Infertility

Infreakinfertility: Part 7

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It’s taken me almost a month to sit back down in front of this blog.  I don’t know how to write the next part.  Elliott grew, I nursed him for a little over a year, waited the prerequisite two months, then went back for my frozen babies.

During my pregnancy with Elliott, his first year, all the bliss and exhaustion of new mommyhood, my freezer babies never wandered too far from my mind.  When we sang that song in church with the line “defender of the weak,” I always thought of them.  Who’s weaker on this planet than little embryos suspended in a freezer?

They were stuck in D.C. and I now lived in the Atlanta area.  I had two choices.  Bring them down here in a cryo freezer or receive “bus stop monitoring” from a clinic down here and the actual procedure back in D.C.  I could just picture driving with my freezer babes and having the car break down in some tiny town and my babies prematurely thawing out in a Red Roof Inn while I frantically dialed my endocrinologist’s number.  Nope, I was headed back to D.C.  So for all of the monitoring and drugs, Alex and I drove to the ATL north side morning after morning, and we made two trips to D.C., one for the “mock” embryo transfer, the dress rehearsal where they map out my uterus, complete with new scar across it, and one for the actual transfer.  I was nervous and also relieved to finally have my kids with me.

We already knew that my body didn’t like progesterone.  The only way it would work was via shots with Elliott, and I took them for an entire trimester of that pregnancy.  Well this time, it didn’t like the shots either.  Night after night, Alex punched through growing scar tissue from allergic reactions to the drugs.  I developed huge knots on both sides where the injections were.  Like the first time around, I belted out eighties tunes and tried to relax my legs while he administered the pain.  This time was worse.  It was harder.  Something wasn’t right.

We flew to D.C., stayed in a hotel by the clinic, and they thawed our babes.  They were alive!  In they went, and Alex delivered food to the hotel room as I stayed on bedrest for a couple of days.  We flew home.  During the waiting period, I started to feel more and more the same way I felt when I was pregnant with Elliott.  Hope grew.  I began to let myself get excited.  This was happening.  I was pregnant!  I felt the exact same.  I had to be pregnant.

On the day of The Call, Mom came over to watch a movie with me to keep me distracted.  We watched The Last Holiday.  Halfway through, I got The Call.  The second I heard my nurse’s voice, I knew.  That comforting edge in her tone.  The hesitation.  Not pregnant.  I held it together up the stairs and broke down as I told Alex in his office.  Not pregnant.  The feelings, all the feelings of pregnancy.  Not a baby.  The drugs.  Just the drugs lying to my body.

I walked back downstairs.  Mom could tell.  Moms can always tell what their daughters are feeling.  We hugged.  We finished the movie.  I called my friends from church small group.  Julie offered to organize meals.  No, I was fine.  Really.

I called Julie back.  I was not fine.  Really, really not.  Bring food, yes please, because I don’t know what to do and if there’s food then maybe eating it would be a good first step.  I loaned out my maternity clothes.  Somehow knowing they were on a friend made me feel better than if they were in a box.

I know it’s a really, really early miscarriage.  I mean, really tiny embryos.  But.  I’d dreamed about them, those specific babies.  Prayed for them.  Nestled them in my heart and planned for their futures and hung their pictures on the wall of my mind.  For two years.  They were a part of our family for two years.

And my toxic body killed them.  They survived a test tube for two years, but couldn’t survive my womb for two days.

A few months after losing the freezer babies, I called Julie and just started talking.  You know those conversations that start like regular conversations and end up with your guts all over the floor and mascara streaked cheeks?  I told her, “I’m just…sad.  And I don’t know how to get better.”  She found me a counselor.  I went.  For five months.

And slowly light filtered back into my life.  My home became full again.  My heart became whole again.  Our family felt complete.  God filled the hole.  He was enough, and Elliott and Alex were enough.  One child and one husband were enough.  I was content and at peace.  Only God could do that.  Take a broken woman and make her whole again.  I can’t explain how I have peace and joy knowing that I can’t ever have a baby again.  Joy!  Bitterness gone.  Sadness gone.  Longing gone.  Only God.  I am not a naturally content person.  On my own, I lean toward sarcasm and bitterness and frustration.  But now joy.  Fullness.  The Bible says always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have – JESUS!  IT’S JESUS!!!  He’s the reason.  The only thing that makes sense.  I am redeemed beautiful barren woman made whole in His presence by His grace.  The scars on my belly used to taunt me as FAILURE, but now I see them as GRACE as COURAGE as REDEMPTION from a loving Father.  He took my scars and covered them with His own.  Peace.  Contentment.

And from that place of peace and contentment, God launched us down an entirely new path.  And the beginnings of that journey launched this blog.  Waking Giants.  We were waking indeed.

 

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IMAGE SOURCE: http://drmaj.com

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  • Amanda Greavu

    I could have written every word of this, well except the pregnancy part. I just found your blog via Jen Hatmaker, your BFF, but it appears we have more in common than a love of Jen. I know exactly what the “you’re so young” feels like, as I was 25 when this journey began. I know exactly what the “helpful comments” are like– I’ve had more than my fair share. I’ve had my share of judgment and condemnation passed for pursuing IVF. I’ve waited as my embryos dwindled. I’ve lost my precious babies. I know what all of that feels like. You wrote it all so very eloquently and with just enough humor to make me smile. Thank you!

    • Melanie Dale

      Amanda! I’m bear-hugging you through the computer screen. Although I wish you’d been spared all of it, it’s so nice to “meet” someone else who’s been through a similar story. I’m sorry for your babies, for the comments, the condemnation. Sigh. I just…get it and wish I could make it go away for you.

  • Lisa

    Thank you so much for writing this series. I just found it, and will know on Tuesday if our fourth IUI worked. If it didn’t, I can maybe convince my doctor to do one more IUI before she pushes us towards IVF. I’m not sure how I’ll feel if it comes to that, but I’m so glad that you put all of this out there so I have others’ perspectives on it. I haven’t written about it publicly at all yet, it just feels like too much to share with the whole world at this point. I keep telling myself that I’ll write about it when it’s over, when we’ve been successful, when I have a nice little ending for it. We’ll see. It’s just been awful, as I’m sure you know.

    • Melanie Dale

      Lisa, I’m so glad you found this helpful. I was desperate for others’ perspectives at the time, so I want to let people know what we did, no matter what people choose themselves. I understand your hesitation about IVF and I will pray now for your IUI! I’m aching for you and hoping for you.

      • Lisa

        Thank you so much, Melanie. I haven’t seen my doctor in what feels like a couple months, so I’m going to take advantage of doing as many IUIs as possible until we get pushed further. I think in our case it should eventually work, but I have to say I am getting more used to the idea of IVF. It seems like it’s something that people think they’d never do until they find themselves staring it in the face and then things start to change.

 

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