I started this blog when my life only consisted of struggling with infertility. I was tired of people’s insensitive comments about our struggle ( “just relax”, “be patient”, “enjoy it”) and I needed a venue to share my thoughts with others. I needed my feelings about infertility to be shared with those who haven’t experienced it. I needed to be able to convey how hurtful their words were to me. I felt the pull to blog the moment I started fertility treatments in November of 2015, but didn’t start it until March of 2016. I waited until I knew it was something I HAD to do, that I couldn’t take holding in my hurt any longer. The blog has gone on to chronicle my treatment, my miscarriage, my D&C, my pregnancy with Asher, the loss of him, and my grief journey ever since.
For those who haven’t been following since the beginning, I started treatment back in November 2015, I was a 27 year old woman who, up until that point, had never had blood taken. I had a full blown panic attack the one time it was suggested to me by a doctor. I burst into tears, freaked out, gave some excuse about my dog just being put
down (which was true), and that I would have to come back to have it done. Needless to say, I never went back. I always told myself that the first time I would ever have blood drawn would be to confirm a pregnancy. Then I wouldn’t be afraid, because it would be worth it for my child. Instead, the first time I ever had blood taken was the day of my initial consultation with the fertility doctor. It wasn’t to confirm a pregnancy, it was to see if something was wrong with me and my ability to get pregnant. From that moment, blood work and needles became a staple in my life. Monthly, weekly, and daily needle pricks happened throughout my time with the fertility doctor. My paralyzing fear of needles was no more.
In all of these instances, someone else was doing the poking. When I did a combination cycle with Clomid and injectables, I asked my neighbor to come over and inject me. I had my husband do it a few times but he really didn’t feel comfortable doing it. (He may have bruised me one time. I asked him to be a little more gentler next time. His response, “ I’M NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!!”) The thought of giving it to myself filled me with massive anxiety. I was fine with needles but definitely not fine with giving them to myself.
This photo shows just how far I have come in my journey. Almost two years exactly, I went from never having blood drawn to injecting myself with medication. I went from never watching the needle go in, to looking at the needle after it was already in, to watching the needle go in as I stuck myself. It was easier to inject myself then to make my Hubby do it. He was terrified of hurting me and did not want to bruise me again. However, you bet your butt I made him stand next to me and watch as I did each injection. He may not be able to give it to me, but he can be a part of all that I am doing to try for another child.
I asked Hubby to take this photo to have proof of my progress and of how much I am willing to do for a living child. Our world was shattered the day we learned Asher died. After losing him, my already broken heart continued to break into more pieces each month that I wasn’t pregnant again. “We already lost Asher, why do we have to struggle so hard to have another child?! We just want a baby! Why can’t one thing go right for us?!” So, we made the decision to go back to treatment to try and speed the process along. That meant bringing out the “big guns (below IVF)”, the injectables. (I am not ready to commit $15-$18K to IVF, to possibly still lose a child to unexplained stillbirth.) Most women I know who have done an injectable cycle have gotten pregnant within one to two months of treatment. I am stepping out of my comfort zone with this treatment; multiple ultrasounds (and not the over the belly kind the movies make you think happen), blood work every other day, injections daily for 5 days, a trigger shot, IUI (insemination), and then progesterone pills (that you don’t take orally). It’s not just treatment that lasts a short amount of time and then we wait to take a test. I have to do something every single day. It’s a lot and it’s stressful. I fixate on everything that I could be doing wrong. Is this the right progesterone pill? Is it “dissolving” like it should? Am I putting it in right? I spiral rapidly.
At this point, I am not allowing myself to have any hope about this cycle. It hurts too much when the hope is crushed and let’s face it, what has hope really given to us up until this point? I can’t allow myself to think any further than the next day. I can’t look ahead to a positive or negative test. If it is positive, then what? I freak out about losing the pregnancy. I freak out about never getting to have a living baby. I feel guilty to be excited about a positive because I lost my firstborn child 9 months ago. I worry that Asher will be forgotten. I worry that this baby won’t stick. I worry. If this treatment leads to the end goal of pregnancy, a whole new door of worry and fear opens with it. If it’s negative, it’s the crushing blow that, yet again, I am not pregnant. I still don’t have a living child. My arms are empty and will remain empty for the foreseeable future. Then I deal with the slight bit of relief I may feel that there isn’t another child coming to overshadow Asher. Either way the outcome is overwhelming. So, I won’t allow myself to look forward, to dream of a positive test and the possibility of hope returning into my life again. I’ll let others have hope of a pregnancy for us while, I’ll continue to just focus on one day at a time because that is really all I can handle.