4/20/2015

You Are Not Alone: We Felt Weak, But Not Defeated

NIAW IVF
Photo credit: Heart Shot Photo
Look at this sweet family of three.

Abby and her husband became parents after in Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Here's Abby in her own words:

IVF is hard both physically and emotionally.

But here is the thing...

By the time you are considering IVF, you already know what "hard" is.
For Steve and I, we had already done tests and treatments. Shots and pills. Ultrasounds, chiropractics, diets, you name it.

We endured all the trials and tribulations of the disappointments of each negative pregnancy test.

We felt weak, but not defeated. 

We knew IVF was still a possibility, and we were lucky to be introduced to people who had success.

So although I was bawling at every diaper commercial on TV, we were able to dig down deep and find the strength for IVF.

We started the process in October of 2013.

The protocol often consists of a few weeks of birth control to start. It helps the doctors have complete control of your hormones. I remember feeling ridiculous since I swore off birth control forever a couple years prior because it was obviously a waste anyway. But shortly after starting the birth control, we started the injections.

Here is the funny thing about the shots...

I felt so empowered. 

I actually loved it.

It felt like I was DOING something to help my body make a baby.

There were lots of shots. Lots.

There are horror stories all over the internet about how they make you feel, but I think the internet holds the worst stories and not enough of the best.

My body responded well.

I didn't have bloating or pain, but the ultrasounds showed the meds were doing their job.

After my egg retrieval, we were lucky enough to have seven embryos reach the 5-day blastocyst stage.

We transferred one beautiful embryo and froze the other six.

Then we waited.

And then we cried.

Because our beautiful embryo in all its perfection did not take.

We lost it. 

Needless to say, I was wrecked.

That might have been the thickest grief I had ever experienced.

I felt hollow, literally and figuratively.

But we knew we had six little snowflakes waiting for us.
We scraped ourselves off the floor for a frozen embryo transfer a couple months later.

That is how we got Levi.

He is our frosty baby.

Our cryogenic cutie.

If anybody out in the blogosphere is considering IVF, I would encourage them to give themselves some credit for all the turmoil they've already endured.

I understand it isn't for everybody.

There are plenty of reasons not to pursue it.

But sometimes when you are already considering it, you just need a little push in the right direction.
NIAW

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 19-25. This post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "You Are Not Alone." If you are an infertility warrior and willing to keep this conversation going, please contact me.

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