I have always said that my purpose in this life is to be a mom, to raise a polite, kind, loving, happy, and genuine contributing member of society. I wonder if I should have specified that I planned on birthing that member of society since it is becoming more and more clear to me that being a mom comes in so many forms. I should have tried to manifest that my purpose was to birth and raise a polite, kind, loving, happy, and genuine contributing member of society. Who knew?!
We have been married for 16 months (no, I didn’t know that off hand, I did the math for the sake of this entry). We had a perfect engagement, catered to our relationship and personality unlike anything I could have imagined. I adored planning the wedding, things came so naturally. It seemed that as soon as I made one decision the next thing just fell into place. I found my dress within minutes, the hall was a given, my cake was simple, the music was a favor called in, the photographers were chosen before I had a fiance. Easy. We had been living together so even that was simple, we upgraded to a bigger place so that we could expand our family one day. Registering was fun because while I had everything I needed, it was nice to upgrade! Yet another “easy” thing. My wedding date was great, we had the perfect weather, an amazing turn out, happy guests. With the exception of some family drama at the end, it was amazing. I will forever look back at my day and think great things. Things were awesome. Things are awesome. But then there’s this thing.
He doesn’t care if our life never changes. He did not grow up with dreams of raising a little human, of creating life. He is content with life consisting of the two of us. He likes the freedom we have, the ability to come and go as we please, to book a last second getaway. He likes knowing that we don’t have to live on a schedule. We have two cats; even our pets are suited for this lifestyle. He also knows that it is a nonnegotiable issue to me. He knows that this is something I cannot live life without. I am thankful for him.
We set a date, I went to the doctor and got a check up, I wanted to make sure things were all in working order on my end. I needed to know that I was doing everything I knew how to do to be successful. I did the math and counted days, I took tests to determine the best times, I made it my job to know when I was ready.
I stopped smoking cold turkey. I switched to decaf coffee. I wouldn’t so much as take an Advil unless I desperately needed it. I stopped drinking alcohol. I started taking vitamins. All of the good for me things I never did, I did. I did anything I knew how to do.
It is a year today since we started. We have been seeing a specialist for half that time. In the past year, I have cried more times than I can count. In the past 6 months, I have gone thru more testing and imaging than I ever knew possible. We have had multiple rounds of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). We have been unsuccessful in all of them. The days of Clomid each round were miserable, of course I got stuck with the side effects. I had bouts of anger, hot flashes, and cried for five straight days. After the Clomid came the package.
The package came in such a huge box. In the box was a silver colored foil pouch filled with ice packs, a red sharps container, air filled bags to protect the little blue bag, and the blue bag. The blue bag has a box inside and in that box is the injection, preloaded and ready to go. Such a small syringe. I kept that blue bag in my refrigerator and saw it daily waiting for my blood work and ultrasounds to declare that it was time. Every ultrasound had a level of anticipation, are my follicles ready? Did they grow enough? Then came the phone call, “The doctor wants you to go for another ultrasound in two days” or “You are ready to trigger.”
I am not good with shots and having to give myself the trigger injections seemed impossible but like everything else in life, where there’s a will there’s a way. Thirty six hours later we would go for the procedure. One week later, blood work to determine that my progesterone and estrogen were lower than ideal and then a week after that the blood work to determine pregnancy. Each “I’m sorry, you are not pregnant this month” killed. I want this so badly, how is it so hard? We are doing everything I can think of, they are picking out the best of his swimmers to give them the best chance, they are timing my cycle to know exactly when I am ready to drop the egg. How is it still not happening?
Multiple cycles like this one, emotional and fruitless and I decided that it was time to move on. We decided to start the process of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I did the tests to make sure that I am a good candidate for it and to confirm that my uterus is fully functional. So far it is. I am on birth control now, ironic, no? More hormones to add to my already hormone filled body. Then we wait. I did the nurse visit. The list of medications was unreal! I have to inject them all!? What?! He couldn’t make it to this appointment with me so I sat through it alone. My head started spinning at one point when I realized just how involved this is. There are so many ways to mess up. That is what I am seeing as the nurse is showing me all of the ways to mix my injections. Thankfully I have my mom, she has given injections in the past and will be in charge of that now. She at least takes that worry away from me. The alternative is a self administered intramuscular injections in the thigh. I am glad she is willing to help.
I get 40 pages of risks and potential complications all of which I have to initial. I have to sign off that I understand the procedure. He has to sign off too so we head to a notary so that the office knows it was he that signed off, I guess people forge these things?
I got another package. This time it’s a huge box with all sorts of injectables, pills, gels, vials, swabs and whatever else. I sorted thru it and refrigerated the boxes that called for it, putting away the other ones. It’s staying at my parents house. Why bring it back and forth?
It is a year since we started. A year since we decided we wanted to bring a life into this world. It is six months since we learned that it would be a challenge. I have leaned that I am surrounded with the most amazing people in all of this. My family and my friends are the greatest safety net. My husband is my rock. He has been so supportive and calming. I know I will get thru this but it’s so hard when you can’t see the finish line.
It’s been exactly a year. What will the next one bring?