It feels like it’s been decades since I have last been here. I can’t believe only two and a quarter years have passed. But, we can be honest – the last two years have been two for the books. Like, world history books. Since we have last visited, Tim has returned from deployment. He finally got settled into our new home. We travelled and enjoyed having each other within arms reach. I spent a lot of time trying to heal. We careened headlong into a worldwide disaster – a pandemic. Tim and I both took new jobs. We welcomed a new niece. We experienced record setting snowfall in the mid south. So, naturally, we have decided this is the perfect time to get our gloves on and enter the ring for round two and thaw one of our precious embryos… obviously the most impeccable timing.
You know, this past year has taught me a lot about living in the moment and fully furnishing my emotional ‘island’. Framed in a specific way, it may seem like waiting until things are safer or more predictable would be the best decision. And while i am by no means ‘living on the edge’, I just can’t get behind waiting til all stars are in alignment… til all things are perfect and just so. Our first round of IVF was perfect timing for the situation. The only other time we could have utilized all of the benefits we were afforded is the next deployment, so all the stars did align in a way. But this round in the ring – we are way more prepared. We have shed our naïveté. We are battle hardened and we know that the perfect shot may never present itself, so we just have to take the first one that comes close and then be relentless until that bell rings again. So – we are doing it.
Our FET (frozen embryo transfer) is in full swing. At the very end of 2020, we got in line for transfer. I wanted to end the year with something to look forward to. This process is much less complicated than our last cycle. After all, all of our babies are already here. They were shipped to Dr. Brezina’s office in Memphis soon after i returned from Walter Reed. The timeline looks a little something like this:
- Initial consult (we have already done this step)
- Wait for cycle day 1
- Baseline bloodwork and ultrasound (did this one already, too)
- Wait for cycle day 1…. again
- Receive your protocol – appointments, meds, treatments, etc (more on this later)
- Start your protocol
- Trial Transfer
- Bloodwork and ultrasound
- For real, no joke, game day Transfer Day
I have started my protocol. Our Reproductive Endocrinologist being the cautious doc he is, we have been place on a failed implantation protocol. While my blood levels and OHSS from my previous cycle made the implantation of our previous embryo unlikely, we can’t discount that transfer entirely. So, our RE is taking extra care this go round to make sure everything is just right for our embryo to implant. Every decision, from the medication choice, timing, and add-on procedures have been carefully chosen to maximize our chances of success. The RE has ordered that i should get an endometrial scrape at the same time as my trial transfer to make sure my uterine lining is extra vascular, soft, fluffy and inviting to my embryo so it will just not be able to resist moving in for the next 9 months.
So, tomorrow, I start this journey over again. I will go in for my trial transfer and endometrial scrape bright and early tomorrow morning. Of course, because of COVID, I will have to go alone but… i mean that is pretty much old hat for me, right!? The world really does work in mysterious ways. I have already been fully prepared, trained and proven to walk parts of t his road alone. I am immensely grateful that Tim is just minutes away instead of thousands of miles, this time. It is so surreal that we are here again. Though I have done this before, it feels like an entirely new thing. I truly feel as though i am no longer jaded. I am experiencing this round already braced from the trauma of before. It has taken a very long time to let go of the lion’s share of that hurt and i am terrified to shoulder it again. The mental burden of the anticipation of that and knowingly exposing myself to that kind of grief is so overwhelming sometimes. I find myself randomly ill-tempered, short and snappy… quiet.. agitated. And not able to articulate why. It is so hard. I want to be excited and fresh-faced like i was last time. With no history of abuse at the hands of my own body. But that’s just not the road I have walked down. Not only can I not cast aside the things I already know, I have to put myself back in the ring – AGAIN – with the exact same opponent that whooped my ass last time. I can only hope and pray and believe that I am stronger than I was before. That i have learned where best to bolster my defense and that my offense game is nimble and powerful. I have to fully embrace reality, rely on my honesty with myself and fully surrender to the future that i cannot see. Luckily, I have one hell of a support system to fall back on when my plans all disintegrate into the abyss.
So, I am scared. I am cautiously hopeful. I am grateful that I even have this chance. And i am geared up for experience, whatever it ends up being. And, since this outlet was such a wonderful thing for me to pour into, I will continue to update here as we progress. Tomorrow – I am ready. I am in competent hands. I have put my best effort forward and that is the most I can expect from myself. Send me all your rock solid, hardcore, battle ready vibes, your prayers of courage and strength and send me all of your thoughts of solidarity. Because tonight, I will be sending my prayers to St. Michael and St. Daniel.
I’ll meet you back here after the battle.