Some Lessons Learned In Infertility

I wrote this in May, just for reference!!

Sometimes you go on a date night on Wednesday night to celebrate good follicle growth on cycle day 12.  My blood work and ultrasound showed today that we have not one but 4 matured follicles that could be ovulated.  Our second IUI is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 am, which is two days sooner than I thought it would be.  It’s times like today when I feel the emotional whiplash that can happen in life.  Even good things create it.  Getting married.  Having babies. New pets.  New jobs.  I have had head down for the last 12 days, going through the motions for our second IUI but largely not letting myself hope too much.  I then get a call from the doctor that they need us to verbally confirm that we are ok with having that many viable follicles because our chances of multiples is very, very high.  We are already 5x more likely than the average 32 year old couple to conceive multiples because of the treatments but the nurse wanted me to know that this is serious.  She cautioned that some couples postpone IUI’s because they don’t want to risk it.  I assured her that this is something we have prayed about and that this womb is open for ALL THE BABIES.

And then I went in search of a paper bag and a quiet corner because holy God, all the babies?? 4? I joked with the doctor doing my ultrasound asking him if I was going to have quadruplets and he said no but multiples were definitely a possibility.  Similar to the idea that if you are going to have sex, you need to be prepared for pregnancy, if you are going to do infertility treatments, I feel you need to ready yourself for the idea of multiples.  My mom is an identical twin so it already runs in our family.  (Yes, this makes our chances EVEN higher).  We have always hoped that someone in our family would have twins or multiples but when it’s staring me in the face, it’s driving me to my knees.  It’s always been a fun thought but in reality, even one kid sometimes scares so the idea of a whole gang in my uterus makes me hyperventilate sometimes.  And sometimes, it makes me over the moon excited.  I love a deal as much as the next girl but 3 or 4 babies for the price of 1 is a bargain that could kill me!

Chad and I have talked about the possibility of multiples several times.  We are firm in our belief that life begins at conception, so the idea of “reducing” or terminating any pregnancy is not on the table for us.  It’s not so much that we want more than one newborn at a time but we understand that the odds of us having more than one at a time is an option.  Also, I am not the woman and we are not the couple who will never complain about pregnancy, labor, delivery, recovery or parenting simply because it took us so long to get pregnant.  I am an equal opportunity whiner so I will exercise my right to whine even in those situations.  It’s not all going to be magical.  Like currently, I’m having a hard time getting a deep breath into my lungs just trying to imagine breast-feeding more than one child at a time. What do I do with my arms??

Breathe. Jesus take the wheel.

On our impromptu date tonight (sushi, because I’m eating all I can before the next IUI), I realized that just like most things, there is a beautiful layer to this hard time in our life.  There is beauty in the intentionality that comes with infertility.  To know the exact day and time that our baby was formed in my body is amazing.  To know that we can tell our future children that there is no way they are here by accident.  That we have prayed for them and gone through blood, (lots of) sweat, and tears for them.  It’s kind of cool to know that tomorrow, your whole life could change.  That tomorrow, a miracle could take place.

I am not good at living in the moment.  I have a hard time just being in this season and not looking ahead to the next one.  Infertility is painfully teaching me that I have to take today for today.  I get to cherish today because tomorrow everything could be different.  And for this woman who likes to plan every detail, that’s a rewarding experience.  It’s not a hipster concept of YOLO, it’s a deep gratitude for today and everyday I have to be with Chad and those I love.  To snuggle my 11.5 year old puppy.  To treat each day as a gift and be in this sacred moment of waiting.  And to finally begin to understand that Solomon tells us in Proverbs about not boasting about what can happen tomorrow for we don’t know what a day might bring.  I pray that all of us greet tomorrow with the hope of a miracle.

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