Saturday, March 10, 2012

An End to a Journey....

In 11 days a journey that started 8+ years ago by 2 people who love each other very much will finally come to an end.
This end is permanent and there is and will be no way to turn back the hands of time. Yes, we have thought about what we will be doing, we have been discussing it with my OB/GYN since 2007, yes, 5 years. Part of why we never followed through was financial reasons, we had always thought that we would use part of our tax returns to pay for the surgery and something would come up every year and it would be swept aside with the hopes of having it done next year. We also kept putting it off as we weren't really ready to stop ttc, not deep down in our heart of hearts or in our head. When we became pregnant in 2008 we were scared yet hopeful that this would be the one, sadly we all know that that was not to be, and we again discussed future plans with the OB/GYN and gave him the tearful answer that we were done, we can't go through this again, 4 times was more than enough for the pain and heartbreak that came with each loss. But again, finances ruled the decision. Even when I ended up in the ER in 2010 with a large ovarian cyst and the same discussion with my OB/GYN, what were our plans for the next 3, 5, 10 years in regards to a family. Again a tearful answer from myself that we were done, as soon as we could afford to have the procedures we would let him know. His answer was always the same, take the time to think about it and when we were ready give him a call and he would get it on the schedule.
After 3 years of not conceiving we thought that we were safe, well, the story has been told that yes, we had a very Happy Halloween last year. I haven't charted my cycles for over 4 years, but I went to the site just for the heck of it, plotted my info on my graph and yes their info came back that it had been my fertile time...but we had tried for years with the stupid charting and without medications or interventions nothing happened and now 4 years later we are successful on our own?! I had this discussion with Richard and he of course we skeptical, can you blame him? So the waiting happened and we both agreed that we wouldn't get ahead of ourselves, we weren't going to tell anyone (other than essential medical personnel) AND we weren't going to get hopeful or excited....yeah, right. I had behind his back started looking at baby furniture, figured out when we were due (July 26th) and started to research my medications to see what was safe and what needed to go. We also had the discussion that 'see if we had had surgery we wouldn't be getting this one last chance.' When we did finally tell people, everyone had the same concerns, what was going to happen to me emotionally should something go wrong. I understood their concerns, I had them myself, but each day, each week that passed, the further along we got the more relaxed or calm I became with the idea that we were really finally pregnant, we were finally having our family. I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I dreamed of my labor and delivery, I dreamed of holding our sweet Angel in my arms, finally getting that new baby smell, seeing my parents, Richard's parents holding their first and only grandchild. When we found out that we had lost this sweet baby I held my emotions in check (or so I thought I did) and tried to tell myself, it was for the best, the medications that I take were harmful, this wasn't meant to be. Richard and I weren't meant to be parents to living children, just cats.
Thoughts of my upcoming surgery is causing me to be in a manic cycle, it is messing with my sleeping, my daily functions, just messing with my life in general. I know that this surgery needs to be performed for multiple medical reasons, this surgery will hopefully make me feel better. I am trying to find all the positives of having surgery, maybe I will be able to focus more on myself in a good way and can finally get some (a lot) weight off, I won't have to worry about hormone issues (one ovary is being left for this purpose), maybe my headaches will get better. But I am afraid that I will fill empty inside and it will be my doing, I signed the consent form. I also know that we (me, Richard, our family) can't go through another pregnancy or another loss. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that it would be this difficult to have a family, a living family. We never knew that our marriage would be filled with heartbreak, we always imagined at least one little one running around, chasing cats, fishing with Opa and baking with Oma. I saw them running around at the holidays at family get-togethers with the other cousins. This past Christmas all the cousins were there and it was magical watching them play, all the while Richard and I were still keeping our little secret, but we smiled at each other knowing that next year our 5 month old would be the ohh's and ahh's of everyone. My parents looking on proudly at their new grandbaby.
I know this has been a roller coaster to hell and back for all of us, I am more than ready to get off this ride and never get back on. I want us all to be able to heal, hold memories in our hearts, but also not be angry, disappointed, cheated, heartbroken. I know that some of these feelings won't ever go away, they will be reinforced every time a baby cries, a pregnant belly crosses our path (yes, it is almost like having a black cat cross your path). What I have tried to see when in these situations, I don't know these women's situations, I don't know if they have suffered and are scarred by infertility. Knowing these things have made it much easier (at times) to see these women- but I do have to admit that the ugly IF bitch in me rears its ugly head and things falls out of my mouth before I have a chance to filter it, luckily I do have volume control and nothing has ever been said directly to their faces or at a volume that is easily heard by anyone not standing directly beside me.
I realize that this post is full of a lot of ramblings, I am currently medicated for everyone's safety (I have a migraine and cramps from HELL) ;) I haven't written in such a long time that I had several things to get off my chest. I am nervous and scared, I am having horrible dreams that when the doctor goes in for the biopsy (one of the first procedures being done) that he is going to find that,'OH SHIT! She really is pregnant!' I know that I am not, but Richard has had these same dreams. I think this is happening because we would rather find that out than to be told we will never be pregnant again, and the surgery went well. I know that everything will go the way that it should, there will be no complications other than emotionally. I think that besides the surgery itself that is what I am afraid of most, regretting my choice as there is no going back, there is no option like a tubal ligation or a vasectomy, this is permanent, there is no going back should we change our mind a few years down the road. As I am having my last cycle prior to surgery, dealing with the intense cramping, the emotional roller coaster, the other crap that goes along with AF I am to a point relieved that this time next month it won't be happening, it won't be happening ever again. And then at another point, I am reminded at just how final this is going to be, I will never be pregnant ever again meaning, we will never go through losing another life that we held so dear, we will never miscarry again. We had unofficially/officially come to terms with the fact that we are a part of that percentage, that group that will live childless or childfree. Neither of us really like either of those terms, yes it describes our lives, but what we have put in is that we are childless due to biology, not by choice. Childfree to us sounds more like a decision that was made by a couple that never intended to have children EVER...don't get me wrong, I have nothing against these people, it is their choice. Childless sounds like attempts were made to have a family and for whatever reason biology was not on their side, resources were exhausted, the way Richard and I feel was that we weren't given a choice in the matter, no matter who hard we tried, the hoping, the praying, the dreaming- biology was just not on our side.
The 5 pregnancies will be forever cherished, milestones reached in pregnancy will be fondly remembered. With this last pregnancy I kept a journal, something that I had thought of doing with each previous journey. I have gone back and looked at my entries, I have made a few entries following our loss. I believe that I will probably make a few more entries in the upcoming days leading up to surgery and some following just to track my feelings. I will probably make an entry or two in July around the due date and then maybe even as we pass the first set of anniversaries this year and next. The first ones are always the hardest, especially when this is the last time we will have a set of firsts. In a way knowing that is a blessing yet also a curse, a blessing knowing that future anniversaries will be a little easier with each passing year, a curse knowing that we will never have another, ever.