Three simple letters. Three letters that when I say them I am filled with both excitement and absolute fear.
When we first started this journey, they meant nothing to me. Sure, I knew what it was and the basics of how it worked, but it wasn’t anything that pertained to me or my life in any way. I remember being a kid and hearing about “test tube” babies, and how neat it was that between science and doctors, life could be created outside of “the old fashioned way”. However, I never really gave it much more thought than that. Little did I know there would come a time it would be the direction my life was heading.
We started our baby making journey like any couple. We were filled with anticipation, excitement, fear and hope. We knew next to nothing about miscarriage and infertility, other than that it wasn’t something that would happen to US, that it was something that happens to OTHER people. I guess like anyone who walks down this road, we were naive about the statistics and the frequency with which these two things actually occur. So when we got pregnant after our first “try”, I was elated and Aaron was petrified, followed quickly by my same elation. For four blissful weeks we were parents. We planned, we joked, we talked names, we made prenatal appointments, and then, in the blink of an eye, there were no more plans, no jokes, no appointments and the elation turned to tears and heartache.
One moment we were parents, the next moment we were grieving a life we hardly knew, and making phone calls to tell family members about the loss of a child they never even knew existed in the first place.
Quickly we were ready to give it another shot, once my body allowed. Again, the naivety followed us along the journey. We both (along with family) believed that since it happened so easily the first time that it must mean it would be the same the next. A couple months went by with nothing, negative after negative test. We weren’t overly worried yet though, because one thing I had read in my days perusing the internet, was that it can take a healthy couple up to a year to conceive, regardless of length of time a previous pregnancy took. Little did we know, we weren’t a healthy couple. A year went by and I guess it was pride that wouldn’t allow me to admit there must be something wrong. I didn’t want to face the fact that I may have been the reason that Aaron wasn’t yet a father to an earthly child.
It took a lot of soul searching and gentle but firm pushes from friends to know it was time to accept we needed to figure something out since it just wasn’t working on our own. We were incredibly lucky that it didn’t take a lot of time to get in to actually see a fertility specialist and to get a PCOS diagnosis. Once all our testing and surgeries to remove uterine polyps were done, I guess I let myself get a little too hopeful that taking a couple pills five days a cycle would be the cure all. I read so many success stories online of people who go pregnant on cycle one of meds, then it was stories of cycle two and three and so on. I think by cycle five, deep down I knew we needed more than the little boost of those little pills, but Aaron wasn’t there yet emotionally and I just wanted to be ignorant to the facts that the longer the pills didn’t work, the less chance we had each cycle.
At this point though, I still don’t really think IVF was even on my radar.
I figured there were other options we could explore. I was just hoping for a miracle. Hoping that by some incredible act of fate or magic or whatever, that we would just take a cycle off from EVERYTHING, and that bam, we’d be pregnant. I guess for that to work though, it would help if I actually ovulate on my own and that we weren’t so damn worn out from timing everything for the last three years that neither one of us really cared much for the idea of even trying. Yet, we did, because we both knew we’d regret missing an opportunity, even if there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell, since my ovaries can’t get their shit together on their own.
I wrestled with the idea for a while, of bringing up more aggressive measures with our RE. I knew he wanted the best for us, but I think as much as I want our own little family, I was terrified of his answer being that it wouldn’t happen for us “the natural way”. The natural way… I think that’s what was holding me back. I felt this overwhelming need to be able to have a child with my husband on our own, out of love, without needing invasive help. I’ll be honest, it took a lot of time to let go of the notion of needing it be out of some grand gesture of love. We wanted a family more than anything, we wanted a baby and a pregnancy and to raise a child, so damn it Brittenay, get off your high horse and just make it happen. Do whatever needs to be done. That’s pretty much how the conversation with myself went. And then it was regret, that I let that same pride I felt two and a half years ago take back over and that was keeping me from taking the steps forward we needed.
I was pretty hard on myself for not doing it sooner, but heck, it’s HARD to admit you need help, no matter the circumstances.
My biggest regret of not asking sooner is that it’s more time we haven’t potentially been pregnant and planning for the arrival of our own blessing. But, I guess I can’t dwell on what I didn’t do and I should just focus on what we’re about to begin. January 2018 begins phase 2 of the Journey to Baby Bell! We’re taking it up a level, letting go of pride and accepting the help.
So to the couples struggling with the ideas, just know, it is okay to admit you need help. It’s okay to take the plunge. It’s okay to be aggressive for something you really want. But it’s also okay if you aren’t yet there, emotionally, physically or financially. Be kind to yourselves. Be gentle. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re just not ready. Reach out to friends going through the same. You will get there, sometimes it just takes a little extra time. But I promise, when you make the decision that you’re ready, you won’t regret it!
By Brittenay, www.journeytobabybell.wordpress.com