Yes, as I write this... I am in fact, pregnant. Our donor egg IVF transfer was successful!
Someone fucking pinch me. This Can. Not. Be. Real.
Simply typing the "p word" feels so foreign to me. It feels extremely uncomfortable.
It feels like a complete lie.
Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic beyond belief. Cloud nine-thousand, to say the least.
BUT, there is this lingering feeling tucked behind all the "feels". A feeling of entering another phase of possibility without a guarantee. AGAIN. A guilty feeling of cheating the infertile system. A feeling of fear. Fear that my body, proven to be unable to conceive on its own, may not actually be able to carry a pregnancy.
I'm infertile and pregnant. How could this be?
Well, because I used a young fertile chick's eggs. Let's be real, I know how this "can be". But, beyond that, it's unfathomable. When you have had FOUR YEARS of negative result after negative result, you are programmed to prepare for negative. I WAS prepared for negative.
Like, really prepared.
We decided to pee on a stick one day prior to our scheduled blood test and arranged for a photographer friend to come shoot our reaction to the pregnancy test results. We knew there was a HUGE risk of things ending badly. In my mind, there was a good chance the test would be negative. So I prepped the photographer. I told her "if it's negative, don't freak out, I still want you to keep shooting." I have been documenting this journey from early on, and felt like, this was another story I needed to tell. She was beyond nervous, her hands were shaking with tears in her eyes. Looking back, I can't believe I put her through that kind of stress. Not many people would do that.
Thank you, Jen Perez, I heart you. :)
But, I was ready for the negative. Scared, but ready. Infertility is what I know, it's become comfortable to me. It's apart of my identity now.
This is my life. This is what I know.
I have somehow found a sense of comfort in all the things that come with infertility. The meds, the hormones, injections, the bruises.
This is who I am now. I've earned these bruises.
So, no. I was NOT prepared for a positive.
I ran to the bathroom to pee on the stick. Shaky hands. Shaky pee.
My husband, nervously waited in the kitchen.
I walked out, covered up the result window, Jonathan set the phone timer, and we flipped it over.
Three minutes and counting.
Each second felt like a life time. Each second created more fear. More anxiety.
And, at about the 30 second countdown the tears came. All the emotions fled in.
This is it. There is so much at stake here.
I was already grieving a loss, and I think my husband was too. We're so used to disappointment. We're so used to losing. A positive result has always been impossible to us. I know how to handle a negative result, I've learned how to be ready for it. I've learned how to grieve over and over again.
I definitely don't know how to handle a positive.
Three minutes was up and I flipped over that pee stick and tried to focus in on what I was seeing. One pink line? Or two?
I've NEVER seen a second line before! Is this really what I'm seeing?
YES! TWO FUCKING LINES!
Is this what shock feels like? I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Am I actually pregnant for the first time in my life at 38 years old?
I was overcome with the purest joy I've ever felt (and a very ugly cry)!
My sweet husband was just as happy.
My knees went weak as I leaped into his arms and sobbed. He was holding me up. I couldn't even stand on my own two feet.
OMG! WE DIT IT! THIS IS REAL!
I couldn't stop staring at those two lines. I've waited so long for this moment. I pulled out a second test and peed again, just to be sure. This one was digital and read the word "PREGNANT"!
Wow, just wow. Crack open the O'Douls! I need a drank!
We immediately face-timed my parents to tell them the good news. They new we were doing this and were anxiously waiting by the phone. Being the jokester I am, I had to play a small prank on them. They answered the phone and I showed them that I was drinking a beer "alluding to the fact that I had a negative result".
The looked sad and said something like "Oh, no. Really?" They have been along this journey with us and have felt our pain each step of the way.
I waited a few seconds (not too long - I'm not cruel!) and then with a very serious poker face, zoomed in to show them that it was actually an O'Douls.
And, then we all cried happy tears together.
After the shock and awe, reality set in. My infertile brain took over.
Do I have two identities now? Pregnant and Infertile?
Where do I fit in now? I certainly don't fit in the "fertile pregnant girl world" but will I still fit in the "infertile but pregnant girl world"? Will my infertile tribe ditch me now that I'm pregnant?
I need them to survive! They complete me!
Why does this feel so exciting one minute and then downright torturous the next? I need to go with this. I need to find a way to continue. I need to make this real.
So, what did I do? I went shopping! My most favorite coping mechanism. I felt like I needed to make a purchase. Something to make it real. Something for the baby. So, I went to a local baby boutique and found this adorable, plush, bunny.
And I bought it.
The woman checking me out asked if she should gift wrap it in pink or blue and I replied "oh, sorry, I don't know the gender".
So, she proceeded to wrap it in a gender neutral wrapping. I stopped her and said "oh, no, that's okay, you don't need to wrap it".
She stopped, looked up at me, and slowly gazed down at my stomach and said "oh okay, is this a gift for a birthday of a baby?".
This bitch was still prying.
I mean, I know, I don't look pregnant, but mind yo biznass! I mean, aren't I supposed to be glowing or some shit? PLEASE don't make me say that I'm pregnant, lady! I'm not ready to say the "p" word yet!
I answered "For a Birthday? Well, I guess it kinda is, at some point, but it's not a gift, so you don't need to wrap it"
She smiled. "Oh, okay" and then looked at the other sales gal with a wink.
I SAW THAT!
I was getting so worked up! Why didn't I just say it was for me from the beginning? Now shit is getting weird! These women think they are sooooo cute! And so I blurted, "IT'S MINE. IT'S FOR MY BABY" and instantly the tears flooded in.
MY BABY?? Oh god. What have I done?
I continued through the tears and said..."Okay, so I'm only four weeks, but I really just wanted to buy something."
(I NEEDED to buy something.)
Goddamn it, just bag this shit up and let me get out of here. Why did they do this to me?! I was just trying to live in the moment for once and buy a damn bunny! I was feeling good and living in pregnancy bliss, trying to glow and shit, and they very quickly reminded me of my infertility.
They both looked at me, stunned and said in unison "well, congratulations!".
I so badly wanted to say "You know what bitches, yea, I'm only four weeks, but it's been four fucking years of fighting for this little poppy seed of a human thats growing inside of me, and if I want to buy a fucking bunny, I'm going to buy a fucking bunny! And YOU are not going to make me feel stupid about it. Kay?"
But instead, I smiled, said "thank you" and took my sweet, soft little bunny to my car, cuddled it so hard, and cried my eyes out in the parking lot.
I suppose this is what happens when you're all jacked up on Mountain Dew fertility injections. Otherwise known as progesterone.
Is this how its going to be for nine months? Moments of pure joy turned super sad at the drop of a hat? Should I just wear a t-shirt that says "Infertile and Pregnant - Back the Fuck Off"?
I need to get more comfortable with the "p word". I've avoided it for so long, Honestly, I've avoided all things "p" related. This is going to take some time.
But, I do know one thing...
Pregnancy does not cure infertility.
Honestly, tho, I don't want it to. I didn't expect it to. How could anything take away all the years of suffering? How could all of that pain just disappear like it never happened? It can't.
And, that's totally okay.
I'm infertile and proud. No one can take that away from me. Infertility is and always will be apart of me. Infertility has taught me so much I couldn't have learned any other way. 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 ass injections per day for at least another 11 weeks. I'm still choking down handfuls of large pills every night. I'm still jacked on the Dew. 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'm finding ways to balance my happiness with my fear. This is new territory for me. I'm figuring it out one day at a time. No doubt, this the beginning of an exciting new journey.
But truth be told, my infertility is coming with me.