My next post was going to be about our transfer schedule, but I don’t feel like I can give you a true glimpse into our journey without sharing with you what happened between us getting the embryo news and putting the transfer on the calendar. This post is mainly for my infertility and IVF warriors out there who may be going through the same emotions as me and wondering if you’re alone. I have to be real about it, even at the risk of sounding whiny or like a terrible person.
The moment Brennen hung up the phone with the lab, he hugged me with tears in his eyes. It probably would have been a beautiful moment to retell if I would have cried too as we stood there in the kitchen in each other’s embrace. But that’s not what happened. My gut reaction was to hold back the tears and harden myself. I kept saying in my head, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.” I haven’t seen Brennen cry during this whole process. I’ve cried a lot. So, I felt like it was my turn to be the supportive one. Maybe that’s where my downward spiral began. Maybe I should have cried.
Don’t get me wrong. I was excited about the news of our frozen embryos. I just didn’t do a very good job of showing it. I didn’t cry tears of joy. I didn’t beam from ear to ear. I didn’t squeal with excitement. I got, as Brennen would put it, pissy.
After we talked a little more about what the embryologist said, I made the decision that we needed to get out of the house. We had been sitting in the living room staring at the phone for almost two days, and the walls were closing in on me. I stepped into my closet, and suddenly I could see what a mess it was. Then, I couldn’t figure out what to wear. I tried on about 10 different outfits and piled the disregarded ones on the floor with the rest of the mess. I saw the cluttered bathroom vanity, the loads of laundry, the dingy tub. I rolled my eyes at Brennen’s outfit choice of a wrinkled t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, especially since he told me it was cool enough outside for me to wear my boots. I think I made some smart ass comment like, “Can you try to look like an adult today?” Harsh, I know. We walked through the kitchen, and I saw the dirty dishes in the sink. Once we were outside, I saw the weeds in the flowerbed and the spiderwebs draping our awning. Then, I remembered the meetings I had coming up at work and the conference I had to be at next week. Suddenly, everything on my to-do list that I had blocked out over the past few weeks came crashing into my head…all at once.
On the way to my in-laws’ house to drop off our dog for the afternoon (spoiled), Brennen was so upbeat and kept talking about our results. Finally, I said, “Can we just not talk about IVF, embryos, and all that for a second? Just please, stop.” He looked at me shocked and confused, but he quickly covered it up with a look of understanding, even though I knew he didn’t understand. He said, “Yeah, ok. That’s fine,” and we drove in silence. This was NOT how I imagined this playing out. I texted my mom, “What the hell is wrong with me?” “Hormones?” she asked.
She was right…as usual. The next day, Aunt Flo made her appearance in all her glory. So yes, I was probably crashing from all the hormones I had been on, and my body was trying to sneak in a quick PMS episode before Cycle Day 1. And this hormonal imbalance brought all these negative emotions bubbling to the surface.
There was fear. Just like when Brennen told me the lab had to watch our embyros for one more day, he was excited, but I immediately thought about how we lost all our embryos on day 6 during Round 1. When I found out we had embryos to freeze, my mind went to “The last transfer didn’t work.” And because I know that this transfer, or future transfers, may not work, I fear that feeling of loss again. It’s a loss that may be easier to deal with if I can somehow keep myself disconnected from the multi-celled blastocysts we have frozen, or so I thought. Even though they are just cells, they are part me and part Brennen, and I am connected. Maybe it’s that motherly instinct.
Then there was anger. When we got to Brennen’s parents’ house, they naturally wanted to talk a little bit about our big news. At that point, I was more willing to talk about it. It was slowly sinking in, and I was getting more excited. I even hammered out a blog post. Then, in the middle of the happy chatter, I blurted, “You know it really pisses me off. It pisses me off that I was lead to believe that something was wrong with me. That I couldn’t do this. That I didn’t have good eggs and wouldn’t make good embryos.” It was the truth. I look back at all we went through, and although I was relieved to know that we were able to get high-grade frozen embryos, I was so mad that I had spent all that time feeling so shitty about myself after Round 1.
And above all, the anxiety. Like I said, for the past few weeks, I’ve blocked out everything that I thought might add stress. I’ve been floating along, doing life the Brennen way (I’m so jealous of how he can do life sometimes). Now, back to the to-do list. Funny story – During my little freak-out this weekend, I sat on the edge of the bed while Brennen tried to talk me through what was stressing me. It went like this:
Me: I’m unnecessarily stressing about things I shouldn’t even be stressing over!
Brennen: Yes, you do that. Just forget about everything else, and tell me what the next step is on your list. We’ll do it.
Me: I have to write a speech by Wednesday.
Brennen: YOU HAVE TO WRITE A SPEECH?!?!?!?!
Welcome to my head, Brennen!
I’m proud to report that my mood did improve during our late lunch Sunday. We talked about when we thought the transfer may be and how many we would transfer. We talked about being injection free for a while, and we talked about things not IVF. We even took the time to hit a few Pokestops.
I’m so excited to have the success we have had so far this round and know we should consider ourselves lucky. Still, I’m an emotional fuster cluck lately. I did such a good job prior to and during stimming of letting things go and accepting what was out of my control. Somehow I’ve gotta whip myself back into shape and find that “zen” I had just a short time ago. I know it’s not too far gone…
P.S. Hormones. Blah.