After the very long road of failures and losses that got us here, I wanted to share a little bit about what it feels like when that battle, that fight, that hell, that worst day ever that seems to repeat over and over is finally over.
I don’t think this will be a triggering post. The way I see it- the fight and the hell has to end one day for everyone however it is resolved. It could look different than the ending you picture but this feeling of desperate hope and deep desire will be concluded at some point. You could end up with the elusive miracle pregnancy, choosing a third party path to a child or finding your way to happiness child free. No ‘happy ending’ is guaranteed of course but I am a very strong believer that we hold a tremendous amount of power when it comes to finding the good or finding your way to the good in most situations life hands you. Not necessarily during the fight. That is when just coping and getting by is all we can do sometimes. I am not saying one should just be happy and grateful with what is handed you (IF and RPL is UNFAIR and CRUEL) just saying we do have a lot of power over how we cope and move forward. That I do believe we can always find a way to seeing the good.
Anyway- back to my thoughts on life ‘after’ the fight is over. (I put this in parenthesis because going the alternative route of donor eggs we went I understand there may be future situations we face. It is a tad more complicated than a miracle ‘natural’ pregnancy although to be totally honest I have to remind myself of this because it feels like the least complicated and most right way it could have possibly been the moment I met her. ). So here I am, on the other side and wanted to share a few thoughts.
One: the very cliche statement of ‘it was all worth it’ is cliche because it is true. Mid battle and mid fight it feels like you are draining your life and energy (and money) away on this pursuit and it can be demoralizing. But the end goal is absolutely worth it for me personally. I don’t mean to say you should all keep on fighting and ‘not give up’ because that is so personal. IVF doesn’t always work, heck donor eggs don’t always work, money isn’t always available, your spirit isn’t always totally in it. How long and how you battle is totally up to you. Simply my personal opinion here is if you cannot envision a life without a child then be open to alternative paths. Just my own perspective. And think about being open to them along the way.
That being said- it isn’t all roses and I can truly see how happiness can come in a child free/ less life. There are so many dimensions to each of us, to life. Having this miracle did not suddenly make me happy. It did not completely fulfill me. It’s the truth. Don’t get me wrong- makes me cry in relief and gratitude all the time but it does not guarantee a happy life. I still need to know who I am, be a person in this world that I value. Navigate aging, the world around me, work; being a wife and a daughter and friend and all that goes with it. The parenting piece is just one piece of the puzzle. So if you get another negative test, wait anxiously another month without a match or are staring down the barrel of not being able to have your own child I wish you the ability to see enrichment in other areas. As someone with my own version of a ‘happy ending’ with IF/RPL I can tell you it doesn’t guarantee immediate happiness. Definite relief and joy but life is much more complex than that. I know a number of women struggling to conceive who were actually pretty depressed when it was resolved because it didn’t just hand them a happy life on a plate like they had hoped.
I have found that you trade one worry/ obsession for another. During IVF/ RPL battles you just want a healthy child. You would give anything for those two lines, that healthy ultrasound, a good anatomy scan and then a safe delivery. Then once you have that the road keeps going. Let her be healthy at check up, keep her safe, navigating the fears of keeping this miracle that arrived. Let me be clear– it is WAY easier and more enjoyable and a trillion times better to navigate these fears, but just a reminder that fears and desperate hopes and struggles don’t just end. They evolve. Just something to remember and keep perspective on.
Finally- the gratitude and capacity for joy is immeasurable. The deep pits of despair and anger and anguish carved out this, at first tragic, but now beautiful well for the joy to fill. I would never wish our path on anyone but I do feel so thankful for this gift it has given me.
Sending you all love. Xoxo