Hope: IVF Diaries

Sharing is caring!
Facebook
Google+
https://itsatwinkielife.com/2017/04/27/hope-ivf-diaries/
Pinterest
Follow by Email
RSS

IVF diaries

My 3 year long journey to motherhood was full of countless detours and dead ends: pain, loss, surgeries (2), IVF cycles (3), and endless needles (160). I went through all the range of emotions one can expect to feel when dealing with infertility: uncertainty, fear, isolation, determination, sadness, grief, and at times excitement, hope and joy. Of all these emotions, hope, sadness and joy best sum up my IVF experience.

 

HOPE

Starting the IVF process was overwhelming at first.  There was a mountain of paperwork, we had to educate ourselves on the daily injections we had to administer, and there was the heavy time commitment for the countless appointments, ultrasounds and blood tests.  Ironically, since I was a kid I would pass out at the sight of blood and now, here I was, willing to give it away multiple times a week!  The nurses knew to recline my chair so I wouldn’t pass out, and eventually, it didn’t phase me anymore, I was a pro blood giver; a vampire would have been proud.

We started the first IVF cycle on January 29, 2014.  Injections started a month later, and for 17 days my husband injected me with a total of 42 medications.

The next phase in the process was egg retrieval.  I remember getting up at 4am that day on March 17th, full of excitement.  Finally the time was here, we were so close to the end zone.  We had to be at BostonIVF at 6:30am.  Once there, I changed into my ‘operating robe’, and walked into the operating room, where they laid me down and put my legs up in stirrups, kind of like the ones you see at your OB/GYN, except these were contraptions that hung from the ceiling and raised the legs up.  As I laid there, spread eagle, I was put to sleep.

ready for retrieval
Ready for retrieval!

I woke up a little sore, and we were sent home.  Later on, the nurse called to let us know they were able to retrieve 10 eggs, but only 4 fertilized, and out of those, only 2 were good quality embryos.  We decided we would transfer both.

Three days later, on March 20th, I was sitting in the BostonIVF lobby, eagerly awaiting the moment I would be receiving my precious embryos.  But first, I had to see the acupuncturist on site.  Those tiny painless needles released all of my anxiety, and I came out of that session feeling relaxed and ready.

They called out my name, it was finally time for the egg transfer.  This procedure was done while I was awake, my husband was with me holding my hand, and we could actually see the long probe carrying the egg into my uterus.  It took all of 5 minutes, and the deed was done.  I was instructed to go home and rest. A pregnancy blood test was scheduled for the following week.

That was the longest week of my life.  Finally the day came, I happily gave my blood away, and later that afternoon I received the phone call that erased all of the anxiety, pain and loss of the past year.  I was pregnant!

first ivf pregnancy
5 weeks pregnant

On April 22nd, we were scheduled for our first ultrasound to listen to our baby’s heartbeat.  The quiet in the room was deafening, and with dread I looked on at the technician.  After a moment, she broke the silence with the sweetest words one going through IVF hopes to hear “there it is, I hear a heartbeat.”  I felt the tension leave my body, and let out a huge sigh of relief.  They gave us our very first ultrasound pictures, and with huge smiles on our faces, my husband and I went back to the waiting room, waiting for our turn to speak to the doctor. Except she wasn’t there that day, we saw one of the nurse practitioners instead.

We walked in beaming and sat down.  What happened next floored me.  “I’m sorry but today’s ultrasound showed an irregular heartbeat.  It’s not good.  Usually a heartbeat this low means the pregnancy will not carry to term.”  I thought this was a cruel practical joke.  Why give us ultrasound pictures, tell us there’s a heartbeat failing to mention its irregularity, give us hope, only to take it away moments later?

I was devastated.  I was in denial.  I was angry.  I called BostonIVF on my way back to work and practically yelled at the nurse about the way they had mishandled the ultrasound and delivery of the bad news.  I went home.  I would pray I thought.  I would pray for the tiny heart to grow stronger.  That night, I googled irregular heartbeats looking for success stories, there were some, so I held on to hope.

I was scheduled for a follow-up on April 30th.  I left work for my appointment, desperately clinging on to hope.  During the ultrasound, as I scanned the technician’s face looking for optimism, a hint of a smile, anything to break the heavy silence that hinted of bad news to come, it became clear hope was gone.  Sadly, she confirmed my worst fear.  There was no heartbeat.  It was gone.  I held back the tears as I sat in the lobby waiting to speak to my doctor.  It’s not that I was embarrassed or ashamed to cry, I just didn’t want to dampen anyone else’s hope with my sadness.

As I sat in my doctor’s office discussing next steps, barely aware of what she was saying, I still held back my tears.  She spoke about choices, sad ones.  I could either choose to wait and see if my body would miscarry naturally, something that could take a long time, or I could choose surgery to make it happen.  I opted for the latter, mostly because I didn’t want to be reminded of my loss every day, and especially because I didn’t want to waste time.  I held back tears as I walked out of the lobby, but when I got to my car, the tears started to pour out of me.  I cried all the way back to work.  I cried when I got to work, sitting there at my desk, facing away from prying eyes.  I couldn’t stop crying, grieving over the tiny embryo who’s heartbeat had stopped at almost 7 weeks.

I dried my tears long enough to go into my manager’s office, and as I tried to tell him I needed to go home, the tears came back.  This time I was crying hysterically.  I could barely talk i was so upset.  That poor man looked at me alarmed, with a look on his face that said “ah crap how do I handle this one?”  He must have thought I was dying, he knew I had been to the doctor’s.  He kept asking me “is this something you want to talk about?  Is there anything I can do?”  And I just kept on crying, shaking my head and repeating “i have to go home, I can’t function today.”

2 days later, I went back to BostonIVF for my D&C (dilation & curettage) surgery. It was May 2nd.

And just like that, I wasn’t pregnant anymore.

surgery flowers
Flowers sent by my team after surgery.

I grieved in secret.  The worst of it was everyone around me was getting pregnant accidentally, not even trying.  Going to events was a strain, I had to put on a happy face when I was dying inside.  That’s the thing about infertility and IVF, it’s so isolating.  You don’t want to tell anyone besides immediate family because of situations like these when it doesn’t work and you don’t want to deal with the aftermath.  Yet, you wish you could explain to friends why you aren’t yourself, and part of you wants to talk it out and cry about it some more.

The book ‘The Secret’ says one should only think and talk about positive things.  The act of constantly talking and dwelling on the sad events of our lives only serve to perpetuate more sadness.  In a way, it’s a good thing I couldn’t talk about it in depth with friends and family.  I needed to stay focused, regroup and try again.

Sharing is caring!
Facebook
Google+
https://itsatwinkielife.com/2017/04/27/hope-ivf-diaries/
Pinterest
Follow by Email
RSS

31 thoughts on “Hope: IVF Diaries

  1. Elizabeth

    I have had what they call a chemical pregnancy once, though it wasn’t through IVF but i can understand the pain of one TTC. So all I can say is hang on. The one you will carry full term will come and all your tears will turn into dancing. It is well

  2. Liza Amor

    Thank you for sharing this. Especially close to Mother’s Day which can be tough for women dealing with infertility. I am an IVF mom. I know the pain and heartache associated with an IVF journey. I also know what it is to hold an IVF baby in my arms. To all the women out there on this journey know it is a JOURNEY and nothing could be more worth fighting for.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Exactly, well said Liza! It was all worth it 🙂

  3. Brittany

    I had an IUI so while the process is different, and we only tried for 2 years, I can feel your pain. It was a hard time of life and friends and family definitely don’t understand if they haven’t been through it as well.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Yes, you know what it can be like. Family in our case wasn’t aware of anything (except parents).

  4. Shannon

    While I’ve been blessed to have never experienced the challenges of infertility, your post brought me to tears. Wishing you all my best on your journey towards motherhood.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  5. Steph

    My mom had ivf babies, good luck!!

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  6. Kayla Nigro

    I’m so sorry you had to endure these events. I can’t even imagine wanting something so badly but not being able to get it… and seeing others achieve what you want. That couldn’t/can’t be easy. You are so strong, brave and courageous for sharing your story! Keep on keeping on!

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  7. Sarah

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. I can’t even imagine the pain. I understand that it can be hard to talk to your friends about this. It was a great idea to blog about it! You can get your emotions out and basically talking to strangers is so much easier

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  8. Meghna

    I am so touched by this honest blog of yours. My closest friend went through something very similar and it breaks my heart to see her struggle with infertility. Hugs to you and all the best for the future.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂
      I’m sorry about your friend though.

  9. Jamie @ madrediem

    You are very strong to share this and I admire you so much for doing so. I can’t imagine how hard this entire process must be for you to go through. I am a 6-time egg donor so I have some experience with the process, however what you have gone through is so much more trying. Thank you for sharing.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  10. Anna Barton

    I’m so sorry for your struggles and loss, mama. Sending lots of love and prayers your way! xo

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  11. Marilyn

    Awww I’m so sorry, that is so heart breaking. I really hope that it sticks next time and gives you a sweet baby. Sticky baby dust!

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  12. Melody

    This is such a beautifully honest post. I can’t imagine what you must have felt/experienced during this, but thank you for sharing it. I’m sure it will help lots of other women who are going through a similar journey.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you 🙂 That’s the goal behind sharing my story, that it helps others.

  13. Jasmine

    I can’t imagine this struggle. I get the point of the secret, but support is key too. I’ll pray for you

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  14. Ashley Griffith

    I am so sorry you had to experience this! I remember such similar feelings when I miscarried. It was so awful. I hope the journey ahead isn’t nearly as hard for you!

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you. My journey had a happy ending, I have 2 beautiful sweet soon to be 20 month old twins 🙂

  15. Jenni Petrey

    I’ve not had to go through IVF however our journey to have children was difficult and painful. I suffered from 2 miscarriages before our first child and two more miscarriages before falling pregnant with our second child. And I understand your feelings of others seemingly being able to fall pregnant so easily. It is very difficult to put on a brave face. Thank for you sharing your struggles, I am sure that your story will help others in a similar situation to you xx

    • Liz Farris Post author

      Thank you! It must have been so hard to experience all those miscarriages, thankfully that didn’t stop you.

  16. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. It’s so helpful as someone who is still going to through infertility, to know I’m not alone.

    • Liz Farris Post author

      You’re very welcome. If my story can help one person, it was worth it to share. You are definitely not alone Stephanie and God will see you through.

Comments are closed.