I have hesitated writing this blog...I hate that I'm bringing back the blog for a post like this...but I keep feeling a nudge to be transparent and share what we have been going through. I've never wanted pity, so we've been pretty silent about this, even with our families (most of whom will be informed as they read this). After a few months, though, it's been enough time that I don't feel like "pity" is an issue. We just crave your prayers for what is to come.
August and September were tough for us. After Finn was born (maybe even before), we started talking about WHEN we wanted to try for another. With 7 frozen embryos...and my "advancing" age...we knew that we wanted/would have to have our babies close in age. At some point, we settled on trying for a sibling for Finn the summer after she turned 1. We then decided on the August 2014 cycle. This would mean a baby born at the end of April (Finn was a Sept cycle...I have to have my babies at 37 weeks for medical reasons) just a month before Finleigh's first birthday. Perfect in our minds. IF it happened to be a girl, she could share all of her sisters clothes, most of which were only worn one time.
Mid July, we started the dreaded shots again.
These cycles, the frozen ones, are SO much easier than starting over with the entire IVF cycle. Frozen cycles consist of lupron shots in the belly daily, estrogen shots in the booty 2 times/week, and one sono to check the uterus lining. Oh, and you cant forget the progesterone shots that start a week before the transfer. The progesterone shots are the EPITOME of all things horrible. The estrogen and progesterone shots are both "in oil" which means that that liquid is THICK. I thought I was ready for the P after a few weeks of the E. Oh, heavens no! The PIO (Prog in oil) is SO SO SO much thicker than the EIO. Oy! These shots leave HUGE knots in your gluteus muscle and essentially leave you with a DEEP muscle briuse. Fun. Just think...night after night after night of this. It's like re injuring an injury that hasn't healed, yet. It was brutal. When one becomes pregnant, these shots continue until the 10th week of pregnancy. How did I forget how bad they were? Well, it may not be all my bad memory. For a frozen cycle, the PIO is "double strength." Oh, thanks. My hips/booty will never be the same.
Anyway, we went on vacation with Ben's family in early Aug and toted all of my meds with us.
Finally, the day came. Transfer day. It happened the week before Labor Day. My instructions were to do 24 hours of strict bed rest and then not to lift anything over 10 lbs. Um, my baby weighs 20. We finagled the bed rest and had Finn taken care of. The "no lifting" though was a problem. I am home alone with her at least 3 days a week. It's pretty impossible to get her in & out of bed, into her high chair, onto the changing table (although we did a lot of floor changes), and just love on her without lifting. We were careful and Ben was great to pick up the slack (no pun intended) when he got home each night.
Anyway, the Wed before Labor Day, we transferred 2 very healthy & close to perfect embryos. Everything was looking textbook perfect!
We decided to travel and visit Ben's parents for Labor Day weekend. Just 2 short days after the transfer. We figured more hands would ease my lifting needs. We had a very relaxing weekend in Lubbock and enjoyed being with family.
Now, we just had to wait. We would find out the Fri after if we were pregnant or not. We were SO excited and talked so much about these babies/baby and what the next year would hold.
That Friday, I went in for my blood work and then met my friend, Misty, at the mall for some distratction. She has been through this (twice) and knows what this wait is like.
After eating lunch and walking around the mall (and seeing the ducks) the call finally came. It was in the middle of the mall that I got the news:
We weren't pregnant. Not even a little bit.
I was glad to be with a friend, but all i could think of was getting in my car and calling Ben. We quickly parted ways and Finn and I headed home. It wasn't a good afternoon, but my little Finn was a happy distraction. Her joy is contagious.
Misty texted and invited us over for dinner that night. As much as we wanted to hole-up at home, we knew we needed people (and were blessed w/ a couple of offers). What a blessing they were. We went in our grubs and had greasy Chinese food while our babes played and caused havoc! It was one of those nights of processing and honoring our sadness, but also laughing and choosing JOY in all circumstances.
When we transferred Finleigh, we transferred two blastys as well. When only one "took," I don't feel like I MOURNED the one that didn't, per say. We were SO thrilled to be pregnant, but there were concrete thoughts about the one that didn't make it. I think that now, after this most recent "loss" I have mourned that one more than I did at the time.
I say "somewhere in the middle" because it isn't quite a miscarriage, and yet, it wasn't quite the tragic devastation that we felt so often for the 6 years that we tried to get pregnant before Finleigh. There was not a since of HOPELESSNESS that I had felt SO often before. We ARE parents and we have a WONDERFUL daughter. If we are never blessed with more biological children, we are learning to be content with the IMMENSE blessings that we DO have.
In one way it was harder than previous times that we weren't pregnant...because these were REAL conceived embryos. In another way it was easier because we DO have Finn. It was/is such a strange thing to process. The thoughts that kept running through my head were "I just don't want to feel this pain again" and the pain of our "April" baby that would never be. I still tear up when I think of the later.
So, where are we now? We don't know. We would have loved to jump right back into the cycle the next month, that wasn't possible. Although a frozen cycle is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than a full IVF ("only" 4 digits as opposed to 5)...it wasn't a cost that we were expecting to have to repeat for a few years. I carry a LOT of guilt (on my own...never from Ben!) over the costs of things...and the NOTHING that comes of it when it doesn't work. it's just gone. We JUST (worked REALLY hard) to pay off the 6 years of infertility debt that had piled up and we aren't willing to put ourselves in that place again. It was a tough pill to swallow...but we didn't have a peace about "jumping back in." That, and the fact that my hips needed a break. No joke, there are STILL knots.
So often we laughed about our 7embryos in a freezer somewhere. Laughing out of fear sometimes, because we dont know what to DO with 7 embryos! We have prayed since their beginning that God would let "nature" work its course and that our family would be PERFECT and we wouldnt have to make the tough decisions with any that were left when we felt that our family was complete. We prayed that since day one...I just didnt want those true answers to come with THIS cycle. Can't God see MY plan here? (please note sarcasm) I often prayed "not this time" through the 10 day wair for a pregnancy test.
There have been so many that have been with us during our journey and it felt wrong to keep all of this to ourselves. However, it felt RIGHT to spend time honoring the pain and processing our feelings as a family. So many times I wanted to share and ask for prayers. We needed them (and we have an AWESOME core group of people who WERE praying us through it), but we just werent ready. Satan has had a hay-day with plenty in our minds through the last few months...and keeping this secret no longer felt right.
Thank you guys for loving us and supporting us. We ask that you keep us in your prayers. Specifically, we pray for CLARITY as we make decisions with our future and the future of the 5 embryos that we have. I also pray that I have a FIRE and a PASSION as I move forward with life. Passion...my word for 2014. I lost a little, but I'm getting it back (B-12 helps. ha!) as time goes on. We know that there is IMMEASURABLY MORE coming our way.
Thank you for reading and for loving us so well. For your viewing pleasure, our little ham: