Category Archives: personal
am I still more or less in denial that this is happening? absolutely.
did I have a near anxiety attack last week and text my acupuncturist/midwife if I could stop by her acupuncture office with my home doppler so she could find the heartbeat for me because I was convinced something was wrong? without a doubt.
over the last 3 days have I had this insatiable hunger that cannot be settled with any amount of food? yup.
are maternity pants the best. thing. ever? totally. (seriously why aren’t all jeans made with a stretchy belly band?!)
did I take 181 self portraits today only to realize that I can’t take myself seriously when really all I was excited about was wearing this sweater that I am obsessed with for the first time? 100%.
am I convinced that this slowly growing belly of mine is actually our baby and not just all the in n out double doubles I’ve been eating? …..maybe.
aaaaand sometimes a journalist from a Jewish-American newspaper, The Founder, in New York contacts you and writes an article on your choice to use crowdfunding to help pay for IVF.
any avenue to be able to tell our story is a good one, in my opinion. perhaps it sparks couples to think about other financial options, or perhaps sparks a larger debate on why this type of medical coverage isn’t available to most people through insurance. and while this specific article takes a look at the situation through the eyes of the Jewish community- it’s a universal struggle for so many. the idea of having to go into debt to start a family is a cruel concept. here’s hoping that as more stories like this are shared– the opportunity for change in the future can happen.
you can read the article here!
one of the difficulties in navigating the path of infertility is time. years and years pass by, where all one can do is imagine how life would be like once they’re finally pregnant. you find your strength to continue on after heartbreak after heartbreak because you’re chasing a goal. you’re chasing a dream that you play in your head over and over again….what it would be like to finally see those two pink lines on a test…..what it feels like to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time…..what people will say to you when you can finally announce you’re pregnant. it’s these little milestones that become daydreams– fantasies that you play out in your head over and over and over again.
the problem with fantasies is that they can never compete with reality. and the reality was that when I heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, I was utterly crushed to have just learned just a few seconds prior that it was just 1 baby, and not 2. this wasn’t the moment I had daydreamed about a thousand times over. no matter how hard I tried to be in the moment to take in this milestone of hearing a healthy baby’s heartbeat inside me, I was in shock, feeling so disappointed…and hating myself for realizing this was how I was feeling in this moment.
I’ll be the first to own up and say I dove deep into the fantasy of life with twins. I was cautiously excited when we transferred two embryos, but then as my hCG climbed into the 39,000s…..I fully gave in to the daydream. I saw what our life would have been like with two babies. I saw my pregnancy. I saw the birth. I saw bringing them home, being up with them at ungodly hours of the night. I saw navigating getting both in and out of the car to go run errands, answering strangers questions of what life was like with twins, walking around with my husband- each carrying a baby of our own. I saw it. I felt it. I lived it. and all that came crashing down simultaneously as we heard our 1 miracle baby’s heart beat. and I hated, HATED, how disappointed and sad I felt. because the goal in all of this was to become parents to a baby. and through the course of time, the goal now became to be parents to 2 babies. and here we were, it was happening. but not how I fantasized it would.
no matter how much we were in control of the situation, no matter the technology, nor the money spent….no matter how much power we had to chose the genders of how many embryos we wanted to put back in me…..you never have control with fertility. and now here I was grieving the loss of what could have been, our son or daughter, a brother or sister.
and yet, simultaneously…..there’s was so much to be celebrating and thankful for. there was another beating heart inside me. a baby measuring exactly on target. this is the moment we had been fighting for, for over 2.5 years. right in that room. it had finally happened.
it. was. so. much. to. take. in.
sending the first ultrasound picture and video of the heartbeat to our family and closest friends was so bittersweet. everyone was elated, and we were grieving. I felt emotionally tormented, wracked with guilt for not being able to celebrate the opportunity of life that was growing inside me. but infertility forever changes your mindset on how you approach milestones. a delicate balance of navigating fear with hope. with too much hope, you’re susceptible to disappointment…but with too little hope, you can lose the strength to keep going.
I held on (a little too tightly) to a dream of twins. and I knew it would would just take time to realign reality with what our life would actually be now versus what I pictured in my head. I knew I wouldn’t feel like this forever, and I just needed the time to process and grieve. (I also admit that my twin fantasy only played out the “best case scenario”, and didn’t involve complications, premature labor, or NICU stays- all of which are very common with multiple pregnancies.)
our pregnancy announcement picture, with the “worth the wait” onesie was actually part of a twin set. I couldn’t bring myself to take out the second onesie until this moment of writing this blog. it’s stayed neatly folded and hidden away in the package it arrived in.
I eventually reached out to my nurse, asking her if she had any idea of why only 1 embryo took. was it because of that massive bleed I had early on? I so terribly just wanted answers. she told me that while there is no way to know if that bleed had anything to do with it, statistically there is only a 30% chance for twin pregnancies when transferring 2 embryos. somehow I thought the odds were a lot higher.
at this point, a week away from being 4 months pregnant- I can say I’m about 98% at peace with losing one of our embryos. when I see twins on social media or out in public, the sting is far less than it was at the start of it all. my therapist was the first to remind me that twin pregnancies come with so many complications more often than not, and I deserve to have a pregnancy where it is as carefree as possible. I get it. I’m grateful. I am beyond, beyond grateful. I envision life now with just our one little babe, and it’s a beautiful, amazing life. but for a moment in time, I was sad. I had lost a life that could have been. a life that I dreamed as close as I could to reality. and that’s okay.
……and perhaps I quietly hold on to the fact that we have two more embryos on ice waiting for us in the years to come. …..maybe our first born will have twin siblings….
do I dare to dream again?
as of this past sunday, I hit the 14 week mark….which means I’m officially in the second trimester.
it’s no surprise that my excitement from my graduation appointment with my RE has worn off as time has gone on. I now only go see my OB once a month which is excruciating. I have absolutely no symptoms. I feel totally normal. I don’t have an adorable belly bump to show off- I’m just pudgy, and pants with zippers don’t really fit anymore. I struggle with talking about being pregnant in person to people at times…because frankly, I’m afraid. we started to clean out the office to make it a baby room, I have a pinterest board with baby shower ideas, I’ve slowly been working on a registry. I have had fleeting moments of being excited, but the truth of the matter is- I’m more often anxious than not. it’s all still very surreal, and I think sometimes it’s easier to be in denial almost than to think it’s actually happening. I’ve been too scared to document these early phases of this new chapter.
however, over the last two weeks- I’ve had 3 friends experience miscarriages from IVF. it’s news that drops a pit in my stomach. my heart aches with pain for them. it’s just not fucking fair, and I hate that anyone has to experience that kind of suffering. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
but now I can’t help but put things in perspective. I am so fortunate to have made this far. I am so lucky that my first frozen embryo transfer worked. and while it’s normal to feel scared, as anyone would be going down the path we’ve been on thus far, I need to remember to be grateful.
so this morning, as the early sun came through my bedroom window… I took my first belly bump picture. I’ve been so nervous to document the change, but now I know I need to. I want to. even though I’ve been afraid to.
this morning I woke up grateful. and for how vulnerable putting this image out there even feels to me, I want to remember today. this feeling. how far we’ve come. how far we have yet to go.
and here’s the transformation that happens after two months and twelve days of 1.5 inch needles going into your butt every single night! the very first shot, to the very last.
okay, maybe that scene from the last shot was a little flourished, haha. (but let the record show, the needle was actually in my skin when I took the picture!)
I’m officially off all fertility related meds, which is crazy-town. I’ll share later what that regimen was, and how the weaning process went....but for the time being, we celebrate that we survived 76 shots into the hiney!