We are four years deep in our journey now.
That’s one thousand four hundred and sixty days, but who’s counting, right? I have always wondered what it would feel like if, or when we decided as a couple to seriously talk about our options moving forward. Would we feel broken, scared, excited, hopeful again even.
The truth is I don’t think we ever thought about when that time would come. We have been so set on moving forward with treatments and doing whatever we needed to in order keep our eyes on the prize. That prize obviously being our future biological bundle of joy. It’s literally all we were able to think about. We had let the thought completely consume our minds, but how do you not let that happen. I believe this conversation happens at different times for each couple going through the struggle to build their family. For some it might be two years, others 10. There is no right or wrong amount of time.
For us the time came a month ago.
The topic of infertility had taken a back seat for a few months between the hubby and I. That is until we received a phone call that would change everything. You see, we have recently moved to British Columbia from Ontario. Last year we placed ourselves on the partially funded IVF list in Ontario, but were told the wait would be three years at least. Well two months ago we received a call that we were next on the list. We couldn’t help but feel like we had been gutted. We were finally catching a break in our journey only for it to be taken away. Realistically we would not be able to afford IVF treatment for at least 4+ years because it is so expensive, and if we were to do it would it even work for us. This pushed me into a place I hadn’t been in a very long time.
I was beginning to feel shame and guilt, and really struggle to get through the day without being in bed. Now when I say without being in bed, I mean I literally stayed in my bed for six days before crawling out. The thought of us not being able to conceive, the cost of treatments, the uncertainty of it all, the stress on my body and our relationship, it was like a giant infertility boulder sitting on my chest. I could not sleep, eat, shower or work. I had become a figment of myself, someone who was no longer there. For a brief time, I thought that infertility had beaten me. I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember, so luckily, I noticed when it had become too much. I needed help to climb out of the dark hole and move that boulder off my chest. There is no shame is asking for help, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I was prescribed an anti-depressant and after a month I began to feel better, as though I could sort through my thoughts, like I was a human again.
Denial always comes first, doesn’t it?
I still wanted to do treatments, but for every treatment someone suggested I was able to come up with 10 reasons why I didn’t want to do it anymore. It took my mom actually telling me “well if you don’t want to do the treatments any more than why are you doing them? It sounds to me like you already know what you want to do”. But how could I give up on our dream of a family just like that, like it was not important enough? I felt selfish for feeling like I needed to take a step back from the treatments. How could I possibly not be strong enough to continue going through this in order to have a chance at the ultimate miracle? There are so many conflicting thoughts that surround you when going through this journey that it is almost impossible to make it out on the other side, none the less you persist.
All of these feelings sparked the dreaded “conversation” with my hubby.
You know, the one that will alter or end your journey. It was Victoria Day on a beach in White Rock. The sun was shining, the water wasn’t freezing and I had just flown back to BC from being in Ontario from Friday to Monday. As we sat there sun tanning I simply said “what if we didn’t do IVF, would you be ok with that?”. Cam looked at me and the conversation flowed effortlessly from there. We asked each other questions like what we wanted out of life in the next few years. Do we save for a house, pay off our debt or save for IVF? To be honest the conversation was one of the best ones I think we have ever had together. One of the last questions I asked him came as a surprise to me. Not because I had never thought about it before, but because we had never even weighed it out as an option. We had so focused on going through the motions, try naturally with ovarian stimulation, then IUI with stimulation and then eventually the holy grail, IVF. This question would be the answer. The one that altered our journey.
“Would you be ok if the child was not biologically ours?” Just like that it came out. For a moment, he paused to reflect and then answered “Yes”. Yes. That one word was about to change everything.
Something about this choice felt right. The more we talked about it the more we got excited. As a reminder, excited is something that we have not been in about three years with regards to this journey. I think we both started to feel alive again, hopeful even. We could not believe that we did not think of this sooner. That being said I don’t think we were ready to put it on the table any sooner. Alas, our journey has changed its course. We are headed in a direction that is new, exciting, scary even and that’s ok. There is a sense of calm when you realize that this is YOUR journey and no one else’s. The realization that you don’t have to keep trying if it doesn’t feel right. It is ok that your journey is unique because it should be, you are after all.
A part of me knows that there will always be a sting that I am not going to experience being pregnant and feeling our little bean inside of me. I mean there is always that 1 in a million chance, but for now I am ok with the reality that it just might not happen for me. All I can do is work through those feelings as they come. There is a long road ahead in our adoption journey and I know there will be many ups and downs, but at this moment I am excited.
We are excited!
Until next time,