I was never good at keeping a journal during the difficult times of my life, haha only the good. (Well I've actually never been good at keeping a journal period, except maybe during my dating days -and lets be honest, I wouldn't necessarily always call those times "good" either haha!). I feel like my past journaling habits have trickled down to this blog. I don't like to write about the "sad times" because I don't want to focus on them, or be reminded of the feelings I had when I go back and read it. Probably a cop out because you can't "filter" real life. (Except on social media haha). But I wanted to be real, because it's not always unicorns & rainbows.
To be honest I have had no desire to write about any of it. I tried a few times but I had nothing to say. I haven't wanted to update, because thats all it's been, is sad. It's been the hardest few months of my life. I feel like I always say that, and then something even harder happens haha. But I get through it, and I'm getting stronger. I think we are all stronger than we realize. And I don't think you realize what you are capable of, until being strong is your only choice.
There was probably one moment in particular that I realized that my IVF wasn't going to be successful. All at once it hit me. All the hopes, the comforting success rate, the medicine, the shots, the painful bloating, bruises, the weight gain, the constant sickness, the money, the future plans, all gone like that, it was all for "nothing." It didn't work for us. Every time I said, "But it'll be worth it"...wasn't.
For years, IVF was ALWAYS our "last resort"..."well if this doesn't work, we'll just do IVF..", "well there's always IVF..". Before we did IVF, I was actually really sad and scared at the possibility of having to do it to get my baby here. I think sad that it finally came to "our last resort"(I know there are other ways of having children-I just mean for me to carry my own child) and scared it wouldn't work. But that sad/ scared feeling quickly changed to excitement and hope. But as quickly as the scared feeling changed to excitement, the excitement changed to a heartache that will probably forever haunt me a little.
To know you are pregnant, but that you should be "cautiously optimistic" is not how you pictured it going. You picture them screaming "congratulations" from the top of their lungs over the phone haha, or one of those airplanes going across the sky with the sign on the back "You're pregnant!". I'm kidding. But you know what I mean, I was SO close! We tried everything to keep that baby growing. I even googled it Haha. The best response I found was, "take prenatal vitamins..." haha.. if only it were that simple.
When I started miscarrying the first time, I felt like someone literally knocked the air from my lungs and I couldn't breathe. My heart physically hurt. It was numbing and empty. I was SO angry at Heavenly Father. I felt guilty being so mad at him, but HOW could he do this to me?? I tried to be a good person..How could he finally give me what I had wanted SO badly and then take it away so quickly?? Why would he make me go through such an awful thing after I tried SO hard to get a baby here? I just spent the last 2 months trying everything I could physically, emotionally, mentally, financially to get this baby here....and it's gone.
Just like that. Baby is gone, my faith & hope shattered, Almost $20,000 gone, It felt like I lost my mind for a minute too if we are being honest. I thought I was finally going to be "done" with this trial. We had gone to the temple every single Friday, I went to church every Sunday, I fulfilled my calling, I prayed & read my scriptures with my husband, I tried to be the best version of myself....so I could not phatom or understand WHY God didn't "bless me", but not only that, it felt like I was being punished.
Skipping ahead a few weeks, the miscarriage was over and I think my heart started to mend a little, and I looked for the blessings in my life. I found them. They were there and I wrote about them in my last post. I felt hopeful for the future and I was ready to move on. Because of my husbands job, we had a very small window to try IVF again before he was gone for work. I thought, okay this is perfect! Another blessing. The timing would have worked out perfectly. Like so perfectly I was filled with hope again. We started making plans and getting my IVF calendar ready. I just had to do one more blood test to make sure my HCG (pregnancy hormone) was at 0. I thought, of course it was, I had miscarried really early ..and it had been a few weeks..
I got the call the next day, my HCG was not at 0. Not only that, it was like 12 times higher than my first draw. The confusion was REAL. I remember sitting in Brady's truck and we both just looked at each other. I still remember he said "WOW" to the nurse so loud haha. I was still pregnant! You would think I could be happy about this...but again, No. My numbers were higher, but still not where they should be for a healthy pregnancy. We had put in two embryos and to our surprise, they both took. I can't remember the nurse's exact words to me after that, because all I remember was feeling like I got the air knocked out of me AGAIN. It wasn't good news.
To make a very long, drawn out story short. I had a lot of "we just don't know's" and blood work and "possible ectopic pregnancy" and just waiting. So much waiting. But the waiting was for the inevitable. I was going to lose this too, it was just a matter of when. That was by far the most traumatic thing for me. It was so bad. How could this be happening? I was supposed to be doing my second round of IVF...I was finally starting to feel like I could move on, I was finally hopeful again and not so angry at Heavenly father. But again, just as quickly as the hope came, so did the heartache. When someone says infertility is an "emotional rollercoaster" it's because it really is. The highs are usually so high and the lows so low.
I wish I would've appreciated being pregnant more. Even if it was short lived. I loved those little embryos! I embarrassingly will admit, I used to talk to them in hopes it would help them to somehow feel my love for them, and that it would help them to somehow grow so I could meet them. The dr's and nurses gave me no reason to be hopeful, but I found reasons. The statistics weren't in my favor, but I held onto being the exception. I felt like it could be a miracle baby somehow. But it didn't end that way, and it's okay.
Having to announce to my friends, family and all of social media that we miscarried was weirdly one of the hardest parts. I almost felt like I had failed everyone. But the second the messages, comments and phone calls started coming in, I was immediately buoyed up. I cried so much. Not out of just sadness, but how kind, and generous people were. How sweet their words were and the amount of Love that I felt. I can honestly say I have never felt so loved in my whole life. I received so many packages, cards, flowers, gifts, & messages. And most of them were from people I wasn't even close with, or that I had never met in person. This blew my mind. But the Love I have for these people will never go away. It has changed me. It has made me want to be a better person, to reach out to those I may not know so well, to help strangers. Those people do not realize how much of an impact those things had on me. I still receive messages and gifts and every single time I feel like it pushes me further ahead. I cannot believe the generosity and kindness. I remember telling my girlfriend I don't feel like I've done anything to deserve this kind of love.
To anyone who has reached out in any way, to anyone who has offered a prayer in our behalf, or thought of us, I truly cannot thank you enough. There aren't words to describe my gratitude. I wish I could hug all of you! I wish there was a way you could know how thankful I really am for all of it, and how much its helped me. I know God doesn't give us trials we can't handle and I think when it feels like we can't-He's there. Not only is he there, but I think he blesses us with amazing people who will help us to get through those trials too. My advice to everyone would be, if you feel a prompting to do something for someone, do it. Even if it feels a little weird, or you maybe think they might not be very receptive, or you don't know them that well, ALWAYS do it. It makes a bigger impact than you will ever realize.
Now I know this is the longest post, and if you are still reading, I'm impressed, and Thank you.
It's now been a few months, we went on a cruise, we moved out of state, and I've really tried to get everything back to where it was. I'm feeling good! My heart is still broken, but I think it probably always will be a little bit, that stuff doesn't just go away. But I'm okay! I have my moments, but who doesn't. I can NOW see all the blessings in my life and with my experience. I can now see that in no way was God "punishing" me and that even though hard things happen, it doesn't mean he doesn't love us, I know its the opposite. I think everything always happens for a reason. I think there were a lot of reasons I wasn't supposed to do IVF again right away. I think it was important for me to know I had twins. Even though it didn't end the way I wanted or would've expected it to, the entire experience was still a blessing and a learning experience. I think God prepares us for blessings. I know that to experience pure joy, we have to experience sorrow, or we wouldn't appreciate the joy. I don't think God "makes" bad things happen to us, but I know that he is there for us when they do.
When I would hear about women who had to do IVF more than once to get their baby, I would think, "Oh my gosh, that would be so hard to have a failed cycle and have to go through all of that again..". But here I am! Cycle's fail, and it's really hard, but you get through it! Your hope and faith comes back, your drive to try again comes back & your strength to put your body through crazy things comes back. I think your fear that it won't work comes back too, but
"courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you." -Bethany Hamilton. It all comes back because the end goal is so much greater than all of this.
I'm excited to share, it is now official, I will be doing my second round of IVF this summer! My treatment plan is a lot more aggressive and extensive than last time. I know it will be physically a lot harder, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to try to get baby ward here. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have to try again. Because I know this isn't something unfortunately a lot of couples have the opportunity to do, for many different reasons, so I really am so grateful. And my heart aches for all those who aren't able to. I'm really grateful for Brady and all he does to make this possible. I love him.
I don't know how this round will end, or what Heavenly Father's plan is for us, but I am totally relying on my faith in Him and his goodness. Please keep us in your prayers! Thank you again for all your support!
"Don't you give up. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. It'll be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good things to come." -Jeffrey R. Holland