18 weeks, I find my struggles with infertility creep in daily. Though they present themselves differently now that I am pregnant they are here, real, and cause excessive fears.
Despite the fact that I continue to feel nauseous, deal with awful acid reflux, sleep with braces to help fight pregnancy induced carpel tunnel, and have a noticeable baby bump I still find it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I am pregnant. The babies are healthy and growing and the only concern my OBGYN has is marginal placenta previa (which should resolve). Still it’s hard to embrace fully because for so long there had been nothing but heartache.
I dream my next ultrasound finds a lack in heartbeats and my babies are gone. As are my hopes, dreams, and the family I have waited for. Anxiety raises before each doctor visit. And as I work on our nursery I feel excitement well up only to find fear push his way in.
Will this ever go away? Is it normal to feel this way with a pregnancy after infertility?
It’s been nearly 2 1/2 months since my last post. A month off was my initial plan, but sometimes life throws you a curveball and your plans change.
The past 7.5 years have been spent focusing on a seemingly unachievable goal. That focus brought with it pain, heartache, and many unanswered prayers. This past year we thought we found our answer through IVF only to experience a devastating loss. Procedures and medications took precedence.
December brought with it another chance at making our dreams of having a family a reality. I went into our FET with high hopes but a lot of uncertainty. After such a devastating fresh cycle in August my heart wasn’t fully ready to invest in the dream for fear the same path was in front of us. I was excited but didn’t really believe the outcome would be better then the one in August. I think that subconsciously I was protecting myself from pending heartache.
The days after my transfer were a LOT different then after my fresh transfer. I wasn’t uncomfortable, no cramps or bloating. I also couldn’t “feel” much of anything that could have been considered implantation. Sure, a few twinges here or there but nothing like I felt in August.
The wait for my first beta hcg was awful. I couldn’t home test because we did booster hcg shots and any home test would show up positive. Our first beta was a few days before Christmas and I was so scared of negative results and a ruined Christmas. But my fears were for not and my first beta cave back at 183! Three days later we were at 732 and our first ultrasound was scheduled.
At seven weeks we found out we were having twins. At 9 weeks a little fear of loosing them subsided. And by 12 weeks the realization that they are healthy finally sunk in. We are 14 weeks today. I have battled (and continue to do so) my share of nausea, heartburn, metallic mouth, sore boobs, water retention, and vomiting. But my little miracles are healthy and I take things day to day.
Excessive sleepiness takes hold around 8-8:30…which happens to be now. My pillow calls.
If you have ever taken Lovenox then you understand what i am about to say: my belly is on FIRE! That shot burns going in anc for a good 30 minutes after. My belly is bruised and miniature knots dot the surface. Thankfully Sunday is my last shot, regardless of how bloodwork comes back. For that i am thankful!
With that I wish everybody a happy and healthy holiday. I will be taking a break from blogging until after the holidays.
We have less then 72 hours before results from our first beta come in. I am nervous and scared for a variety of reasons. I wish that I was already off work for the holidays, it’s hard to concentrate and teach when I am obsessing over ever twinge, tug, or lack there of. I cannot POAS sine I had a booster hcg shot this weekend. But it may be just as well, how could I possibly work with results on either end.
Here’s to the dreadful 2 week wait!