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I just got a phone call from my RE. When I saw the number come up on my phone, I began to panic, just a carryover from all of the times when a phone call from that area code only meant one thing…bad news. It took me a moment to realize that the clinic couldn’t possibly be calling with bad news as they are no longer involved in my care and have no idea how things are progressing. I couldn’t quite figure out why they would be calling, so I picked up the phone with no expectations.

It was my RE, which shocked me. I had guessed that it would be my nurse, so when I heard a man’s voice, it caught me off guard. He introduced himself and asked how I was doing. I told him everything was going well and he asked how far along we were. I told him 20 weeks and he was very happy that everything was going well.

I kept waiting for him to get to the point of his call, and he finally did. A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I were in town to go to a concert. We bought some cookies and a thank you card and dropped them off at the office, just to show how appreciative we are of all that they did for us. Our IVF experience did not go anything like I had anticipated, and having the unwavering support of our clinic behind us really made a difference for us. I wrote all of that in the thank you card, and dropped the card and cookies off with the receptionist (along with two large OJ containers full of needles).

So my RE was calling to say thank you for the cookies and card, congratulate us on our baby girl, and wish us luck with everything to come. I thought it was such a great gesture. I don’t know how many RE’s would take the time to do that, especially ones that aren’t even in the same state as their patients. It was such a nice end to a long and arduous process and I couldn’t have asked for more. It made my day.

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NOTE: I thought long and hard about actually writing this post. I hemmed and hawed thinking about how it might come off and might be upsetting to some readers. The last thing I want to do is upset anyone, but in the end, this blog is for me. I intended it to be a record of my thoughts and feelings as I dealt with infertility and now pregnancy. As such, I feel I would be remiss in not writing this post because it has been at the forefront of my mind for days now, which means that it is meaningful enough to me to document. I apologize in advance if anyone is upset, but please understand that these are my thoughts and I can’t really control how I feel. As always, I welcome comments, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, please don’t say anything at all.

I’ll be completely honest. Both Mark and I had hoped for a boy. The reasons why are numerous and I won’t go into a lot of details, but we both really hoped for a boy. Though we wanted a boy, we both figured that we would have a girl, not because of any intuition, just because it seemed like that’s what would happen. As pessimistic and awful as it sounds, after all that we had been through to get pregnant and all of the things that went wrong along the way, we figured that we would end up with the opposite of what we wanted. A “things never go the way we expect them to” kind of mentality, I guess. I tried to prepare myself for that possible outcome, but try as I might, I still had it stuck in my head that we would have a boy.

In my mind’s eye, I always pictured our family with a little boy. Long before we started trying to get pregnant I always thought that we would have boys. Obviously I was very aware that the odds were just as good that we would have a girl versus a boy, but it just never really clicked with me that we would have a little girl. In fact, I was so confident that we would end up with a boy, I bought a handful of little boy clothes at a garage sale last summer before our first IVF cycle.

At an appointment a few weeks ago, I asked the doctor about my prior bleeding episodes and asked if he thought that since I’d been spot free for a couple of weeks that I was done bleeding completely. He humored me and offered to do an u/s to check on it. During the u/s he asked us if we were going to find out the sex and if we wanted to know that day because he thought he caught a glimpse of something. We said yes, but our baby didn’t want to cooperate anymore and both the doctor and u/s tech were unwilling to tell us what they saw since it was such a quick glimpse at an early stage. I left the office disappointed that we were teased like that, but feeling pretty confident that it must be a boy. To me it seemed that boy parts would be much more easily recognizable at a quick glance than the three lines that indicate girl. I talked to other women about it and they all agreed that it was probably a boy if they “saw something.”

Any progress that I may have made in trying to prepare myself that the baby was a girl, which was minimal at best, was completely shot at that point. I would catch myself referring to the baby as “he” and looking at nursery ideas for a little boy. I found myself gravitating towards the boy sections at department stores, adoring all of the cute little boy outfits and imagining our baby wearing them. I was sure that we were going to have a little boy.

On Friday, as I lay on the u/s table, those three lines came up on the screen and absolutely took my breath away. I choked out the words “It’s a girl, isn’t it?” and tried to maintain my composure. I was inexplicably on the verge of tears. I couldn’t even look at my husband, knowing that I would completely lose it if I did. The rest of the u/s was a blur, but I managed to keep it together. We were sent back out to the waiting room, where I sat in shock looking at the u/s pictures until we were taken back to an exam room. We found ourselves alone in the room waiting for the nurse practitioner and I tried to put on a brave face. I looked over at my husband and asked him if he was disappointed. He said he wasn’t and that he was just excited to know so we could start planning. I told him that I was disappointed and I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. They came in an uncontrollable flood.

It seemed so irrational to me, to be crying over the gender of my baby. All we ever wanted was a family. There were no gender conditions on our dreams of having children. So why was I so upset? Without realizing it, my vision of our family with a little boy had slowly become a dream, and while our dream of having a baby appears to be coming true, an unconscious, yet no less significant, dream appears to be dying. In all likelihood, this baby will be our last. I cannot put myself though all that we went through emotionally to get to this point again, it’s highly unlikely that we will be able to afford adoption in the near future, and the chances of us conceiving naturally are close to zero. We will probably never have the little boy of my dreams. And not having a boy is by no means a bad thing, it just takes time to adjust. I have no reservations whatsoever about having a girl, it’s just not what I expected.

After our appointment, we got in the car for a four hour drive and spent a good chunk of the time discussing room ideas and little girl names. When we arrived in our destination city, we went to a consignment sale and picked out our very first gender specific purchases for our little girl. We called the grandparents-to-be and told them they were going to have a granddaughter. Little by little, it’s becoming a reality to me. Last night I grabbed all of the little baby clothes that we’ve purchased along the way and threw them in the wash. The vast majority are gender neutral, but as I was pulling them out of the washer and putting them in the dryer, I’d come across a pink sleeper, or a little pink sock and think “these are for our baby girl.” This time the thought took my breath away in an entirely different, and good, manner.

We’re having a girl!

Even though we both figured it would be a girl, I was still in shock when we saw the pictures on the u/s. I think it surprised me because I’ve always believed we’d have a little boy. I’m still getting used to the idea, but am getting more excited about it every minute. Now, let the shopping begin!

We will know in less than 24 hours! A teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy part of me wishes that we wouldn’t find out because the surprise at the birth would be fantastic, but I’m not fooling anyone. There’s no way I could possibly wait that long to find out what we’re having. I’ve already been using all the self restraint that I have to not buy every adorable non-gender neutral outfit that I run across.

We both still think it will be a girl, but I’ve been having boy dreams lately, so who knows. Only time will tell and I can’t wait!

It’s a subject that nearly every infertility blogger writes about at some point. The reason why is simple: there is no avoiding it.

The positive that has come out of my struggle with fertility is that I have found myself surrounded by an amazing group of women, both on the internet though my buddy group and blog, and in my everyday life, through my real life support group. While all of the women who have been a part of my infertility journey have added something special and unique to the experience, it’s the women in my real life support group who have made the biggest impact on my life.

These are women who have been with me through thick and thin and can relate to the struggles that we’ve endured. We clicked as a group, in a way that I didn’t think was possible for a group of women brought together by one small common link. They were there to provide listening ears, arms for hugs and humor and invaluable laughs when I was down. They were there for me when I felt like there was no hope. There were there when it felt like no one else in the world could possibly understand. They provided hope and they understood. They picked me up when I was down and provided me with something to look forward to every two weeks. They became my friends. I always left our meetings feeling uplifted, refreshed, renewed and with the energy to face our next infertility battle.

And one by one, miracle by miracle, babies were conceived, grew for 9 months and were born. One by one, women realized the dream that they had been wishing for for months and sometimes even years. One by one the number of those still waiting for their miracle slowly decreased.

It seemed crude to compartmentalize the women into “haves” and “have nots,” but in reality there’s no other way to do it. The “haves” still wished and hoped for miracles, but this time for their friends, not themselves. The “have nots” desperately wished that it would be “their turn” next. Eventually the “haves” outnumbered the “have nots.”

Shortly before I became pregnant, I was discussing with one of the two remaining “have nots” how things were different with our group. While I knew that everyone was still rooting for us and I still felt supported, things just weren’t the same. I missed the common thread that we all had: trying to have a baby. We discussed potentially recruiting new members who could provide more of the “still in the thick of it” support. We discussed trying out a different local support group. We discussed meeting as just the three of us. In the end, we didn’t do any of those things. We agreed that our group, as it was in the past, as it was at that very moment, and as it would be in the future, was most important to us. The relationship that we had formed was unlike anything we thought that we could replicate with new members, a different group, or just as the three of us.

Eventually, and seemingly miraculously, I crossed over from the “have nots” to the “haves.” This meant that there we only two women left in our group still trying to become pregnant. Even though I never believed it would be possible, the pain and sorrow of the past two and a half years slowly started to fade away into the background. While I don’t think that I will ever forget how awful that time was for me, I can no longer feel with the same intensity what it was like to go through each and every day wanting and waiting. Unconsciously my heart has moved to a different place, a place that has forgotten the mire of infertility, a place where hope has replaced fear and dread. My heart aches for these women, but I can’t honestly say that my heart aches WITH them.

And that is what makes me feel so guilty. I always thought that if the day came that I was actually pregnant, that I would never forget. How could I? But now here I am. I’m finally on the other side, and everything that I thought would be true just isn’t. I feel like a traitor, like I abandoned my friends. It’s as though I traded what I wanted the most and sacrificed knowing, understanding and having the ability to support my friends who are still trying. And the part that makes me the saddest is that the two who are left are the two who have been trying the longest. One woman for the entirety of her marriage, nearly six years, and the other woman somewhere between four and five years. And both are nearing the end of their rope; ready to give up entirely on having children in any way. Sadly, none of the rest of the women in our group have ever been where these two women are now. Yes, we all dealt with the emotions of infertility, but none of us for as long as these two women, nor were any of us ever at the point of seriously considering a childless life. While I was never able to relate to the length of time that they’d been dealing with infertility, at least I was able to share in their emotions and feel the camaraderie of still being in the depths of infertility together. Now I can’t even provide them with that comfort.

I feel like a failure in that respect. I feel guilty that I have what they want, and even more than that, I feel as though I’m not able to bring them the comfort and support that they brought to me over the past year and a half, and that hurts. Every day it seems more and more apparent to me that the scars of infertility, while seemingly invisible, reach deeper than I could ever imagine.

Our History

Dec 2006 - Started trying to conceive
Summer 2007 - Semen analysis (great), progesterone test (normal)
Dec 2007 - SHG normal
Jan 2008 - 1st RE appointment
Feb - Mar 2008 - Diagnosed with elevated FSH levels, 2 rounds of IUI with 5mg of Femara
Apr - Jun 2008 - Seeing a new RE. 3 rounds of IUI with 12.5mg of Femara, all busts. HSG normal
July 2008 - Moving on to IVF at a new clinic
Aug/Sep 2008 - 1st IVF cycle - cancelled due to poor response
Nov/Dec 2008 - Retry IVF, transferred one blast and one morula, negative beta
Feb/Mar 2009 - 2nd IVF cycle - Antagonist protocol
May 2009 - 3rd and final attempt at IVF - Antagonist protocol
Feb 18th, 2010 - our One Small Wish comes true: Nina Adele is born.

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