LOOK! Another embryo rallied! We gained one number!! Also:
MilliKid is the size of a Chia seed!!
Wow, guys. What a whirlwind! I know some have you may have been looking for an update here lately as it’s been a while for me. So, as I pack up and prepare to travel back home, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take a moment to do a little introspection about this whole experience.
Since the transfer, a lot has happened. Not necessarily with the actual IVF process but more with my own headspace. Real IVF story alert! I had all of these ideas about how i would feel during the transfer, after the transfer and even now. While the procedure was exactly as I thought it would be, all of my feelings on it completely blindside me. I expected to be overcome with wonder and excitement and awe and a complete sense of motherhood. The procedure was very neat. I was definitely all smiles as they told me about our embryos, showed me the picture of our embryo selected for this transfer and gained my consent for the procedure. I was gowned up, donned my “party hat” and lucky socks and was taken back with Aunt Paula into the procedure room. We saw my embryos (live action this time!) from the incubator room on a huge TV screen as they confirmed my name. They found my uterus with the ultrasound, fed the transfer catheter to my fundus (or the top of my uterus) and called the embryologist in with our precious embryo ready for its new home. Of course, it was at this point that my brain decided it was a good time to mourn the loss of what could have been. Something not a lot of people talk about with infertility is the grief of what is lost to those afflicted. The list is so long and different for every person enduring this burden. For me, it was mourning the loss of the romance of bringing a child into the world. It was grieving the loss of some portion of my womanhood. It was losing independence, opening yourself up to every type of invasion, it was having to make decisions like “baby or house?”. It was also, do this without Tim here or have no college fund for our children. While I watched the tip of the catheter pull back on the ultrasound and knew that our little embryo was coming out of the end, all of this realization crashed down around me. I was broken apart that this is the length we had to go, that I was hundreds of miles from home and that Tim;s hand wasn’t the one gripping mine. Full transparency here, I left with wonderful news, optimal results and the crushing weight of depression. It is so difficult to give that power through words, but it is my absolute truth. I knew that being sedentary post-transfer was not good, so we did go and do around town the rest of that day, but it was so very hard for me. Even thinking and talking was like a swim through wet concrete. For the next several days, if I was not working, I was sleeping. I came to realize that it wasn’t just Tim being gone or the sadness I felt, once I was actually presented with doing it and not just the planning portion, with the necessity of all the medical intervention. It was so much more. I have spent the greater part of two and a half years completely devoted to making this dream of ours come true. I won’t go through the litany of time and effort put into this again because I have in previous posts, but it was HARD work so it’s worth the extra word count, so I’ll say it again. I have devoted YEARS to this goal. I have spent, cumulatively, weeks on the phone, days on days on days at multiple doctors offices getting diagnoses and eventually referrals, we have spent tens of thousands of dollars on treatments, flights, hotels, rental cars and expenses, I flew to El Paso for one day to make sure that donor sperm was never a decision we would have to make, I have blistered from all the forms I have filled out and I have been awoken in the middle of the night to my husbands voice on our cameras waking me up from overseas to make sure he has the right form with him at JAG so that I can make decisions for him about our embryos. I have missed birthdays, holidays and countless hours of sleep trying to squeeze every last minute of work out of everyday before I left for here. I have begged and last minuted more friends than I can count to go let me dogs out or feed the cats or run an errand that I just couldn’t get to. I have gone weeks without Daisy paws insisting one more pet, Shelby nosing the covers up for a cuddle, Rider waking me up for his on-the-dot breakfast time, BB interrupting my get ready routine for a little time zipped up in my jacket and the oh so rare allowance to pet Bullet.
And with one depress of a plunger, it is all over.
Any reasonable person would be elated to have a goal like that accomplished.
To me, at the time, I was almost devastated that when I went back to the hotel room there was no longer an early appointment or a form to fill out or a prescription to pick up. There were no more actionable items. It seems that I should be relieved but I was lost. I have so throughly convinced myself that I can achieve anything if I work hard enough, study long enough, sacrifice enough. I had finally reached the point where none of that matter any longer. It was actually and completely out of my hands from this point forward. I was completely lost.
Maybe is was my rapid on boarding of so many hormones and then my as rapid cut off. Maybe it was all of the things above. Maybe it was the traumatic, long term experience even though it was for something I wanted more than anything. Maybe it just is. I just needed to check out of anything non-essential for a while.
So, over the last few days I have worked, a lot, slept A LOT and have indulged all of my body’s whims. For the first time in many months I had dessert!
That is a ganache CUPCAKE. I got six and had one for breakfast (and maybe a midnight snack in bed) almost every day.
I had a handmade banana and peanut butter shake at a fancy little diner in Bethesda called Silver. (Paulas was ‘boozy’ with Oreos and kahlua).
I even stole some fried chicken Mac n cheese right off her plate! As though the mountain of pasta on mine wasn’t enough.
We made friends… with Webster here AND his parents.
And when i was ready, I finally showered, put some makeup on and was able to enjoy all of those little things I haven’t indulged in for a while. I really cant thank Paula enough for letting me disconnect and then for being completely receptive to my shift in mood without making me explain.
The reality is that this will be an experience I will have to heal from and I don’t know if it will take days or weeks or months. Even though all of my hopes and dreams are finally within grasp, it was a hard road that made me question most of what I knew about myself. I am hopeful that healing will come as I grow a life inside me and if that is not in the stars for me right now, then I will welcome my body telling me that I need to heal me first.
Here are some things I know now:
<I am as strong as I believed>
<I am surrounded by people who love me unconditionally>
<I am desperate to have my husband back with me>
<My body is capable of creating life>
<Our story is valuable>
I will never be the same
Til next time