Friday, September 9, 2011

Bye, Bye Blog and Thank You

So, I'm closing shop...on this blog. But starting another - Raising Little Miss and Four Hens (I can't get it to link, but you can get to it off my profile page). Wow, did this blog ever serve a purpose. I admit - I remained sane and grounded through the infertility process as a result of blogging. Not only did the overwhelming support from others tremendously help, but also the process of writing was such a benefit. I've thought a lot about why - I think it is because it allowed for some of organization of thoughts in a circumstance where my thoughts were so chaotic. I felt like it gave me the illusion of control in a situation where I had none. I needed that illusion for my sanity. And let's be honest - how cool is it to have a journal about how badly you wanted your child and the process before they were even conceived. I'm printing this blog out and I look forward to the day when I can give it to her.

The other thing I've thought a lot about is if I could give one piece of advice for someone going through infertility, what would it be?

-Value yourself and your life...with or without children. I spent four years of my life trying to have a child and now I have the most amazing daughter. The problem is, I stopped living in that process. I have very few positive memories during that time period. I lost part of who I am through that process...and now, about 6 years later, I'm just starting to regain the part of me that I neglected. Why did that happen? I think it is because I defined my value by whether or not I was a parent. I minimized everything else in my life in the absence of a child. It is only now, looking back, that I realize that my life was full, before my Little Miss. I wish I had more positive memories of those four years of my life that we were trying because I know that many positive things happened...I was just blind to them. I know infertility is hard, consuming and stressful. I know it seems impossible to have the energy to pay attention to anything else. But just try to take the blinders off. I wish I had.

Emmeline is amazing. Most mornings, most, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. She's funny, she's strong-willed, she's smart and she's kind...she's also dramatic and talks with her hands. Perhaps that early Sicily trip we took her on had some influence? The biggest gift of infertility is the knowledge of what a gift a child is. From the minute I was pregnant with her, I knew that she could be it. So every moment has been soaked up. Sometimes I question myself because I have yet to really relate to the "it goes so fast" comment. I'm sure I'll probably be able to relate at some point. But as of now, I feel like I have spent a life time with Little Miss. I've packed things away, given things away, finally stopped breastfeeding at 19 months...and at every step I was ready. There wasn't any sadness - only, "Well, I soaked that part up all I could and I'm ready to see the next step.". What a gift to have that feeling. Does it have to do with the infertility process? Who knows. What I do know is that I wouldn't go back and change my experience. We wouldn't have Emmeline if our experience was different. We may have child whom we equally love, but it wouldn't be her. I can't imagine that.

Really, how could I ever want a different path?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The infertile on birth control..."THAT" story.

You know the one...infertile couple, after actively trying to get pregnant for 5 years, having unprotected sex for 12 years of marriage, failing IVF, then having a kid from a frozen embryo transfer...drum roll please....gets pregnant on their own. Not only on their own, but effortlessly. So effortlessly that we are convinced that it had to be immaculate conception. But don't get too excited...

I thought I had cancer. Fatigued and nauseous. Any other fertile would, of course, assume pregnancy. Not me. Cancer. It had to be cancer. But before we made the phone call to the oncologist, I took a test just to absolutely rule it out the possibility. And there it was...the famous (or in my case, infamous) two lines followed by the word "pregnant" on the digital test.

I was scared. A few days prior, we had a talk about how we were really good with one. How it was so nice to just be living and enjoying life without being consumed with the next step. And now, without trying or desire, we were thrown into the next step.

You know us infertiles...desperate for information. I called my ob and lied and said that I had no idea when my last period was. I wanted a dating ultrasound. I wanted clear answers. I wanted to be told "viable" or "not viable". I was reminded of what we all know all too well - you can't always get what you want.

No clear answers at this ultrasound. There was a sac with some tissue growth but nothing identifiable. I was given a HCG test and scheduled for another ultrasound in a week. My HCG was 11,000. They should have saw something with a HCG of 11,000. Then it only went up to 17,000, 96 hours later. The next ultrasound ruled out an ectopic and in fact, we saw a heartbeat....but, it was low. 84bpm, measuring 6w. I think I was more like 8w. And the yolk sac was huge. I had symptoms, but I knew that the combination of all this meant that this was most likely a non-viable pregnancy. Yesterday, that was confirmed when there was no heartbeat. D and C scheduled for next week...I hope I make it till then.

How does this feel? I was upset when we didn't see a heartbeat. But the reason is not probably what you expect. I wasn't so upset that this lack of heartbeat meant that we would not have this baby. I was upset because we were so in a place of contentment. We weren't trying for this. We really believed that after 12 years it couldn't happen (despite being told otherwise). It got handed to us, made me sick, put me on a rollarcaoster and distracted me from Little Miss for the past 4 weeks...for no reason.

For no reason? Ok, I know better than that. There is always a reason. I guess it was just harder to find it in this case. I believe the reason this happened was to confirm the conversation Alex and I had just prior to discovering we were pregnant. Were we truly content or were we just making our peace with our situation? I questioned that. Now I know. We were really content. We now know that we can get pregnant. And with this knowledge, we have decided to go on birth control. We don't want this to be on the table anymore. We want to live our lives and enjoy the fruits of our labors (both in conceiving and in our marriage). Yes, maybe if the "labor" part had been less, we would feel differently. We'll never know. All of our past experiences have brought us to our current place and the decisions that we make. No use spending energy on the "what ifs".

So, this infertile is going on birth control - for now. Who would've thunk it?? If you told me 5 years ago that I would be doing this, I would have told you you were crazy. Then again, if you had told me that I would be getting pregnant naturally, I would have also told you that you were crazy.

I'm doing ok. Ready for this process to be over and to move on. I want my energy back for my Little Miss, who, by the way, is amazing. She blows everyone and everything kisses. The one thing I'll say is that, while this isn't pleasant, the whole unsuccessful IVF cycle was so much much harder. It was just such a different place.

I wish you all well in whatever place you may be...and the reminder that that "place" is impermanent, be it good or bad.