Before I begin, let me start by just saying that this is a three parter…it’s lonnnnnnggg. That or I have a horrible ability to edit. Probably a little bit of both. As I am new to the blogging game, and well, reading a lot more blogs, I tend to notice that I resonate with a lot of personal stories. So, I figured I’d get reeeeal personal with you all! Some of you know this story, some of you only know certain pieces, but I’m gonna throw it all out there. I know that other people’s personal stories have definitely made an impact on me, and how I look at myself and my world. You start to feel not so alone, and that everyone has something they are going through. I think that helps make this world a little less scary. Sooo…. here we go….
Becoming a mother, where do I even begin? At times I wasn’t even sure if this was something I wanted. The crying, the dirty diapers, the tantrums, I just wasn’t sure if I was cut out for it. My husband on the other hand was a million percent sure. How? I have no idea? He never wavered, but he didn’t always seem overly enthused at other people’s children either. We had lots of talks. Should we? Shouldn’t we? when? At the end of the convo it never seemed like ‘the right time’. We were always wanting to do something or go somewhere. I mean, it took us a few years just to decide we wanted a dog! But in the end, we just both new this is what we wanted and we were meant to do. We wanted something bigger than the two of us (and Maui!). As we were approaching our mid-thirties, we finally had to get serious about the “when” question. While I still feel like I’m in my prime these days, we weren’t getting any younger, so it was time to get going!!….
Before all of this, when we were figuring things out, my husband and I had been debating the age-old question of when was the “perfect” time to have kids. When would we be “ready”?? Ha!! As if there is ever a time that you would truly be ready for kids??? We had many conversations, some which may have contained excel spreadsheets, and we figured out what we thought was the “perfect time”. It was the cliché ‘5 years after we’re married’. This was something we kept to ourselves. So, since most of our friends and family were pregnant by their 1 year anniversary, we got a lot of dreaded kids questions. We always played it coy. Just a “not yet”, “someday”, kind of answer. This was very unsettling to some of my family members! They needed to know ASAP when we were going to get into the baby game! I also think it was a twinge of jealousy that we still had our freedom!
5 years would give us plenty of time to see the world, and do ‘all the things’ that seem impossible once kids are in the mix. We got some great trips to Costa Rica, Paris, Italy, and Hawaii on the books. We even got a dog! I mean doesn’t everyone get the dog first, you know, to make sure you are ready to be responsible? I mean because anyone that has kids will tell you, having a dog and a kid are the same thing (hahahaha)!!
So the time had come to start “trying”. We had heard all the advice – give it a year, it won’t happen right away, blah blah blah…but yet everyone I seemed to know, seemed to figure it out pretty easily. No problem. We are two healthy, active, adults in the prime of our lives! This would be easy…I mean that’s why we waited right? We didn’t want to be shocked or unprepared when it happened right away- especially if we weren’t “ready”!
Fast forward a year down the road. Crickets. Nothing. Not even a scare glimmer. Hell, it took me three months to even get a period after I went off of birth control. When I finally did get a period, they were like no other! Like stay in bed all day, under the blankets, gut wrenching discomfort. After not having a period for years of being on birth control, this was pure torture! We need to get pregnant immediately to stop this madness!!
I had always thought I would take an approach that I didn’t want to interfere, with ‘nature’. It would happen naturally or it wouldn’t happen. Everything in God’s plan, right? Well, that was my mantra…UNTIL nothing happened. Then we were all… WTF? What’s wrong? Is it me? Is it you? We must figure it out! Funny how that changes…So, on to the fertility doctor we went.
I was referred to her through my OBGYN, and loved her immediately. She was reassuring and compassionate, and had gone through this herself. To get things started, she had to do a series of test on both of us to determine what the problems were, if there were any. I was hoping we just had bad timing…But, after numerous months of testing, it was determined to be a little bit of both. I have a unique anatomy, with two uteruses and two cervix. Something I had known early on, but I was always assured getting pregnant was totally possible. However, my cycles were very irregular, never really giving us a proper timeline of when we were ovulating, or if I was ovulating at all. My husband, didn’t have great “numbers”. We were told that it was a 1 in a million chance that we would get pregnant naturally………So naturally, I was like, so you’re telling me there’s a chance??? Ha-ha…Yes, but No. We were told IVF is your best bet if you want to get pregnant soon…and since I was just over 35, we didn’t totally have time on our side. Basically, we didn’t have enough time to ‘try’ for our 1 in a million baby. Other options for pregnancy were not on the table due to my unique interior, and the doc didn’t want to risk the chance of multiples with the uncertainty of having two uterus (something that could potentially come into play down the road of this story;). So on to the IVF route we went.
While I originally didn’t want to have to take these extremes, once we realized we weren’t playing with a full deck, it was a game changer. Something I didn’t even have yet, became something I so deeply wanted. I’m not sure if it was just because we were told that we couldn’t do it naturally, all the sudden we had no issues taking greater measures? Probably. Anyways, I was now happily on board to create our little bundle of joy.
Let me tell you this, nothing really de-romanticizes the baby making process, like IVF… it’s very sterile, and unsexy. Lots of schedules, calendars, and timelines. No bow-chicka-bow-bow here (well, except for maybe when my hubs had to donate his part, ha!)…
Numerous blood draws, daily “lady” exams, horrendous bloating, and feeling like you have 1000 eggs floating in your belly. So many needles! I repeat, lots and lots of needles. I wish I would have taken a picture of my sharps container. If anyone found that thing- they would thing I was a grade-A heroin addict.
But…, we did it. I gave myself the ones in the belly, and felt like I was a surgical nurse by the time we were done with stimulation. My husband had to give me the ones in the booty….because the angle was just too difficult (and the needle was a little too long!).Maui our pup, would watch us with her head tilted, like what the hell are you doing? So this was a whole family affair!
After a week or so of stimulation, finally, we were told it was time for retrieval! If you’ve had IVF, you know how this goes. If not, again, very mathematical. Exactly 36 hours after you give yourself the “trigger” shot, you are getting your egg retrieval. So, if you are scheduled for a retrieval at 9am Saturday morning, you give yourself a specific, one-dose shot at 9pm on Thursday night. This “triggers” the eggs to release. The timing is critical. If you were off by a few minutes here or there, you had to let your doctor know, to move the retrieval accordingly. So I sat with my timer on, and waited until it struck 9pm and stuck my belly. Ok…36 hours to go!
We came out with 9 eggs! Which at the time, I thought was great, until I asked what the most was ever, and I think the nurse told me some insane number waaaaaay more than 9!…gulp…oh…ok, 9 is not as good then. I didn’t have much to compare to! Well, we only want 2-3 kids, so we should be fine, right? Well…that’s the number of eggs…first we would see how many were viable. Only 7. Ok, this is getting worse. Then you have to fertilize them and see how many ‘survive’. After the fertilization process, we were down to two…just two….that’s the minimum number of kids we wanted. So we were going to need some very good odds here.
On to implantation day. They took the best of two and dropped one in my uterus at lunch. Literally, I scheduled myself in a meeting on my outlook calendar at work, and went to the doc’s office at lunch…then I walked back to the office a ½ hour later. It was a really weird day. When people wonder why I’ve been distracted at work… this is why… it’s hard to do anything, let alone function at a demanding job while going through all of this! And oh yeah- I may have just gotten pregnant at lunch!
Now came the waiting game…I would go back in 10 days for a blood test to see if this little embryo had implanted…talk about the longest 10 days of our life…and of course you couldn’t take a pregnancy test because you are taking a pregnancy hormone daily. It would give you a positive outcome no matter what. I felt some cramping, which was supposed to be a good indication, so I was feeling positive, but I just couldn’t get a feel if I was pregnant. Some people just say they know, but I had no clue what I was feeling!
10 days later, I went in for the blood test in the morning before work. I took a half day that day, knowing I would get a call with results around mid-day. I was not planning to stick around work if it was not the news we were hoping for. Finally, I saw the call come in. I sit in a cube, so I didn’t want to answer it there. I tried getting to the phone room we had (a closet basically) to answer, but I wasn’t fast enough. The nurse left a voicemail…do I listen or wait until I get home so Chris can listen too?? Would she leave a voicemail if it was bad news? Chris told me to listen to it as he knew there was no way I could wait…I wasn’t sure how I would react either way. I kept imagining each scenario coming through. I started to feel sad if she would say it was negative. My heart was beating a million miles an hour. If it was bad news- we still had one embryo left to try again, but then that would mean if we wanted more kids than 1 we would have to do the entire IVF process over again. This is not something I wanted to do! Plus not to mention that IVF is insanely expensive. See how this spirals out of control?? My mind was all over the place and I hadn’t even known the answer yet!
I finally pressed play on what would become a life changing voicemail. The nurses voice began to play- she was chipper…was this good news? She got right to the point… “Hi Megan! You are definitely pregnant”!!! I think I had to replay the entire voicemail about 100 times to make sure! I immediately called Chris and told him the good news- all while whispering in this little closet! Not your ordinary pregnancy test but, something told me nothing would be ordinary in this process for us. We were so shocked that it worked on the first try! We were so lucky! The doctor wasn’t surprised as she dusted her shoulder off. That was easy we thought….well, little did we know things wouldn’t always be so rosy…wait does this mean I can’t drink!? 😳
Stay tuned for the rest of this ride,