Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two roads diverged.

I remember so vividly a year and a half ago, after my first IVF had failed, how desperately I needed someone to identify with. Living in a sea of fertiles, I didn't know anyone personally who had undergone IVF; much less someone who had gone through it and failed. I stumbled upon this community and was buoyed by the positivity, the encouragement and the belief that, maybe, just maybe, it could work for me like it had worked for others. Then it seemed like it was only working for others, not me. I got pregnant with my frozen cycle a year ago and then miscarried. Many, many of the women who cycled with me then have children now (real live babies!). Same scenario, after my second IVF failure. And there I was, one of those women. Worse than a beauty school dropout, I was a late (really late) 30's repeat IVF failure.

I found that I couldn't read many of the blogs I'd started off with for many reasons; well, for one reason, because I couldn't identify, I was left behind. I hope that I said the right words and kindly expressed congratulations, of course feeling envy and "why not me's" at the same time. I was staring at the fork in the road, except it felt like a fork in my heart. Originally, E and I said that we would do two fresh IVF cycles, no more. If those two didn't work, plus any frozen cycles, that was that. We would go on, we have a great life, it wasn't mean to be. Then, after the resounding failure that was IVF #2, I told E in tears--not the gentle, flowing, you'd look good in pictures tears, but the heaving, red nosed, hiccuping kind--I have to try again. I can't live with stopping now. In my secret heart of hearts, I can't let go now because I would always wonder what if, what if. And he hugged me and agreed, because that's the man I married.

I don't know why this one worked. I don't know why after a year and a half of infertility treatments, at two months before I turned 39, I had the best cycle imaginable. Why, after countless failures and less than stellar results (that was tongue in cheek) I've ended up here, a few days shy of four months pregnant with what appears to be a healthy fetus. It's not that God answered my prayer, because to say that drives home how many other worthy prayers have not been answered. (I remember reading early on a post written by a newly pregnant woman who said "God knew that I was ready to be a mother" and how it stung me; I was the less worthy one apparently.) I believe God's intervention is not to change the outcome, but to help us deal with the outcome whatever it may be.

All of this to say that I grew to believe that I wouldn't be in this place. That at some point I would close up shop on this chapter and move on. At least as of now, it appears that the outcome could be different and I hope very much that it is. It is disconcerting the powerful emotions I have developed toward the little 5 inch creature wreaking havoc on my body (and fueling no doubt my evil longings for all things confectionery). So I'm here. And I'm very much aware that now I find myself in the same sort of place I avoided for so long. And if you're here, and you know who you are, you don't have to a say a word or leave a comment because I know, oh boy I know, how very hard it is to come to a place that has been so painfully elusive. I won't throw out any of the standardisms, like "if it worked for me it could work for anyone," because, having been on the receiving end before, it doesn't help. Not a bit.

So I will try this week to just accept that things could possibly work out ok and I will see if I can wean myself from the ultrasounds. (Cue anguished cry and hair pulling.) I make no promises though. I have my next "official" ultrasound two weeks from Thursday. I will also try very hard to be charming and win over the front office trolls, er, receptionists at the ob's office and I will also stop throwing around the "do you have any idea how many IVFs I've been through" when they treat me like a fertile. I will try. Really. I will.


PJ said...

Yep. That one left me kind of teary-eyed.

Susan Jett said...

Actually, I love reading about folks for whom this stupid process actually WORKED. If I didn't know from reading blogs like yours that it does, sometimes, I'm not sure I'd have the strength to keep on going through with it.

Thanks for writing this, for remembering those of us still living in hope - but do know that some of us draw our hope from bloggers like you who are there, but who started out exactly as hopeless-feeling as ourselves.

And I can't wait to see baby pictures! Woohoo!

Duck said...

I went through so many stages,I could read of some peoples success, depending on how messed up they are, if they were as mess up as me or if i read of their trying for a long time, then I could read of their success and then something snapped and I couldn't read anyones blog, then I came back to blogs and now love reading of successes!

Io said...

I'm so glad this worked for you. It's hard to navigate the joy for others with feeling left behind, but believe me, the joy is genuine.
And why on earth would you stop using the "Do you know how many IVFs it took to get here" line? You should be using that until your child is no longer a bratty teenager. If not longer.

Denise said...

I know what you mean. I always felt like a fraud commenting on those success stories because even though I was sincere, I always worried that the person would assume I wasn't because how could I be?

I'm oh so glad that you find yourself in this place now.

Mrs.X said...

Ah, I needed this. I didn't even know that I did, but I did. Thanks, my dear.

Julie said...


I've been reading your blog for many months, and have been meaning to post something along these lines for a long time. After reading today's post, I felt it was time.

Thank you for sharing your story. I've taken much comfort from your honesty, and your wonderful sense of humor has made the infertility journey just a little bit brighter for me. I was thrilled to hear you were pregnant, felt great sorrow when I read of the loss of your twin, and feel joy each day when I hear how things are progressing positively for you.

Reading your blog has given me hope. My infertility resume is not terribly dissimilar from yours, and I'm one of the upper-thirties-clock-is-ticking-louder-and-louder set (actually, I'm about exactly a year younger than you - I turned 38 on February 10th). I appreciate your sensitivity about throwing out the standardisms...but in this case, knowing it worked for you *does* give me hope that it just might work for me. And even if it doesn't, reading your blog has made the journey more bearable.

Very best wishes for a continued happy and healthy pregnancy.

Melanie said...

Julie, thank you for your kind words. It touches me to know that my blog has been helpful to you, because, as you know, sometimes, ok often, the heartache seems to outweigh the joy. I wish you peace, and more importantly, success on your journey. (do you have a blog??)

Best, Melanie

niobe said...

I loved this post. Probably partly because I have a certain amount of guilt -- irrational, but guilt nonetheless about the whole thing.