Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Shot

Friday, 1-1-10 (Day 3)

Dexamethasone (.75mg, oral pill): So far so good; the perfect way to start out 2010.

Lupron (10units, subQ injection): Exactly six months ago today, I gave myself my first injection. I'm not saying it feels like yesterday; but it certainly doesn't feel like it was half a year ago, either.

I still remember everything. My mother came over the night before and helped me practice on a tangerine, while a few of our close friends looked on in wonder and fear. But not me; I was excited. Nervous of messing up my conversion of units and injecting the wrong amount, but still excited nonetheless.

After all, this was going to bring us our baby.

Other than the expectation of a perfect cycle and a pregnancy, we had no idea what the future held for us. But I can say with full certainty today that I never would have guessed I'd be sitting here, officially in 2010, holding another Lupron syringe instead of a grainy, black and white sonogram photo of our little one(s) growing inside of me.

In a way, I guess I'd say we've lost our innocence. We were slightly naive to expect our first IVF cycle to go perfectly and result in a pregnancy, but not crazy in our efforts, because in reality it does happen. People with far greater fertility handicaps get pregnant in the midst their first IVF attempt every day.

But not us.

So this morning, as I gave myself the first shot of the year, I couldn't help but notice the lack of excitement that I used to stick myself with. Every day was new, and was filled with first times for everything. My first injection, my first bruise, my first bleeder; and I was so very proud of each of them. I documented them with exact details, intending to help anyone else going through the same process by smugly showing them that IVF was not only doable, but easy and enjoyable at the same time.

Something that would be well worth the time, money, and effort in the end.

But I don't feel that same excitement anymore, because this process is no longer bright, shiny and new. It's full of unexpected twists and turns, disappointment, craziness, guilt, and loss. Loss of time, loss of money, loss of innocence.

Loss of embryos.

But I'm happy to report that although that initial excitement is somehow missing, it's been replaced with a new, pure, more vibrant kind of excitement. Although I know the process and the trials and tribulations that lay ahead, I also know so much more.

I know the secret to avoid bruising is to inject slow and steady, holding pressure to the site for a few seconds afterward. I know that if you don't want your PIO shots to feel like you've been hit by a semi the next day you have to set on a heating pad for at least a half hour. I know that Lupron burns, Luveris stings, Dexamethasone makes me eat and Follistim makes me feel full.

I know that I've taken more shots in the last six months that I've ever had in my entire twenty-six years, and it amazes me. I know that my husbands clumsy bear claw hands turn steady and smooth when it's time to inject Follistim, and it makes me smile. I know that my body is capable of doing and producing some really amazing things, and it give me hope.

I also know medical science isn't perfect but we've got a good shot, my parents really don't mind spending the money to help us even though it makes me feel guilty, and with God, all things are possible.

But sometimes it's still hard.

Especially since we also know that perfect cycles go wrong, some embryos don't grow, and not everyone gets pregnant. No matter how hard you pray, the answer may always be "no".

But that's not going to stop us from asking.

Because even after all of the drama that I try to make my life out to be, I'm nothing short of blessed; my life is so incredibly beautiful. I have the most supportive family and friends ever; we have no doubt they want this new life just as much as we do. We have good jobs that pay the bills, a great duplex that fits us just right, and even our worst days are filled with health, happiness, and hope.

So despite the past, I am still excited for what the future holds.

Today is a brand new beginning and I can feel it deep inside of me; something wonderful it going to happen. This may be my third IVF cycle, but it's my first cycle of a brand new year, and all bets are off. The past is in the past-right where it belongs-and I have a fresh opportunity to thank God for all He's given me, and to reflect on the past instead of live in it, focusing more on the endless possibilities He has in store for us in our future. And if infertility, IVF, and injections are the worst of what I have to go through to somehow bring honor and glory to God this year, then I'm a happy girl.

I often fall short and forget to look at all I've been blessed with, blinded by the hurricane of fear that surrounds this evasive medical procedure that we hope holds the answer to our dreams. But even when the sky is dark and the clouds are heavy above me, there's still one thing I know; a piece of information far more important than secrets to the success of IVF injections and organic well being.

There will be an end to this storm.

And If I look hard enough, I can already see the rainbow.

"When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."
-G.K. Chesterton


Robin said...

Oh sweetie, what a beautiful post. You are so right. This is a new year, new cycle with every reason to be excited and hopeful. Much love!!!!

Katie said...

Tab, you are such an amazing and gifted writer and I am in awe of your faith. . . May God's grace be with you as you go through this cycle and I will be praying for you the entire way through!!

Meg said...

It's posts like this one that help me heal. You can't write words like yours unless you've experienced the first IVF hopeful glow and then have no pregnancy to follow. There is no way the general public could understand, and for that reason, I am thankful God has given me a way to experience empathy from fellow IVFers like you. Thank-you for putting this experience into words.

Mom Genes said...

You just might be my favorite girl I never knew.
What else can I say but "thank you?"

Stephanie said...

What a great post. So open and honest, the same thing I thought when I first found your blog. You have never lost yourself through this process and I commend you for that. Of course there are ups and downs, but you remember them each and continue being positive!
I'm so glad to be following you on the journey...third times a charm!!!
Happy New Year!!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

Best of luck this cycle. I hope 2010 has many blessings and wonderful surprises in store for you two!