Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thoughts on Infertility: Part 3

(Continued from Part 2)

4/23/16

Right now we're down to our last few IVF procedures. We've decided that after 7 years, with 10 embryo transfers, we will need to move on if we're not successful with fertility treatments this time around. We're still doing well and are hopeful.  I had to give a talk for church a couple of months ago and was researching the word hope. I liked the description I found on the church's website that hope, as viewed in the gospel sense, is a sure, unwavering, and active trust in God's promises. It is a quiet assurance. So, I have this type of hope, regardless of what happens this year, that what may be will be what is best for us.

Like I mentioned before, IVF became a way of life.  We could have planned to keep doing it, but there comes a point when both medically and emotionally it doesn't make sense. At first it was hard to let go. I felt like I was somehow giving up and if I were stronger and tried longer we could make it work.

There was another, more recent time, when it was hard again. We'd had our 3rd and latest miscarriage and I was experiencing a quiet heartbreak. It was the first time that we'd made it out of the fertility clinic's care and to an OBGYN's office. At that first appointment we found out that the pregnancy wasn't viable. I didn't cry at the office. I didn't cry in the car. I tried to stick to my resolve to not go to those darker thoughts.  The weekend I was in bed recovering from a D&C, I tried to read *a conference talk.  I thought it would help because in it Elder Eyring's daughter-in-law faces infertility. Instead it made me really upset. As a quick recap, a woman has children, but can't get pregnant to have another child. She goes on a vacation and on the beach prays that she'll sacrifice more if she can get pregnant. Then presto! She's pregnant and she and her husband go on a mission with their whole family.  The end. What I got from that story was, if you you're not pregnant it means you're not serving enough, go serve and sacrifice more and you'll get what you asked for. I had been serving my heart out for years. I didn't have any more hours in the day to devote to my calling or job. In fact I felt I was falling behind on spending enough time with my close friends and family. I didn't know what I could do more of to get this special blessing the Eyring girl earned. I also didn't get a vacation where I got to walk on the beach to ponder these things!

John came home and he could tell something was wrong. This time I wasn't frustrated with what was going on around me, but with myself. What was I supposed to give up more of to earn what everyone else seemed to get so easily? What else was I supposed to do? John, again able to diffuse the situation, found me a different article. This one was about grieving (also a church talk).  I was surprised and didn't want to read it at first but I did and it immediately made sense. John reminded me that it's alright to grieve and be sad and that sometimes we can't do anything more, even spiritually. He told me that I didn't have to do more right now, I just had to grieve. I had to accept the fact that things really might not work out. It was alright to not wear the smiling face and try to shoulder a larger load.

So, as this all winds down, we may end up with a child of our own, we may not. If I had to go back and give myself advice on dealing with these past 7 years, I don't know that I would have anything to say. I don't think it would have helped because I wasn't ready to hear advice at certain points during our trials.  For example, at first I found it offensive that people thought we should just adopt. It felt like they didn't support our decision to do IVF and that we weren't capable of handling things on our own. Of course that's not what it meant, but that's how I perceived. Now, I'm considering it. It's the right time to think about it. Every step of the way was necessary to realize the next step, to heal, and to move forward.

*I just want to clarify that I don't have anything against church talks, I think I'm just good at finding the things that rile me up. The rest of the article was fine and I just latched onto that one part.

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