Today was the first day I have cried…since our transfer. I filmed tonight’s injection simply because we had filmed the last 15…I haven’t looked at the tape but I am sure I look awful. But you know what? I can put it on the internet, for strangers worldwide and I don’t even care. This is the reality of my journey and sometimes reality is beautiful; often, it’s a disaster. Being honest and real and raw about this journey is no harder, nor is it easier, than any other part.
I have tried to be the most optimistic person I know these last couple of weeks, and then today was really rough for some reason. It’s difficult and unnecessary to explain, but the bottom line is that I
felt feel very alone. Even with the amazing support of the community who has been giving us so much encouragement, it is a lonely and scary journey. This is not a cry for help, or attention. Writing for me, is a release. And this is my page and my journey, and today…this is how I feel.
Even with a partner by your side, the battle inside your body is your own during IVF. The heavy weight, the pressure of success, the guilt of failures. We received good news on our beta test results; 178! A strong first number; similar that of our friends’, two couples who recently also went through pregnancy losses in the first trimester. Still, a number to celebrate.
Comparison is the thief of joy, they say. And it’s not that these losses have made me second guess my own pregnancy any more or less than I was already going to. I was already well aware of how any pregnancy can turn out, especially in those first few weeks leading up to the heartbeat scan…
I just feel like it’s so unfair that so many of us women have to go down this path, and that not stories end up happily as they should. More than that, we keep these things secret, burdens only for us to carry, not letting our neighbors or friends know. Shouldn’t we reach out in times of distress, in times of trouble or great sorrow? What about IVF is still so taboo? This is why I am sharing my journey, despite my own ego and the fear of ‘looking bad on the internet’.
My hearts truly go out to those who have had to struggle to get pregnant, and losing a child is something I particularly can not fathom; I would have no idea what I would do to get through that, and I pray that is not my path. I hate to think that these women for one second would have to feel like another person was judging them, while going through (likely) the most difficult experiences of their lives – especially because most of us know there is nothing that should have been done differently / nothing done ‘wrong’ by the woman. There are so many genetic factors, and timing, and… just… everything.
If you are reading this, I hope you sweet souls do not for one second give weight to anyone who isn’t intelligent enough to know that it’s likely nothing you women could have done differently to produce different results. I hope you are being kind and fair to yourself, and taking time to heal. You are the same women who continue to root for my wife and I, and your strength and kindness during their sorrow is both inspiring and humbling. Fertility Warriors, as the popular hashtag goes, in every sense of the word. I respect your privacy, though you’ve made your journey public.
Making babies this way is a battlefield. I was talking to another friend the other day who also went through this IVF business, about how vulnerable and masochistic it is, stabbing ones self in the stomach with needles to try to artificially produce baby-making or pregnancy-supporting hormones. When your womb is supposed to be this sacred place and it feels broken – then you are handed needles to insert in proximity. We were agreeing that in that sense, stomach shots were ‘worse’ than injections in the rear. Vulnerability, amplified. (This was her protocol, and my last protocol; this time I am doing the butt shots!)
It’s also unfair, the things people say to someone who is going through fertility treatments. The way LGBT families can be treated. Life, man. It just seems so unfair today and the weight of the world is real. I should be excited, but I know the risks and I’ve been down this road before of letting my hopes up…
…so today, I cried. And it felt damn good to finally do it.
Now here’s to hoping for a strong second beta.
Warriors can cry…and they can get back up and keep going.
To all my TTC sisters. Ya’ll are DAMN strong.