“Congratulations, it’s positive” she said and I looked over at my husband in disbelief. The nurse had finally called with the pregnancy test results after we had waited for what seemed to be hours by the phone. Before we knew it, the tears started to flow as we learned that all of the waiting, time, and money spent had finally paid off! Our second IVF frozen embryo transfer was a success and we were finally pregnant!
In almost 10 years of marriage, it was my first time hearing a nurse say, “Congratulations!” In an instant, a million thoughts raced through my mind – excitement, fear, astonishment. I tried so hard to enjoy that moment, but as we all know, infertility robs you of your joy. I didn’t want to get too excited for fear of something happening and stripping us away of the joy we had in that moment. I was afraid that at any moment the nurse would call back and say there was a mistake and I wasn’t pregnant, or that I would go back for another blood test and find out something was terribly wrong. I wanted so much to enjoy that moment, knowing there was life growing inside of me, but I was too afraid to!
After the loss of our two embryos only a few months prior, my husband and I were determined to do everything possible to make our second round of IVF successful. We changed our diet, exercised even more, and drank disgusting Chinese herbs. Also, as if IVF didn’t involve enough needles, I volunteered to have needles poked in my head, face, hands and legs as I began weekly acupuncture sessions. I went into the second IVF cycle much more guarded, yet, still very hopeful! I underwent more rigorous testing to ensure my body was as ready as it could be for my embryo! I worked on daily meditations to mentally prepare and to combat anxiety, knowing that fertility treatments are not only demanding physically, but mentally as well.
After learning our IVF transfer was successful, I went through the next few weeks very excited, yet cautious! We were finally scheduled for an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy was progressing and that the baby was growing. When I saw that heart beating, it made everything feel so real! At that moment I decided that I would no longer allow fear to rob me of the joy I should be feeling. I made the choice to embrace this beautiful miracle and put my trust in God! We had another ultrasound a few weeks later to check on the growth of the baby and to measure the heart rate! Seeing that little speck on the ultrasound screen changed our lives forever. We learned that everything was progressing just as it should be and immediately “graduated” from our reproductive endocrinologist (RE).
Graduating from your RE is one of the scariest yet most exciting times in your journey. It’s almost like leaving high school and going away to college. You know you will miss all of your old friends and the familiarity of the old doctor’s office, but you know your midwife is a going to be totally new experience! Graduation from your RE also means that your baby is healthy and that there is nothing more the RE can do for you. I may have shed a tear or two as all of the nurses hugged me and wished us good luck with our pregnancy! These were nurses who taught me to administer my IVF injections and held my hand during egg retrieval. Nurses who were there to cheer me on as I went through two IVF cycles and who comforted me when the first IVF was unsuccessful. So as bittersweet as it was to leave something that had been so familiar to me for the past year, it was a day of celebration that everything I had worked so hard for was finally happening!
Pregnancy has been one of the most beautiful, yet challenging experiences I have ever had! When you’ve waited so long for something to come, you have a much greater appreciation for it! I never knew how grateful I would be to experience nausea because I never thought I would get the opportunity to experience pregnancy. For so many years I watched as everyone else had children, feeling left behind and questioning if my turn would ever come! Even though I am currently in my second trimester, this whole experience still feels so surreal!
I spent years attending baby showers (or avoiding them) for others. I helped so many friends decorate their nursery. I bought baby items for others, and now it is finally my turn! I get to attend MY baby shower, decorate MY nursery, and buy MY baby things! I can’t even describe the amount of joy I feel knowing that my time has finally come!
I am learning that infertility never leaves you, as it is always a part of your story. Even though I am finally carrying our miracle baby, my heart still aches when one of my TTC sisters has a failed fertility treatment or a negative pregnancy test. I still work to bring awareness about infertility and I love cheering all my girls on, sharing tips that helped me, and encouraging other couples in the wait whenever I can.
Even though things do not always happen when we want them to, the truth is, they always happen right on time! I am anxiously awaiting January 2019 when we get to meet our little miracle and I can finally say, “we beat infertility!” I spend hours daydreaming about what our baby will look like or what features our baby will inherit. The truth is, when I finally have our baby in my arms for the first time, I am sure none of that will matter. I will stare at a tiny human that I have worked so hard for and spent so much time praying for.
Although I wish our pregnancy had come sooner and without so many disappointments and delays, I have to admit the journey has made me a stronger person! I do not think I would change anything. Ten years of trying, failing, tears, and loss, finally being able to hear “congratulations,” made it all worth it! I am grateful that even in my darkest times that I chose to never give up, because if I had, I would have never had the opportunity to experience the greatest blessing, carrying a child.
A blog post written in collaboration with Simply Tanika.