Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thoughts on Infertility: Part 2

I originally wrote these infertility posts a year ago but didn't finish posting them. I don't know if I felt like the time wasn't right or if it was all still too raw to put out there. We're expecting now, but infertility was such a big part of our life that it's still a topic that's close to my heart and my thoughts often go out to those in the middle of it. I thought I would post the rest of these and then a follow up on our current pregnancy.

(Continued from Part 1)

4/23/16

The next few years consisted of a cycle of waiting, disappointment, and hoping.  This wasn't easy but it was better than it had been before. Every failed embryo transfer, negative pregnancy test, and miscarriage was difficult to handle, but it did get easier. IVF became a way of life.

During these years friends had 2-3 kids. People who used the same clinic as us became pregnant and had their babies. We went to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd birthday parties. Sometimes it was very tempting to slip back into self-pitying. Part of my mind told me I'd be justified in "letting it all out" again, but I held to the idea that it wasn't for me. I didn't do that. Making that decision early saved me from slipping into depression and bitterness.

I also can't deny the role that religion played in our lives. We attended the temple monthly and the words spoken there brought comfort. We fasted and our family and friends fasted for us too. I listened to conference talks, read the scriptures, prayed and tried to apply uplifting principles to my life. I have often felt what I can only describe as a divine outpouring of love and assurance that helped keep me afloat. One very large blessing was my calling to work with the youth of our church.  I served for over 5 years in the Young Women program in my ward. Every lesson, meeting, activity, and camp helped strengthen me by letting me forget myself for a little while and concentrate on others in a positive environment. The girls themselves brightened up dreary days with their energy and enthusiasm. I am grateful that even though this calling took a lot of time, it (like my mission) gave back to me more than I could ever put into it.

Teaching was also a blessing.  Working hard and being involved in meaningful work is healing. Similar to the youth program, I work with teenagers and have the opportunity to focus on the needs of others. Having somewhere to go and people relying on me has aided in both physical and emotional recovery. I have seen so many times why choosing the major I did and the job I have has been an integral part of making it through this. Sitting around at home or engaging in mindless tasks at a different job could have made these years far worse.

Our clinic, our doctor, the other doctors that attended to us, the nurses, and the receptionists, were all wonderful. They've were always understanding and kind. Our names came up frequently in the clinic discussions where they address special cases and people would greet us by our first names there.

Of course much support came from those nearest to us. The women I work with at church were kind and sensitive to our situation. The bishops we had were aware of our struggles. My co-workers cheered me on and made me laugh. My family was there for me to talk to and sent thoughtful emails and texts. John's family would sent small gifts to cheer us up after failed procedures. Friends brought in meals and asked what was going on with our treatments. We were surrounded in love.

The waiting time became a busy time. Work, church callings, friends and family filled the hours between treatment cycles. Some days we forgot this was anything but normal.

(Part 3)

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