I still remember sitting across from my doctor, the day before the crazy snow day in Atlanta two years ago. We had been trying for a year and a half, and had just spent the past several months doing all kinds of invasive, emotional, and expensive tests. She looked at all of our results and said, “Well, basically, you’re at zero.” We pretty much had an almost zero percent chance of getting pregnant.
As I learned more and more about infertility and lived the experiences that infertility brings, I discovered the little things that no one thinks about infertility taking away. Something I’d always talked about and dreamed about, and I mean for YEARS – since at least as early as high school, was how I would tell my parents and my friends and my husband. I read stories about cooking meals with all “baby-themed foods” – baby peas, baby carrots, etc., or giving your husband a gift that was actually a positive pregnancy test, or maybe a Christmas ornament that said something about being a dad. I saw posts about surprising your family by having them say, “We’re pregnant!” instead of “Cheeeese!” when taking the next family photo so you could forever document their expressions at that moment. I loved it all and tried to come up with the most creative ways that I would one day use to share my own exciting news.
When you can’t get pregnant, though, and when you end up doing all kinds of treatments in order to get pregnant, your family (and obviously your husband) know what you’re doing. People might know when your appointments are, or even the timing of your HCG levels blood test. I decided that I would still have my moment. I would not let infertility take my announcement away.
After our first IUI back in September/October 2014, I decided to put together a special gift for Andy. If our results were positive, I would give him the little blue box with the chalkboard front that I bought at Target that day. I carefully picked out the Atlanta Falcons jersey, pacifier that said, “I love Daddy,” and book that so sweetly explains our love for our future child. I painfully packed the box away when our results were negative. I grieved the fact that I was hopeful enough to think I’d actually get to share that box with him. The box stayed hidden away, waiting to be presented and celebrated. It hurt to think about it sometimes.
We did our first IVF this summer, and found out our results at the beach with Andy’s family. I didn’t want to cram the whole box in my bag since I didn’t want him to see it, so I brought the pacifier and bought a Father’s Day card, just in case we would finally get our good news. I ended up wanting to chunk both into the ocean. Instead, I buried them in my bag and added them to my little blue box when I got home.
Earlier this Fall, we had our first FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). I so hoped I would finally get good news, but I was also terrified to be hopeful. Being hopeful hurt. I started bleeding the day before our test, and I just knew that it was going to be negative again. Instead, my nurse called me and said the words I will never forget, just as I will never forget, “Basically, you’re at zero.” She said, “Ruth, you’re pregnant!” I didn’t believe her.
We were thrilled, but it was so surreal. When Andy got home that day, I didn’t even say anything. He knew immediately from my tears that I’d gotten the phone call we’d been waiting on all day. But this time, I smiled a little. He asked if it was good news, and all I could do was nod. We could not stop crying and smiling all day long. Even still, I didn’t want to give Andy my little blue box announcement until I knew for sure that it was real!
We drove home to surprise both of our parents, and gave them framed pictures from our transfer. I told them I thought they might want the first picture of their newest grandbaby.
After blood test #3, I finally gave Andy his blue box.
I feel that I’m still cautious about this pregnancy, but I am also so incredibly over the moon. I wasn’t sure how to write this post. I realize that many people reading are still in the midst of the infertility battle. I empathize with you and hurt with you, and I know that even though I’m pregnant now, I am still an infertile. We will still do IVF for babies #2 and #3 and #4 (or however many we have!). I will still cringe a little inside when people tell me they got pregnant without even trying.
Infertility has such an impact on our lives. But don’t let it take your life away. Have your announcement. Give your husband his blue box. Drive down to surprise your parents. If you’re still trying for your positive result, be sure to make time to be a couple, try to have hope even when it hurts.
Moving forward, this blog will not turn into a pregnancy or mommy blog. Theoneineight.com will continue to be here to raise awareness about infertility and encourage those still struggling.
Thank you all so much for your support, your prayers, and everything you did to get us here. We praise God every day for His faithfulness, the fact that He never leaves us, and for blessing us through this pregnancy. We are happy to share our infertility story and journey with you.