I am going to attempt to pick up where I left off last June. I feel terrible about disappearing and failing to post any updates after sharing so many details about my IVF/infertility experiences. I was in a weird place. I will explain a little more down below. It has been a wild ride. Let’s see what I remember.
To state the obvious: our second IVF cycle worked. Getting a positive test after almost five years of negatives was the most surreal feeling. I was on Cloud 9 for maybe half a day? After that I immediately began over-analyzing my beta levels (HcG) and tearing my hair out over whether the numbers were rising quickly enough. Are they doubling? Why aren’t they doubling? What does that mean?! My doctor’s office was like, “Chill out, your numbers are great!” But I was completely paranoid. If you are going through fertility treatments and get a positive test, don’t ever Google anything related to beta levels. It’ll get ugly really fast.
After obsessing over my blood levels, then came the early ultrasounds with my fertility doctor. Hands down one of the coolest aspects of IVF is that you have the earliest photos EVER of your kid. Is it weird that I still occasionally stare at a photo of my daughter as a five day old blastocyst? I’m in complete awe.
We finally “graduated” from our reproductive endocrinologist to our OBGYN when I was about ten weeks along. Actually, the fertility clinic had to kick my ass out of their office. I knew I had to move on, but I had grown so attached to my RE and the nurses that it was pretty painful to leave them.
I had bad “morning” sickness nearly the entire nine months. I had to be on prescription medication until the day I delivered. My OB kept saying, “It should go away by 15 weeks.” “Oh, it’ll be gone by 20 weeks.” Then, “Well, sometimes it hangs on until 24 weeks.” Finally, at like 35 weeks, he shrugged his shoulders and admitted that I was just “one of those women” that feels like shit for 40 weeks. Thanks, Dr. K. Do I at least get a special trophy or something with my name on it? Nope? Okay then. Moving on. Also, I want to note that I did not have hyperemesis gravidarum. I was in bad shape, but it never got that bad. Those poor women.
Let’s see…what else can I share about the pregnancy. I didn’t have a baby shower despite some generous offers to host one for me. I resisted going to birth classes for months until my OB made me feel like a total shit for not going. Then I signed up and learned how long I should hold out before getting an epidural. Kidding. Sorta. I did get to roll around on a birth ball with a bunch of other pregnant women, and that was pretty fun.
All in all, pregnancy did not come easy for me. I was a nauseous hermit most of the time.
The stress of infertility never really goes away. It just kinda morphs. You stress about getting pregnant, and then when you finally achieve that, you worry about staying pregnant. I had a lot of trouble acknowledging the pregnancy out of fear that I would jinx myself. That fact alone became more and more ridiculous as I was walking around with a huge growing belly.
It was definitely a lonely time. I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I was pregnant. So, understandably, I couldn’t go cry to anyone with fertility issues. But I still carried the hurt and trauma of so many years of struggle. It was all very confusing and conflicted, and it kinda broke my heart every time I sensed myself being weird when I wished I could just be carefree and happy.
Ultimately though, those forty one and a half weeks that I carried my daughter were the greatest gift of my life. I can say this now that I have given birth and I am looking back on all of it. At the time, I was so wrapped up in surviving each day of the pregnancy, it just wasn’t possible to really enjoy myself.