I read a GREAT blog post the other day which gave me the title to this post. I strongly encourage you to read it if you want to learn what infertility feels like from the male perspective. Both Scott and I read it and agreed with every word.
Back to our story…
We decided in December that we were going to move onto an infertility specialist for our next attempts at getting pregnant. We found a reproductive medicine center we liked and met with our new doctor before we went on vacation in December. We made a plan with him to get a little more aggressive with our attempts. We decided to start our next cycle (try #6) with drugs to help me produce more eggs and to trigger ovulation at a certain time rather then relying on urine tests. There are some risks with us taking this approach. The chance for multiples is much higher then the natural approach (no drug cycle where I would typically just release 1 egg). While to most infertile people this seems like a huge bonus- it also carries large risks. Twin pregnancies are much higher risk and can lead to some lifelong problems in the babies. I would also be at a higher risk for issues. We decided that, despite these risks, if it could boost our chances of conceiving we wanted to give it a shot.
We started the drugs on Dec. 27th. The Dr. warned us that this drug can have some nasty side effects but luckily it wasn’t too bad for me. I got some bad hot flashes at work which got kind of awkward and uncomfortable, but other then that the effects were pretty mild. \
The drugs did what they were supposed to do and after bringing me in for a few daily ultrasounds they decided that two of my follicles were large enough so they had me inject the trigger shot at home. Two days later we did the insemination and scheduled the blood test to determine if it was successful for 1/19. I went in before work and gave them some blood, then they called around lunch time to tell me that the test was negative.
We are extremely sad that once again our attempts to get pregnant failed. Our hearts are broken and can’t understand why this isn’t working. Why I have this strong desire in my heart to bear a child and everything we try fails. Even after the “improved” odds by using fertility drugs we still were unable to conceive. We used up our 6th vial of sperm this attempt. It’s crazy to think that when we started this whole thing I thought we’d be using our 6th vial for our 2nd or 3rd kid.
I will now get my period in a few days. It is kind of nice knowing that I’m not pregnant before I get my period. Sometimes it has seemed like the physical pain has made it harder to process and identify the emotional pain. This time I have more time to process emotionally (and get the good drugs in me quickly).
We are now trying to figure out the next steps. I think we are going to continue doing inseminations until the sperm we bought is used up (our plans was going to be to have as many kids at the 12 vials got us) and then go from there. Not sure if we are going to keep doing them one after another since going to this infertility specialist is pretty spendy (daily ultrasounds aren’t cheap!). It’s also pretty exhausting keeping up with all the appointments in Minneapolis (not to mention how emotionally taxing it gets). We were lucky this cycle that we were able to get most appointments done before work or on the weekend but I’m not sure that we’ll get that lucky on our next cycle. It’s going to be pretty odd to be the coworker that’s constantly leaving for Dr. Appointments randomly.
Please be praying for comfort and wisdom over the next couple days and weeks as we make decisions on our next cycle.
I remember sitting at a women’s conference (I was single at the time) and listening to the speaker talk about what parts of our lives we were holding in our own hands. Which parts we weren’t fully surrendering to God’s will for our lives. Sitting there I realized what my holdout was: having kids of my own. Most people talked about financial security, a dream job, or finding a spouse to spend their lives with. Those things I was 100% fine with God controlling. I was confident that whatever His will was in those areas I would be okay with. I was happy to let Him have control there, but not when it came to having kids. I was not okay with the possibility that if I let it go it might not be in His will for me to bear children. It’s the one thing that I’ve never been able to fully surrender… never been able to let it go because what if I did and then it never happened. Did I trust God enough to say “whatever your will is for my life let it be”? I’m slowly starting to surrender this piece and it the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.
I feel this desire in my heart and the physical ache of not having it. Is that my own desire or one God placed there? I desperately want to be pregnant. Is that just human biology or a desire God placed there? So many of my prayers for children have not been “Your will be done” but “Please rubber stamp this dream of mine and let it be in your will”. It’s so hard to let this piece go and admit that it’s beyond my control.
In some ways I think Scott is lucky. We know that he will (barring a miracle) never have biological children. God revealed a piece of his plan to us in that way. What we don’t know is if I will ever get pregnant. If I will ever be able to bear children. In a weird way I think it would be great if doctors told me that I would never be able to carry a child. At least then I would know and be able to move on and figure out the next steps. If God told me right now that His plan for us was to adopt 12 kids from Africa we would do it in a heartbeat. It’s just that we don’t know… and can’t seem to figure it out. I feel like it’s a desire that God placed in my heart to be pregnant. But I also know that there are sooo many women that feel this same way and are never able bear children.
It must be part of His plan that we go through all this suffering. We just have to keep trusting that He is working some good out of it. That this season will someday end and we will have grown stronger because of it. Trust that His will is far greater than our own. I’m mad because I don’t know, and I’m scared because it may not match the desires of my heart at this time.
I also hate that I feel ungrateful. So many people would be so grateful to have the life I live. I have a husband who I love, who loves me, and is sooo wonderful to me. I have a puppy who is incredibly adorable and such a joy. I have some of the greatest friends anyone could hope to have, ones that encourage me and love me even on my worst days. I own a lovely little house in a safe neighborhood. I have a great job that I love and wonderful coworkers. We both have parents who love us and siblings who would do anything for us. But life still somehow seems so hard. We have blessings beyond comprehension but we want to be parents and can’t.
For now we will keep on trying and hoping and praying… that’s all we can do.
I had originally thought it was going to be easier this cycle since I was going to be able to process the failure emotionally before I physically got my period, but actually it made it worse. By the time I was getting over the emotional pain, I got my period and grieved all over again. It was much worse then having a few really painful days and being done. It was a combination of the emotional toll it took, the cost, and the fact that I had a business trip tentatively scheduled around the time that we would need to do the next insemination, that made us to decide to push back our next attempt. I didn’t want to explain to everyone at work that I needed to postpone our trip because I was ovulating… as much fun as that sounds. It was a MUCH needed break. About a week after we made the decision my Grandma passed away. This really helped to reaffirmed that our decision was correct. I needed to grieve without all the drugs and doctors appointments hanging over my head. It would have made everything more stressful then necessary. My Grandma passing away was really difficult. It’s one of those head games that I lost again. Along with the pain of losing such a wonderful woman I had to deal with the pain of not making her a great-grandma… Many other cousins made her one… but I really thought that by the time she passed away I would be pregnant and my baby would have been alive when she was. It’s really painful even now to think about. It’s 100% selfish since she has had dementia for many years and it was definitely her time to go be in heaven. I just had this image of Scott and I bringing our baby to show my grandma… and she would have laughed and smiled. She would have had no clue whose baby it was… but it’s still incredibly difficult to know that that will never happen.
Scott and I discussed it again and decided that we are going to take 1 more month off then hit it again full force in March. We have a ski trip planned with friends next week and we are in the middle of our bathroom remodel so it will be nice to have some good relaxing time, finish up some loose ends, save up some money and go again with less stress in March.
A friend of mine told me she checks this blog daily… so I decided that I’m going to care less about proofing all my posts and just post as I have something to say. I apologize in advance for all the jumbled and inconclusive posts to come, but that’s how my brain seems to be working lately. Thanks for checking in and keeping us in your prayers. It means so much to us to know we have such a great support team.
Scott and our nephew Max. This pictures makes my heart physically ache with longing, but also makes me so incredibly happy.
I wish this was easy. I wish I could easily bear my husband’s children, but that is not our case. Scott will likely never have biological children of his own. That hurts me more than I think I will ever be able to express. But I also have ALWAYS known that Scott will always love whatever children he has. I have known that from very early on in our relationship. It’s hard to explain, but I have always felt that we would have a child with special needs. I have no idea why but it’s something that I really thought would happen naturally with us. Scott has always had a special place in his heart for those children and I always thought that he had so much to teach me in that area. I always thought that we would naturally conceive a child with special needs and that he would be thrilled. Scott would excel in that area and I would struggle. I would wish we had a “normal” child while Scott would praise God for his faithfulness in a child. Any child. This is something I knew when we were still just dating and really don’t know why. Maybe this feeling that I’ve always had will now manifest itself in another way. No kids we will ever have will be “normal”. They won’t be biologically related to their father (Scott), but just like a child with special needs I know that Scott will excel in this. He’ll be praising God for whatever child we have and will be an amazing father. I can’t wait to see him in that role. He’s going to be such a wonderful dad to whatever kids we have.