God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It still hurts

A lot of people have been asking me the same question lately. I guess it's only normal. It seems like when a woman has a baby, it's not long before that baby is no longer new enough and people begin to ask about when will #2 come along. For us however, people ask when another round of IVF will begin.
Truth is, I doubt it will ever begin. 
Don't take this wrong, I definitely believe IVF was a miracle-giver and I would love to have more children. However, so many other feelings bubble to the surface.
I've wanted to make a post like this for awhile now, but didn't due to the fear of sounded spoiled. Please know that my intentions here are only to speak out my feelings (and quite possibly the feelings of many IVF mommas), and to journal about where I am in my life right now. Is it my blog afterall, right?
So here it is: I don't think I can bear the pain to do IVF again. Yes, our second cycle did give us our Sullivan. He is our miracle and nothing will, nothing could, ever change that. But where do we go from here in building our family? That I do not know. 
IVF was a painful roller coaster. In many ways our faith made the cycle easier. It took a lot to realize that we were not in control, but once we really got our minds around that it was a freeing feeling. There was nothing we can do, so hey, let's just go for the ride! However, our beliefs also made a lot of the process harder. For us, we couldn't just shrug off the loss of 12 embryos (in both cycles). Still can't. Especially after meeting Sullivan I can't stop thinking about those beautiful babies (yes BABIES!) that could have been. Would they have the same eyes he has? What about a similar crooked smile? Were they all mini-Walters or was there maybe one that was a mini me? My heart breaks in longing to hold them and raise them all up to be the men and women they were called to be. What was their calling? It surely wasn't just to be here for the few short days. Or was it? Those single digit cells taught me more than many people ever have or could.
People who have struggled (or who are struggling) with infertility amaze me. I can't help but feel drawn to them and their stories, especially if they've sought God through their trials and/or have kept a positive attitude. Infertility can make or break you. I seriously adore those who refuse to let it break them. 
This doesn't mean that you can't be hurt, or shattered, or even devastated. It means that while you are hurt, shattered, and devastated that you remember to thank God and keep it in perspective. 
Walter and I conceived our first child after two rounds of IVF. We don't have any frozen embryos for later, and none of the embryos we were able to make made it to a "good" range of being a blastocyst. Everything about our cycles were pretty much "below average" and not expected to be fruitful. BUT I type this with a newborn on my lap. We are still one of the lucky- no, blessed- ones despite it all. We were given 'grim' results, but a miracle was made and God got the glory. 
In my fascination of those who have fought the infertile fight, I have made many new friends through social media. I have met some people I will cherish forever; their personalities and their dispositions are an encouragement on even the darkest of days. I've ever met people, heck I'll just come out and say it, who have taught me who I don't want to be. 
I'm not trying to be a hypocrite here, I am positive that if I were to look back and read some of my earliest posts that I would make myself sick. This journey is one that grows and stretches you, and it definitely has for me. Everyone has to take the path in the way God leads them, and everyone has their own timeline. When I see a Negative Nancy I do my best to help lead them along that path. I try to speak encouragement to them, and I try to remind them of different perspectives... and I hope and pray to see a little change.
If the fit throwing continues I have no choice but to remove them, because like the title says, it still hurts.
It still hurts me so badly when people complain about getting 'only' 20 eggs or 'only' having 2 embryos to freeze. A friend of mine blogged that it's like a slap in the fast and that is partly true. When I think of a slap in the face I think of the person intentionally trying to hurt another, in a public display of insult. This hurtful complaining is more like an accidental hit-n-run with your heart. The whined doesn't mean to put tire tread on your chest, they're probably not thinking of your feelings at all because they are so consumed by their own, until WHAM! You're struck. They say something that hits a nerve with you and it leaves you gasping for air. 
You make think of me as spoiled to be hurt by something like this, because I have a baby. That's fine if you want to think that. (WHAM!) Please realize that my love for Sullivan will never outweigh my love for my other 13 children that could have, should have, been (and my grief for them will never ever outweigh my love for him!). You would never say that to a mother who has just buried her ten year old, would you? "You've got two more at home, c'mon time to get over it!" So heartless. Even if it doesn't mean the same to you, realize it does to me. I never got to meet 13 of my children, and looking into Sullivan's sweet face I am only left with a dream of our family all reuniting in heaven. 
So infertile warriors, please keep a close guard on your words. Encourage each other, and continue to learn and grow just how to do that. Continue to put yourself in another's shoes and pray for those who have a different path than you. It's not always necessary to find someone "worse off", but find someone who is struggling in an different area to keep things in perspective. I'll never forget the lessons I learned while I was trying to conceive and gearing up for IVF and going to classes to be a foster patent and a counselor for abortion-minded moms.
This whole journey has taught me so much, and it still is (!), and I am blessed to know so many amazing women because of it. Thanks for allowing me to be encouraged and to encourage, even though (as many of you have put it) I've crossed over the the "other side".
I won't forget where I've come from.