Waiting is the hardest part.
The waiting is the hardest part… Tom Petty says it best. One year ago, we had our first blood test after our first IVF cycle. For those who are not familiar with the process of IVF, I will go through our experiences in another post, but the gist of it is 1) amp up hormones so you produce as many eggs as feasibly possible, 2) retrieve said eggs, 3) fertilize these eggs, in our case selecting the best looking sperm and injecting them individually into each egg, 4) watch for 5 days, 5) freeze the ones who are still growing (standard procedure for someone my age, 6) recover from the procedure and in my case have surgery to remove a fibroid, 7) more hormones to prepare for transfer, 8) transfer and wait, 9) blood test 10 days after transfer. Over simplified, but that is for another post.
I love my husband, I love my dogs, I love my family, but there is something missing. There has been something missing since we have tried month after month, year after year to conceive. I never thought that my life would revolve around infertility, that I would ever want something so much it hurts. Maybe it’s the failure month after month and an unhealthy drive to achieve what I set out to do, who knows. What do you do when you wait, and wait, and wait. Hopeful every month for a positive, hopeful of what comes so easy to so many, but it never comes. You see a specialist (already in another post I bring over from my old blog), and another, and then a 3rd which is where the story is today. We had 2 high quality embryos to transfer April 25, 2016. High hopes and dreams that is what drives IVF, infertility. It is what keeps you from losing your damn mind, that and fur babies. I mean who could ever get mad at these 2?! Ryker (the brown brindle-the wise old man) and Ronin (the black and white guy-our puppy)
There is a saying that infertility is all of the stages of grief repeated every month. Month after month… IVF seems to expand that by 200%. When we had our first IVF cycle (cycle is retrieval and transfer) we were hopeful. Yes, we only had 2 embryos, yes we were putting them both in, yes we could have twins. The biggest fear was the first statement, yes we only had 2 embryos, if we put them both in and it fails we have to start over. April 25th came. We were ecstatic, one blast was on the verge of hatching, the other was nearly perfect. We went to brunch that morning before we went in, not knowing how long it would be before we would eat again. While finishing up our brunch, our Dr. called, seems he was having spasms and would not be able to perform the transfer, one of the New Orleans doctors would be driving up to help out and instead of 11, our transfer time was now set for 2. Not only does this place us later in the day, but it puts us in the risk of having to drive in rush-hour (love my husband dearly but he stresses me out to no end in traffic as do the idiots who drive in this city – chicken and egg situation). So now we’ve ate and I have to keep a full bladder (for me means I have to pee so bad it hurts) and wait. We arrive to our appointment and are whisked to the back. The doctor is running behind, caught in traffic (surprise, surprise…), I’m allowed to release some of the pressure as long as I promise that it won’t be too much, this occurred 3 times before we were allowed to go back for the big show. The transfer was not supposed to hurt, but it did, therefore worry number one already established. The transfer itself is pretty amazing to me, you get to watch a screen of them placing the embryo(s) in your uterus. It looks kind of like a spaceship making a landing, in my opinion, being a science nerd it is nerdy of the highest order. Knowing that the little blob that just shot into my uterus is our potential child(ren) just overwhelms my heart. You are wheeled out of that room, allowed to pee (thank goodness!) and instructed to relax for 30 minutes or so. Once they deem you relaxed enough they send you home for 72 days of bedrest (this varies from clinic to clinic). Thankfully traffic wasn’t terrible and we made it home without someone cutting us off or just driving like a general idiot so it was pretty stress free. I spent the next 2 weeks as relaxed as I could be with all of the crazy storms that rolled through and being nearly one year to the day of a tree crashing through our house while we were in it, I have some slight PTSD from that especially with a tree still looming overhead.
May 5th I went in for the blood draw around 8 in the morning, then went home and waited. My husband stayed home with me. The phone rang about 11 am. I picked up and it was the doctor on the other end and my heart fell, I knew that it did not work. Before he even finished I’m sorry I was bawling and my husband was cradling me. Call again when you are ready and we will talk about what happened. Why us, haven’t we been through enough (I’ll re-post my old blog entries over here)? Why must we go through this again? We cried for 5 minutes or so and our pup (the black and white guy) ran into the trunk of the aforementioned tree head on making us bust out into laughter, it’s funny how they know when we need a good laugh. We picked ourselves up and I got the biggest margarita I could order. Mother’s day was that weekend and once again, I was barren…
It’s been one year today, one year to live, one year to learn, one year to yearn, one year to grow, one year to discover that failure is not the worst thing that can happen to us. Our love has grown and we have met many great people on this road. I would not change that for anything. It’s hard at times to see the beauty through the heartbreak, to see the rainbows after the tornado of emotions that tear at your heart. You must pick yourself up and carry on, you must remember that you are not alone, that it is ok to be sad, that you do all you can to make it through this thing called life.