Today may be the day we find out who becomes our next president. But 10 years ago today, this day had a very deep personal meaning for me.
It was the day of my egg retrieval and the day that 2 of my kids came into existence. And the great thing about IVF is that you know the EXACT day it was – one of the special perks of IVF I guess 🙂
So this morning, first thing is I re-read my post today from 10 years ago. Wow. You know girlfriends, for those of you keeping some sort of journal or blog going, please do – you’d be surprised how much detail you COMPLETELY will forget forever unless it is written down. Of course that goes for any special or big memories of your life. You will remember the main facts and a few little things, but so many details will be lost over the years unless you take the time to imprint them somewhere.
It was awesome to be able to re-live that day through my fresh memories of it written on that exact day. And the only thing I know today that I didn’t know that day, was that it was the day 2 of my babies came into existence. One that I got pregnant with that cycle, and another whom I went back for later.
So today, is truly a huge anniversary for me when I think about it. Who would have known that that dawn I was mesmerized with that morning, was truly the marker of that beginning that I had felt that strange presence of at the time.
I doubt any of my original readers see this blog anymore. But I am posting for sentimental reasons, because today just happeens to be 10 years exactly to the day since I started the IVF journey with that Lupron shot (and a total coincidence that I happened to check this blog exactly today, while thinking of the events from 10 years ago).
It is amazing to look back on life, once you have lived to see how your story unfolded. I remember the single most difficult thing about my TTC journey, IVF and dealing with infertility was that BIG question of how will it all end and will I end up with the child(ren) I so desperately wanted. And NOTHING, absolutely nothing, not any crystal ball, not Google (was Google the giant back then that it is today? :D) nothing could just TELL me whether I will end up with kids or not – except time. And I just had to live it out and see the final answer. No short cuts. No magic predictions. All I had, was statistics and odds of this and that and what not, but nothing could tell me what was going to happen to ME.
I don’t know about most of you, but that was hard for me. Hard to have to WAIT. Wait for a result. Wait for an outcome. Want for a number. And that’s what IVF was – a waiting game where every day or week, you just focused on the next hurdle and whether you would pass though that door to face another door, or whether you would have it shut in your face with a game over.
Here’s what I can say, looking back 10 years later, for anyone out there who faces the journey, and the storm of the unknown today.
It will be OK.
Those who end up with kids and even those that don’t – all end up OK. The single most important thing in the world to you TODAY is not going to be the most important and forefront thing on your mind 10 years later. Regardless of the outcome.
For me today, I have a different set of problems, a different life, and am “almost” an entirely different person because of one more decade of life experience and the journeys I’m on today. But the one thing that hasn’t changed about me is that I’m sentimental 🙂 Here I am remembering my journey, very fondly actually, and re-reading my posts from 10 years ago, where one day at a time, my story was unfolding and every day was a cliff hanger as to what would happen next, and would I end up with that amazing and elusive BFP… and the most desirable and wondrous thing in the world – a baby.
The good thing about ten years later, is that now I can write in a sentence or a paragraph of how it all ended – vs having to wait one painful hour at a time to see where the chips will fall 10 years ago.
My story ended happily. I had that amazing BFP at the end of my cycle and my treasured prize of my miracle baby girl 9 months later. Today that sweet little baby is 9 years old.
Two and a half years later, I went back into the loop this time with frozen cycles and the second one ended with my son, my angelic baby, who is 6 today.
And finally the biggest and most ironic surprise of all… six and something years after that original IVF cycle, out of nowhere… I just got a BFP. So out of nowhere that I didn’t have a CLUE that I was pregnant, until familiar symptoms of fatigue just struck me in an OH EM… GEEE way. And just like that… I was on my way to having my totally surprise and unexpected THIRD child!!!
Ha.. one hears that story so often – I know I did. The surprise child after IVF cycles and all of that ordeal. And yet nothing prepares you for when it actually happens to you. Seriously, 10 years ago I had been a basket of tears, praying and trying to look for any straws of hope that I would eventually have kids. Today, I’m a busy mother of three. This is someone who at some point thought that we might never have kids. When people say they had a surprise baby, they are usually not people who went through IVF. When you go through IVF to have kids…. that surprise baby is really a SURPRISE baby.
And in fact it was funny… it was like I’d missed all that TTC part and betas and what not and was just fast forwarded to being pregnant??? “No fair” as kids say these days – it’s like I missed the start of the journey with my baby! 🙂 lol But talk about life’s ironic curve balls.
I have to say, even though I am now in the camp of those who live to tell how their stories panned out and I certainly cannot complain about how mine did, I look back very fondly at my journey even though at that actual time, it was a nerve wrecking TTC survival literally.
Now I am the voice of 10 years later, and wish the me of 10 years ago could hear me, read this post, and feel less worry.
Enjoy every part of your life – even when it looks like a tough part. Because it will be a unique moment you will look back on one day, with its share of special blessings that are too easy to miss when we are so caught of with worrying about the negative sides.
To anyone who is on that journey today, good luck… and enjoy every second of that magical ride.
When I posted on here 9 months ago with my shocking surprise natural pregnancy, I had no idea that the next time I would post would be with the news of the outcome 9 months later! But I thought nobody read this blog anymore. I was very touched and surprised to (only now) see comments on my last post. However, I do wish I had posted somewhere in between especially at big key moments in my journey.
But here I am today with at least a brief main headline update…
MY BABY IS HERE!! And… ITS A BOY! 🙂
He’s been here for a few weeks now and it certainly feels like I’ve lived a lifetime already between my last post and now.
So I will be back with another post….. about the details of what happened and the story, and on where I am now today….
I was shocked when I just finally openned up this blog again to see that I have not posted here since 2011. Really? Does time fly that fast that I missed making a single post all of last year?
Its not that I dont think about all the things that this blog documented, every once in a while and with great sentiment. But I guess life got a little too busy and too crazy and posting here became dormant.
But how can I not come back now.
Especially for anyone who ever reads this story, or followed it to begin with…. to know what sometimes happens down the line.
Earlier this year I started realizing that I need to start making some very serious thoughts about my remaining embies (4 blasts), because we’re not getting any younger, time is flying and clocks are ticking. Just thinking those thoughts stressed me out, because to say that I was ready for it would have been the biggest lie. I was seriously out of shape for one and I knew before even considering another pregnancy, I would need to get to where I would want to be for it. But also.. I really didn’t know if I was prepared to sign up for the life with 3. Lets face it, we don’t make babies afterall – we make people. I felt very comfortable with 2. I had my boy and my girl and a life FULL to the brim. So how could I possibly even think about adding to it? My embies stayed on my mind, but I simply wasn’t sure when I would be ready to take that step.
At some point when thinking about the options I simply knew that SOMEhow I would need to go for them. I don’t seem to be emotionally built to have them adopted (through channels I’ve read). I think I would always wonder if I did the right thing and agonize that my child is growing up somewhere without me. At the same time, I knew that going for them is also like playing Russian roulette. What if the first one is a success? I’d still have 3 left and I know I would not be able to responsibly go for yet another. I have to think about my children, our family, and the impact it makes each time. By this summer I was seriously on the fence again about whether I would ever go for it, wondering if I even SHOULD go for it, and what option to end up picking for my life…
Until God made the decision for me.
2 days ago, on Sunday the 23rd, I had the shock of my life to find out that I am…. PREGNANT.
the past few days I had been tired and actually worried about why I am this much. Was it my extra weight? Was it the heat? I didn’t seem like me. I was lying on the couch after having taken my kids out and simply passing out from being tired until it suddenly occurred to me to check (for some crazy reason) when it was my period was due. Its not that I thought that I was pregnant – I just seem to like to freak out every once in a while to see if I’m late, not that I would ever expect that I am – not after surviving ttc. I think the freaking out dates back to when I used to freak out when I was “not” planning pregnancies, and since my cycles were like clockwork and I documented them since I was 11, I always liked knowing when to expect a period and when it wouldn’t show up on time, I’d freak out by default.
I started looking up the last date of AF in the window that I would have expected it to have been – basically, in the last 28 days somewhere. But I didn’t see any notes. So I had to look back further. And suddenly I realized pretty clearly that I am LATE. I am not just late – I am seriously (according to freak out rules) late. Day 34. Now for a cycle that’s usually 27-28 days I had NEVER been this late before in my life… maybe only once that I remember that I was a teenager, but my period had come that morning.
I immediately told DH who was sitting across from me that we need a pregnancy test. He told me to go get one, but of course it wasn’t like he remotely even had a thought that it would turn positive. Honestly neither did I. I sooner thought I was experiencing early menopause – which is exactly what I was thinking as I drove like a mad woman to buy a test at the nearest location. I thought… this is a fluke. Its GOT to be. But for a moment.. just for a moment… let me consider if it isn’t. After all… i have never been this late… not for good reason. For a second I considered it…. I simply basked in being able to even consider it… the way any “typical fertile” woman might. I thought, in a few minutes, I would take the test, it will of course be negative and it will all be over anyways. And probably a good thing too. And I prayed God.. your will be done.
I bought the test (either the location seriously has their prices jacked, or times have sure changed on how much these things cost). I came home and didn’t waste any time and ran immediately to take it. DH asked if I want him there and I said up to him. He decided to come along. I got my cup ready, and barely read the instructions to refresh them in my mind. Hadn’t I done this and gone through this like 1000 times while TTC after all? I should remember how to take a test. I dipped the stick in.. counted…. and before I even put it down flat it was moving and forming… THE LINE. And the first thing that flew out of my mouth to H was “we’re pregnant”.
I am in total shock and disbelief and hit with a million emotions. I’ve heard about it but of course it’s just something that happens to “other people”. There is no way I would have imagined that it would happen to us and to me. My son is now 3. And all this time, even though there were times when pregnancies technically “could” have happened, I was never worried because after all… all those months of trying and ending with IVF proved to me that it doesn’t just happen to us like that. And now I’m also 38. If I had to do a fresh cycle now, even that would be iffy. I had actually thought about that in recent months, that now only am I in the IF category at this point, I now have age to layer atop that. I’d be lucky to get pregnant even with my embies probably. In short… the absolute LAST THING ON EARTH I would have ever imagined…. was my world turning upside down in that instant.. with that.. totally unexpected, totally not-predicted, completely unplanned… BFP!
Whoever is reading this – IT HAPPENS.
The irony I thought, laughing to myself and with DH hours later…. that 8 years ago I was in the trenches of TTC at a young 30 years of age. The irony… that we tried and tried and tried, and TIMED with precision.. where I kept reading that within 4 cycles if you aren’t pregnant, something is certainly wrong. ALL of that. And all that culminating with my journey here, where I was lucky enough in the end, to bring a beautiful baby into this world 9 months later. Then my eventual return (of course!) for my frosties… a failed cycle and the other resulting in my DS. Getting pregnant this way… was all I knew.
Here I am…. down the line 7 years later.. at 38… and completely surprised with a totally NATURAL pregnancy. That wasn’t even remotely due to TTC either.
It just…. OOPS…. happened!
As I write this… I have calculated that I am a little over 5 weeks along. Of course, anything could happen at this point still. And after all I’m not new to the concept of miscarriages and had been shocked with that kind of experience in the past too. We have not told anyone yet… not even our kids. And I sit tight as this new story begins to unfold. But one thing that nooone can now ever take away from me.. is that DH and I can now say something we thought we would never be able to… that we conceived entirely on our own! And without even trying. For someone who went the IVF route… that is just as shocking as the surprise pregnancy itself.
I know I have lots to think about now… not to mention reroute my mind into having to see life with 3 as no longer an abstract concept, but as a pending reality..
I also have to face the reality that I am in the worst shape starting out.. and as of Sunday, I have made myself the priority again.. something I had not in years…. because I realize now that I have to make the best choices I possibly can for my health and that of this baby..
All the things I preoccupied myself with prior to this, have now been obliterated by being hit like a freight train with this completely unexpected event of life.
But whatever it is.. and whatever happens… I will embrace it.
And I guess its back to this blog… as I document this ongoing story… of Surviving TTC.. and things that happen down the road in life, when you wait long enough!
I write here once in a blue moon to give updates and share emotions as life goes on – the fact is, life has just become too hectic, especially these last couple of years and there’s barely enough time to do what I have to do. But on days like this, I always wish I wrote here more often, and of course I always remember these marker points that are now forever a very special part of my history.
I have meant to write on here so many times.
Life with two kids (and everything else) kind of made it fall off the bandwagon.
But my little DS, my little frostie, turned one almost 2 months ago now (Yes, I had meant to write here on that sentimental day too).
When I started this blog over 4 and half years ago, I remember how badly I wanted to have this part of life over with already. TTC had been without a doubt, grueling, depressing, uncertain process and coincided with some of the most depressing time of my life. I saw IVF as the ultimately difficult thing to face, something I never knew I would, and of course anyone having been through the process knows that the day by day journey of going through it, never knowing what the next day’s news would be, and the wait game of having to wait to find out, becomes something you just try to survive, day by day. Starting this blog was supposed to help me get through it somehow and process my emotions, be able to have others out there support me and relate.
What I never realized is that the journey, the blog and that whole new beginning would end up becoming one of the most precious and sacred parts of my life. One that I would actually hold on to, and be so very sad to let go of. My journey on my unforgettable IVF cycle ended up with the most special story of my life, which did end with happiness and with some of the best memories of my life that ensued. I never for once took it, or happiness for granted because I knew exactly what it was like to be on the other end. And because of that, I also became extra aware that happiness is not a permanent state of life, and to just grab it and hold on to it when it is there.
Having been so focused on TTC, of course pregnancy and having a baby became synonymous with “happiness” for me. It was what I had been trying to achieve for so long. So of course having my second one turn one has been accompanied with quite a good amount of “letting go” of this stage of life. There are times I try to hang on to the thought that I may be back on here yet again one day, FETing for a third. At other times, when I feel the sheer responsibility of raising kids, I also realize that making such a decision will never be taken lightly and that I would have to ask myself whether I would be truly ready to take on everything it entails. Going for my second was easy – I knew that we definitely wanted a sibling for DD. But deciding on a third is not so easy.
So with that, I’ve always had to accept the possibility that this pregnancy was my last, that this baby was my last, and that this special time of life, one way or another may be coming to a close. We try to do what we can to keep memories – photos, videos, diaries. But at the end of the day, its having to let go. Even if there is another child in one’s future, there’s still always having to let go of THIS baby. I look at DD these days – the one who resulted from the cycle that started this blog and while I love every minute of who she is now, its been hitting me recently that she is not even a toddler anymore. She is now a little child. In many ways everything I had ever dreamed when I used to dream of having a “child” of my own – and yet, now so far removed from the “baby” she once was, who is now forever gone.
It doesn’t help that with all those changes, come other changes as well, that only serve to remind us that time moves on. I have since moved and had to give up the home that my babies came “home” to. Which was a tough loss in terms of the memories that this home held for me. I also sadly, due to our economy, lost my job, which I had started coincidentally right when this IVF cycle began. It was another place associated with so many memories for me – funny how one can remember having morning sickness in the hallways fondly. Or nervously waiting for a call which would announce the latest beta reading. Or sitting at one’s desk with a little one kicking you from the inside. Or finally bringing your baby to share with cooing coworkers. Without a doubt, this loss was also tough and yet another reminder that time rolls on and that you have to leave phases of time in your life behind you. Which is especially hard, when all you want to do is hold on.
I was in the gymboree outlet store recently, where they sell all of last years styles. I had no idea that I would feel the way I did when I suddenly saw so many of the outfits that people had given me as presents for my back-then newborn. It was like seeing his clothes all brand new again in the store. Now here I am trying to shop for 12 month old clothing.
Yes, I had no idea how hard letting go would be when I signed up for this parenting thing. Or even this TTC thing. My life before was just an endless repeat of yet another year, another birthday, another Christmas. Nothing much changed – other than the “number” of the year we cheered on New Years Eve, or the “number” on the birthday cake. Now everything is different. Every season is precious and unique. And as my youngest is steadily making that inevitable change from baby to “toddler”, and with every other accompanying change in my life that has been so sad to see gone, I sometimes ask if this is “The End”. The end of the whole TTC/pregnancy/baby stage for me. And while I look forward to many things in the future, I often find, I just don’t want to let go. Who would have thought, that I would gladly jump back to the time period that marked the start of this blog and do it all over again.
Of course I realize that letting go has come harder for me because of all the other losses and things I’ve had to let go of in tandem. Sometimes I feel that if I had been left with my familiar surroundings – my home, my work, I would have been able to at least look around me at any point and relive the memories. And that celebrating new milestones within my childrens’ lives would have been the only times I would have had to deal with sentiments about letting go. Perhaps if the journey getting here had not been a story in itself, it might have been a little easier too. Or maybe not.
At any rate, this blog, even though I post to it once in a blue moon while, now stands as one of my dearest memories and keepsakes of a time I kind of forever wish to keep.
And who knows… where there is an end, there is always also a beginning. Here’s hoping that it would always be a beginning of something just as wonderful. And maybe, just maybe, if life works out that way, this blog might yet live to tell the tale of TTC number three. And it is hardly “The End” quite yet.
But we’ll see. Life will tell. And while I wait to see it unfold, I’ll try to at least come by on here and post more often. Hopefully always with lots of happy things to say!
I always remember today. Because 4 years ago on this day both my children were conceived. This year it was especially amazing to see this day and look at both my children and think about the fact that this is the day they both came into existence. I still remember that day so freshly and how we saw the sun rise that morning and wondered if this will be the day our baby will be conceived. Well not only one but now we have two children from that day and it is so surreal. The post that I made on this blog that day makes me remember it so clearly, as one of the most wondrous days of my life.
Baby number one is a little over 3 years. Baby number 2 is 8 months going on 9.
It is excruciatingly hard for me to watch the time steadily fly by and know that he will not be a baby forever. I saw a friend the other day whom I had not seen in a very long while and was stunned when I saw her child, whom I had not seen in even longer. He was now 9 years old, and the last thing I remember was holding him as an infant. It almost didn’t seem plausible that this 9 year old was this baby. And it made me think about how it will inevitably happen to me.
For some reason I have come to associate these first stages of life – pregnancy, birth and that precious 1st year, as happiness. Perhaps because what I remember before then is depression and pain and that feeling that everything is meaningless and nothing makes me happy. One of the tolls of that TTC journey. It is funny how at the beginning of it I absolutely dreaded IVF and thought that I absolutely cannot stand the thought of not conceiving “naturally”. But now, it is actually one of my most precious life’s memories and by far one of the most amazing and surreal things I did. And here now 4 years down the line, I am still recollecting those memories of those key days and reminicsing about how it all marked the beginning.
I hope that going forward I will start to obtain the more realistic view that this whole journey was not simply about making babies, but about making people. Because babies certainly don’t stay babies forever. I have a very real and larger than life pre-schooler to prove it.
I think the other reason it has been so hard for me to see my second baby’s first year go by is simply how busy this year ended up being for me. I effectively only now finally got around to putting all the finishing touches on the nursery I finally have for him. And I am so sad, because it is already time to lower the crib mattress down all the way. All these little milestones are hard for me. I see parents who talk about how they can’t wait for their babies to grow and get their sleep back and all of that, and I kind of envy them. They will get what they want sooner than later, that’s for sure. Those babies do grow. What I want is for my baby to remain a baby forever. And that won’t happen.
There have been times when I have wondered if I should have waited with the FET and not gone back for number 2 so quickly. I think well, that would have stretched out time and I would have had this (same) baby to look forward to later. Of course, when we did go for the FET, I already felt like I had delayed it to the max and of course I had no idea how busy things will get. And when I look at my two and how much my first loves and adores the second, it makes me wonder if having a bigger age gap would have changed that dynamic. Even if not, I now feel like something is missing when I look back at the times when we just had our first. It was a really happy time of course, but now when I look back, I cannot imagine not having my 2nd. Noone summarized it better than DD when I was showing her photos of her as a baby and us as a family back then and she suddenly asked where is my brother? What’s ironic is that he “could” have been there, given all the surreal circumstances of IVF.
I guess the bottom line is is he was there. He’s been there for 4 years just like DD. I took them to the park today and told DD that today is a special day for her and for her brother. And she asked why. I couldn’t think of a better way to answer than to say… because today is the day that God made you.