Life just got real. Again.
If that first pregnancy wouldn’t have happened we probably wouldn’t have gone down the rabbit hole that we did. But we did. And here we are some 42 months later (that’s 3.5 years) facing the biggest slap in the face we have ever experienced with all of this.
We always figured IVF was too scientific for us, let alone way too costly. We watched our friends go through it multiple times with no success, even. We watched other friends also struggle with fertility and end up successful. Everyone’s story is unique.
It’s amazing how your attitude toward technology can change. When the world dangles things in front of you, it makes you much more curious.
The world dangled the idea of us becoming parents in front of us again and again and we were finally told that IVF might be our best option. We felt like we had to give it a shot so we could at least feel like we’d given it everything we had.
When you’re given the possibility of becoming a parent, it kind of encompasses you. We don’t live it and breathe it, but as you’re traveling down the path, it’s always lingering in the back of our minds. “What would it be like?”
When I meditate I often have visualizations that include a little girl doing things with us. That only made us more curious. And at this point, it hasn’t helped. Especially now.
Out first round of IVF egg retrieval quickly passed into our second. The injection bruises had barely faded and yet there we were passing hormones into me once again. Because of our reoccurring pregnancy loss, we were having all of our embryos tested for chromosomal accuracy (PGS) prior to doing any transfers / attempts at becoming parents again.
Since our first retrieval only gave us two chances, neither us nor our doctor felt like that was enough given the slim likelihood that the embryos would test normal. Round two gave us three more to work with for a total of five. That seemed like a good number. It certainly sped up the process of trying to get pregnant versus going about all this the old fashioned way.
Fast forward past the two weeks it takes to get the test results. The next day, the day which marks the two week mark for the embryo testing, I’m signed up to have a procedure to correct a slight “flaw” in the shape of my uterus that will eventually lead to better success rates of an embryo implanting. We decided it might be worth inquiring about the test results before I put myself through this.
There it is! The absolute worst news we could have ever heard from all of this. The news we were never prepared to hear. Not one. Not one of the five embryos is normal. Not one.
We figured we’d at least end up with one or two embryos to work with. “All it takes is one!”, people kept telling us.
We have spent so much time and so much energy on this process and it has amounted to zero. Nothing. The amount of money spent is mind numbing. Money we didn’t have in the first place. And the yet that part we can’t even think about right now.
We have never experienced heartbreak at this level. It’s like having five miscarriages all at once, which really ends up feeling like that and more. We feel like we’re also reliving the three prior miscarriages too. It’s a grief that overtakes you. We wake up each day a bit sad to see a new day has come.
Never in our lives have we been told no and not been able to find a work around for it. Never in our lives have we not found a light at the end of the tunnel.
I lost my father at 17 and this feels more difficult than that. My Dad was taken from me, but at least I have the memories of knowing him. Right now, parenthood feels like it has been taken from us. Two of us. Parenthood we never had in the first place. We may never know what that is like. We’ll certainly never know what being parents to our biological child will be like. The tests revealed that all the issues with the chromosomal testing were coming from the maternal side.
We are at a standstill for the time being. Stunned. Lost. We have been blindsided in a way we never knew. We are grateful to have each other. At least we have that.
The only options now don’t even feel like options. None of those options are guaranteed and they just cost more money, and lots more of it. Lots more that we just don’t have. We ponder if it’s all cause we just don’t want it bad enough or what.
Suddenly trivial things feel very trivial. All we want to do is escape this current situation versus drown in it for one more second.
This wound is still very real. We are muddling through. One step at a time. The things that are normally comforting don’t feel good.
I don’t want to meditate for fear of seeing the little girl. I don’t want to run cause I might start crying during the run and trip and fall cause I can’t see from the tears. This too shall pass, but it totally sucks.
Love your children. Love them like you never had them. Some of us aren’t so lucky. If you’re pondering the idea of having children don’t wait to do so. People told us that too. It always sounds so cliché. We always thought we weren’t ready or figured we had more time since people seem to be having babies at older and older ages. The heartbreak of not being able to have them is real and it’s a tragic story that not many people choose to share, so you may not end up realizing how many people it affects. There are lots and lots of us.
I’ve enjoyed the thoughts of others on this platform long enough now, that I’ve chosen for some reason to let this all out here, now. For the first time. Things somehow could always be worse, but this feels pretty awful right now. Please be gentle with the feedback. Thank you for reading.