Friday, January 14, 2022

The worlds longest pregnancy announcement

This will be the most personal post I have ever written.
When I announced my pregnancy in December I alluded to our struggles 
& our IVF journey. 
I said that I planned on opening up and today is the beginning.

I think that it is important that people share their stories 
because the experience is so isolating.
I wanted to share this poem/essay/rant that I started in June about infertility.

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"The worlds longest pregnancy announcement"

Going through fertility treatment is the worlds longest pregnancy announcement. If you dare to share with anyone the agony that you are going through or that your partner is enduring. And once you share, you can’t take it back, for better or worse.


It’s months of “maybe this is it” and “oooo I’m a couple days late”. It’s a whole lotta money spent on pregnancy tests with single lines that never turn into a double. It’s disappointment every time the blood flows. 


It’s three rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination) before anyone will talk about IVF (in vitro fertilization) because insurance won’t cover it until you try all other options. 


It’s taking all the fun, intimacy and surprise out of the process. It’s adding doctors, embryologists, nurses, ultrasound techs into the room. It’s trying to make sure your partner can be in the room for conception or implantation - because otherwise that just feels weird. 


It is feeling betrayed by your own science education background because you understand more than you maybe want to. While also being disappointed that science doesn’t have all the answers for you.


It’s weeks of diagnostic testing- blood tests, dye tests, DNA tests, ballon tests, ultrasounds. Then weeks of medications, shots 3x a day, more blood work and ultrasounds- pretty much every morning. It’s raging hormones, crying at the drop of a hat, wanting to kill someone over the dumbest insignificant mistake at work. 


It’s wondering if all this estrogen is going facilitate some breast cancer in the future.


It’s balancing this new full time job that is ravaging your body with your real full time job that you need to be able to pay for this new life you think you’re building. Carefully planning your PTOs, making strategic moves to learn about and advocate for maternity leave. Thankful to be able to even take these next steps due to your partners health insurance. 


It’s wondering why you waited so long to be financially stable to have kids if it was going to cost you your whole savings to try now.


It’s mourning a fertility of your youth that you aren’t even sure existed in the first place. A fertility that you did everything in your youth not to test. 


It’s an egg retrieval that leaves you so heavy and bloated like a Sturgeon fish that is ready to be harvested for caviar. 


It’s waiting for numbers like the starting stats of a baseball team. 15 eggs retrieved, 8 fertilized, 6 divided “normally” and developed into the next step, 3 viable to be frozen. It is realizing that some couples don’t get even those odds and feeling their collective agony.


It’s family planning without knowing if this will even be successful in the first place. It’s signing your life and autonomy away in endless consent forms. 


It’s fresh ovarian cysts and set backs around every corner. 


It’s weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of waiting. Of pills, shots, suppositories. Of being told “you’re not quite there yet”. In hindsight these are “failed cycles” which somehow makes the process feel even worse.


It’s smiling in outfit posts where I feel like bursting into tears. Of sore boobs, throbbing ovaries and heavy periods that ruin pants. It’s a bruised stomach and blown veins in your arms from too many blood draws. It’s patches and rashes.


It’s cystic acne that has formed a beard around your chin and neck. Exacerbated by wearing a mask all day because, oh yeah, it’s a global pandemic and god forbid you catch Covid during this. Threats of blood clots, heightened fear about miscarriages if you ever do conceive. It’s getting a vaccine that ends up being recalled two days later for the same side effects. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. 


It’s hormonal nightmares with the occasional wonderful dream of holding a baby. 


It’s a lot of disappointment. 


It’s managing expectations of yourself and everyone who you’ve chosen to let into this inner circle of chaos.


It’s hearing “my friend/cousin/acquaintance so-and-so had to do this and she has blank child and blank child” over and over again. You know what friend you don’t hear from? The ones who weren’t successful because no one wants to talk about that outcome. 


It’s “stop worrying about it”, “it will happen soon”, “it took us a while too”.


It’s “maybe you should change your diet”, “maybe you should lose some weight.” It is a little red BMI number on the top of your chart that hurts more than you thought it would, although never discussed with you by your myriad of doctors.


It’s putting off plans, hesitating to make plans. Thinking “oh I might be pregnant by then” and wondering if it is actually going to happen. 


It’s celebrating every holiday without news to share, without a baby to hold in pictures. It’s thinking “wow I thought I would have a two year old at this point”. It’s wanting to celebrate Mother’s Day because you have frozen embryos that are currently living with a view of Bryant Park but your body is not ready to give them a home to incubate in yet. It’s sadness at not being able to make your partner a father, Father’s Day after Father’s Day.


It’s a lot of crying, a lot of crying, a lot of trying to keep it together. 


For others it is a one night stand, a “we weren’t even trying” situation. It’s countless pregnancy announcements, births and growing families around you. It’s being jealous of total strangers pregnant on the street or pushing a baby carriage. It’s trying to be happy for others but knowing you’re dying on the inside. It’s wanting to scream “WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE MY TURN”.


The resent is real. On your body. On your partner. On the situation. On other people who have it so easy. On the doctors who don’t seem to have answers for you.


It’s writing, rewriting and rewriting a prologue to a new chapter that just can’t seem to get started and that you’re really not sure how it will end. 


It’s knowing things could always be worse. But wondering why things always have to be so hard for you. It’s a pity party for two that you are desperately trying to make three. 


Hesitant to feel even a morsel of hope. The words “I’m pregnant” feel forbidden, mythical. 


Anyways. Long story short, I’m pregnant.

& I hope it stays that way for another 4 months.


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Also really resonated with this post from @fertility.rescriped πŸ”› Instagram,
worth a read ⬆️

♥️ 

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