Thursday, December 28, 2017

The IVF Struggle is Real

In the summer of 1991 the youngest member of my Cazley family was born. I was ten-years-old when I became a big sister, but mentally I was still a baby. I still wanted and needed my mother desperately. She was my world, the only thing I cared about and I wasn’t mature enough, when the first of my Cazley brothers arrived, to truly appreciate the glorious miracle that a newborn baby was.

When my second brother was born I was twelve. By then I was a little more mature. In the words of Britney Spears, I was ‘not yet a woman’, but old enough to appreciate what a newborn meant to the Cazley family. By then I was old enough to appreciate the fresh bloom and the beam of pure happiness that the new baby brought into our lives.

My mom fell ill soon after the baby was born so I became his sole caretaker. I fed him, I changed him, I sang to him and rocked with him long into the night when he just wouldn’t go the f*%k to sleep. Although he was mine, he never truly belonged to me. He was an extension of my heart and of my DNA, but really, he wasn’t mine and I was absolutely fine with that. I was uninterested in him fully belonging to me because I was a selfish twelve-year-old who was growing breasts, discovering boys and discussing those boys with my friends. Regardless, I was still able to experience a maternal love spreading through me as his tiny body lay curled up on my chest or in my arms. I never forgot that feeling or the fresh smell of his curly, new-to-the-world head.

Someone at church once overheard me calling my brother ‘my baby’ and I became embarrassed because I didn’t want any outsiders to witness just how much I loved this baby. Maternal love came so naturally to me, even at the age of twelve, that it only made sense that I would one day be a mother.

In 2013, I thought my time had come. After a late period, two lines on a stick told me that I was indeed with child. Those two lines on that stick are still the most miraculous and surreal thing that have ever happened to me. I was home alone when I took the test and I ran screaming so loudly from the bathroom that my cat went running for cover.

A blood test confirmed my pregnancy. An 8 week appointment further confirmed it, but in week 9, an emotionally and physically painful miscarriage knocked me off me feet, sunk me into depression and shut down my dream of motherhood for the moment.

During my pregnancy, a large fibroid was discovered in my uterus. A few years later, I had the fibroid removed with the intention of having a baby inhabit that space. Shortly after that surgery, another growth was discovered. So after having the two uterine surgeries, I got the green light from my OBGYN. Maternally I’m old, so I didn’t want to waste time trying naturally; I made an appointment with a fertility clinic that was recommended by my OBGYN. I had a consultation, underwent a few tests and now I was just waiting for the results.

A few days before Mother’s Day I learned that not one, but both of my fallopian tubes were blocked. This was an absolute shock to me especially since I’d gotten pregnant naturally the first time. In order to obtain my own fresh smelling, curly, new-to-the-world head, I would have to undergo In Vitro Fertilization.

The Mother’s Day after my miscarriage was extremely tough. Over the years Mother's Day has become easier to handle, but this past Mother’s Day I spent all of my energy struggling not to embarrass myself in public with an ugly cry. My throat hurt from holding it in all day, but I am extremely impressed with how well I did.

So began the process of testing and ongoing daily, every-other-daily early in the morning ass appointments. If you know me well you know my ass ain’t an early in the morning daily, every-other-daily appointment person, but for my own fresh smelling, new-to-the-world baby, I will be that person.

I’m certainly not a victim and I hate ever coming off like one, but I just can’t understand why the natural progression of my life always includes so many road blocks. The second I overcome one thing, there is always something else and it’s as if I can never catch a break. I’m so damn exhausted and the sad thing about this life is that it could always be worse. This has been my mentality for the majority of the year; fighting with myself to stay afloat – If I allow myself to succumb to my negativity there is nowhere to spiral but downwards. I only have one life to live and I refuse to live my life on a downward spiral.

One of the fights I often have with myself is regarding my previous pregnancy. I’m disappointed that my previous pregnancy wasn’t successful. My baby would have been three-years-old now. I realize that the body is an awesome machine. Many miscarriages take place because the fetus is abnormal and the pregnancy is not meant to be successful for that reason. The body knows this and takes control. I understand all of that, but sometimes I just wonder why. IVF isn’t cheap and my previous pregnancy was free. I know that sounds hilarious (I’m crazy), but it’s true.

Before IVF, I thought about the process in such a frivolous, glamorous way. Why not undergo IVF if you have the money? Why not undergo IVF if you can get twins? Well there is nothing glamorous about it and it’s not something I would ever wish on anyone.

When I had thoughts of starting a family, IVF was not at all what I had in mind. It has certainly been an emotionally, mind-twisting ride. I’m working on accepting circumstances that are out of my control. If I dwell on my sadness and disappointment I will never move forward so I only have one choice, and that’s taking whatever steps necessary to get me to where I hope to be.

To be continued…

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