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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Reflecting

My baby shower was on Saturday and even as I was the guest of honor I had a hard time believing that all the hoopla was for me. It was a lovely event and I was surrounded by many of the very people who have championed me throughout this journey. And, as grateful and humble as I was to even be having a second baby shower, I felt a strange detachment as if I were surveying the event happening to someone else.  (And, yes, it was very awkward to see my mother and sister after more than a year.  I am at peace with my decision to invite them so as not to inflict harm, but it magnified how out of my life they really are).

This pregnancy, while uneventful in many ways, has been such an emotional grind. I look back on the cycle that brought me to this place with the endometrial biopsy that provided my first ever trilaminar lining and embryos, that, eighteen hours after being thawed, had not developed beyond their frozen cellular state. I distinctly remember my RE telling me that it wasn’t all doom and gloom while also telling me that he had rarely had this happen. It seemingly all started with the little embryo that could even though I had no idea that it would.

But beyond this last cycle with embryos generously donated by another couple, I’m feeling especially reflective of the journey that got me here. When one is in the throes of the struggle of building one’s family through adoption or ART, one simply has no idea what the end state will be. The fear is always there, that neither path will work out and the deep fear is, well, then where will you be? It was such a dark time in my life and my marriage during the year we took off from our family building efforts after an additional 5 own egg and 1 donor egg cycles didn’t work. I mean dark, dark. It had me questioning so many things about how my path unfolded, how the very same treatment that produced my son could not produce a sibling, and how doing a donor egg cycle, which previously had been way outside my comfort zone, became a life line to no where when both the fresh and frozen cycles were unsuccessful.

And, there was a dichotomy at play between my extreme gratitude and love for my son and my deep depression at not being able to have the other child I had so desperately tried for. They were mutually exclusive yet living within me concurrently. And, it did feel desperate, at times, especially as each successive cycle had diminishing returns and all roads were pointing to stopping even though my heart didn’t want to stop one cycle short. But, eventually, even I could not deny the facts. There is a realism that crepy in no matter how much I tried to cover my ears and eyes from it.

When this baby boy is born, will I eventually feel that things unfolded as they were supposed to? That all my decisions led me to him and him to me? Does the universe really work that way? Or is it all happenstance? It is so very difficult to know and perhaps it does not matter. Maybe there is an order to things, a grand scheme, and all we can do is read the sign posts along the way that might lead us where we are supposed to go.

So many things had to converge for this to happen this way. From my career choices, to marrying later in life, to miscarrying my naturally conceived pregnancies which led to my fibroid diagnosis, to the fateful meeting with the radiologist who told me I would never carry a pregnancy because of my fibroids which led to seeking an opinion with Dr. Parker, renowned fibroid surgeon, to having a good friend who was undergoing IVF (with the RE that would become my own) at a time when I still believed I would conceive naturally, to every single cycle I underwent with either failure or miscarriage as the outcome, to becoming pregnant with my son and the resulting cerclage and 26 weeks of bed rest, to getting off the ART train and eventually pursuing adoption wherein not one birth mother expressed interest in us in 15 months, to visiting my RE to discuss possible options at just the right time when these embryos were available.

Did this happen by design or default? Was it tenacity or luck or both? In the longest run, it won’t matter, but as I see and know so many who are still struggling for their first take home baby or their long awaited sibling, I can’t help but wonder why me? Oprah has a saying that there is no such thing as luck; it is preparation meeting opportunity. And, that feels like what has happened here. We were fortunate to have the opportunity (financially and otherwise) to pursue donated embryos but I am sure we would not have found our way to this path had it not been for every single dead end before it.

As this pregnancy progresses and I still have my worries about a take home baby, I am humble and grateful beyond words. It is an ever present, conscious feeling that this was no accident and I am so fortunate to be living it. Yet, at the same time, I can’t help but want this outcome for every single infertile who is in the thick of it right now. I will never not be infertile. Sure as my hair is brown and my eyes are green and I am part Italian and a Taurus, I will forever be infertile. The supportive community and the many friends I have made as a result of a shared and often painful journey have forever changed my life and who I am. No matter that I may finally complete my family, I will remain a part of this sisterhood.

I am blessed and I am infertile.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~Melody Beattie

5 comments to Reflecting

  • There is so much I love about this post. The quote from Oprah, it seems to make a lot of sense.

    I don’t know whether things are luck, circumstance, or fate. I waver on this all of the time and I am in awe over the way things worked out for me. There couldn’t be a more perfect baby for me than my Rocky. That’s all I know for sure. I thank God every day for him. I am so, so thankful that he is the baby I get to love. It had to be him. That’s what I know. It’s sounding more like fate, and blessings, and “meant to be’s” as I write this. I also know that starting each day with a spirit of gratitude, kept me going along the way and helps sustain me now. I am so, so very grateful.

    “When this baby boy is born, will I eventually feel that things unfolded as they were supposed to? That all my decisions led me to him and him to me? Does the universe really work that way? Or is it all happenstance? It is so very difficult to know and perhaps it does not matter. Maybe there is an order to things, a grand scheme, and all we can do is read the sign posts along the way that might lead us where we are supposed to go.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I really can’t buy into the happenstance thing. There were so many things that had to happen for me to be Rocky’s mom. But then again, do I just love him so much that I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that it was preparation meeting opportunity? Was this all in God’s plan from the beginning, or was it divine intervention on a circumstance that would have otherwise been desperate for me and Rocky’s birth parents? I am not sure. I am lucky, or blessed, or whatever we choose to call it. It really doesn’t matter. I am so thankful that it all happened the way that it did because he is my son and I am his mom. That’s what is important.

  • Love this post!

    “The supportive community and the many friends I have made as a result of a shared and often painful journey have forever changed my life and who I am. No matter that I may finally complete my family, I will remain a part of this sisterhood.

    I am blessed and I am infertile.”

    Amen, sister!

  • Anna

    I am glad that it sounds like your baby shower proceeded without hitch, I’m glad people were making a fuss of you, it is such an amazing thing to have come to this place in your adventure. Reflecting on how it came to be now sounds good to me, getting yourself ready for a time when you’re unlikely to have a chance to think things through from month to month, I hope that you are feeling at peace. You’re nearly 32 weeks! Wonderful.x

  • Such a great post. Gave me lots to reflect on, too. My life has taken me down so many meandering (and often painful) paths, but it’s interesting to realize all of that led me to here — and I’m grateful.

  • I loved seeing the pictures on FB – felt like I got to share it with you.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about tenacity or luck or both, especially as it relates to family building – and funny how we diverge on this a bit. Facing the reality it might just be the three of us, yes, I despair, but I also have this feeling like maybe there are some battles not worth fighting. That the cost of treatments, at this point, is a higher price than the promise of a sibling for Lucky. Granted, I am thinking this after a miscarriage, which came after two years of IVF and FETs, so I cannot claim to be objective. But instead of feeling like we’ll find a path, a way to our take home baby, I cannot help but think that maybe the universe is trying to tell me something, and I’m strongly considering stepping away for good.

    I know this can change, and I don’t need to make a decision now, etc, etc. But I feel like I’m listening to my heart, and it’s saying I need to stop, the cost of fighting is just too high.

    And your heart never said that, it kept hoping and keeping you looking for another way.

    I am so happy for you. Glad you stuck with it. Glad you have found peace. Glad you’re where you are today. Glad we have “met” thought the internet.

    xoxo

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