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.