Last week Dan and I went to see our fertility specialist for my endometrial biopsy, is was the last box we needed to check on the list of ‘possible reasons the miscarriage happened’. It was a surprisingly long list, but in the end the embryo was healthy, I’m healthy, Dan is healthy…we’re just not having that baby. It was a long list…that left us knowing a lot of things that did NOT cause the miscarriage, but none that did. I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again)…there are always a lot of questions, but there are never enough answers. (That should be what they say when you go to the IVF seminars).
But anyway, last box checked. So our fertility doctor takes us into another room and starts talking about what he will do differently next IVF cycle, the changes he wants to make to my hormones, he uses the phrase “a more aggressive plan” a few times and I start to feel anxious and then he announces “If you want, I think July 5th could be a good start date.” Dan and I lock eyes, but don’t say anything. We tell our doctor we’ll call in the next few days we just need to figure some things out and we walk out feeling overwhelmed (another thing they should tell you at the IVF seminar: overwhelmed is a very common emotion to feel when exiting your fertility center). Dan looks at me as we pull out of the parking lot “July 5th is two weeks away…that really takes away from the ‘Summer of Us’.”
The ‘Summer of Us’ was something Dan and I imagined to help us cope following the miscarriage. We started listing all the things we could do now that I was not pregnant (this involved alcohol, late nights, seafood and vacations) and we planned to really enjoy them, not fall into the trap of last summer when we just kept imagining how different everything we were doing would be with a child. We both recognized we had spent the last year of our life consumed with infertility and that led to a lot of sadness and disappointment…we both agreed a few months just being a couple in love was healthy. (Full disclosure: we’re also moving this summer, so it wasn’t all free-spirited, we do have to ‘adult’ too.) But now our doctor had thrown a wrench into the plan, a wrench in the form of hormones, blood tests, ultrasounds and a very healthy lifestyles goodbye wine, goodbye raw oysters, goodbye late nights and impromptu weekends to the Cape…
Now, I need to say something here… I imagine there might be a few people reading this thinking “this chick complains about not having a baby and then whines someone is going to take away her booze and food” (Yes, I assume people who judge me for my blog use the term ‘chick’) that is not what I’m saying. I’ll make the sacrifices, heck I’ve already made so many, in order to have a baby… I’d give up just about anything in my life if someone said it would help me conceive…What I’m trying to say is Dan and I worked really hard for our warrior embryo and then we lost our warrior and I became very sad and very tired and very disappointed. And you cannot enter into fertility treatments sad, tired and disappointed… I need time to recover, I need to find ways to be happy again, I need to read a trashy novel on the beach with my husband sitting next to me, I need to heal… When Dan and I were discussing the Pros and Cons of starting treatments in July or waiting until September/October like we previously planned I heard myself say ‘I mean a pro is I could be pregnant with baby #2 before baby #1’s due date…” and I realized what I really needed was time. (Because listing your possible babies is not, in my opinion, a healthy way to approach this.)
I need the ‘Summer of Us’. Which is basically what I told Marsha (my favorite nurse) the following day when she called to say our physician had finalized our treatment schedule. I thanked them for being so proactive, but we chose “us” for a little while. I’m going to work extra shifts at the hospital, we’re going to move into a new place, we’re going to see Billy Joel in concert, visit some vineyards, and travel to Florida to see our nephew (who should be making his world debut any day now!) We’re going to enjoy life and each other for a little while. I also started a new supplement, am considering acupuncture and am focusing on getting myself healthy for our second round (life cannot be completely infertility free!) A small part of me wishes we had just started this summer because I want so badly to be a mom, but I know that is not the best decision for Dan, myself or (God-willing) our future children. That’s another thing they should tell you at IVF seminar… regardless of how badly you want a child…making said child is going to take a lot out of you, you’re going to make a lot of sacrifices and, although I’ve never had a child I did watch my parents make countless sacrifices for my siblings and I over the years, so I am comfortable saying you’re going to continue to make sacrifices…take the time to be selfish now, be in the best mindset before you start, accept that sometimes the best thing you can do in this crazy infertility journey is to not do anything at all.