Well…it’s official: I’ve stepped into the ring for IVF round 2…(prepare yourself for a post littered with boxing references…I’m not proud)
I got my monthly monster Saturday evening, so per our fertility centers protocol I knew I would be going in for baseline testing on Monday morning. When I told Dan this we both danced around the kitchen (first time I’ve ever celebrated my period)-there was just this sense of excitement between the two of us. The fact is, it’s been a long time coming…and we’re ready.
Sunday, we hosted brunch for 8 of our closest friends. We sat outside on an unseasonably warm February day in New England and toasted to our second cycle of IVF. Talk about growth…here I was clinking my champagne flute filled with seltzer with people who last cycle did not even know we were doing IVF. I hoarded and hid our IVF last time, it was my ugly little secret, my disappointing, lazy uterus. And it made me bitter, sad, angry and resentful. This time, I’m owning it. I’m sharing it. And let me tell you, sitting outside on Sunday surrounded by people who will support and love us over the next few months, I felt a powerful sense of hope and peace. It’s really amazing to be in the ring, knowing you have this remarkable, supportive cheering section in your corner…ready and willing to pick me up when I inevitability get knocked down and celebrate any (and every) victory.
But, of course, I’m human and Sunday night as I lay in bed reading my new Book of the Month book I couldn’t completely silence the negative/scared voices in my head. The voices reminding me we’ve been here before…reminding me of the failures of science, hormones and my own body…the absence of a heartbeat and our Warrior. So I decided to own the sadness…I stopped the positivity train…I cried…I gave in to the temptation of remembering the promises of the past and the losses…and then I climbed back on the train and forced myself to move on. I cannot carry what wasn’t into the ring with me. I don’t have the space…in my arms, in my mind or in my heart.
Monday morning I smiled walking into our fertility center. I laughed with my favorite receptionist at the front desk who let out a little “wahoo!” when she realized we had a credit on our account from first cycle after previously telling me “everyone owes money at baseline.” I chatted casually with the phlebotomist about how much easier the new way of doing blood draws is (they separate those having ultrasounds and those just having blood work…its way more time effective). I joked with one of the nurses who I met a few times last cycle about IVF being my 30th birthday gift and she responded “I’m taking my fiancé to visit a friend in Syracuse for his 30th birthday, baby making seems like a way better birthday gift” and we laughed in the way I think you can only laugh when this isn’t your first fight. When you’ve been knocked out and woken up to realize the pain subsides and you’re strong enough to try again.
So yesterday evening when I got the phone call that my blood work was fine and I could start hormones, I felt ready. I’m more prepared for this fight than I was 15 months ago. At 8pm I turned on Hamilton ‘My Shot’, I mixed my Menopur, I dialed up my Follistim pen to 450…and I officially started cycle 2 with a smile and a few curse words (because holy smokes Menopur stings!!) …this time, I’m not just a fighter…I’m a Warrior…and I am not throwing away my shot. (yeah, I did that…feel free to judge me accordingly)