I’m a planner.
I can’t lie— I don’t do well when plans change or I don’t know how something will work out. According to some, I might be labelled a “control freak”, but personally, I just like to call it being prepared. So when we were diagnosed with infertility, well, I was stunned. I never dreamed I would have problems having a baby. In fact, I’ve been planning that part of my life since I was a little girl.
I did not plan to be spending a small fortune and jabbing myself with needles loaded with rage- inducing hormones on the regular, to no avail. And no, I never EVER planned how I would have to decide when to move to a different option when we couldn’t have a baby that was genetically ours.
Clearly, the universe has decided I need a lesson in being flexible. Great. Got it, thanks.
After a twin stillbirth, two failed IVF cycles, 13 IUIs and a molar pregnancy, I was having major trouble resisting the urge to “just try it one more time”. It was very hard for us to consider different options as our first IUI resulted in the twin pregnancy, so we knew we “could” get pregnant. Also knowing that we were so close— we had two perfect babies growing. To have them just ripped away and then have doctors tell us we were likely not ever going to get pregnant again after more than three years of trying, was very tough to digest. I kept saying to myself, That can’t be it. Something will happen again.
Denial, meet Brooke.
My husband and I have spent our entire infertility journey tirelessly “trying again”. No breaks. Just one devastating episode after another, BFN after BFN. I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve and the doctors said after our last failed IVF that we were basically done. We had to face the fact that we may never be successful with treatment and after three years of constant battling, I was sad —all of the time.
Every single thing I did or said related back to treatment, timing, or what ifs. I wouldn’t travel for work just in case it fell on a treatment date. I didn’t want to plan social engagements for the same reason. Our lives completely revolved around infertility. My husband was very supportive, but I know it was hard because I just wasn’t myself. It made me feel guilty that I was always down and always seemed to talk about the same things, over and over again, which would perpetuate the cycle.
It was a dark place for sure.
We had to step back and look at what we were doing, and why we were doing it. Our ultimate goal is to have a family. Yes, I won’t lie. I was so excited about making a baby that is a combo of me and my husband. I was over the moon thinking about the day we would have a baby that I could see myself in, my family in. That’s a really hard thing to give up. It’s devastating.
But… we want a family.
So, I’m learning that I will have to adjust my plan. My heart knows that once we have a baby in our arms, no matter how he or she gets there, we will be so in love that nothing else will matter. And with that, we have decided that we will be venturing into uncharted territory. We will be using donor eggs. It is a good option for us as it allows me to be pregnant again, which is really important to me.
We are at the very beginning of this new chapter and there are still a lot of unknowns (insert panic here). We’ve signed up with an egg bank, and for the first time since we started this crazy infertility journey, I’m really not sure of the process. But I’m taking some (very) deep breaths and I’m truly starting to get excited, as this really may be how we make our miracle.
By Brooke Caruk