As daylight gets shorter (sunset around 4:30, really?! Not a fan!) and the temperatures drop, I become one cranky girl. Sunshine and warmth put me in a wonderful mood... cold, dark fall/winter days and nights make me miserable. So this isn't exactly going to be a happy post. A lot of people assume I'm all about happy things and everything in my life is always just peachy. Just because I often choose happiness and positivity over complaints and negativity, it doesn't mean that. But this post will be proof that even I have my fair share of dark moments.
I just caught up on the blogs of two amazing and inspirational girls who are also trying to have a baby (and also who are both SUPER deserving... they all are, but these two have been in my top ten since I found that hidden community of Instagram almost a year ago). I'm mad that neither of them are parents yet and I'm bitter because I feel like they both are so wonderful to everyone else and deserve to be parents. I have no doubt they will make AMAZING mothers some day. So people who follow their blogs too, some of this may seem similar to their format of recent posts, but it's a style that has led me to make my own list of things on my mind. Here's links to their blogs for all interested in following their wonderful journeys... They are truly inspirations to me.
Infertility makes you cry... A LOT.
Infertility makes you feel lonely and secluded.
Infertility makes you feel different and pitied. It puts you in a different category from all the "normal" couples... couples who can make a baby for free, and easily, with no medical assistance.
Infertility is extremely hard on a marriage. Sometimes you feel like it has brought you closer, other times you feel like it's tearing you apart.
Infertility takes the fun out of certain things that should be fun when you're young, married, and childless.
Infertility makes you jealous of everyone with a baby.
Infertility makes you wonder "what if" to a lot of things, and makes you doubt a lot within yourself, within your relationship, and what's to come in the future.
I hate that it's very difficult for me to go down the baby aisle of a store. It makes me want to cry, so I avoid it at all costs whenever possible.
I hate that it's been almost 2 years since we've been trying for a family.... if all were perfect, we'd have a 1-year old by now. 2 whole years, just gone.
I hate that we moved into this house 3 years ago and still have an empty room upstairs just waiting to become a nursery.
I hate that I once dreamed of ways to decorate a nursery.... and now I've just stopped.
I hate that I don't even like looking at baby clothes now. It makes me want to cry.
I hate that I don't want to go to baby showers or shop for baby shower gifts. I try to buy things online and something that won't bring up too much emotion, rather than the cutest gift out there.
I hate that I may offend friends with babies or pregnant friends who might change how they act around me or not want to share their news. Please don't change. It's actually oddly easier for me to handle it from closer friends because my joy outshines my jealousy. A friend recently just told me she was pregnant (NOT giving a single hint about who!) and I swear I was honestly 100000% thrilled and so I feel bad and don't want her to think I'm targeting this at her. It's hard to explain but I think the ones closest to me only make me super excited, but acquaintances or strangers who are pregnant make me insanely jealous.
I hate that I seem to see pregnant women everywhere... I mean EVERYWHERE. We had a pregnant bird out on the back deck this summer, and she would just perch outside on the rail. I mean really?! Show off.
I hate that I put off doing things because "maybe I'll be pregnant by then"... nope, 2 years later and still nothing.
I hate that we spent so much money on birth control for all those years, and that was money just flushed down the drain.
I hate that we waited so long to start trying. What if we had started this process sooner?
I hate that I play the "What If?" game. It would still put us here on this path, whether we started sooner or not.
I hate that it's Scott and not me. I hate that I can't console Scott. I don't know what it feels like personally. I say we are in it together and we are a team, but I don't think it helps.
I hate that I have fear that this will tear us apart and drive a wedge between us someday.
I hate that Christmas is coming and the holidays make it all tougher to handle. Christmas will likely make me cry again this year. I went off birth control on Christmas Eve 2011.... so 2 years is quickly approaching. Talk about a great way to make your favorite holiday one of your least favs.
I wish we weren't on this journey.
I wish Scott wasn't infertile.
I wish we didn't have this stress on our relationship.
I wish we had all the money in the world to cover multiple rounds of IVF. We have enough set aside for one round, but I know it's likely to take more than that. I dread that.
I wish insurance covered infertility. I now joke and measure large amounts of money in terms of how many kids (or rounds of IVF that will pay for).
I wish this weren't happening to us.
I wish I knew WHY this is happening to us.
I wish I knew what the outcome would be.
I wish I knew if we will be okay in the end.
I wish all my TTC friends success in becoming parents.
I wish to see Scott as a daddy someday. I know he will be an AMAZING dad.
I wish for success with IVF and happiness.
I wish this wasn't our reality. (Can't I pass a test and move on instead? I have certainly learned many lessons, so let's make a deal and call this a day. No? Well, it was worth a shot.)
Ok, so I promised a positive spin somewhere. This week's positive spin is my best friend, Alli (or Shmalli as I sometimes call her). Alli is a true gem. We've been friends since we met in freshman year of college, back in 2001 (....woa, starting to feel old). So we've been friends for 11 years now. We only live 30 mins apart and we keep in touch constantly. Alli is such a wise person and she is so sweet, loving, supportive, and sincere. I just adore and admire her so SO much. One of her best qualities is her continuous support of us in everything, but especially our journey to a baby. Alli has been on top of every appointment we've had on this journey and has sent us text messages prior to all appointments with prayers, luck, and love. She's always with us in spirit and holding our hands every step of the way, and I couldn't ask for anything more.
This week was no different. Last night was Scott's 6 month post-surgery checkup at the urologist. Sunday night, as we were just getting ready to watch the newest episode of The Amazing Race (which came on late due to football), Scott & I both received the following message:
"Think of your journey as the amazing race. The prize at the end is a family. Each appointment you've had has only been a resting point on your trip where they tell you what to do next to reach your destination. The MOST important part is the love and faith that you have in each other and the strong bond you've created together. That will help your family grow no mater what it takes to get there. I am so excited for tomorrow because it means that I am one step closer to falling in love with a new Ricci. Love to you both. xoxo"
Wow. That's how I felt after reading that... just WOW (along with lots of crying). Wow.
The ironic part is that she doesn't even watch The Amazing Race, and certainly didn't know it was coming on late, so it truly was an incredible coincidence! We, of course, were so touched by this message. It made me cry, but happy tears. Like a cry of hope and reassurance that we will get through this and we are just moving along to different pit stops along the way. We won't give up and we will do whatever it takes to get there. We just can't give up and we have to stick together. We are a team. Team Ricci will come through in the end.
As for the update: As mentioned, last night was Scott's 6-month post-surgery checkup. We will have official results in a few days, but the urologist's initial feeling is that nothing has changed and there are still no swimmers. Our options are to do a needle biopsy/sperm mapping to check for stubborn swimmers who may be hiding down below, or to move on to IVF with donor sperm. Although that is a real possibility for us in the near future, we want to explore all possibilities with Scott first, so we chose the mapping/biopsy. It's pretty much as awful as it sounds and I pray Scott won't have a lot of pain with this because it won't be fun. So we set this procedure for the 2nd week in December and this will be our last shot. This is the devastating part because I think a donor will be very hard, emotionally speaking, and will open up a new can of worms and "What ifs" that I'm really just not prepared to deal with yet without crying.
So, we go all in as this is our last shot. There really isn't anything we can do over the next month to make chances of success higher, but I think hope, prayers, and positivity are helpful. If you're the praying kind, we would certainly appreciate prayers that they find something with the biopsy next month. We would love a decent amount, but it really only takes just 1. So I'm asking for prayers for at least just one healthy sperm. Dr. Werner told us a story back in April of a couple in our shoes who did the 4 month and 6 month check with no success, moved on to sperm mapping and they found/retrieved TWO... moved on to IVF and she was pregnant!! This is not usually reality, but you know what, it CAN happen, so it is possible. I am holding on to that tiny ounce of hope with all my might. Believing, hoping, praying, wishing, you name it. Please pray for us to have that chance as well.
Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post.
Love, hugs, and gratitude,
Stace xoxo <3 <3 <3