Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Healing In Moving On

The passage of time, specifically when marked by anniversaries, can be poignant.  I know when I am in the thick of something in my life that I look forward to getting far enough away from it that I can look back on it to see how far I’ve come.  Five years ago this week, I had my retrieval, PGD and transfer of two male blasts, one of which would go on to become our son.  I knew, on July 4th, 2006, as my husband and I sat in a darkened theater watching The Devil Wears Prada that something was happening in there.  Our last ART procedure was 2 years ago this week.  I remember being so hopeful at the time because of the aforementioned successful cycle the very same week three years prior.  It felt like maybe it was a good omen; that history would repeat.  Only it didn’t, in a grand way.  The cycle, a DEFET from our prior fresh DE cycle, was a dismal failure. None of the three embryos survived the thaw.  I was shocked and angry and heartbroken because I knew what it meant.  It was an extreme nudge by the universe to move away from ART.

It would take another year to fully process that it was, indeed, the end.  We stopped all attempts at conception during that time and were in a dark place where we didn’t even speak of having another child.  It was a trying time, to say the least.  I was consumed by it being the end and not having a Plan B (or C or D).  I was full of bitterness and resentment and ‘what ifs’.  It was hard to hear of anyone’s pregnancy or delivery and I felt surrounded, bracing myself for the news from someone I knew.  It was hard for me to muster happiness for others, even those close to me who deserved my unbridled joy at their good news.  It even got me when celebrities would announce their pregnancies, some going on to have #2 during that time.  I veered away from the baby section of Target and crossed the aisle so as not to have to actually walk by a maternity store at the mall.

I was also really mad at myself for not being able to pull myself out of my world of hurt often enough to enjoy and connect with what I did have.  I felt like I cycled my son’s infancy away and, in doing so, missed being present even though I was with him almost all the time.  I felt completely robbed of ever being able to enjoy a more ‘normal pregnancy’, a genetic or even partially genetic sibling, of doing it all again.  I felt like my body failed me and that I failed myself, my son, and my husband.  I was so sure that eventually it would work that I really didn’t consider what I would do, how I would feel, if it didn’t.  It was such a foregone conclusion in my mind that if we just kept at it, one more embryo would stick.  Only it never did.  And the fall from hope to despair was far.

Now here we are fully committed and down the road of domestic infant adoption, a road that I am still unsure will actually lead to a child we are meant to have.  But something has happened along the way.  Over the course of time, as I’ve gotten further and further away from ART and the idea of ever being pregnant again, I’ve emerged a kinder, happier, more content soul.   There is no more failure, or self flagellation, or the all consuming thoughts that come with cycling:  when is CD1, should I get another FSH test, do I have all my meds, how many follies do I have, what’s my E2 level, how is my lining, how many eggs did we get, how many fertilized, what is their quality, how many do we put back (in our case, all), how many days post transfer am I, should I POAS or not, am I pregnant, no I’m not, etc., so forth, and on and on.  I NEVER have those thoughts anymore (in fact, I had to think back to that place in order to remember all the thoughts I was fraught with which easily came rushing back in a PTSD kind of way).

I love, cherish, and value my son, my husband, and this life we have and are creating.  I’m so grateful for what I do have that it seems selfish to revel in what I don’t.  I am worried that we will not be matched before we give up but those thoughts are far more fleeting now than they ever have been and the thought of giving up no longer sends me into despair.  I am much more settled now and able to celebrate the good news of others at no expense to myself.   I can look at my son’s baby things, even sell some of them, without the profound sadness that “this is it”.   I do mourn the passing of time, that he is growing up way too fast, but I no longer feel bitterness over what might have been.  I can enthusiastically plan baby showers for friends and help them pick out their essential items.  I can easily moderate the 2,500 member on-line mom’s group that I belong to where I am surrounded by new mothers and mothers-to-be and am able to share what I know of motherhood.  I can see a mother pushing a double stroller with an infant and older child or at an indoor playground with her two kids to my one and not feel the same pang of familiar jealousy.

There is a healing that comes from moving on and no longer being stuck.  Perspective is something mostly gained in hind sight.  I am still uncomfortable with the limbo we are in but have to accept it for what it is.  If and when the wait gets to much for us, if and when I am ready to close the door on having another, I will.  In the meantime, I am living the life that is before me, all that it is, with wounds that have scarred over, gratitude for all that I have, and in anticipation of what lies ahead.  The many pains of the past are fading in my rear view mirror, so much so that I’ve almost lost sight of them altogether.  There may be nothing stronger than a healed broken heart.

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
~Unknown

7 comments to Healing In Moving On

  • Lut C.

    This is a great post, in so many ways. Indeed very hopegiving.

  • “There is a healing that comes from moving on and no longer being stuck.” I like it.

  • Tireegal

    What a wonderful, thoughtful, heart open post! You give me hope, also. And I believe that you will fulfill your dream of two children, as I pray I will, but it is comforting to know that you are at peace with whatever the outcome is.

  • ICLW #56

    Moving forward, whether it’s accepting the failure of a cycle or changing paths to a new plan, has been the most difficult part of this process for me to accept. I hope your adoption journey as very few bumps in your road.

  • I can totally totally totally totally relate to this post. My goodness, you described me and my experiences completely. And I am stealing that quote! ;) I am quote lover.

    I agree too, that it’s so hard to believe even a domestic adoption will work out, but… at least I finally feel content. It feels SO good to step away.

    Jess
    http://alittleblogaboutthebiginfertility.blogspot.com/

  • You have no idea how much hope this gives me. That someday I won’t have to avert my eyes in the mall to avoid pregnant women, maternity stores, baby clothes. That maybe someday I’ll be able to go through O’s clothes.

    Thank you.

    xoxo

  • I’m so glad you’ve managed to find peace, contentment, and even happiness after all you’ve been through. Good luck with your adoption journey and I hope that it’s a very short road to a happy ending.

    ICLW #10

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