I haven’t mentioned my fertility journey on here in many months but need to share (perhaps over-share) my current state, mostly for myself, but perhaps for a few of you out there as well. This won’t be easy, or pretty, but writing is the one thing I can do to make myself feel a little better, help process what I’m going through fully and move on.
Over the past month we did our first round of IVF. And we found out this weekend that that little, perfectly awesome embryo just didn’t stick. To say I am gutted and devastated is an understatement. While I was cautious and even pessimistic (who? me???) about it working on our first try, a small part of me thought it would. I admit to being up nights thinking about how I’d tell Andrew, about the joy of being pregnant at Christmas and being able to give my parents the one thing I’ve been dying to give them- news of their first grandchild.
But here I am, hollow, wondering just how to pick myself back up again to try another time. Just thinking about starting all over again- month of daily multiple injections, dark 6:45 a.m. daily monitoring and another surgery makes my breath catch in my chest. But even worse is another two week wait, which I learned is the worst part of this entire process. The not knowing, the maybes, the bottles of O’Douls. The hope and the looming potential devastation. The lack of control. And then the ultimately terrifying thought of….what if this never happens for us?
Since I know people will ask, Andrew and I both have been tested up, down and sideways and nothing has come up wrong other than one “super sub-clinical” potential thyroid level that seems to have resolved itself. I have “a very high egg reserve” and Andrew’s boys are in the Michael Phelps category. I did acupuncture once a week. So of course my brain goes to… “you waited to damn long Erin”. I know many women who have had their first babies at 35 or older, but I still can’t help but think that I may have traded a baby for a New York Times Bestseller title. And while I could not be prouder of what I’ve accomplished, I can’t help but feeling like a massive failure where it concerns being female. My identity feels wrapped up in this one shortcoming. The feeling of regret in waiting for the “perfect time” is growing and swelling like a wave, cresting with every passing glance at baby-filled Facebook.
The life of someone going through infertility can be painfully lonely. Even while you sit in crowded waiting rooms, eying the chairs filled with other women traipsing through this messy, awful journey- it still is incredibly alienating. Especially when you are 35. Most of my friends already have children or are currently swollen with an impending life. Except for a couple of people, most of my friends seem to be fertility goddesses as well, pregnancy coming easy, if not miraculously. And despite their love and support which I appreciate more than I can say, I still feel alone in this fear and worry. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
So I am coming to you, dear readers, since I know some of you have been through this, to ask how you bounced back, how you succeeded, how you found a way to cross over to the other side and find joy. I know this is a fresh loss and time will help (as well as a second opinion, seeing as how less than thrilled I was with my entire experience at my current clinic)- but just how did you find the strength to believe this would all work out in the end? Because right now I’m having a hard time getting my brain to even accept that kind of thinking. There’s a whole lot of gloom and doom storming around in there and I need to find a little ray of sunshine.
I need to keep the faith that one day this WILL happen and I will make you all mad by turning this into a mommy blog.*
* I actually would never do that. That was more for dramatic effect. :)