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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heart vs. Brain: Or How I Soldiered on After Losing All Hope

I put hopeful in the name of my blog because when we started this journey that's how I felt. Or, possibly, that's how I wanted to feel. Either way, hope and I were still on speaking terms back then. But, somewhere along the way, we had a falling out. Hope and I became estranged, and I convinced myself that I couldn't become pregnant. I even began to tell myself that it was silly for me to have ever even thought that it was a possibility.

Partially this was because when we began TTC back in November 2008 I already had convinced myself that it was not going to happen quickly for us. This was because a) I felt I was already past my fertile prime at 33 (I know, HA!); b) I had been tentatively diagnosed with endometriosis by my OB/GYN and told that getting pregnant might be difficult for me; and c) I had had stomach discomfort for going on 2 years which may have been endo or could have been something else, but either way made me feel broken.

July 2009 we first saw an RE and quickly were assigned to the "unexplained" category, confirming my fears that whatever was wrong with me was so intrinsically wrong that it defied explanation. I quickly came to believe that although IUIs were the proper step to take before IVF, that they would only be a step to cross off our list and would not actually do anything for us. I was right, and this solidified my belief: we were super broken.

I believed that if we were to have any chance at pregnancy, it would be through IVF. I reminded myself over and over again that the majority of women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant, and that if we didn't get pregnant after the first one I should not freak out. But when our first IVF failed, I seriously freaked out. We had pulled out the big guns, and they had done nothing for us.

And that is when my heart broke and all my remaining hope abandoned ship.

I became like a zombie, a shell, a walking talking Jane doll with my heart in a million little pieces inside my chest. And yet, I still had a brain. And my brain was somehow still functioning. And what it was saying to me was,"Most women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant. In fact, for your age group, 80% of women will be pregnant after 3 IVFs. The odds are in your favor. You have to keep trying. Do not give up."

And so, like an automaton, I pushed forward. Not because I thought my second IVF would work (because I didn't) but because my brain was patiently instructing me that, logically, I did in fact still have a chance.

And then it did work. And now I am experiencing some extreme cognitive dissonance. And my heart is only slowly mending.

So, in conclusion, IF is a big fat f-ing bitch.

And to all you out there still battling her, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I believe in you, even if you are having a hard time believing in yourself. Some of you may still have hope, but some of you may be in the same boat as I was: a sinking one. Don't give up. This may be the hardest thing you have to do in your life. I hope it is. Be strong. There are plenty of happy endings in the IF world, and there is one out there waiting for you, I know this with all my (still a little bit broken but slowly mending) heart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Long Time No Blog!

Well, it's been quite some time since I've posted. Um, about 3 months. Wow. Here's what happened: I got seriously down in the dumps. I was not living up to my blog name. I had lost hope. I learned that failing an IVF can really knock you down hard. I was knocked down and was having a hard time getting back up. The only posts I had it in me to write were woe-is-me posts. Whiny, crazy-pants, "WWWWWHHHHHYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!" posts. I hate writing those kind of posts. It makes me feel worse when I wallow in my own misery, so I chose to step away from the computer. I also went into therapy, which was a BIG help. We didn't even talk much about infertility, because as it turns out, a lot of what I was going through was a bigger life crisis: Where is my life going? What does it all mean? And what's the f-ing point? My therapist helped me to calm down and to see that although these are important questions, they are not questions that need to be answered today or tomorrow or even in the next year. In essence, she told me to just relax. Ha!

So for the months of November and December I was in therapy, and I was learning to relax, and then I found out that I had been accepted into the IVF study in Philly starting early January. Although tempted to blog about my 2nd IVF, I just couldn't. I had found a new peace that I was so afraid would be shattered if I went back to the daily detailing of every blood draw and ultrasound, examining every number for hope or the dashing of hope.

Instead I approached it like it was a mini-vacation (I stayed at a hotel down there for about half the time). I had to get up early and show up for my daily wanding, but otherwise I didn't let it occupy my mind at all. It was... dare I say it... relaxing. Snowy. But a nice break from my routine.

About 8 days past my retrieval (5dp3dt) I started getting cramping like my period was going to start. It was early for that and I started to think that I was either going to get my period early or that my body had found a new way to be broken. After 4 days of the cramps getting worse and worse I broke down and bought HPTs.
This is what I saw at 9dp3dt:

You can barely see it but yes, there is a 2nd line.

Yesterday we went in for our beta (15dp3dt): 785.

It's weird for me to write this but it looks like we're pregnant.

I had honestly convinced myself that it couldn't happen.
I am of course nervous because it's still early, but I didn't want to keep this from all of you, who have been such an amazing support system for me for over a year now, any longer.
So, am I back to blogging? I don't know... Any big events that happen I will post about because you guys deserve to know. But other than that I may continue to be quiet for a while. Or maybe not! I'm just not sure yet.
Finally, I'd like to extend a big heartfelt congratulations to these ladies who have just gotten their BFPs, too:
A at Remember All the Way (approx. 4 weeks 8 days today)
Erika at Pollination Chronicles (approx. 4 weeks 5 days today)
Secret Sloper at Park Slope Purgatory (approx. 4 weeks 6 days today)
Nicole at Lesbo Parents to Be (approx. 4 weeks 2 days today)