2019.. I am Me

Since my last post a few months back about rediscovering who I am after infertility, much has happened. Thankfully all positive things.

Miracle turned 2, we experienced Thanksgiving, Christmas, & the New Year with a toddler in tow. For once, the holidays were celebrated with full hearts instead of treatment, recovery, loss, infertility or pregnancy discussions. Decisions about the future of my career path have been a hot topic, along with the educational path Miracle will embark on in the years to come. As a former educator with a passion for learning, it is of the utmost importance to me that he receives nothing but the best in this regard.

I am well on my way to getting used to my new normal and it is great. My days at home with Miracle are filled with cooking, baking, coloring, bike rides, & exploring outdoors. We love baking new recipes together, trying out all types of crafts, and getting messy playing outside in the dirt. Some of Miracle’s favorite things to do are ride his “mow-mow,” fix things around the house with his tools, listen to baby shark songs, and paint anything and everything he can. I do not miss the hustle and bustle of the old 9 to 5 I used to live at all.

2019 has brought solid confirmation and peace that our family is now complete, that being a stay at home mom is exactly what I want to be right now, and that the traditional educational system that I once taught in for many years may not be the best fit for our son (more to come on this later). It has also brought a sense of renewed gratefulness for my life and all I have been blessed with. I am not sure what this post is really trying to say, other than all is well here, and I hope all is well with you too if you are reading this. XOXO

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Who Am I?

For so many years I was the “infertile” one. The one who desperately yearned for a baby. The one who repeatedly underwent procedure after procedure to finally get pregnant, only to then lose the long awaited for pregnancy. The one who everyone eagerly waited for updates from to see if I was indeed expecting, or “still” expecting. Then, one day, the stars aligned, everything fell into place, and I had my baby. My miracle.

We went through the newborn sleep deprived phase, followed by all the milestones and first holidays. Infertility was not given much thought as life seemed to naturally be a blur at times. Next came the “do we want another”? baby phase, and subsequent fertility treatments. And just like that, I was once again the “infertile” one, the one everyone kept in their prayers and watched for updates from. I was right back where I had been for so long before, it almost felt as if my normal life returned and I had just been on a vacation from infertile me.

When our last ditch effort for a sibling failed, it would only seem suiting then that I seriously began to ponder, “Who am I”? or rather “Who will I be now that I am not trying to have a baby anymore”?

I have spent the last month or so trying to find out. Find the person I was wayyy long ago, before infertility and loss started robbing me of so much of “me.” I have my rainbow, and now I am on the journey to finding me again. Wish me luck.

A Final Farewell

Today was tough. It started out with ants in my kitchen which in turn led to me ripping things apart and cleaning like a wild woman, while at the same time trying to manage a rambunctious toddler who was yelling, “ANTS”!

Shortly after that, I received the news we had been waiting for on the infertility front- the results of the final semen analysis conducted a few weeks ago. While I won’t go into specifics, I will say that it is not the result we had hoped for if we wished to try on our own. Odd as it may sound, I think the hardest part of hearing the results was knowing this was the last time I would be talking to my RE.

After she went over the results and said she was sorry, there was a short silence followed by “I guess this brings us to the end of our journey,” on my end. As I uttered those words, the large lump in my throat made it hard to swallow. I felt like a part of me was leaving. The realization that this chapter is truly and completely over washed over me for the first time in those few moments on the phone with her. I pulled myself together and thanked her again for everything, and she ended the conversation with how much they all love me and to please visit sometime with Miracle.

I then knew it was time to face what I had been dreading. I took Miracle to my mom’s house for a bit, and I began packing up a good majority of the baby stuff that I had been holding onto for so long. All the emotions came and went as I rummaged through bags, boxes, drawers and closets. I packed it all in the back of my car and took it to the local second hand store. Tears were shed, not only because another baby is not in the cards, but because the time has gone so quickly with my miracle. I want to stop time and cherish every minute of him. It just isn’t fair sometimes how quickly it goes.

Is He Your “Only” One?

As she watched her 3 kids tumble around the playground and chatted with me about her growing baby bump, I could sense it was coming. I started to feel a strange anxiety building up to it.

How would I answer this question once she finally spit it out? Should I tell this stranger making small chat with me the struggle leading up to him being my “only” child? Should I say “yes…here on Earth” and leave it at that, making the woman feel sadly awkward for asking what seems like a normal question? Or how about a simple “yes” or simple “no” depending on how technical we want to get here? The possibilities were endless and they were playing out over and over again.

The question was inevitable. And so it came. Is he your “only” one? Can I just say how I hate the emphasis on only here. Like it was no feat to have him. Maybe if I had three it would have been a greater accomplishment without the word only attached to it?

Of course I know I am being unreasonable thinking any harm was meant by asking a common question, but I cant help the fact that it urked me. And although I am quite verbal about my story and the struggles to get my Miracle, my answer that day on the playground was “yes, he is.”

Meds

After our FET that just failed, we have been stuck with over a thousand dollars worth of unused meds. It makes me sick to see them so I have stashed them away in my closet for the time being. Throwing them in the trash also makes me somewhat sick considering they were so darn expensive. Yes, I know I could donate them, and as a last resort I am sure I will, but I would like to somehow justify the costs in my mind after spending a small fortune on assisted reproduction the past 6 years, all of which was not covered by insurance at all. Even recouping a small amount for them would be satisfying.

I have 4 boxes of unopened Crinone (quite possibly the most expensive drug on the planet) that do not expire for several years. I also have unopened Progesterone in Oil, DelEstrogen, & Estrace. If a fellow blogger out there needs any of these expensive IVF meds, I would be willing to discount them significantly. Feel free to comment or email me at angvfish@icloud.com

Moving Forward

Today I met with our RE for the complimentary follow up visit after an IVF cycle fail. Commonly known to IVF frequenters as the WTF appt.

Even though we know there will be no more IVF in the future & have voiced it to our clinic already, there were still some things to visit. The start of the meeting was somewhat somber with my RE saying again how bummed she was that the last little one did not make it. I tried not to focus too much on it not working, instead I told her how blessed we are that it worked with Miracle. How many women out there never get even 1 baby here on Earth after numerous IVF’s. Of course we talked about the embryo’s quality, the transfer, my protocol, etc. but it was brief as I did not feel the need to search for answers on why it did not stick.

We went on to reminisce about what a miracle he really is & that day back in May 2016 when we found out I was not only pregnant with him, but also with a baby in my tube. A.k.a. my heterotopic pregnancy experience from FET3. She told me how she shares my success story with other women in her practice often to give them hope. Specifically those who have to undergo a major surgery when pregnant, that it can work out. I cried when she told me that because if there was ever any good to come out of all the loss and hurt and IVF crap other than my son, it is giving hope to someone who needs it the most. From there we somehow got into talking about this blog and supporting women in the trenches.

At one point I actually forgot I was talking to my doctor as it was more like a conversation you have with a close friend. And thats when I realized she is a friend. Im truly lucky to have found a doctor like her.

We will be doing a sperm analysis in the weeks that follow. If you have been following along for awhile, you know we are affected by Male Factor Infertility. Back in 2013, my husband underwent a Varicocele Repair. We did IVF 6 months later and that is the last time a sperm analysis was done. It has been almost 5 years now. We are curious to see what it yields. It is out of our hands now & in His.

And Then There Was None

Miracle will be 2 yrs old soon. Hard to believe it. I mean how cliche is it to say time flies, but boy is it so true. The past year or so I have found myself struggling through stages of infancy and toddlerhood only to blink and see a new stage upon me and miss the old stage like crazy.

Back in early 2014, we had 18 eggs retrieved via IVF with ICSI, 8 of which made it to day 6 blasts. 7 were put on ice and 1 transferred back fresh at that time. 5 transfers total, 6 embryos miscarried, 1 miracle baby boy & 1 embryo that never implanted.

Our last embryo was transferred back to us early this month. We had high hopes that it would complete our family and bring Miracle a sibling. The cycle failed. I sort of knew going into it that it would not work. That sounds awful, and so much for the power of positive thinking. I blame myself sometimes for my ‘mindset’, that maybe if I had been more positive it would have worked. If I would have taken it a little easier after the transfer. If, if, if.

And of course I blame my body. The actual transfer itself was a nightmare. The catheter would not go in correctly which was never an issue in our prior 4 transfers. I guess since I dilated the full 10cm during labor with Isaac things changed down there. Who knows. Finally it worked but the cramping was not ideal. I wasnt exactly relaxed.

And then there was the quality of the embryo itself. 30% of it did not survive the thaw. The inner cell mass was still in tact as it was the trophectoderm (aka future placenta) that died off. We were told that successful pregnancies have occurred with even 50% not making it and to stay positive. Sigh. It was just another sign in my mind that things wouldnt work.

But the truth is none of this even matters because in reality if it was meant to be it would have been right? So now we pick up the pieces and try to move on from life after IVF. There will be no more IVF for us. It has taken up too much of our lives for too many years and I dont want it anymore. This cycle brought back so many ugly feelings that I remembered all too well once they surfaced. And I dont want those feelings anymore.