This journey is painful. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Financially.
As I sit here, with no shots to take. No pills to gag down. No anxiety of the next test. Or the next transfer. Or the next...something. I wonder.
When did I turn into this person whose life is measured by how many embryos she has left? Or by how many weeks of shots she has left. Or by how many losses I've had?
I was first diagnosed with PCOS in 2014. We have been on this journey for almost 4 years now. Four years that has changed me. Changed my perspective. Changed my ability to see the good in situations. Because I've been disappointed. And I've been hurt. And sometimes you have to build a wall around yourself and around your spouse so that the next time something awful happens, it might not hurt as much. But the thing is...
Now you have a wall. How do you feel when you're constantly surrounded by a wall? The inside boils and the negativity stays around. And the outside, no matter if it's light or dark, can't get in. Without light, I think that we become a shell of who we once were.
It's hard to not let it affect you. In fact, it's damn near impossible. I know that I see things differently. It's harder to see the good in some things now. Sometimes I go days without having a happy thought. Some days are fine. Some days are pitch black.
At one point I was worried that when this was finally over, when we finally had the family we wanted I would forget the babies we'd lost. But let me tell you a story...
...During the transfer part of IVF many doctors prescribe progesterone shots. These go in your butt and the needle is very long and very big. It has to get through a lot to get to the muscle. It hurts like hell.
So I ice it. Icing the area before getting the shot really cuts down on the pain. Then after the shot, I use a heating pad to warm the area so that my muscle doesn't knot. Unfortunately, this plan can backfire.
One night after my shot I put my heating pad on. It was a little too hot, but because of the icing beforehand I couldn't really feel the heat. Until it was too late. Not only had I given myself a huge bruise, but, and I didn't know this at the time, I had burned myself.
I tossed and turned that night. I couldn't sleep. I was in too much pain. My skin felt...prickly. That's not really what it felt like, but it's the closest word I can think of. Actually, that's not true. It felt like shredded skin. Like that area had been completed macerated.
For days it felt like that. And then one day I felt the area and noticed that I had a very large scab, like the area was healing. I realized then that I had burned myself, pretty badly. The healing area was half itchy, half hurting, and it had a very think scab over it.
Now, several weeks later, it's completely healed. I only get little pinpricks of pain every now then. But I have a scar. A scar in the shape of the burn. A scar, that I hope, will remain with me forever.
It's the only physical evidence I have of the most recent loss.
One day, I hope that I can tell my children how much we loved their older siblings. How they changed us forever. And how they were so wanted, but how they couldn't stay. One day, maybe I will show them the scar. One day I will tell them everything we did to bring them here.
But for now, I will look at that awkwardly shaped scar and remember everything we've lost. And hope, that everything we want, is coming.