B-A-N-A-N-A-S

It took two weeks, but I finally cried. I knew I would eventually break. I just didn’t know it would be a banana that broke me.

Brennen and I had been house sitting for his parents while they were vacationing over the past couple weeks.  On our third or so night of the stay, I was struggling to adjust to living out of a suitcase. Even though I was only 20 minutes from my house and in one I knew well, it still wasn’t mine. And it wasn’t my bed, so I was having trouble sleeping.  Wednesday night, after trying to fall asleep for almost two hours, it was midnight, and I was hungry. This happens to me a lot late at night because I eat an early dinner (Brennen would like to add, “like an old person”).  I got up and headed for the kitchen with a craving for fruit, especially a banana.  No fruit anywhere and no snack to suit my midnight craving.  This wasn’t my house. It wasn’t my bed. There were no bananas.  So right there in the middle of the pantry, I lost it – ugly crying all over the place.  I texted Brennen, “Crying.”   In no time, he opened the pantry and found me sobbing and complaining about how there were no bananas and nothing was going right for me.

You see, earlier that day I went to my Ob’s clinic for some blood work.  Now, I hardly ever feel alone in this process thanks to our network of support and the many amazing women I’ve met who share in this struggle, BUT if there is one place I do feel alone, it’s in the freaking waiting room of the Ob’s office surrounded by pregnancy and motherhood.  When I’m there, I’m different.  Limited. Cursed.  And with those feelings bubbling beneath the surface, the banana…or lack thereof, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  And although the cry stirred up my emotions of failure, impatience, self-pity, and heartache, it felt good to finally have that release. So I welcomed the sadness, and cried until I was too tired to cry anymore.

One week later, and on a much happier note, preparations for Transfer #4 are underway. Since my last post, I talked to my doctor about the protocol this time around.  When I told him I was a difficult case, he said, “It’s not you. It’s your uterus.” Ha! For my last transfer, my lining was less than desirable, measuring at 7mm.  This whole thin-uterine-lining thing is a new issue for me.  But because it was healthy and triple-layered, we decided to move forward with the transfer.  After all, women get pregnant with 7mm linings all the time.  Well, not me, so we’re not going to take that chance again.  Transfer #4 will not happen until I have a uterine lining measuring at least 8mm.

So from now until October 5th, my main job is to do what I can to thicken that uterine lining – Estrace, pomegranate juice, red raspberry leaf tea, self-fertility massages, exercise, acupuncture, meditation, iron-rich foods, etc.  Brennen’s job…well, he’s just gotta keep the bananas stocked. Fingers crossed for October 5th!

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Blank Space

It was 8 days after the transfer, and I still hadn’t tested. I was pretty proud of myself. I hadn’t even been tempted by the three pregnancy tests my mom left sitting on the dresser before she left my house. During the waiting period, I had been busy with sorority recruitment (I’m an advisor for a local chapter) and catching up at work. Surprisingly, I had been able to keep my mind pretty well occupied with things other than the test. Plus, I didn’t mind putting it off. As much excitement and hope as I had about seeing a positive, the fear of seeing a negative was far greater. So honestly, I didn’t feel the need to rush it. I was focused. I was determined. I was not going to test early.

Then came the rainy drive home Wednesday evening. Suddenly, the unknown bothered me more than that fear of a negative. It was Day 9, and I couldn’t hold out anymore. I needed to test. I called Brennen who said, “And you promise you haven’t already tested?” He was hoping I had secretly tested and already knew like last time. He hates waiting on pink lines. I walked through the front door and headed straight to the bathroom. I did my thing then put the test on the counter, walked out, and closed the door behind me. Brennen started the timer…5 minutes to go.

Over the past few days leading up to the test, people often asked me how I felt. Boy was that a loaded question! Physically, I was cramping off and on and tiring easily. My hips were starting to get pretty sore from the daily IM injections. Mentally, I could feel myself becoming drained as I purposefully kept my mind busy with life outside of IVF. Emotionally, I was positive about this transfer. I told myself from the beginning, “Positive Vibes Only,” and I had stuck with it. And if I had to guess whether or not I was pregnant…let’s just say I was more optimistic than I had ever been. But on that ride home Wednesday something changed….and I knew I wasn’t.

Brennen’s timer went off, and we both took deep breaths as we opened the bathroom door. There it was on the bathroom counter – a pregnancy test with one dark pink line. Beside that line…nothing, a blank space. It’s funny how in that moment, something so small can fill an entire room. It was all I could see – that blank space. Negative.

Brennen braced himself on the bathroom counter and hung his head. I didn’t know what to say to him, but I thought to myself, “Is this ever going to work?” The next few seconds were a blur until Brennen raised up and hugged me. I could feel his heart pounding against my chest. His face was warm, and I could tell he was on the verge of tears. After that, there’s just more blurriness as we processed another negative.

I called my mom. She said a bad word. Brennen texted his parents. Then, we sat in the living room and got mad. I mean, it’s really not fair. It’s just not. And it sucks so bad. There are too many pieces of shit in the world with children. People who don’t want children have them. Why can’t we? Why is this so hard for us? What did we do wrong? It’s not fair. Period. And I know bad things happen to good people all the time. I know we still have so much to be thankful for. I know our situation could be so much worse than what it is. I know children aren’t rewards. But knowing all that doesn’t matter in those first moments after staring at what seems like the 100th negative pregnancy test in 3 years. Because in those moments, all you can think about is how this may never happen. You may never be parents. You may never have a child. That becomes your reality. And that’s what makes you so mad you could scream.

Deep breaths…

We have since chilled out a little. Still, we’re more mad than we are sad. In fact, I’ve yet to cry. In this journey, if I cried about every bad thing that happened, well, I’d be crying a lot. Instead, I’ve given myself somewhat of an emotional threshold. Things build up, and at some point, I break. Until I do, I push forward. And that’s what we’re doing now – pushing forward. Our perseverance has surprised us!

So now we’re waiting on what I like to call our WTF appointment with Memphis to see if we can find an answer for why this transfer didn’t work or, if like I suspect, it’s unexplainable and simply just didn’t work. From there, we’ll put together a plan for moving forward to transfer #4. As I type that, I can’t believe we’re at #4. I mean, at some point the odds have to be in our favor, right?

Finally, for those of you who have been following this journey from the beginning or since we started blogging a year ago, you may be running out of things to say to us in difficult times. That’s ok! We don’t expect you to find the right sentiments and words of encouragement, and it’s ok to admit you don’t know what to say. But I will ask that you please refrain from any phrase that has the word “time” in it. I can’t really explain why, but something like “Give it time” or “It’s in God’s timing” sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me right now.  A simple “This sucks” will do. Even a “Hang in there” or a “We’ll keep praying” is good. You can even throw an angry face emoji our way and we’ll totally get it! Or you don’t have to say anything. Just keep praying. Pray that in this struggle, we find strength, peace, and understanding.

And because I can’t find a way to close out this post, I’ll leave it here with a “This sucks!”