I've alluded to our fertility follow-up appointment a few times, and I'm at a place now where I'm finally ready to share.
Let me say first and foremost I love our doctors. They are patient and understanding, and I've said this before, but I feel like fertility doctors can get overlooked or resented because they are sometimes the bearers of bad news, but ours are wonderful.
Our baseline testing all seemed to go well so when we went into our follow-up we knew we would discuss the results. I was kind of hoping they would tell me to just take a pill and I'd magically be knocked up the next day, but realistically, I was expecting to hear a recommendation to take Clomid. I know there are a lot of side effects that can happen from that medicine but I had mentally prepared myself to hear that, and Ben and I'd discussed how we would be open to that possibility. We went into the appointment high on hope.
We were told all of our levels looked relatively good - some higher than average, some lower than average, but a really good balance overall - but the next step (for various detailed reasons I won't get into), they were recommending was Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI. I remember being shocked, but taking a breath and letting out a shaky, "okay." I looked at Ben and he said to the doctor, "well what does that mean?"
What came after was kind of a blur. I was listening to the doctor tell me about pills (I would take Clomid, but only for a few days), and ultrasounds, and blood draws, and shots to stimulate my horomones, and it was almost like an out-of-body experience. I was hearing and absorbing the information, but somewhere in my head was thinking, this is not really what they're saying. This makes sense, but...there has to be a mistake.
After the doctor was done I listened to the nurse talk us through consent forms and procedures, and how everything would work if we decided to go through with it. I was a little shell-shocked but taking it in stride.
Afterwards, Ben and I were in the car sitting at a red light and I started crying. Uncontrollably, can't stop crying, to the point where Ben pulled the car over. I just kept saying, this is not supposed to be how we have a baby.
I went through a lot of emotions in the following weeks, including anger. Lots and lots of anger. Was this the end of the world? No. But I didn't want to find the silver lining. For once, I didn't want to look on the bright side. I cried and screamed, and I needed time to process the idea I've had my whole life of having a baby was no longer valid - to wrap my brain around that. (Is there a chance we could have a baby the "regular" way? Of course. But we have been trying that for two and a half years and I no longer trusted that to simply work for us).
I felt broken.
December was a hard month. There were days that were fine and days where the slightest thing would set me off. It would have been easy to not write about this part - to leave it in my journal, and just gloss over it as a "hard time." But it was so much more than that. And regardless of the outcome, it's part of our story.
I've since moved through these feelings. Ben and I have had lots of
conversations and have even decided on what we want to do (more on that
later), but it didn't feel right to jump to that and skip this painful, yet important step.
Thanks for letting me share it with you.