I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on gratitude lately. Remembering infertility helps me to grasp more tightly to all of the things for which I have to be grateful. It was my darkest time. And because of this darkness, I’m more able to appreciate a life filled with light.
It was not that long ago that I was surrounded by the heartache of infertility. My family, as wonderful as it was, felt woefully incomplete without children. Exactly 4 years ago, I received the crippling news that IVF had failed. I was working as a dentist at the US Air Force Academy that day and wrote this piece about the phone call from the fertility doctor:
This morning I went in to have my blood drawn in order to find out whether or not the past three months and several thousands of dollars had yielded us the results we had been praying for. After an excruciating 6 1/2 hours, I finally received the call. It was Dr. Magarelli himself and he began the conversation with a deep sigh. At that moment, I knew what he was going to say.
“Well, it didn’t work out this time. You’re not pregnant.” At first, I felt my whole body go numb. Then a lump began to grow in the back of my throat as I attempted to end the conversation without letting my voice quaver too much. I immediately called Ryan, and as I told him the news I couldn’t contain the tears any longer. I was at work and I only had a couple of minutes before I had to see my next patient, so I wrapped it up quickly and headed back to my office to see if my patient had arrived.
Unfortunately, he was already seated for a two hour procedure that I wasn’t even sure if I was capable of doing. I ran to the restroom, wiped off the smeared mascara, wet my face and headed back to the treatment room to finish my day. Before I walked in, I put on my mask and glasses to cover the red skin and puffy eyes. The whole two hours, I struggled to choke down the rock in the back of my throat and keep the tears away.
At the end of the day, I changed clothes and made my way to my car. I kept my eyes down and took the long way so I wouldn’t have to salute anyone. As soon as the car door closed, I broke. I spent the next five minutes doubled over in the driver’s seat with my face buried in my hands. When I finally regained my composure, I drove home in silence with tears streaming down my face. It was hours before I could even call my parents and let them know the news. So, please, do not take offense if you are close to me and I didn’t call you today to let you know. I just wasn’t able.
So where do we go from here? Quite frankly, I’m not sure. I definitely am not up for another transfer yet. I need a break. I need to gain a little bit of normalcy before I jump in again. We have four more embryos waiting for us. Maybe one of those was meant to be our little one. I suppose we’ll see. In the mean time, I plan to spend a lot more time on myself and my marriage. I need to remember the family that I do have instead of dwelling over the one piece that’s missing. I’m fortunate enough to have parents that care, a brother that cares, in-laws that care, and nieces and nephews to adore. I have amazing friends who support and love me no matter what happens. I really am a very lucky girl.
Even now, knowing that this story has a happy ending, I have trouble reading this without tearing up. But there is something special about having gone through infertility. I am now able to offer empathy and understanding to other women who are in the midst of the struggle. I know not everyone gets their happy ending, but I also know it helps to have someone understand.
If you or someone you know is currently weathering the storm, please feel free to share this with them. To let them know that they are not alone. And if you want to contact me directly, I am always here to offer words of love and encouragement. Because I’ve been there.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like these as well:
A Letter to My Littles: A thank you letter from a recovering perfectionist to her children.
Putting in Three: Choosing to put in all three poor quality embryos at our last IVF transfer.
An Infertility Love Story: Featured on Mamalode: The story of the unsung hero in the battle of infertility.
Hello there! I’m Krysta. If you’re new to The Thoughtful Mom, welcome! And thank you for stopping by.
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