I debated writing a follow-up to my original IVF journey post as the thought of triggering or making anyone’s day a little tougher is hard for me to swallow as I know what an emotional roller coaster ride this can be. More than anything I wanted to be able to express to each and every one of you who reached out to me how much it meant and what a difference it made in my experience. The overwhelming response was that I was supported by this strong community of women who had their own successes and failures when it came to fertility. I have heard endless stories of surrogacy, adoption, egg donors and everything in between from all of you. What I’ve realized is that even though everyone has a different story or experience, it doesn’t take away from the support we can give each other. I had so many people tell me how brave I was to share my story but that was the last thing I felt. I did it for myself because I KNEW I needed the support of others. I have battled with anxiety and panic attacks since I was in middle school and I’m finally learning that isolating myself only makes it worse. If through this process I’ve been able to help other people, then that’s just an extra blessing.
I can say that once I got over the initial shock of needing the help of IVF to conceive, shame was truly the last thing I felt as I knew I didn’t have control over the process. It’s much easier to say “let it go” than put it into action but I had no other choice if I wanted to stay in a good head space. I also made sure to keep myself in check instead of trying to compare with other friends who were able to get pregnant without an issue.
I remember the day of the embryo transfer looking at my husband who had tears in his eyes and thinking either way we WILL be okay. The two weeks waiting to see if the embryo stuck was like watching a pot of water boil…it felt like forever! My doctor compared it to peanut butter and jelly so I made Eugene and I eat PB&J sandwiches for 4 days in a row! I was supposed to take a blood test to find out if we were pregnant on a Monday but after going to acupuncture on a Thursday evening, I came home and took a pregnancy test without telling my husband. I took two tests and both said POSITIVE. The absolute shock that I felt is hard to explain in words. I handed the stick to my husband and we literally sat on the floor in the living room staring at each other for what felt like an hour. I had this huge relief of passing the first hurdle of getting pregnant and knowing what a big accomplishment it was. My husband and the fertility clinic staff were obviously thrilled but were cautiously optimistic. I had this feeling in my gut that this baby was strong and mighty…some might say just like me. 🙂
This process is not for the faint of heart and I will not lie to anyone by saying it’s easy. After over 200 shots, blood work over and over again and doctor appointments sometimes up to three times a week, I am beyond grateful and relieved to be on the other side of this. I almost feel guilty that we were so lucky and it worked the first time. That may sound strange but you hear women who have done IVF cycles many times and I cannot imagine the heartache that must feel.
Please feel free to reach out if you want to share your story with me or are about to go through something similar yourself.