In honor of Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would share a little bit more about our story. I’ve already mentioned that Elise came to us through In vitro Fertilization, but haven’t spoken much on what the journey was like leading up to our triumphant pregnancy. Here is an excerpt from my private infertility blog:
It was quite the journey to get to this place: over a year trying to conceive on our own and two years doing various fertility testing, treatments, and even a surgery. I think I counted that I had over 100 injections in 2013. It was expensive and painful and a true challenge in our relationship too. We had to make decisions about spending and saving and what kind of treatments we were willing to try and when – while also being violently jerked around on an emotional roller coaster that crested in hope just before plummeting into disappointment. Each successive month brought growing desperation for two pink lines, only to come crashing down with every glaring-white test window.
They knew me by name at the Fertility Center. Not the place you ever want to be recognized. Like, ever.
Finally, we decided we would give In Vitro one chance and if we didn’t get pregnant, we would move to adoption.
We decided we would do one “fresh” IVF cycle in which I would take injections that would help body to produce multiple eggs, that would be “retrieved” once they were big enough to be fertilized.
“Retrieved”… It makes it sound like an alien spaceship mystically abducts your eggs. Let’s just say if you think you’re afraid of needles now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Anyway, after the retrieval, they would try to fertilize the eggs, with the hope of having two embryos to “transfer fresh” and two to four more to freeze for the future.
To be honest, the only real memory I have of the retrieval is this: After receiving the general anesthesia, they wheeled me into the procedure room. My anxiety started to ease as the medicine worked its magic. I strained to find Tyler who was sitting behind me to give him a quick hand-squeeze.
But when I looked over, I was startled to see Santa sitting there watching over me instead! Was I in the wrong room? What was going on here?!!?! Something about his funny blue beard made me think, Wait… something isn’t right here...
That’s when I realized it wasn’t Santa, but Tyler all “scrubbed-up” and wearing a sterile chin and hair net.
And thank goodness for that. Anesthesia is a powerful thing, lemme tell ya. How creepy would it be to have a Santa sitting in your operating room? I think the image has scarred me for life.
Two days after the retrieval, we returned to the Fertility Center, full of excitement and hope. The hardest part was over.
Well, except for the 8 weeks of progesterone shots in your booty. But even that didn’t bother me. I was too eager for the transfer.
Upon the doctor’s entrance, he handed me an ultrasound picture. It was of two embryos. He told us solemnly that of the 18 eggs they had retrieved, these were the only ones that had fertilized. My heart sunk and my throat tightened. Transfers only have a 40% success rate.
The doctor recommended transferring both embryos. Following the transfer, I laid in a recovery room to rest. My arms hugged the precious photographs to my body.
So this was it. No frozen cycles if it didn’t work. No more treatments of any kind. Our journey of trying to conceive was ending. I prayed, thanking God that no matter the outcome, this journey had brought Tyler and I closer to each other. At the thought of those two tiny embryos, warm tears that left cool trails down my face. When a single finger gently poked my forehead, I opened my eyes to see my playful, thoughtful husband staring down at me, waiting for me to tell him what was on my mind. It was a gesture one of my favorite children’s’ book characters did, and I laughed at his goofy way of acknowledging my emotional leakage.
When I finally got my first positive pregnancy test, I cried and laughed and stared. I couldn’t put it down. I had bought pregnancy tests in bulk from Amazon and had never seen this before. Who knew a dollar store pee-stick would be such a powerful symbol of triumph.
Elise has changed our world. Just this weekend, Tyler went in to wake her from a nap and motioned for me to come. Our silly toddler was sleeping on her back with her hands behind her head, like she was bathing in the sun. So simple, but priceless to us. She entertains us daily, and I can’t begin to describe the joy I feel when she shoves her way to the front of the crowd of children hovering around the church nursery door, all the time giggling and exclaiming “Maaaa-maaaaa!!!!”
All we knew while we were waiting is just how much we didn’t know we were missing out on.
We can’t wait to meet baby #2!