This week I am embarking on my eighth in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. We have been through seven retrievals in our attempt to create one healthy baby. We have completed one full IVF cycle, including a transfer that gave me the words I longed to hear: "You are pregnant." However, that lasted a very short time. Despite all of our best efforts in accumulating eggs and embryos and having them tested or saved for the future, we are back to square one.
We begin our journey this week and are going to share each step of the way to hopefully have your support and encouragement, but we're doing this mostly to help you know you are not alone. I will share each step with you when I begin my next cycle. If sharing our journey with you is able to spare you any confusion, that will help us to see the positives in this beyond ourselves and our ultimate outcome.
My official first cycle began three years ago. At this time in my life, I was suffering from what was to be my second case of endometrial fibroids—better known as fibroid tumors. After finding out that my hemoglobin levels were becoming dangerously low, my doctors advised me that I would need to undergo what would be my second myomectamy surgery. I had just started dating the man who is now my husband, Darren. Upon completion of the surgery, my concerned and caring gynecologist informed Darren and I that if we saw children in our future, we would probably need to consider modern medical alternatives to natural childbirth. We were not even married yet, let alone considering children, but I was and always had been yearning to be a mom.
So here I was in this relationship with this amazing man who had the foresight to inquire about fertility testing and seek options—before we were even engaged.
Initially, I questioned why on earth could he commit to IVF cycles or freezing our embryos together for future use but not an engagement ring. Is this a new trend? The truth is, today, looking back, knowing what I know now, I wish we had done it even sooner.
Every day I go out and see women pushing their strollers, and pregnant women are everywhere. Sometimes it feels as if it's all I see. You see what you need or want more when you want it so, and it's hard to see especially when you know that you cannot just make it happen.