#Microblog Mondays: Blink

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Time goes by in the blink of an eye. With infertility, time crawls in the moment but looking back time passes so quickly and you can’t believe how much has gone by.

Blink. An hour gone. Blink. A day gone. Blink, a week, a month, a year.

Blink. Two of my birthday passed by since we started trying to conceive. Three of J’s.

Blink. Multiple family gatherings, the birth of other people’s children, the death of loved ones.

Blink. 28 cycles, and 28 failures. 3 IUIs, one round of IVF, 0 transfers. 0 pregnancies.

Blink. 2 and a half years of my life gone in the blink of an eye. And what do I have to show for all my efforts besides a depleted bank account, and a weary soul?

The only thing keeping me moving forward is the hope that the next time I blink, when I open my eyes I’ll have another set looking back at me. The eyes of J and I, intertwined. And I’ll never want to close my eyes again.

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Invested in the Grey Area

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Throughout this process, the whole process, from the first month of trying to conceive naturally, through the first appointment at the fertility clinic, and during our IUIs, I have never felt like we have had any tangible success. We’ve never been pregnant, I’ve never seen those double lines. Even during the IVF process, I was focused on taking my meds, growing those follicles, and making it to the retrieval. It was all matter of fact, specific, detail-oriented. Obviously there have been a lot of emotions through this journey, ups and downs, tentative hope and crushing failure, but nothing true and real to pin our hopes on.

When we first visited our fertility clinic, there didn’t seem to be any reason why IUI wouldn’t work for us, but I don’t know that I ever had any faith in that. At the same time, I desperately hoped it would work because I just couldn’t do IVF. In my mind, I wasn’t strong enough, brave enough, didn’t want to spend the money when “normal people” get babies for free, and never thought we would get to that point. I was just in denial. As time went on, and IUIs continued to fail, I came to the realization that IVF may be our last hope (for our own genetics at least). I came to peace with it, but was still nervous about making it through.

Though I was miserable on my meds, had many scary moments where my cycle could have been cancelled, and am still bitter that this is where our journey has brought us, I did it because I have to know I did everything to get our take home baby. As of now, we are one step closer than we have ever been to that becoming a reality.

We got the call the day after retrieval that out of 13 eggs, 9 were mature. This is pretty much exactly what I expected as there were two larger follicles that would have held over-mature eggs, and two small follicles that would have most likely been immature eggs. Out of those 9, there were 7 fertilized with ICSI. On day three of growth, those 7 had continued to divide normally, and one more of the original 9 had decided to join the bunch, though it was slow and only of fair quality. As of this morning 5 made it to freeze. There is one straggler still, only of fair quality, so I’m not counting on that one. First big hurdle done, now let’s just hope they thaw well…

We have created living cells that are half him, and half me. This situation begets a bit of a grey area for me. Although I am pro choice, and think that people need to do what is best for their own situation, I am already attached to these embryos. They are us, and could give rise to our child(ren). I found myself thinking of them often, growing and multiplying in the lab. They are now frozen in time, suspended until they can be transferred to my uterus. Created Jul. 31 but waiting on ice until it’s time to come home.

It is surreal. I have a hard time wrapping my head around it, and yet I am already so invested in them. I know we still have many hurdles to get through, the thaw, the transfer, carry to term, and birthing a child. Hope can be a dangerous thing, but I can’t help but hope, that one of those embryos is our baby.

Hope is a Four Letter Word

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Hope (def.): the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Pff. I don’t have a lot of that left. Try insanity, as defined by Albert Einsten; “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Yup, got that one down pat.

Each failed cycle I can feel myself getting more bitter and impatient (you’d think this would be a good lesson in patience but it’s just making me more impatient if anything). I am afraid this experience is changing me for the worse, as that impatience has spilled over into other areas of my life. I am weary and jaded. Every new pregnancy announcement, ultrasound photo, baby bump, facebook announcement make me want to hurl my computer against a wall. I am turning into a hard, bitter person. I tolerate less and less from other people, though I should really be cutting them some slack, because I have no idea what their story is, just as they have no idea what I’m going through. But I can’t seem steer myself out of that dark place that turns me into a bitch.

I have cycled through a lot of different emotions during our struggle, and sometimes several all in the same day. It is a complicated thing, infertility. I think the loss of control is the hardest part, along with quelling my pain and frustration to keep it from seeping into every facet of my life. With most things in life, if I wanted something I just had to work hard enough for it, and it could be mine. With this, not so much. I want to be an “A” student, I want to win at infertility. I hate feeling helpless.

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions that’s for sure but also a learning and growing experience. If I am forced to search out the silver lining, I can admit it it has strengthened our marriage, our communication and my appreciation for our children-to-be. It has also shown me that I am stronger than I thought.

If you would have foretold this struggle to me, I would have not wanted to try, I would have kicked and screamed like a little child (ok I’ve still felt like doing that at some points), but when you’re in it what else can you do but carry on. You have to wake up every morning and put your feet on the floor. Life does not stop just becase you’re suffering.

It’s been a hard-worn battle, and it’s not over yet. I have mad respect for woman who have been through 100X what I have. I hope I still have strength enough left if I get sent further down this rabbit hole.

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