Four years ago, during this EXACT week, I started taking Femara as the first step of our OIT (ovulation induction treatment). The little yellow pills were meant to help my body produce fully matured eggs that would be ripe for fertilization. I was a blubbering, nervous ball of emotion - both excited by the prospect of finally becoming pregnant and terrified that this expensive treatment would end up proving me to be barren and doomed to childless future.
As I look back on that time, my fears seem silly - childish even. If our OIT had failed it would not necessarily have been the end to our story. It turns out that when it comes to having children, I'm a lot more determined than I realized back then. I've also learned so much more about our options for family growth. If I could go back and talk to the woman I was, I'd reassure her that there were still many paths left to lead her to motherhood.
And I'd tell her that no matter how hard it might seem to keep going, there was a little boy on the other side of all this that would make it worthwhile.
But she is back there, and I am here left only with myself and what is left of my optimism for reassurance. I took the last of my femara pills for a new round of OIT on Sunday. This coming Sunday I'll see my fertility doctor for an ultrasound. Four years ago I saw two perfect eggs on the screen, and wept with joy at their existence.
It won't be the same this time. No matter how many eggs I see floating around in there I'll know that their possibilities are not guaranteed. I'll know that the world owes me nothing, and that the eggs I weep for this time will be vulnerable to the same cruel randomness that doomed their three last siblings.
I'll be trying not to relive my past losses. Like the shocking devastation of losing a pregnancy on the cusp of the second trimester. Or the disappointment of watching my hcg levels creep up only to dip down a few days later. The traumatizing experience of having a D&C after the last loss.
The shadows of those misfortunes are heavy. It's hard to crawl out from under them - especially living in a state that seems to delight in placing restrictions and penalties on abortion and pregnancy loss. If something were to go wrong, I don't even have the comfort of trusting my doctors or knowing that I'll have access to options or be able to afford them. As if this weren't hard enough already. The more pro-life laws Texas passes the less safe I feel in attempting to bring life into the world.
This week I've been walking around with a feeling of emotional dejavu. In every corner of the house, every quiet moment, and with every swallowed pill and suffered side effect, I find myself reliving the last months before I became pregnant with C. I was so sad, so frustrated, so hopeless.
But then those two eggs came on the screen and a nurse plunged an enormous needle full of hamster hormones into my belly. I got pregnant for the first time in over a decade -after four years of failure to even get THAT far.
My pregnancy with CC had it's ups and downs. It had moments of fear, seasons of comfort, and times when I was told to prepare for the worst.
But he came anyway. He arrived rather small, but incredibly strong and completely determined to live.
It's easy to slip into the memories of sadness, of fear, and of loss. It's harder to remember the hope that bloomed with seeing those two eggs on the screen. It's difficult to recall the wonder and joy I felt as he grew in my belly, or the triumph of his birth.
If my future self could visit me now, I'd want her to tell me that it will all be worth it - that there is an incredible child on the other side of this journey. I want her to tell me that my story isn't over yet, and that I'm so much stronger than I know.