|Photo from today.com|
This pregnancy announcement from a set of parents struggling with infertility has been making the rounds on social media over the last few days, and it has totally struck a nerve. The last time I wrote, I shared the news of my non pregnancy, my positive pregnancy test that would never progress beyond that. The outpouring of love I received from that post was incredible. Texts, cards in the mail, messages on Facebook, from people who I speak to everyday and who I haven't seen since high school or college. I can't begin to voice my gratitude for that love, at a time when I desperately needed it.
Since then, people will periodically ask me for an update on how I am doing. Perhaps between the lines they are asking if we are still trying or even if I am pregnant and just not telling anyone yet. Oh how I wish that were the case.
It's been 4 long months since that positive pregnancy test. 4 long months of nothing to report. 3 cycles of clomid, with the recent addition of an injection of HCG to trigger ovulation, all with the end result of dozens of negative pregnancy tests.
Just last night, I was walking the dog after work, and a family down the street from us, with a little girl Sabrina's age, walked by. It was the first time I'd really seen them up close since the cold weather passed, and I realized for the first time that the little girl's mother was very visibly pregnant. And it felt like somebody punched me in the gut; that should have been me. I recently went to Muffins with Moms at Sabrina's daycare, and at least half the other mothers in the room had their young babies with them. We went to a birthday party for Sabrina's friend from school recently, and most of the families with toddlers also had their little babies in tow. Everyday there is some reminder of my pregnancy that wasn't and isn't.
I was completely unprepared to deal with this infertility struggle. I got pregnant with Sabrina the third month I was off the pill, with absolutely no intervention necessary. Even my non-pregnancy happened immediately, the first month of trying. But since then it's like my body has shut down. I now know terms such a follicle size and trigger shot and overstimulation, none of which I was remotely familiar with a few months ago. I now know what it feels like when your ovaries are so full that they feel like they might burst. I now know the emotional ups and downs of clomid.
I am so thankful for my husband throughout this struggle. He is my rock and my best friend, always there to help out if I am not feeling well or to make me smile when I can't find a reason. It is ironic that he is in his 40s, much later than many men have children, and yet I am the issue here, at the ripe old age of 32. I am broken, or that's how I feel most days. Our bodies are designed to do this, yet mine just doesn't seem capable right now.
I know the next steps ahead of me in this fertility struggle, and I am not willing to take them. IUI, IVF, daily injections, sometimes multiple in a day, I am just not willing to go there. I have been blessed with a daughter, and a stepdaughter, and I am not willing to invest the time, money, and pain of those fertility treatments that will detract from the joyful life I already have. I just can't do it. This is where the road ends for me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who has supported me, and us, throughout this painful journey. It is truly in God's hands at this point, and I trust that whatever happens will happen for a reason. I'm sharing this in the hopes that there can be less of a stigma around infertility. It's a very private matter, but then again it affects so many around us. I am someone who heals by sharing, who takes comfort in talking about the good things as well as the bad. I desperately want to give Sabrina a sibling her own age, so I will stay the course and keep trying, but not forever. A person can only take so much.