I think I’ve mentioned before how the infertility experience can feel an awful lot like the movie, Groundhog Day. Just when you think you’ve gotten somewhere, you wake up and realize you’re back at square one.
A year ago, we had my uterine septum removed. Our RE discovered it during our initial consult back in February ’15. By the end of March, the septum was no more. And by the end of April, we were embarking on our first IUI cycle.
If things had proceeded in a linear, easy way, I would be sitting here saying, “and the rest is history” while smugly rubbing my third trimester pregnant belly.
But this journey has not been linear, nor has it been easy. So instead, I’m back on the birth control pill, rubbing my bloat-bump, and waiting for Hysteroscopy #3 at the end of April.
I think we’ve met before
After the miscarriage, we decided to take a break from fertility treatments for a few months. When the hope for FET#2 began to outweigh the fear of miscarrying again, we started to move forward. FET #2 was scheduled for the end of March. We also had another follow-up with our doctor to hash out some last minute concerns. Our big three were:
- Natural FET
- PGD (aka testing our remaining embryos)
- the results of our post-miscarriage saline sonogram
At the end of February, we met with our doctor for the follow-up, expecting to get the green light to move on to FET#2. We had already discussed most of these issues at our “WTF” appointment after the loss. There wasn’t much more to talk about. I think we were just looking for peace of mind.
During our last saline sonogram in January ’16, there was a teeny, tiny bit of septum left. Mid-exam, the doctor said he highly doubted it was enough to cause a miscarriage. He had offered to do another hysteroscopy for my own peace of mind, but didn’t think it was strictly necessary.
So, time for the all-clear, right? Apparently not.
Imagine our surprise when we walked into to our follow-up and the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were about…. the septum.
After sitting down and reviewing the specifics of our case, I guess there was enough of a gray area to give him pause. He still wasn’t entirely convinced the septum was a problem. But the only way to get some clarity was to do another hysteroscopy. Ultimately, we decided the risks of moving ahead with an FET outweighed the benefits. If my teeny, tiny septum was still a problem, my chances of having a repeat miscarriage could be as high as 80%.
Sure, he walked us through PGD and natural FET cycles too, but he didn’t think either of these were a huge deal. Since I was only 30, it was unlikely that more than two of our embryos were abnormal. He was also was totally unfazed by natural FET. My clinic does natural cycles all the time and the cancellation rate is fairly low.
Another 6 Weeks of Winter
So, almost a year to the day, we were faced with the Same. Damn. Decision.
February 2015 – Hmmm…My septum is pretty small, but it could still cause a miscarriage. Do we go ahead with surgery to be safe?
February 2016 – Hmmm…My septum is even smaller, but it could still cause a miscarriage. Do we go ahead with surgery to be safe?
March 2015 – Stop TTC. Go on birth control. Become a hormonal nutcase. Have surgery.
March AND April 2016 – Stop TTC. Go on birth control for even longer. Try really damn hard not to be a hormonal nutcase. Get mad serious about therapist appointments, yoga, and healthy eating. Wait some more. Have surgery for the umpteenth time *yawn*
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Five weeks down, three to go. Then surgery. Then another four weeks of waiting. Then, fingers crossed, we can start our next cycle. Estimated Start Date for FET #2: May 25th.
Patience has never been my strong point. I am also pretty stubborn. Sometimes I feel like the universe is trying to teach me some life lessons through all of this infertility bullshit. But, I’m me. And I guess I have to be dragged kicking and screaming through the same scenarios, over and over again, before those life lessons sink in.
After two years of infertility, I’m starting to learn some patience and coping techniques. But, If we’re going to be honest, I still had a mini-meltdown the day that they called to schedule me for surgery. No surgery dates until the end of APRIL? Push back our FET until JUNE?
Switching gears was tough. My first instinct, as always, was to become a total control freak, look at the situation upside-down and sideways, and outline all possible scenarios for the future – from the happy to the catastrophic. This is one of my worst habits. Why, you might ask? Because it has absolutely NO POSITIVE EFFECT.
Okay…I’m going to stop using caps lock. My blog is starting to look like it’s written by a grandmother who doesn’t know how to use The Facebook.
But, anyway. Mindfulness, people. Mindfulness. It works. I just need to remember to do it.
Eventually, I calmed the fuck down. I remembered something that our infertility therapist told us once: When you start fertility treatment, you think it will be a short sprint to the finish line. You never think you’re the one who will need IVF, or donor eggs, or a surrogate. You think that if you follow the right steps, muster all of your strength, and throw everything you have at this, you’ll make it to the finish line faster. It doesn’t matter if it hurts, or if you’re winded, because it’ll be over soon. You just need to suck it up for the short-term and before you know it, your baby will be in your arms.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works for many of us. But that’s okay. We can still make it through if we change our strategy.
Infertility is a marathon, not a sprint. I will get to the finish line, but it may take a while. That is why it is so important to take this journey one step at a time and pace myself.
In addition to being impatient, I am also kind of obsessive. So, my first instinct is to put my head down and run full speed ahead. That is exactly what I did for the first 10 months of fertility treatments. I did get pregnant, but I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I had a hard time dealing with the pregnancy itself. After I miscarried, I hated the idea of going back to the clinic for more blood work and tests. I was just tired of it all.
Six months later, I have realized the importance of slowing down when I feel like running. Eight weeks of waiting for surgery is a drop in the bucket compared to what we’ve been through for the past two years. In fact, eight weeks is a gift. I now have eight more weeks to strengthen myself and my relationship with Alex. No one can predict the outcome of our next FET. I do have complete faith, however, that I will be a mother one day. And when we finally get there, I want our child to be welcomed into a strong and centered family.
Two months of waiting isn’t a setback. Two months of waiting isn’t proof I wasn’t meant to be a mother. Two months of waiting just increases the odds that Alex and I will be some hardcore, awesome parents by the time we meet our baby.
(Now I just need someone to remind me of this when I have my next meltdown).
Till next time…