CD 9 and Emotional Warfare
***Posting this from it's original location (and from my first retrieval in September of 2016). Today is cycle day 9 (again) and my results are much, much different. More on that soon.***
Last night was the first time I cried while getting an injection; the first time I surrendered to the fear and sadness this process brings.
Let me be clear, it wasn’t the physical symptoms or pain. Though, I am certainly swollen and uncomfortable, I am not miserable enough to need to cry out the frustration and pain. Instead, it was the mental exhaustion, the marathon of checking in with myself and trying to stay positive because – sometimes – that’s harder than we actually acknowledge.
Yesterday was my cycle day 9 ultrasound and my numbers were lower than I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, they are great numbers I should be proud of, but they are significantly lower than the count at my baseline. After reminding myself there are plenty of couples who would love to hear their day 9 numbers were as high as mine, and I realized I should be grateful in that regard, I still felt disappointment. And then I was embarrassed and ashamed.
The choice to face it, feel it, and then move forward dismantled the psychological warfare I was feeling, but it left me with a need for a lot of sleep.
What I think I’m learning through this entire process, about the people who are going through this with me (as well as myself), is that the best way to get through this is by not comparing details of one another’s situations. Each IVF cycle is so different, each person’s body responds to meds in unexpected ways, and the best way I’ve learned to support myself – and others – is by ignoring our differences and thinking about the fact that no matter what, we are all still going through the same process; we’re still being stuck with the same needles.
After my last appointment, we anticipate my retrieval will be scheduled for Saturday and I’ve nearly doubled the amounts of medications I need to take to get my follicles measuring where they need to be by then. My tears came after the third injection of the day, knowing I had one more to come just minutes after this one.
Because, no matter how much of the mental and emotional work I do, I still find moments that challenge my growth. This? It’s a challenge. A big one.
But when I remind myself of all of the women before me who’ve faced this, and faced it several times, I know that it’s not impossible. I’ve never doubted that my body would survive it, but before thinking of the infertility warriors before me, I have questioned if I’d retain my sanity.
So this post goes out to the OG girls. The ones who’ve picked me up and confirmed that what I’m feeling is normal or sucky or understandable. The ones who live their lives with so much joy after such a harrowing journey they make me realize I can be there one day, too. Maybe they don’t announce their own stories in the same ways as me (or maybe they do), and they don’t feel the need to be public about what they’ve been through (or they scream their truths publicly), but I know through their actions and private messages they’ve been here, too. To the warriors who make my life and my journey easier, thank you.
When you share what you’ve experienced, you make me a better human. When you walk beside me, I don’t feel so weak.
When I go in for retrieval Saturday, I will absolutely have you in my heart as a reminder that I can do this. That you’ve made it so.