We got the green light from our doctor to move on to phase 2 of this IVF treatment (aka: FET, aka: Frozen Embryo Transfer). That’s great news! I was thrilled to finally have an actual date that I could write in my planner. A date that I could highlight and draw little hearts around. Shawn was so excited he used exclamation points when he texted me back (coming from the guy who never uses punctuation). This is the big end goal we’ve been working towards for months now. This is the time when 1 of our precious embryos will be transferred to my uterus to hopefully implant and continue growing!
I know we’re nearing the end, and that should give me a burst of energy and confidence. But I’m feeling weak. I’m excited, but some days I just don’t feel strong enough to head back into such an intense and emotionally draining time. Our nurse emailed me our schedule for the FET cycle and I was instantly overwhelmed. There are so many dates, details, important notifications, and everything is perfectly color coded in little blocks, and we have to find a notary to oversee the signing of official documents, and… AHH! Then there’s the list of medications that have to be taken BEFORE 7pm, the dates where we have to rearrange our schedules, the all-too-familiar- list of “bee sting” and “fire ant” shots (as I call them), and… AHH! This has me feeling overwhelmed, weak, and susceptible to comparison.
Why do so many people get pregnant for free? I think of that sometimes as I’m giving myself a Lovenox (blood thinner) shot in my stomach. Why do so many people get pregnant pain-free, the month they decide to stop birth control? It’s easy in our given state- in treatment, nearing the transfer date, having gone through years of infertility, and the treatments to combat it, to fall down the slippery slope of comparison and jealousy. WHY THEM!? WHY NOT US?!
Here’s one thing I’ve learned / am learning: with every look to the right, where we find someone who has it better than us, there’s the sobering look to the left where someone has it worse than us. The moral of the story, and something that I’m always learning is that our situation and their situation are different. There’s no use in comparing. There are a million “behind the scenes” that we may not ever see or understand. There’s no use in throwing yourself the pity party you think you deserve because someone else can come and crash your party with their own pity party, making you reevaluate your life, your blessings, and your suffering. Something that has really highlighted this lesson for me has been my job as a caregiver. It’s not just seniors who need help and care. It’s 40-somethings who have a debilitating disease, who need you to put the straw in their mouth for them just so that they can drink some juice.
Life is not fair and whoever said it was lied to you. We don’t know what life will hold for any of us. So we take it one day at a time and we struggle through loss and hurt and devastation to get back to a place of gratitude. That’s where joy is found, no matter our circumstances.
If we know God, we’re blessed. And not like the #blessed our culture talks about, but the kind of blessed where we don’t deserve a thing, and yet God has been gracious to us.
I’m always having to refocus my sight. If I look at them, or at her, my own situation becomes too much to handle. Instead, I focus on this opportunity we’ve been given, the opportunity to even live in a country where fertility treatments are possible. I focus on the miracles up to this point that God has allowed, aligned, and given so graciously to us.
This ain’t our first rodeo. And maybe that’s why I’m so susceptible to fear and comparison. Shawn and I know how it feels to go through IVF and to get to the end of a hard road just to find heart wrenching news, forcing you down a path you don’t want to walk down. Again. A lonely, rocky road.
But as my friend Karen reminds me, “NEW DAY, NEW HOPE.” I love that. I try to remind myself of that when the “this is too hard, unfair, scary, unknown” sweeps over me.
This quote by Bob Goff is like someone taking me by the shoulders and shaking me. I can relate in so many ways. I guess if I had to narrow down a specific prayer for today, for my overwhelmed/excited/nervous/hopeful (<— those aren’t all separate emotions, they’re rolled into one big tangle of how I feel) self, I would pray that there will be growth in our lives. No matter the outcome of this precious and terrifying treatment. Because as I’ve said for years, (and it’s easier said than done), if we’re going to have to go through it, God might as well take it and use it for his glory and in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine.