One year ago today…

One year ago today, we sat in Dr. F’s office going over what I thought would be our last ditch effort to try to have a baby of our own.  He told us he thought moving forward with IVF and doing chromosomal embryo screening would be our best chance of conceiving a viable full term pregnancy.  We were very hesitant about moving forward with IVF especially since I was able to get pregnant on my own and even more hesitant about doing the embryo screening but felt if this was our best option than I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned.

I remember leaving his office with a sense of hope and also pretty pissed off.  I felt hopeful because we at least had this as an option when so many others don’t and that same sense of hope you always have right before you are going to start a new treatment cycle and think maybe this will be “the one”.  I also thought that since it was New Year’s Eve and we were his last appointment of 2013 that this was somehow a good sign because when going down this infertility road you always think everything is a sign!   The pissed of side of me was angry at the fact that this is what I had to go through to try to have a baby.  Pumping myself full of hormones with horrible side effects, going through the egg retrieval (which BTW is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia) and then the waiting to hear which embryos made it if any and having to make hard decisions such as which embryo gets to be implanted and which ones either get frozen or destroyed.  Neither of those scenarios ever sat right with us. And then waiting those god awful 2 weeks to hear whether or not it worked.  I was pissed.

Once I moved past my pissed off stage we decided to move forward with IVF and got back to being hopeful…or at least so we thought.  Due to insurance reasons we had to do another round with an IUI before we could do IVF…not that I am complaining because I do feel extremely fortunate to even have insurance overage for fertility treatments but again I saw this as “a sign” that maybe this was going to be it…3rd times a charm.  Sadly it wasn’t and ended in another miscarriage (If you want to read the full story you can check out my post titled Not Compatible with Life )

So when I think about where we were a year ago, about to embark on a hopeful new journey that ended in one of our hardest losses and where we are now it feels very surreal.  2014 was a year of heartbreak and unexpected joy.  I have learned a few things along the way this year.

1.  Never give up?  I always have mixed feelings about this piece of advice especially when it comes to infertility.  Yes I think if there is even an ounce of you that feels you have to keep going than keep going.  Keep going as far as you can otherwise you will regret it.  I would often find myself wondering if I had reached my limit but the fact that I had to question it was probably a sign that I hadn’t reached it yet.  But at the same time, it’s ok to move onto other options if you feel you’ve had enough (see #2)

2.  It’s ok to say enough is enough.  They say you know when enough is enough and your enough will be different from someone else’s.  It’s ok to say it’s time to move on whether it’s adoption, using a surrogate, living childfree, etc.  You are not a failure.  Part of succeeding and fulfilling your dreams is knowing when you have to take a different approach or new direction.

3.  Get support.  Infertility is a long, lonely road to travel.  Your spouse or significant other can’t be your only source of support…they are on this tough road too and you have to take care of each other.  Seeking help from others will help you to support yourself as well as your partner.  It helps to talk to others who have been down this road.  Find a support group if you can or talk to a professional that can give you an objective perspective.

4.  Be honest.  Be honest with yourself and your feelings.  Often times we feel like we have to pretend everything is ok or feel like we have to say yes to everything our doctors tell us to do because if you don’t then you aren’t really trying.  If something doesn’t sit right with you, it’s ok to say no.  And be honest with your partner even if it means that you might be on opposite sides of the road for awhile…eventually you will find your way back to the middle again.

5.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  I would often find myself comparing myself to others or others’ situations.   Sometimes I would think that I hadn’t really done everything I could because I didn’t do x, y and z like so and so did. Every situation is unique and what works for some might not be right for you.   Only you know what’s best for you.

2014 was a year filled with ups and downs and I am sure 2015 will have it’s share of ups and downs too…hopefully more ups than downs.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a year full of UPS!

 

 

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Christmas Time…the most wonderful time of the year?

Last weekend we were decorating for Christmas and I was thinking about where we were this time last year and I never thought this is where we would be at a year later.  Christmas time is always a difficult time for people struggling with infertility…everywhere you turn it’s just babies and kids.  It is supposed to be the happiest time of the year even though depression and suicide rates are at their highest this time of year.  It makes you wonder…where and who are all of these supposed happy people??! I would like to say that even after being 20 weeks pregnant that all of that goes away but it doesn’t go away…it’s a little easier this year and I am more hopeful than I have been in the past but there is still a part of me that feels a little sad and that something is missing.  Every year, I would always wish and hope for the same thing: please let this be the last Christmas we spend without a baby of our own.  I am still hoping that for this year and that next year we will have a happy and healthy little girl with us.

Here are some things that have helped me “survive” the holidays past:

1.  Let yourself feel it…the good, the bad and the ugly.  I think one of the worst parts is feeling like you have to be happy all of the time during this time of year even though you just want to curl up in a ball and cry.  And if you aren’t festive you feel like the Grinch.  You have to allow yourself to feel how you feel even if that means skipping out on some of the events you normally would have attended.  There will be some things that you will have to just suck it up and put on your festive sweater and a smile but if it’s something you don’t have to go to and you don’t really want to then it’s ok to skip it.  Your family and true friends will understand.

2.  Plan some special things that you like to do.  Make sure you schedule some time for you and your husband or significant other to spend some time together doing things you both really love.  Infertility can be a real drag in the romance department so try to plan some fun outings or even a weekend get away if you can.  Also take time out for yourself and treat yourself to something you like…a manicure, massage, movie, etc. whatever you want.

3.  Wine.  I am not by any means suggesting you start to develop a drinking problem over the holidays but there is something about enjoying a nice glass or two of wine every now and then that helps the soul.  I would advise cutting yourself off at two glasses…anything more than that tends to get into a wine with crying situation and that’s not good…unless of course you need a good cry (refer back to #1).

4.  Plan some things with children.  I know this sounds counterproductive but if you have nieces and nephews or  friend’s children that you really enjoy then plan something with them. Or even volunteering with children who don’t have a good role model.  Bake cookies, go see a holiday movie, take them to see Santa or a holiday event.  I know it sounds terrible but there were times when seeing a child was the last thing I wanted to do but spending time with children can sometimes be the best reminder of simpler times and the joy of the season.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you do have children in your life and can still enjoy them even if they are not your own…and it will be good practice for your own one day:)

5.  Take a little time to mourn your losses.  I always take a little time to mourn the losses of my little angels.  I have an angel ornament for each of them that I place on my tree…it’s not for anyone else but me and a way for me to honor them.  The worst things is pretending that it never happened and that there aren’t little ones that are supposed to be here with you but taking time to remember them always makes me feel a little better.

These are just a few things that have helped me.  Talking to others and being open about my feelings rather than hiding them makes me feel a little better and not feeling like I have to always pretend.  The holiday season can also be a time for believing so believe that you won’t always feel this way, believe you are not alone and believe that you will have the life you want either with a child no matter how or when they arrive or a full life living child free.  And also believe that January 2nd is right around the corner:)

believe

19 weeks and counting…

Today I am 19 weeks.  We had our anatomy ultrasound scan on Friday and the baby looks great!  She is measuring right on track and has all of her parts:)  We even got some cute pictures!  I am so relieved that everything so far looks good.  I am starting to relax more and enjoy it.  I have allowed my family to start planning my shower and am starting to make plans for the nursery.  I still have anxiety and fears but they are becoming more about after the baby is born such as am I even qualified to take care of a baby??  I am sure I will be or at least have the ability to consult resources if necessary:)

I still can’t believe it how far we’ve come!

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