It took three tries at IVF for us to be parents and for Stella to enter this world. Well, to be correct, it was really one fresh IVF cycle and two FETs (frozen embryo transfers). It also took a big chunk of money (funny what we could afford when we had one very clear focus) and almost 4 years of our lives spent living on an emotional roller coaster. I won't even start with how crazy the hormones made me, or the fact that I can now stab myself in the ass with a very long needle and slowly inject a viscous medication -- in public restroom on the other side of the country while traveling for work. No strange stares from the other women in the bathroom while I was doing that, for sure! I once had a needle phobia. Ha! that was nothing compared to the tragedy of not being a parent. You do what you have to do.
In very real terms we were lucky with awesome doctors and a small amount of medical coverage. I had a lot of good follicles that led to good eggs and viable embryos. I got pregnant from each cycle. When I miscarried on the fresh cycle, our embryos had frozen well and then survived thawing. Then of course, there is the amazing little girl that has taken over our hearts. Despite all the difficulty, this is sooooo much further than many hopeful parents ever get. Having essentially won the IVF lottery with Stella, however, doesn't stop me from wanting more babies. Yeah, yeah, it's understandable and all that, but I still feel selfish at times.
We have three embryos left and I'm starting the (very expensive) meds tomorrow for our final cycle. I have different feelings as we approach this last cycle. Part of me is in a really good place -- I know that there isn't anything I can do that can change the outcome, and I'm investing as much positive energy as possible. I feel hopeful, calm and even excited about what could happen over the next few months.
Part of me is quite fearful about what I'll feel if it doesn't work. This is the end of the road for our infertility journey. It feels surreal that this path that we have been faithfully following over the last 5 years will soon be concluding, one way or another. At other times I'm actually afraid about what it means if I get pregnant. The miscarriages were much harder than I expected. Rationally, I understood what was happening and accepted it. Emotionally the fear of loss carried into my pregnancy with Stella. Looking back, the losses definitely affected both Tim and me and how we dealt with the pregnancy. I didn't have as much joy as expected because the specter of loss was ever present. If I'm honest, I can see that I had a lot of anxiety during the pregnancy and even more after it. I might even go as far as to say that I showed signs of depression during the pregnancy. In the end, it didn't prove debilitating, but if I am pregnant again and start to feel the same way, I'm definitely going to find a therapist to help me deal with it more effectively. Yoga and meditation went a long way to helping, but I'd like more than the fact that I was able to get out of bed and go to work. When I'm pregnant again I want to be more joyful!
Whew! If I'm all over the map with my emotions right now, just wait and see how it after a few weeks of injectable meds!