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Silent Warriors

{November 22, 2016}

Greetings friends! It’s been a few weeks. Life gets busy, and it’s hard to get to the keyboard. But, I promise you haven’t been far from my mind. This month is the two-year anniversary since my last IVF cycle. As memories have popped up on my Facebook, so have a whirlwind of emotions. There was one post in particular that hit home the hardest, and I wanted to share my experience with you.

For those of you who have experienced any degree of infertility, you’re well aware of the “two week wait” (TWW). No matter where you’re at on the spectrum, it’s a terrible time, one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But for those of you who have gone through an IVF cycle, it’s a particularly painful wait. The below picture was from day 9 of my TWW. I’ve included the full post below to share what I felt that day — and the other 13 days of that wait. It wasn’t pretty (which is apparent from the picture that you see).

“Since I’m chronicling this whole round of IVF, I figure it only fair to include the not so exciting days as well. After all of the doctors appointments and your retrieval/transfer, you have to go through what is called the Two Week Wait. It’s awful. It’s like an abyss … You don’t have daily doctors appointments to keep you busy or give you comfort. Time stretches and gets further away from those magical days of your retrieval and transfer. You almost even forget how good you felt right after them. Instead your time is filled with wondering … and worrying …and over-analyzing. Do I feel pregnant? What if I’m not pregnant? How will I deal with it? How will I tell people? Can I go through this again? It’s the worst part of the entire process. You’re all in. There’s no backing out. I wish they could put you to sleep for the two weeks. I don’t write this for pity. I write it because it’s a very real part of this process.”

 

I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. In fact, I have a few friends right in the middle of IVF cycles as we speak. As I sat in church this past Sunday, I noticed a friend of mine sitting in front of me. She had just had her frozen embryo transfer a few days prior. As I watched her listen to the sweet words from the pulpit and raise her voice to sing, my heart couldn’t help but feel like it might burst both in excitement and in awe knowing what she was going through. On one hand, there was an immense amount of excitement thinking about the possibility of a teeny tiny embryo making itself nice and cozy for what we hope is a safe pregnancy. On the other hand, I know- I mean I really know the many thoughts and feelings she’s experiencing.

I know what it’s like to over-analyze every twinge, cramp and gas bubble. I know the feeling of going “all in” and hoping that technology can make up for the rest of what your body can’t do on its own. I’m familiar with the thoughts of “what if it doesn’t work? Can we afford to do this again? How quickly can we try again? Can I handle trying again?” Sometimes the excitement overshadows the doubt. Sometimes not. As I looked at my friend I couldn’t help but see her as a silent warrior. A woman who was dealt a rotten hand and raised the ante. She’s a woman who took her cant’s and turned them into cans. She’s a woman who despite going through the dark abyss of uncertainty, powers on and does it with grace.

I’m so grateful that through this journey, I’ve been able to meet the most amazing women. I am so grateful that I can pull from your strength. There is so much more power when we stand together. This week my thoughts are with my sweet friend who I know is sleeping with one eye open as she awaits the big beta HCG this week. I’m hoping and praying that the perfect little embryo they placed inside of her makes it. I’m hoping and praying for you, too, my friends — wherever you’re at in your journey. We silent warriors stand in solidarity, together.

#IVFMom
#1in8
#FertilitySpecialistsofTexas

brie-signature-copy

Hi! I’m a proud IVF mom of two amazing boys, thanks to the expert care at Fertility Specialists of Texas. I know, first hand, how lonely infertility can be, which is why I write personal entries for the FST blog  — it’s my way of helping break through the isolation. To let you know you’re not alone. And, neither am I. If you ever want to chat with someone who’s had empty arms, who knows the heartbreak of this journey, I’m here. And, I’d love to connect: fstivfmom@gmail.com.

Brie Dance

FST Patient & Guest Blogger