It's Christmas again. I feel like it was just Christmas. My parents warned me about this phenomenon of time speeding up as you get older. Like most other things they told me that I didn't believe, they were right. It has been a rough year. For most of it, my life has been doctor's appointments, shots, blood work, more shots. And waiting. And then more shots. And losing our spontaneity and freedom to come and go as we please.
Our last hormone cycle failed. I didn't even make it to "test day." Which, in retrospect, not having to look at another negative pregnancy test was nice. Nice probably isn't the right word but you know what I mean.
A lot of things have changed over the past year. I am no longer the same person. My perspective has changed; the way I interact with the world has changed. Even my marriage has changed.
A year ago, I was still under the care of my OB/GYN and we were in the middle of doing Clomid cycles. I was so naive. I didn't think of myself as "infertile." That was a four-letter word to me. "I'll just take some pills and 9 months later we'll have a baby. It'll be easy!" Never did I think that I would give myself shots every day for weeks at a time. Never did I think that I would become so used to reading vaginal ultrasounds that I would get excited about seeing follicles before my doctor would even point them out.
Never did I think I would be someone who would actually look forward to giving myself shots because at least that meant I was DOING SOMETHING.
The two weeks waits were the worst. Sit around and wait. Or, my new most hated phrase "Wait and See." If you want to torture me don't even consider water-boarding, just make me sit at home for two weeks and whisper "Wait and see" in my ear every hour or so. That's torture.
I have turned into a bitter, glass half empty person. I no longer get excited when my doctor mentions success rates, high egg counts, good uterine lining. I am anxious all the time because I want to go ahead and move on to the next thing. I have become a walking, talking infertility-hormonal-pin-cushion-science-experiment.
And then the WORST thing. The thing that I think and I wonder "WHERE did that come from?!"
The thought of, "What if I stop wanting children?" "What if I HAVE stopped wanting children?" and then I mentally hit myself over the head with a 2 X 4 because that's not true. And I hate myself for even allowing that thought to enter my brain. Of course I want to be a mom. It's the only thing that keeps me going, this unreasonable, buried deep inside hope, that one day I will be a mother. And then I stop crying, pull myself out of my hole, and ask "What's the next step?"
So, what is our next step? For us, it's IVF. We decided not to try IUI; it doesn't increase our chances and we'd rather spend our time and money on a procedure that gives us at least a 50% chance of becoming pregnant. I am young, I am healthy, if a tad (or more) overweight, and chances are good.
We're taking a break over the holidays, because they're stressful enough, and will resume everything after the new year.
Maybe a break will be good. Maybe it will allow me to have a little optimism again. Maybe it will bring me back to myself.
Writer's note: This post was written several days before Christmas. In an attempt to lift my/our spirits we decided not to publish it until after the holidays. It's 2017 now and while we still face the emotions and challenges that come with being a couple struggling with fertility, we feel a renewed hope for this coming year. Good things (more on that later) to come!!! To everyone who has been so supportive, so loving and so caring: we appreciate you more than you'll ever know. Happy New Year!