Thursday, March 19, 2009

An anniversary

It was one year ago today that I began my lupron shots, signaling the official start to my IVF cycle. I began birth control pills on March 1, but for me, the beginning of the injections was the first "real" start to my IVF. It had been a rough year for me. Last year, I desperately wanted a child, and I feared that I would never be able to get pregnant on my own. I was so sad, I was sick of being crushed by the BFN every month, and I was sick of facing down my needle phobia and injecting my body full of drugs. I was dreading facing another Mother's Day wondering if I would ever be a mother. But, to paraphrase a cycle buddy, my desire to have a child was greater than my needle phobia and my fear of failing.

In my head, we had three tries at IVF. I was terrified of something going wrong, and I was terrified to find out that maybe my body just wasn't capable of carrying a baby. I wanted it to work so badly, and I was afraid of the total devastation that I thought would happen if it failed. I was so emotional. DH & I were talking about adoption because I didn't believe we'd ever get pregnant, and we had discussed both donor sperm and donor eggs if we were told IVF couldn't work because of one or the other of us. I just knew I wanted to be a mom, to raise a human being and offer him or her love and security. I felt like I had so much to offer, and just needed a chance to help guide someone into this world. I guess a part of me feels like there is so much bad in this world, that teaching a human to feel loved and to love, to be good and to do good, has to help tip the balance towards good in this world.

Infertility took a toll on me . . . I am not the same person I was before we went through our struggles. Perhaps I am better or stronger, but perhaps not. Infertility stole a little of the joy from me, and made me fear so much during my pregnancy. Infertility took a lot of the joy out of making a baby. Infertility has me dreading the prospect of TTC again. Infertility made me cry many, many nights, and made me resent so many people for getting pregnant so easily. I still get a twinge when I see that my friends have kids that are older than ours and it reminds me that it was so much harder for me.

But, infertility taught me how to fight. And it taught me how to put on a fake smile and push through the hard times. Infertility taught me how to look for a silver lining, and find joy in other ways when I couldn't achieve joy how I'd planned. Infertility taught me that I can get through anything, and that good things can come out of bad times. I'm not saying it wasn't difficult, and I'm not saying it didn't hurt . . . but I learned I can cope. I learned I can live with disappointment, and I learned that even though at times it started to take over, I could be more than just "infertile."

Now, as I sit here looking at my little guy, I'm overwhelmed. I went through so much, and I am not sure he will ever truly understand all of the joy he brought to my life. I know how lucky I am to have him, and I know that I would not trade an instant of anything I went through if it meant Micah would not be a part of my life.

So, yes, I am an infertility survivor. I am not sure what lies ahead for us when we embark on our journey to conceive #2, and I am filled with dread and worry that there will never be a #2, or that we will have to do IVF again, but I do know that I can face it.

To all you ladies out there dealing with infertility . . . treatments, IVF, IUI, medicines, and losses . . . . hang in there. Fight your fight, and find your path. Wherever your path leads you, you will make it through and you will find happiness on the other end. I cannot promise everyone that we will all get pregnant . . . but I know we can all find our way to happiness.

I am not a religious person . . . I have a strong set of beliefs, and a strong Jewish identity (more in the cultural sense than in the religious sense), but I recently read something posted by a fellow SK poster, and it spoke to me, so I am going to post it here. She said that G-d has 3 answers to our prayers:
  1. Yes
  2. Not yet
  3. I have something better for you.
Perhaps all those months of BFNs are really just "not yet" or "there is something better." I sure hope so.


Christian Housewife said...

I just want to give you a hug. I'll settle for a virtual hug.

Shannon said...

You are such an inspiration to many, and I look to you for guidance in this journey of mine. Happy Anniversary of the making of Micah:)

Chele said...

Excellent post Tess. Infertility changes us all in ways we can't often express. I'm hoping you are one of the lucky ones and gets what they call a "freebie". If you don't know, that is when you conceive on your own and when you least expect it after Infertility or Infertility treatments.