Unfortunately, our cycle has ended the way every other try has ended for us. With a negative pregnancy test, or more truthfully, a few.
The “two week wait”, as us in the infertility world like to to call the time between ovulation or IVF transfer to the time you can take a pregnancy and get an accurate result, was especially brutal this time. With the amount of work, and emotion, and physical endurance I felt like I had to undergo to get there, every day I had to wait was difficult. But I guess that is really what I have been learning to do since the moment Aaron and I decided to try to have kids. To wait, and to try to wait well.
Infertility has gotten the better of me on more than one occasion. It has gotten the better of my anger, of my jealousy, my depression. I have put our marriage through the wringer multiple times over it, I have pushed away friends or friends have pushed away from me, and there have been times when I have distanced myself from family. There, unfortunately, have been too many moments in the two years of trying that I am not proud of, because I really just could not figure out how to wait well.
Infertility is tricky on the mind, because just as you come of age to deal with it, everyone else also is of age to start their own families. In this day and age, it is so, so easy to look around and see everyone else getting the one thing that you want the most. There are birth announcements every day on facebook, you go to work and it seems like everyone is pregnant or talking about their young children, you go out to eat and it’s just a sea of car seats and high chairs. For me, what has been the most difficult in the last week has been to look at pictures on Facebook of kiddos wearing their “my first Christmas” onesies and the proud parents holding them with genuine smiles of happiness on their faces.
I have now been through two Christmases telling myself, “surely by next Christmas, you will have a baby”. And this year, I have really had to do my best to block out the new voice that replies with “but probably not”.
If you let it, infertility can really engulf your life in darkness. Like I said, it is so much easier to get caught up in the jealousy, and anger, and sadness of the situation instead of fighting against it. I think at the beginning, I really didn’t know how to fight against it, and it really took over my mind and emotions. However, somewhere along the way, I heard something like, “there’s beauty in the waiting”. It took me some time even after that to realize that you have to actively look for that beauty, especially when you are facing something dark and difficult.
When I have said that this round of IVF has changed me, I have meant it. There was something about how terrified I was to start this whole process that really jump started my quest to ‘find the beauty’. I knew that if I didn’t, a failure in this could ruin me. So I became more intentional than I have in my entire life about the good things I have, the relationships around me, the opportunities that I have. And when that darkness and negativity starts to creep its way back in, I have reminded myself to stop, look up, and be grateful for all of the beautiful and wonderful things that are right in front of me. That beautiful, miraculous embryo that I will never get to hold or see, has made me a better person, a better wife, a more patient nurse, and a better follower of Christ. Something so small, has made an impact so big. So in that, I am not walking away from this with nothing.
I have absolutely had my moments after our test results (writing that last paragraph included!). But they have been just that. Moments of actual grief. I think that it’s really cool and a very healthy thing to just be sad about something that you should be sad about, for as long as you need to be sad about it. But I’ve learned to have my moments, and then pick myself up again and move on.
So we are moving on, stronger than we were before. More armed and ready for whatever the next battle is that is in front of us.
We will meet with our fertility doctor in the beginning of the new year, and make a plan for what comes next. Aaron and I are planning on tackling another round of IVF and would like to get started as soon as possible, although from what I know right now will at the very earliest, not be until February.
Once again, I thank everyone for your support. Your words of kindness and prayers have done more than you could ever really know!
PS. If you’re interested, here is another blog post I stumbled upon that illustrates what it feels like to go through this that I thought was spot on.