It’s the Final Countdown

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Remember a while back when I talked about living life in phases? Well, this two-week wait (TWW) phase is particularly important. And trying. And long.
Why, you ask? Well, I may or may not have mentioned that this is our final crack at “basic” fertility treatments before moving on to the big, scary IVF (in vitro fertilization, for those of you not up on your TTC (trying to conceive) acronyms).
I put “basic” in quotations because, well, it’s still not basic. Basic is timing your sex. Basic is charting your temperatures (learn more about charting for conception and contraception here). I’ll even go so far as to say that “basic” is maybe taking Clomid or Femara (monitored, for the love of God, please be monitored by a professional), and having an IUI (intrauterine insemination).
We’ve done all of that. And have nothing to show for it. So this last time, we moved on to injectable medications and an IUI. It’s exactly what it sounds like. For about a week, I gave myself shots every night in an effort to stimulate my ovaries and get them to grow follicles that would release eggs. At the end of my round of medications, I had 12 follicles, ranging in size from 20mm to less than 8mm. Those closer to 20 had higher chances of actually ovulating. Sounds great, right? Except only one of them released an egg. Good because our risk of multiples was very low at that point. Bad because we didn’t have multiple eggs that could have been fertilized, so our chances of conceiving this time weren’t really all that improved.
Also bad because of the side effects. Oh my God, the bloating, y’all! I looked like I had a four-month-pregnant bump. Nothing fit. I even had someone tell me I was “glowing.” AND I WASN’T PREGNANT!
And now, we’re in the TWW. We had decided, at the start of this cycle and based on recommendations from our doctor, that we would move on to IVF if this cycle didn’t end in pregnancy. We’re days away from finding out if this treatment was a success. For reference, we had about an 18% chance of success with this treatment. Not great. Better than previous treatment cycles, where we were sitting at about 6-8% chance of success.
In a matter of days, our lives will be changed. I will either be pregnant (yay!) or we will begin preparation for an expensive and fairly invasive procedure to have a baby (yikes!). And I cannot get past my terror.
It hit me last night, actually, that we’re already on one of those courses. There’s just no way to know which one yet. But I am either pregnant right now, or I’m not. And there is nothing I can do about it. There never was, really.
I’m experiencing a hard time with this lack of control added on top of all the other emotions I’ve been feeling through this whole journey:
What do you do, how are you supposed to feel, when something you’ve dreamed of your entire life is denied to you? Granted, it hasn’t been completely denied, but we’re being made to struggle. And without a reason, thus far. It’s hard to understand, difficult to cope with.
I pray that we have happy news soon. I also thank God that we have the technology available to help couples like us dealing with infertility. We’ll find a happy ending somehow. It’s just becoming more and more apparent that it may not look exactly like I always pictured.

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