We've decided to save the "gender reveal" to just us. In the delivery room. The old school way. Perhaps I should tight roll my maternity jeans and pop in a mix tape to get ready for the big day. I'm thinking something with a little C&C Music factory should do the trick. Deciding to wait on finding out was not an easy process for me. For a Type A, obsessive, perfectionist, planner, control freak, this choice was NOT at all comfortable. In the beginning, I desperately wanted to know.
If going the IVF route, you are likely faced with this dilemma- to test your embryos or not to test? Genetic Testing (otherwise known as PGS, preimplantation genetic screening), is when one or more cells is removed from an IVF embryo to test for chromosomal normalcy.The genetically normal embryos are kept for transfer, and the abnormal embryos are discarded.
Now that I'm pregnant, people are starting to treat me like any, normal, "fertile" pregnant woman. Most would think, this is what I want - to feel normal. I don't blame them, I can see why people would think this. They might think - she's finally pregnant and past all the grieving and hard stuff, so this is the time to shower her with excitement and baby talk. But, I'm so not.
I'm infertile and proud. No one can take that away from me. Infertility is and always will be apart of me. Infertility has made me stronger. Infertility has made me better. And just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean things end here. I'm still taking two-three injections per day in the ass for another 11 weeks. I'm still choking down handfuls of large pills every night. I'm still jacked with fertility hormones. I'm still in the doctor's office being monitored and tested multiple times a week to make sure the baby is still hanging on.
I knew the day that we scheduled our first IVF transfer that I wanted to document the process. I thought - how cool would that be to have photos of the day our baby was conceived? We would have photos to show our child one day!My husband thought I was nuts, I remember him saying - 'there's no way in hell the doctor will go for that, it's just weird Victoria."
Most doctor's won't take you seriously unless you have been trying for 6-12 months with timed intercourse around ovulation. This means using home ovulating predictor kits each month, and having sex when you see a smiley face on the pee stick. Pregnancy is technically only possible during the five days before ovulation through the day ovulation actually takes place. These six days are the 'fertile window' in a woman's cycle, and represent the lifespan of sperm (5 days) and the lifespan of the ovum, a mature female reproductive cell (24 hours). So, yes, there are only 6 days in the month that you can "technically" get pregnant.
I constantly ask myself... WHY did I spend all that time and money on IUI? Why did I do this to myself 5 fucking times!? Don't do what I did! Well, unless your insurance covers it, then, you do you! I can assure you, it will still take a HUGE toll on your emotional state. You really need to ask yourself if it's worth it.
There is so much I want to say to you. There is so much I want the world to know about you. Every time I see you smile at the baby at the next table over, or disappear from the party to go play with our friends kids in their room, I am reminded of how I have deprived you from what you want the most. A family.A child to call your own.
You’ve been trying to conceive without success for a year or so and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge into fertility treatments. Finding a reproductive endocrinologist that's right for you can be hard to find, and certainly emotional. Sadly, I didn't choose the right doctor the first time around, but learned some very valuable lessons I'd like to share with you.
If you are new to the word of fertility treatments, you are probably realizing there is a whole new world out there you may not have known existed. A world of women going through a tough time, connecting with each other through the world wide web using a different language than you've ever learned to speak. I remember when I was just starting to research infertility and I would end up on infertility blogs that used an acronym for every other damn word. I was not only confused, but I was pissed too.
As you consider your invitations for your gender reveal party I ask that you think about others. Imagine the thoughts of a single woman at the party, who's longing to find love and is wondering if she'll even have the chance to have a baby one day. Think about the woman who carried her baby in her belly for 5 months and then miscarried. Think about those who have struggled with gender identity or has a child that is struggling. Think about someone who has tried everything humanly possible to conceive, yet ultimately infertile, like me and my husband.
Some Egg Donor agencies require that every "intended parent" (yes that's what we are called, sigh) goes through a psych evaluation prior to moving forward with the process. The questions asked are uncomfortable and boarder line offensive, in my opinion. Can you imagine if all parents had to go through this before trying to conceive? Think about that one.
People ask me all the time "Why do you keep trying for a baby after all you have been through, Victoria?" They say things like "I don't understand how you could put yourself through so much financial burden for something that's not guaranteed, I would NEVER do that.". Never say never, my friend. Never judge a pain you have not endured.
We have avoided planning trips just in case I need to be local for a procedure. My husband had to cancel a guys getaway because we needed him to be "on call" to unload the swimming soldiers. We've put other dreams on hold because our fertility treatments took all of our damn money. We've missed important work meetings, special events, and just plain life. This process has had us by the balls. Literally. (sorry honey). We knew it is time to take a break from fertility treatments. And that's perfectly OKAY.
I used to think infertility made me less of a woman. I felt un-sexy. I felt inadequate. I felt like a failure. I would look at myself in the mirror and cry. And cry. And cry. I would look at my injection bruises and surgery scars and feel shame. I was embarrassed. I felt like I wasn't "enough". But, now I see someone different. I see a new version of me. I see someone with guts and tenacity. I see a woman who has survived tragedy and become stronger from it. I see someone who is more of a woman because of what I have overcome, and continue to overcome.
With infertility, everyday is a new battle. A battle against yourself. A battle to stay strong and positive, when all you want to do is cry. It's very easy to dwell on how unfair and hard it is. Sometimes we need to sit in the muck and be angry, sad and negative to cope.
It's shitty for the woman that desperately wants to be a mother, but can't. Or the single woman who wants to be a mom but feels like time is passing her by. Or the woman that lost her mother, and will be spending Mother's day at her grave site. And what about the mother that has lost a child, and will be grieving all day even if her living children are there to spend it with her?It's not all about f*cking flowers, brunches and breakfast in bed.