Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lessons in Infertility

I have so many emotions, thoughts and things I've been learning these past few weeks since our canceled embryo transfer. Actually since we entered the land of infertility almost 2 years ago. Here are few of them:

1. Gospel music helps. And lots of it. I highly recommend just about anything by Kirk Franklin.
2. Keeping a prayer journal helps. I've started writing out my prayers instead of just 'saying' them in my head. Most nights I can write pages and pages. I just talk to God. I ask him questions, I pray for myself and others; I try to remember to thank Him too for the various good things I have going in my life. It's been a good outlet and I can honestly say each day I've felt stronger and stronger. I believe that's because each night I ask God to help me wake up stronger.
3. I would be lost without my husband. When the embryologist broke the news that we weren't going to have any to transfer, my husband was out of town and was going to be gone for the next two and half days. I holed myself up in my house and just allowed myself to grieve those three days. It was a good thing. I needed to just succumb to it for a little while. The day he came home though I woke up with just the slightest bounce in my step. I didn't think I would have it back for much, much longer, but I realized how much I needed my husband. He's one of my biggest reasons for getting out of bed each morning.
4. It's okay to admit or show you're broken and weak sometimes. I have a hard time doing this. It makes me feel bad about myself if I wallow in self pity or just show emotional weakness of any kind. Don't ask me why. But once I did admit that I need my husband and I need God, I immediately felt better. Not good, but better. And that's as much as I could hope for.
5. I haven't experienced anything worse than the feeling of worthlessness: worthless at being able to give my husband the gift of being a father, my parents and in-laws the gift of being grandparents, my sister, brother and sisters-in-law of being aunts/uncles, etc, etc, etc; worthless at my current job (I'm doing something that I'm a little over-qualified for and it makes me feel like a loser most days); worthless to all my friends for being so self-absorbed in all of this that I feel like I've totally neglected them; worthless to myself in that I let myself believe, and hope, and spend so much money on this; and worst of all, worthless to God that I've let my faith waiver, I've been jealous and envious of every pregnant woman and mother I know or see, and have just overall been someone I never wanted to be - angry, resentful and ungrateful.
6. There's no one that can help me get over those feelings of worthlessness except God. I pray/write to Him every night that He'll help me overcome it. I know how damaging those self-loathing thoughts are. What's most awe-inspiring is that it's helped. I am not spending hours in therapy; I am not taking drugs or drinking; it's just God answering my prayers.
7. Faith is what keeps the light on during the darkest of times. I am consoled with believing that God has an ultimate plan for us. For whatever reason this just wasn't our time. I don't know if I'll ever be a mom. But I know that God has me in this for a reason. I know that this whole experience with infertility is preparing me for some future experience. Of course I don't know what, but I truly believe God has a purpose for us all. He created each of us for a reason. Just because we don't know what that reason is doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sometimes the reasons are beyond our comprehension. Maybe we'll realize them someday, but until we do, or until we make it to the other side, we just have to keep going, trusting God and His plan. What else is there to do? Keep praying. Keep going. Life goes on.
8. Happiness is a choice. Joy is a gift. You can chose to be miserable day in and day out, or you can chose to be happy. It really is that simple. And if you chose to be happy, you will find joy. Happiness implies something that happens to you. But joy is something that is within you. I think about the times I have been truly joyful: my wedding day, meeting my nieces for the first time, watching something great happen to someone I love. Those are the moments where the good overshadowed the bad because of joy. Those are the moments that make life worth living. Life is not over because I am not pregnant. Life will not end if I don't ever become a mother. But only because I won't let it.
9. All of our experiences are teachers. It's up to us how or whether the lessons are learned. And it's up to us what to do with these lessons. I've learned a lot about myself this year and about God and Life. It's been a hard year but I wouldn't change it or erase it because I was meant to learn these lessons. And I am still learning. I may not become an expert but I hope with each lesson learned I'll get closer to being the person God wants to shape me into being, and I'll understand this crazy, complicated thing we call Life just a tiny bit more.

So what now?

We're working on finding a way to get insurance overage. My husband just started work for a new company that may offer benefits next year (praying hard on that one), and in the meantime I am looking into every possible company/job where I know I would get coverage, even if I have to serve up coffee at Starbucks for $8 an hour. By the way, if you know of a company in the Dallas area that offers infertility coverage, please let me know. I have Conceive Magazine's 2010 list but it's a pretty small list for my area :\

I am going to start hormone replacement therapy. I don't have periods on my own without hormones (I really think I have premature menopause), and I know I would feel better physically and mentally if I could at least cycle regularly. It doesn't necessarily mean I would be ovulating, but from what I researched the cases of conception of prematurely menopausal women on HRT is 5 - 10%.

Someday, when we have the means again financially, and the courage emotionally, we will try IVF again. We will talk to another doctor that's been recommended to me by a lot of women in my support group for his positive attitude alone, (let's just say our doctor that did this first IVF was less than optimistic or encouraging) but we definitely want to try at least once more with my own eggs. I have serious doubts about this last protocol that I won't get into because this post is already way too long, so I haven't given up hope that this can work. Who knows, maybe 6 months on HRT and I'll be in better shape. But I'm just not ready to give up yet.

I leave you with my favorite song right now. It gets me going everyday. Not all of them are easy. Some are really hard. But it's going to be okay. Today...

1 comment:

  1. I love that you have a new post. I love that you & your husband are so strong, you two are a great, beautiful family. You are a great writer & so inspiring. I love you very much & so wish that it worked so that things work out for people who deserve it because you do! Praying for you!!