I've tried to recognize the silver linings and realize it would be an even harder blow for someone with no frozen embryos as a back-up plan B. I also realize it would be a harder blow for someone with no children at 44 instead of 34, like me. However, as a couple who is also paying for infertility treatment completely out of pocket, I've got to say it's a huge let down when you have zero insurance coverage to help lessen the financial blow. I feel like I just wiped my ass with $18K in one month's time to be quite honest, and we've already spent close to $30K on the whole baby making endeavor since it began almost 2 years ago. There's just no analogy that seems sufficient for how badly IVF failure sucks on so many levels, nor is there one to describe the feelings of confusion and fear that ensue.
I was doing pretty well about 48 hours following the bad news once hubby arrived home from traveling. There is just something about him being near that seems to always make it all better. He is an angel, and I am just sooooo thankful I have him. Things were actually looking up until I received yet another pregnancy announcement from some acquaintances who wanted to deliver their news personally via phone. I haven't been on facebook since before lent more than 2 months ago and don't miss it one bit, because it just reduces the amount of heartache I feel on a daily basis. However, I guess there is just no avoiding all of the announcements. I mean, I hadn't even seen the wife in this couple for years, but doesn't it just figure I'd have the good fortune of receiving their good news during this time?
Why does it always happen this way??? I feel like every time I get horrible news, someone else runs to the closest mountaintop to shout their good news in my ear with a megaphone. Of course the rest of the world continues to move on and experience all the great milestones of life while I sit in the same place failing over and over and over. I am always the one left crying in a damn corner trying to stuff down my sickening feelings of contempt. Seriously, I felt like I needed a barf bag. Yes, that is how badly one stupid pregnancy announcement can affect someone going through infertility, and the pain felt from hearing one doubles or triples according to the rank of the most recent disappointment felt by the infertile woman herself. Hearing this sort of thing following a miscarriage or a failed cycle is the absolute worst!
I needed to do something to snap out of this horrible funk, and hubby suggested we just get away and take a weekend trip. If there is only one good thing about a husband who travels for work, it's that you accumulate hotel reward points for use in case of emergency. We both agreed this sad state of affairs qualified for an emergency weekend getaway. After all, we have lived in Texas for over 4 years and still haven't taken a trip to Mexico together, even though it's only a 2 hour flight. That is just unacceptable!
A few clicks of a mouse later and we were booked for 4 days/3 nights in Cancun. On the flight there, I was still a bit of an emotional mess. 30,000 feet in the air tears rolled down my face quietly as I listened to one of my favorite bands Lifehouse. One of their new songs called "Aftermath" resonated with me. If you have a minute, listen to the words. I think it might speak to many of you as well...
Two years ago, many of our friends would jokingly call us the "power couple." My husband the software executive, and his wife, the fitness personality. While my husband has continued to excel at his career (very proud of him!), I basically gave up everything that I loved including career goals I was working on, because 10-15% body fat wasn't conducive to baby making. In the months before we started TTC, I had producers and casting agents from NBC and MTV calling me directly to audition for things. I was being considered as a replacement for Jillian Michaels on tv's The Biggest Loser and made it through 3 interviews before losing out to Anna Kournikova. I was under contract with a top modeling agency, doing fitness shoots and professional speaking engagements as a fitness expert for one of the world's largest sports nutrition companies at national conferences alongside PhD's and MD's. In the fitness industry, you are either 100% in the zone or you are just out. There is no "in between" or "moderation". It doesn't work that way. You've got to look the part, to act the part, to sell the part.
In my case, trying to become a mom meant cutting myself off from that lifestyle to get my reproductive system back on track. Sure, I realize some women are lucky enough that being into fitness doesn't affect them like it did me, but it was clear my reproductive system was on hold from it all and was told by multiple doctors to take it down about ten notches. Even though we've discovered I have other issues now (outside of just too much exercise) making my reproductive journey difficult, I certainly don't think it's the time to just hop back into my old routine either. There is a plethora of research showing deleterious effects of exercise on reproduction and IVF outcomes. Do a quick google search on "exercise and implantation failure" and you'll see why I am just continuing to follow doctor's orders. However, I was eager and willing to give it up for the shot at becoming a mother and having a family.
It's hard enough to sacrifice what comprises about 90% of your daily life, but to then be scratching your head 2 years later wondering if all the sacrifice is ever going to be worth it is just a really hard pill to swallow. Honestly, I don't even know who I am anymore at times, because I've given up so much of myself and put so many things on hold. The longer this journey continues, the harder it is to remain content. It's like I'm forever mourning the loss of who I once was and who we used to be. Don't get me wrong; I'm very thankful to have a supportive husband who says, "Quit your job!" It's just a very tough thing to go through, and I don't think I'm dealing with it well at all.
As a couple, I know this struggle has made us stronger in many ways of course, but I miss the carefree couple who wasn't stuck in this never ending conundrum. I'm sure the song "Aftermath" can relate to all sorts of hard times, but these are just the things it made me think about. I'm not so sure the worst is far behind us yet as it says in the song, and there are no guarantees we'll make it through with the outcome we pray every day for. I just know that if it doesn't happen the way we want it to, I have got to find a way to make it through the storm and not lose who we are as a couple in the process.
Listening to that song made me want to try harder to just leave my problems at the door once we got to the resort. I really wanted this weekend to be like our weekends used to be...no medical appointments to talk about, no scheduling shots, babydancing on schedule, or social activities planned around everything previously mentioned. I just wanted it to be "us" time and that's exactly what we made it. Here are a few pics...
|View from our room|
|Eating and drinking whatever we want!|
|Poolside with my sweetheart|
|After a long hard day of laying out|
This is the woman that my husband used to know and love. I had to force myself to remember who that person was, but this weekend reminded me that she is in there somewhere, even if she wants to hide all the time. Now that we are back home, I am trying my best to put on a happy face and remain calm about what the future holds. So many emotions continue to flood my mind on a daily basis, but I am praying each morning when I wake up that I can somehow manage to live life without forgetting who I really am and was before this whole journey began.