Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.
That feeling on that day (11/15/14) is so hard to explain. There are no words that would do it any justice. If you haven't walked down the IVF road they are just words. I say it all the time. But it's true. I could explain the shit out of it until I am blue in the face but until you wrote out a check for sticking needles in your stomach and buttocks for weeks. Not the good kind either. They are just words.
You see, a lot of family and friends of my own still do not understand what true miracles I get to hold in my arms every day. From the outside people see two babies. They see a lot of diapers and no sleep. These things as true as they may be are not what I see.
30%. That was the percentage we were given that both embryos would survive on transfer 5 days prior to being PUPO. Now, I am no math whiz but if you are gambling you definitely don't want to be on that side. We take those numbers like thousands of other couples and dive in without really having a clue what the hell they told us in the IVF meeting about mixing this drug and do this one first and this one at this time of the day. You are so overwhelmed even though you watch a million videos online and YouTube to try not to mess it up.
You drive over 2 hours to your IVF clinic at 4am. Before work to make it back in time to start your work shift. Every other day. You hope no one walks in on you at work or in public because everything is timed so you are shooting up looking like a junkie when you are just trying to make a baby.
We take out loans in hopes that this first cycle will end up with what you've waited years, 8 to be precise, for. Sometimes we do this 1,2,3,4+ times. We thankfully only endured this once.
You have surgeries to clear out your endometriosis. Along with saying goodbye to both Fallopian tubes also saying goodbye to EVER being pregnant on your own again. There are miscarriages and due dates that never happened that you will always remember.
We gain weight. We lose weight.
We don't drink alcohol or a sip of caffeine the month prior and during IVF because we think that will help our chances.
We go on diets of every kind. Sugar free. Gluten free. Give me a baby for free. Nice try infertile.
We try Acupuncture and any hippie dippy bullshit that comes across your computer screen, phone screen or tv screen that tells you they can make you fertile.
We remember dates and numbers like November 10th, egg retrieval, and 7 the number of embroyos that made it to blasts. But we can't remember our own phone number sometimes.
We buy a million pregnancy tests just because you want to make sure you aren't seeing things or you want to test out your trigger shot which can give a false positive.
We are comfortable with a vaginal ultrasound as we've had hundreds with and any student or dr in training looking at our lady goods and infertile private parts.
We know OHSS and being overstimulated from all the IVF drugs and having to wait to freeze your embryos and transfer them after you recover. I luckily did not but I know many that have.
We remember the feeling of not having any embroyos make it to transfer after such a long journey or all of the above.
And finally again we remember the feeling of being PUPO after all of that.
Again. These are all just words. The feelings when you are going through it you can't understand if you haven't been there. It's not your fault. I don't blame or think of you badly because of it. I am happy you don't know half of those acryonyms or any of that pain. The worry. The guilt. Oh the guilt you feel for having to put your husband through infertility.
That's a big one.
The stress about not stressing.
The wait. If you waited on something for years and years and fought for it so hard maybe then you would understand "why does she posts so many pictures of her boys" or snap chats every second of their life.
Still. Just more words.
Our IVF story could have ended very differently. As I lay here at 3am reflecting on a year from being PUPO when I should be sleeping. I can't help but think how grateful I am for what I have. "Proven otherwise" happens all the time.
I got to see two pink lines after my trigger shot wore off and I was actually pregnant. I can't speak for those who did not but I can say for myself looking back now that it was all worth it. The pain. The guilt. The wait. The stress. The sadness. The bitterness. It all fades into the background of my life now. A life with twins. But it is still there. When you are on the verge of a breakdown from waking up by yourself to nurse, pump, change and feed two boys every 2-3 hours for four months. It's there. It keeps you grounded. You hug them and thank them for being here. When you average 1-2 hours of sleep for months and months you are still so thankful deep down inside. It is there. You actually cry because you know instead of no sleep you could have no baby(ies). Your love is so huge from everything it took to get here it makes you stronger. Much more patient. So much love. It keeps you going. People ask "how do you do it with twins?"
It's not me to be honest. It's the ladies still waiting and the boys I've waited so long for. The ladies whose PUPO only lasted for a few weeks or just days. I think of them when my colic twin is crying for hours and doesn't sleep. I promise it's not me. I am no super hero or genetically altered super mama. I am trying my hardest to not be one of those weird moms who never leaves her baby(ies) for a date night or "mommy time" that I see others doing but we are going on 5 months and I have yet to accomplish that. Talk to me when they are 8 months maybe. And what's the secret to not just thinking about them while you are gone and actually enjoying your time?? Anyone?? Like I said. I am an average mama. I'm ok at best. I put my boys in front of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when I need five minutes to eat for the first time in the day by noon and chug my cold coffee.
The women who are still fighting. Still on their 2nd, 3rd and 4th......round of IVF or FETs are the real MVPs and super heroes.
I still feel your pain. Only for you now not myself. I know what I have and I appreciate it so much and nothing can compare to having them. No sleep. No money. No time waiting.
Every ounce in the depths of my heart and soul in my body is grateful every day. Even the hard days. It's not worth mentioning or complaining about. That takes away from the love I have.
If you are one of those ladies I am so sorry. Don't give up. Whether IVF, surrogacy, adoption, foster care, buying a zoo of baby animals is your path to being a mama I can tell you it is all worth it in the end as much as you hear that over and over and you're thinking like I did WHEN WHEN WHEN damn it. When is MY when??!
I wish I could tell you and wave a magic wand. I hope it is soon for you. That's all I can do. And pray.
In the end, no matter how I try to answer, "how do you do it with twins" to people, usually I shrug my shoulders and just say how awesome my boys are. But deep down I am thinking in my head the answer to that question is simple if they ever felt the feels of being PUPO.
Forever thankful for these gifts I've been given. I will cherish my 30% babies forever and ever.