New Beginnings

Lotus Flower, Innisfree Garden, Millbrook, NY

The experience of infertility has been on my mind a lot lately. There are a number of reasons for this – a big reason is that I am on the verge of stepping up my involvement in the infertility community in a big way through a volunteer role with an organization whose mission is to educate people about infertility, and advocate for, and provide support for people who are infertile. Needless to say, I am super excited about this opportunity.

Something else that I am super excited about is that I am pregnant again! I haven’t blogged since I found out (on either of my blogs), for all of the usual reasons, but at 21 weeks along, I am more than halfway through this pregnancy (I just updated the details on my “TTC Journey” page). Once again, I am enjoying an uncomplicated, fairly symptom free pregnancy, and am looking forward to welcoming Baby Boy’s little brother into our family.

While my husband and I are not committing to “never again”, the reality is that in all likelihood, our family will be complete once this baby arrives. This means that after six years where trying to conceive, infertility, and pregnancy were such a big part of our lives (at times overshadowing everything else that was going on), we will be closing the door on our reproductive years.

This is, of course a wonderful place to be. After having lived through the anguish and uncertainty that infertility brings, both personally, and through the stories of the hundreds of infertile people I’ve connected with (online and also in person), I know how incredibly lucky we are to get the “happily ever after” ending.

And yet, the last six years are so imprinted in my mind, that it’s still hard for me to see ahead to the time where something that was so front and center in my life will no longer matter. I cannot get my head around never again worrying about the ins and outs of my menstrual cycle, never buying another ovulation prediction test, nor needing any more fertility clinic appointments. Even something as matter of fact for most people as taking birth control after this baby arrives has me torn and confused, as it is diametrically opposed to everything I’ve been working towards these past six years.

For better or worse, infertility (and everything reproduction related) seems to have seeped into my identity and affected my world view to such an extent that in order to move forward beyond infertility, I find myself fighting a version of stockholm syndrome now that I will soon no longer be a hostage.

Before I  wrap up, I feel the need to point out that I have seen posts similar to this one be misinterpreted by those still in the trenches.

What I have touched on here is the coming need (and hopefully) eventual ability for me to move beyond MY infertility. I do not wish to forget or erase the past, nor do I plan to ignore what infertility means to millions of other people who continue to live with that reality every day. Moving on personally does not mean that I will stop supporting other infertiles (and in fact, as I mentioned at the start of this post, I hope that in the coming years I will be able to make a discernible, positive impact on the lives of people who continue to struggle with infertility). Arriving at a healing place, and continuing to be supportive of others are not mutually inclusive.

Lastly, despite all the negative aspects of infertility, the experience has taught me a lot:

– it has opened my eyes to the many amazing advances in science and medicine that have taken place just in my lifetime, while also teaching me that all of our advanced knowledge and tools can still only go so far;

– it has tested me in a way that nothing else in my life has, and as a result taught me about my level of resilience;

– it has increased my empathy towards others who are dealing with hardship (including any number of medical conditions) in their lives; and (more to the point)

– it has taught me to never, ever take for granted the ability to conceive, carry a pregnancy, deliver a healthy baby, and be able to build your family in the way that you had planned.

This Time Will be Different

I published this post on my other blog, but I figured it had some relevance here too…

Sometime this year, my husband and I will start the process of trying to conceive baby #2. This moment is still months away, as there are a number of moving pieces that have to fall into place before we can reasonably attempt any baby making. At minimum, I need to wean, get my chicken pox vaccine, and get my period back. Since we have five frozen embryos from our IVF cycle, we are planning on jumping right into doing a frozen transfer as soon as we are in a position to do so, therefore there will also be the various tests and procedures that our clinic requires before proceeding with a transfer, not to mention coordinating our schedules with both the clinic where our embryos are, and the clinic where we will do our monitoring for the cycle. The many joys of procreating by committee will soon be upon us.

While I have tried hard not to speculate about what trying to conceive will be like this go around until the time comes, in the last few weeks I’ve often found my mind spinning as I try to process the ramifications of what getting back on the baby making train will mean for us. This is due partly to the fact that we are starting to have preliminary discussions about what our timing is going to look like, and that I am getting close to weaning Baby Boy (I had planned to breastfeed him to a year, which is another two months away, but based on his lack of interest over the last few weeks I suspect our wean date will come sooner than that). I have also recently read a lot of blog and twitter posts that touch on some of the issues I have been struggling to get my head around, related to life after infertility, secondary infertility, and infertility amnesia.

I have no idea if or when we will have another baby. If we do have another baby, I don’t know if we will get pregnant via frozen transfer, natural conception (ha – sounds like immaculate conception to me!), or through further fertility treatments. I don’t know if it will happen on our first try, or after multiple attempts. But despite all of the uncertainty, rather than feel panic at the thought of climbing back on the roller coaster, I am at peace with whatever our outcome may be. I am at peace, because I know that the worst is behind us.

The experience of infertility while trying to conceive Baby Boy was akin to falling down a deep chasm, and having no idea how far you had left to fall, or what sort of landing you would have. Along the way, we were willing to grasp at anything that would help us achieve a quick and safe landing – in the six months before we conceived Baby Boy, my husband and I agreed that we would pursue donor eggs, donor sperm, or surrogacy if we got any indication that any of those would resolve our infertility (unexplained infertility is its own deep chasm, but that’s another story).

I am a planner by nature, and while trying to conceive Baby Boy, having a plan gave me some semblance of control over an uncontrollable process. I was always two steps ahead: if the current cycle/treatment option failed, I had a plan A, and then a plan B if plan A failed. At the time we conceived Baby Boy, I had my plan A and plan B all set, and my husband and I had the resources (financial, emotional, physical) to keep going balls to the wall until we achieved our goal. We were not at the point where we had an end date (whether fixed on the calendar, or based on a number of things happening, or not) at which point we would change course to pursue adoption (when we had last discussed it, this was an option my husband was not interested in), or living permanently child free.

While overall, our mindset was that given enough time and treatments, we would eventually be successful, not knowing how our story would end was still terrifying. The future held so much uncertainty, and there was no way of knowing how much more heartbreak in terms of failed cycles, pregnancy loss, or even just the cruel passage of time we would have to endure before we held our baby in our arms.

This brings me back to my original point about starting the process of trying to conceive again. No matter how many times I turn the idea of it around in my head, I come to the same conclusion: this time will be different.

This time will be different because we are not starting at zero: not only do we know way more than we should about all the ways that conception can go wrong and therefore are intimately familiar with how difficult it can be; but the existence of our five frozen embryos (that paradoxically only exist due to the extent of our struggles first time around), mean that we are starting out ahead of the game.

This time will be different because we are no longer in a chasm of unknown depth. I can look ahead and know with certainty that I will not have to endure multiple fresh IVF cycles in order to bring my baby home (I am not ruling out the possibility of doing another fresh cycle if none of our current embryos take, but I don’t see a scenario where I would do more than one more fresh cycle). I know that if we are to have another child, it will take us less time to conceive this time around than the 3+ years it took us the first time, for the simple reason that due to my age it has to (I’ll be between 37 and 38 when we start trying again).

This time,  there are limits to what we will go through in order to conceive. I know that we will transfer each of our existing embryos until one sticks, but if we are not successful, we are not going to go to heroic efforts to have another baby. Lastly, knowing that we had the strength to survive failed cycles and pregnancy loss the first time around gives me comfort that if needed, we have the strength to survive again. All of these factors mean that when we start trying again, we will be able to feel, or at the very least, see the ground below our feet. We will be able to reach our hands out and find something sturdy to hold on to, rather than grasping at air as it slips through our fingers.

This time will be different because no matter what happens, I will never forget that even our “worst case scenario” of being parents to one healthy, amazing baby boy is many people’s dream.

Losing Control

We like to think that we are in control of our destinies; that if we want something bad enough and work hard enough for it we will be rewarded for our efforts. Unfortunately, as most of us eventually find out, this is not how life works. Infertility is a perfect example of that – no matter what lengths we go to in order to try to conceive, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

As the months go by with no positive pregnancy result, the human response (or at least my response) is to research what more we could be doing to help things along. This research typically falls into two categories: research about what is going on in our bodies; and research about things we should be doing in order to maximize our chances of pregnancy.

So, we become hyper vigilant – taking daily temperature readings, monitoring cervical mucous, peeing on ovulation test sticks, and plotting this data against whichever cycle day we are on in an attempt to try to understand if our bodies are working as they should.

At the same time, we change our diet, modify our exercise routine, take supplements, and get in touch with our inner spirit baby in order to create the optimal environment for pregnancy to take place.  

We do all of these things in an attempt to control the uncontrollable. Sure, knowledge is power and knowing when (or if) you ovulate will ensure that you are timing sex properly and should increase your chances of conceiving. Similarly, many aspects of an unhealthy lifestyle can have a direct impact on fertility.

But ultimately, there’s only so much we can do. While it can be comforting to feel that we are in control (even when deep down we admit that we aren’t) and that if we just complete all the right tasks we’ll get pregnant, it can also be a wonderful feeling to throw up your hands and admit that you are not at all in control.

At my acupuncture appointment this week, my acupuncturist asked me what cycle day I was on. I looked at her blankly because I had no idea! I’ve been on the birth control pill since the end of March. I peed on my last ovulation test strip mid March, and I stopped charting my temperatures the same day I started the pill. Since then, cycle days have lost all meaning to me.

While I’ve known it for some time, it was at that moment that it really hit home for me  that I had given up any semblance of control over the procreative process. My next ovulation will be induced by a shot of hcg; my eggs will be observed as my husband’s sperm tries to fertilize them, and if nothing happens, a technician will intervene to force fertilization. Any resulting embryos will be further observed and the best one(s) will be put back into my body so they can try to implant and grow into babies. All of this will take place whether or not I know what cycle day I am on. I have relinquished control of my reproductive system to the experts to do what I could not do on my own, and I have no regrets.

Letting Go…In a Good Way

The phrase “letting go” is often used to describe the process of accepting the bad things that happen to us. The infertility journey is no different – from the time we first start trying to conceive, to accepting that timed intercourse is just not going to cut it for us, and eventually enduring the rollercoaster of infertility treatments, infertility provides successive opportunities for us to let go of our many hopes and dreams for starting a family – each one harder to accept than the last.

But letting go can also be a relief when it means letting go of anger or grief or other difficult emotions that we have been carrying with us for too long, and I was lucky to be reminded of  this last week.

As many infertiles can attest to, it can be difficult to see our friends, family members and coworkers achieve successful pregnancies while we are still stuck with the uncertainty of not knowing when or even if we will ever be so fortunate. I think that for the most part I’ve done pretty well with this, but at the same time I have not been immune to the feelings of jealousy and resentment that can come when others close to you get what you so desperately want.

For me, there is one friend in particular who I just couldn’t face while she was pregnant. I’ve written a bit about her here and here. To briefly summarize, I found out last year that she had a miscarriage a few months before we did and upon this realization we had a few moments of comparing notes and sharing the frustrations that come with trying to conceive. When she got pregnant shortly afterwards I felt betrayed. She had been trying for several months and was already feeling worn down by the process while I’d been trying for years with no luck.

It probably helps to clarify that while she is a good friend, it hasn’t always been an “easy” relationship due to a competitive undercurrent. She is incredibly competitive about everything, and I think the fact that we have a lot in common (we share the same profession, were running buddies due to our very similar pace, share a love of shoes, and were born a month apart) makes me a natural foil for her competitive nature.

When I first found out she was pregnant again, it stung but I assumed I would be okay with it. I was wrong. I saw her a few times during her pregnancy, and while all of our encounters were very positive (and I believe she was trying hard to be respectful of my feelings), in between seeing her, I stewed. I stewed when I saw her announce the pregnancy on facebook (I’d already known about it for some time); I stewed when she posted her nursery pictures; and I stewed when she gave birth to a healthy boy on my 35th birthday.

And then I felt bad because I hadn’t seen her since December and the ball was in my court to initiate something.

So when she sent out an invite to a drop-in barbecue/meet the baby event at her house this past week, I accepted right away. Five months had gone by since I’d last seen her, and it was time. As the barbecue approached, I had mixed feelings – on the one hand I was looking forward to seeing her and catching up, but on the other hand I wasn’t sure if I could handle seeing her with her baby while I was still not pregnant.

But by the time the day arrived, I’d gotten over my fears and was genuinely looking forward to the event. We showed up around dinner (strategic timing on my part to try to avoid as many people with kids as possible), and as soon as I walked into the living room and saw her holding her baby, I felt none of the resentment or bitterness that had been stewing over the previous months. All I felt was happiness – happiness for her and her son, and happiness to be seeing her again.

We spent quite a lot of time catching up, and made a lunch date for next week to catch up further. And when I saw her baby related post on facebook a few days later, it didn’t bother me at all. I had let go of the negative emotions that I’d been harbouring.

Deja Vu

My IVF cycle is once again delayed. I feel like every second post I write is about yet another delay, and this one brings my  total delay to 6 weeks. And this is after being benched the first three months of the year so DHEA can work its magic on my possibly crappy eggs. 2011 continues to be one big baby making bust.

I got the call about my 2nd endometrial biopsy results just before noon. The good news is that everything looks great, and I am cleared to start. The nurse said that I could start suprefact tonight, EXCEPT that my husband will be away for business from May 17 to 26th, and based on this timing, my egg retrieval would fall sometime the week of the 20th. So, obviously a no go.

The next best option was to start suprefact in a week or so to ensure that my husband would be back in town for the critical dates. BUT, as I’ve already been on birth control pills for five weeks, the nurse was worried I may end up being on the pill for too long and risk oversuppression. So, she wanted to talk to the Dr. before committing to a plan of action.

The final verdict came near the end of the day: I am to stop birth control pills for a week, restart them, and after ten days I can start suprefact. In other words, I am delayed by a further two and half weeks, and am essentially re-starting this cycle. An incredibly frustrating day to say the least.

Due to the this latest delay, I now know for sure that I will not be able to fit in a second cycle (if I need to) before I move in August, so I got the ball rolling on getting a referral to a clnic in my new city. As far as I can tell, they have a wait of about 3 months, so in order to get in for August, I’ll need a referral in May. I’ve had enough delays this year, I don’t want the move to delay us any further.

Speaking of the move, I have no idea now when we will do our housing trip, which we had originally planned for early June. May is pretty jammed already due to my husband’s travel schedule, and now the first part of June will be shot too, so I guess we’re pushed back to mid-late June for the housing trip. Looks like we’ll be living with my parents for the first few months.

In other somewhat related news, I got the word from the recruiter for my job that all 3 of my references were fantastic, so I am 100% in. Even though I go the offer last week, it was conditional on good references (I have no idea why they didn’t just check beforehand, seems a bit backwards to me, but whatever!).

In another bit of somewhat related news, we have our first offer on our house tonight. Our real estate agent should be coming any minute to present it, so hopefully it will be a good one.

That’s all the update for today. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to start this IVF cycle for real.

May You Live in Interesting Times….

The chaos and craziness that is my life continues today, and it is only noon.

I woke up this morning to an email about a contract opportunity for me in my new city. The email was from a woman I used to work with, who is now very high up at one of Canada’s largest companies (well, I guess I can’t say for sure if they are one of the largest, but they are definitely well known and have a lot going on!).

Since we’re not moving for a few months, and I’d like to have a better sense of where we are at with the baby making before I commit to any sort of job, I haven’t started my official job search yet. However, after putting the feelers out to this woman, the current company that I do some contract work with, and having an opportunity fall into my lap  with a third company, I already had three warm to hot leads for work. I was happy that nothing much seemed to be moving too fast on any of them, as at this point it is only to my benefit for things to drag out.

Thankfully, the opportunity in the email today was easy to turn down. It was a two month contract which sounded interesting enough, but it started now. And I am not, and could not be available now. So, I emailed back that it sounded great but the timing wouldn’t work, and I got back an email pretty quickly that there would continue to be lots of opportunities for contract work with them in the coming months, so they will keep me in mind. Perfect!

As I was emailing about this, I had my bottle of antibiotics that I’m taking to clear up my endometritis in front of me. Now, I’m supposed to be on this stuff for 30 days, or at the very least until I have the results from my endometrial biopsy on April 18th. But even though I’d only been on them for 4 days or so, the bottle looked like it was getting empty fast. I had a closer look at it, and saw that it in fact had only 30 tablets in it, to be taken twice a day, which means that I only had half the amount I was supposed to (and there was no refill). At that rate, I would finish the antibiotics completely before even having my appointment.

I emailed my IVF nurse to confirm that this was correct, and sure enough it turns out that the pharmacy screwed up! I should have had twice as many pills, so I have another prescription to pick up.

In the meantime, I arrived at work to a voicemail and email from the recruiter for the position that I’d had phone interviews for a few weeks ago. Even though everything had gone well, I had not heard a peep out of them since the last interview. I assumed this meant that they liked me, but since I couldn’t start until August, they were continuing to look for other people to fill the position. This suited me just fine, especially as I was really warming up to a potential (very attractive) opportunity with the company I do contract work for now.

Sure enough, the recruiter said that the company I’d interviewed with did have another (local) candidate come up, but after two interviews with him they are not ready to give him an offer. So, they want to do a skype interview with me next Monday, and if that went well, they are fine with my timing of an August start date and they would offer me the job. Craziness!

I proposed that instead of a skype meeting, I could fly out in a week or two for face to face interviews with them (since my IVF cycle is delayed, my timing at the end of April is all of a sudden more open than I expected). This way, we could all check each other out in person. Plus, I could use the rest of my time there as a “pre-housing” trip of sorts, and see some of the houses that are currently on the market so we have a better idea of what’s out there when we finally do our real trip in June.

While all this was going on, my husband got an email from the Chair of his new department that just said “Call me.” As I’d written about on Friday, he is still waiting for the final approval to happen before he gets his written job offer, and the last we’d heard was that the Provost wanted to see the CV of the best female candidate for the position. So he called the Chair back, and found out that the offer is now ready (yay!), but the salary is wrong, as it is the original amount that was offered, and not the amount that my husband had negotiated with the Chair and the Dean. So, the Chair has to go back to the Provost to see if they will agree to the higher salary, and we should finally get the offer in the next week.

Life may be complicated and filled with uncertainty right now, but at least I can’t complain that it is dull!

(Another) Two Week Wait

In exactly two weeks, I’ll be going back to the Dr.’s office to have another endometrial biopsy. I’m assuming (hoping!) that the results will indicate that the endometritis is gone and I can get started for real with the IVF. Of course, I’ll still have to wait for the results, which could take upto a week, but since they only took two days last time, I’m hoping it will be another quick turn around.

So, while it’s not the usual two week wait (where you’re waiting to see if you’re pregnant or not), I hope that by the end of it, I will be genuinely closer to a baby.

Overall I’m doing okay with having things pushed back a few weeks, though I admit that I am counting down each day that I get closer to the next biopsy. I think the biggest reason why I’m getting antsy is that I feel like so far 2011 has been one big bust on the baby making front, so every little delay now feels much more significant than it should.

I realize that technically everything up to this point since we’ve started trying has been a bust, or I wouldn’t be blogging about infertility, but at least I feel that we gave it a good go in 2010. We started fertility treatments in February 2010, and finished the year with 6 IUI’s and 2 pregnancies under our belt. I can look back on that, and say it was a solid effort.

However, since my last IUI in December 2010, it’s just been one long wait to start treatments again: first waiting to take DHEA sufficiently long enough before starting another cycle; then waiting for my period to come so I can officially kick this cycle off; and now waiting again for this infection to clear up. One quarter of the year is over, and it will be one third over by the time we get our first real chance at a positive pregnancy test in 2011.

And it’s times like this when conceiving a baby couldn’t be any less likely, that I really notice all of the people around me who are pregnant. This is mostly people I know in real life, however in the last few weeks, I’ve also realized that many of the people I have “met” on my online infertility forum are also now pregnant. 

My husband and I were talking about this the other day, and he asked me if it bothers me when the other girls on the forum get pregnant. I told him that for the most part it doesn’t (well, except for those crazy, toxic girls who manage to get, and stay pregnant on their first try at whatever their fertility treatment of choice is – that drives me nuts!). 

When it comes to the vast majority of the girls on the forum, I’m happy that their time has come. The nice thing about the forum (unlike in real life), is that it’s a revolving door. Once someone you’ve been journeying with gets pregnant, there’s always someone else who’s still working at it, so you don’t feel abandoned, and there’s no hard feelings or awkward moments as you join new threads that speak to your current reality.

That said, lately I do feel left behind as I realize how many of the girls who were recovering from pregnancy loss with me last July, or cycling with me on my IUIs from August to December are now pregnant (either from those cycles we were on together, or subsequent IUIs or IVFs in 2011 while I’ve been pretty much sitting on my hands). In a few cases, they have even given birth to healthy babies, and here I am still stuck in this mess of infertility and no closer to a viable pregnancy than I was all those months ago. So, yes I’m happy for them, but at the same time I am also sad for myself that I have to endure yet another two week wait.

Encounters of the Pregnant Kind

I went for a teeth cleaning this morning, and lo-and-behold my dental hygienist was pregnant. And when I say pregnant, I don’t mean that “is she, or isn’t she?” stage when you’re just starting to show, but the full-on, basketball-up-your-shirt, almost-ready pregnant.

When somebody is that large, I feel like socially there is the expectation that it should be acknowledged by (at a minimum) asking “When are you due?”, and probably following up with pleasantries like “Do you know the sex yet?” and “Is your nursery ready?”.  But right now, I just can’t do it. I know their pregnancy has absolutely nothing to do with me, and that if I were the one pregnant, I would be bursting to talk about it any chance I got. I know I should put my feelings aside, but at this stage of the trying to conceive journey, I am just not mature enough to make pregnancy related small talk, and risk that it will lead to an extended conversation about pregnancy and kids.

Now, at least this particular situation was a little easier because when you’re having your teeth cleaned, most conversation on your end consists of nodding and shaking your head. That said, she still managed to ask me if I had any exciting plans for the spring (when all that’s on my mind these days is thinking about where I’ll be in the IVF/potential early pregnancy process at any given time). Of course, regardless of whether she was pregnant or not, I would not have answered “My exciting plans for the spring all revolve around doing IVF”, but the fact that she was pregnant just made it so much harder to answer that I had no exciting plans coming up.

I was actually dreading that she would ask me if I was pregnant, as I know sometimes they want to know this at the dentist’s. Thankfully she didn’t, though I did get the “You don’t have kids, right? So I guess you’re not just coming back from March break.” Yes, thanks for reminding me 🙂

This encounter today comes fast on the heels of last Friday, when I got to spend some time with an acquaintance who was pregnant and 3 days overdue. I went to a concert a few hours away with my husband and a couple that we’re close friends with. The concert was in the evening, and midday, my friend emailed about dinner plans before the concert and said that this acquaintance (who lives close to where the concert was) and her husband were going to be joining us for dinner.

Once again, this pregnancy has nothing to do with me, but as soon as I saw the email, I was pissed off that my evening was going to be ruined by what would surely turn out to be an hour of sitting around talking about the pending baby, and that I had no reasonable way out of it. I would like to stress again, that when someone is in the final stages of pregnancy (especially when they’re overdue!), I expect the conversation to revolve around that. I just don’t want to have any part of it, as it just reminds me of how far away I still am from experiencing that kind of joy.

(Click here for a related post)

Flashback

As promised, I did pee on a stick yesterday morning, and as expected it was negative. And that was totally fine. There was that tiny little bit of me that thought “maybe, just maybe”, but it really was such a small, small part that when the familiar image of one (and only one) line came up, I glanced at it and threw it away, and carried on with my morning routine.

But as the day went on, and there was no sign of spotting any time I went to the bathroom, my mind couldn’t help but wander a bit.  And, I started to analyze every sensation and whether it was consistent with my period coming on. My breasts felt a little full, but not as sore as they often are right before my period. And I didn’t feel any of the other subtle symptoms that often signal that my period is about to arrive. So, try as I might, I couldn’t push the thought of pregnancy completely out of my mind.

In the evening, I went out to dinner with my colleagues, and we ordered a bottle of wine. As I drank my glass of wine, for a brief moment I wondered “What if I’m pregnant? Could this wine affect the helpless little thing growing inside me?” And suddenly, in that instant, it all came flooding back. I remembered those magical weeks after I first found out I was pregnant almost a year ago,  the wonder I felt at this life developing inside me, and the outpouring of love that flowed from every cell each time I thought of the microscopic being that was working hard to grow into our child.

It had been so long since I last felt that way, or even really thought of how wonderful that short time in my life was  (usually if I think about that pregnancy, it’s more about how it ended – the horror slowly sinking in as I watched the blood came pouring out of me at an increasingly faster rate, the helplessness I felt once I realized that I was losing the pregnancy and there was nothing I could do about it, the frustration of facing a d&c in a foreign country without my husband by my side, and finally the overwhelming sadness at how close we’d come, only to be back at square one again).

But tonight was different. For the first time in a really long time, I remembered the excitement, the love, the hope. It felt like a distant memory, but at the same time so familiar, and so right. And more than anything, it made me yearn for another chance to experience the magic and joy of pregnancy – the whole process this time, and not just a tantalizing taste.

Newfound Hope

My two week wait is almost over. Well, technically it’s more like an 11 day wait for me, but who’s counting?

Tomorrow is day 11, and I’m going to take a pregnancy test first thing tomorrow morning. I should mention that I actually have no illusions that I may be pregnant – in fact I am fully expecting good ‘ole Aunt Flo to show up in two days. Aside from the usual pessimism about being 0 for 25 (give or take a month) on natural cycles, my husband and I didn’t really give it our best shot this month. I was away for business most of the month, and as a result, we missed having sex on the two most important days, and had hungover sex the morning after our friends’ wedding on the third best day. All in all,  not a great track record, even for the fully fertile!

So tomorrow morning will be more about ticking that final box before starting IVF, than about praying to see two lines, but that’s fine with me. While for the longest time, doing IVF absolutely terrified me, I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t wait to get started. I actually feel like a weight has lifted, knowing that I’ve committed to going down this path.

And, after almost three years of trying to conceive, it feels wonderful to be new at something in the fertility game again! I feel like I’ve become so jaded and cynical about all of the steps I’ve taken so far, and the hurdles I’ve crossed; like I already know too much about timed intercourse, clomid, IUIs, acupuncture, charting, supplements, the pregnancy losses, and all the rest. But IVF is brand new. And like anyone else starting down a new path, for the first time in a long time, I have hope again.