The past year or so has been really difficult in the infertility journey. I keep trying to find a “strength” to go through this and I come up short. I know my strength is in the Lord and that I can go through this because He holds me. That does not mean that I am not going through a difficult time. It also does not mean that the Lord is not right there with me. That being said, this year has been pretty awful.
Emotionally and mentally, I have been in a constant cycle of grief. Which stage I am in has fluctuated, but in the most recent months, I think I am in the depression stage. Everything makes me sad, but I am also numb. This numbness has made me question many things, including God’s plan for us in the realm of parenthood. I prayed and prayed for God to take the desire for children from my heart if it was not meant to be. I prayed, and nothing changed. Nothing, that is, until I started to feel nothing. After awhile, I wondered if this was God’s answer. Did he take the desire from my heart like I asked for? Did I really think He would? That is not up to me, but I suppose I truly did not want that desire to leave. Was this numbness the removal? I thought I was REALLY messed up and I thought this was the end. What was I going to tell my husband? Did I really think the desire was gone? How in the world is this going to play out?
Time went on and the numbness settled in. The sadness just turned to a stagnant state of “I’m sad, but I’m not SAD.” Finally I bugged my friend and counselor until we could make an appointment. After some counseling, I finally changed my mindset. The numbness is part of the depression stage. We started to pray for contentment along with our prayers for children. I still feel really weird most days and I can not tell if I am actually sad or just feigning sadness, but the awareness of the grief has been helpful. I continue to wrestle with my emotions (or lack thereof), but I am more sure that I still desire children than I was before. I now think that God would not have put the desire for children in my heart if He was going to take it away.
Before I give an update, I do want to say that plenty of wonderful things have happened this year, despite, you know, *gestures vaguely to everything.* We have been blessed in many ways. Both of us kept our jobs, we’ve learned to be flexible in our jobs, our marriage continues to grow, our dog probably learned a new trick or two, we’re knocking out some debt, our families are doing well and are healthy… we have a lot to be thankful for.
On March 10th, I had a procedure done called a hysteroscopy. At our appointment on January 4th, our fertility specialist determined this was a good next step since our four IUIs were unsuccessful. On paper, we should have gotten pregnant at least one of those times. All the numbers were good. So we agreed that the hysteroscopy was the next step. They believed there may be something in my uterus blocking the possible embryos from attaching. After waiting a stupid amount of time, being forgotten about, the office’s financial head leaving, calling everyone in the buildings and the insurance company, we finally got the hysteroscopy, pre-op appointment, and follow-up appointment scheduled. The time between January 4th and March 10th felt like years. Now that the procedure is done, we wait for the follow-up appointment on March 24th to determine the next steps yet again. It’s now been over 3 years since we first started trying to get pregnant.
The hysteroscopy went really well. Every nurse, anesthesiologist, and doctor attending to and helping me were so kind and overall phenomenal. I want to be everyone’s friend there. I was put under general anesthesia, so I did not feel anything and I was out for what felt like seconds. When I did come to, I was told that they found and removed a rather large polyp at the opening of my uterus, just past the cervix. They also removed two small red spots just in case. A week later, I received results that they were all benign, as was expected. When they showed me the picture of the polyp, I asked if this was a contributing factor in the IUIs not working. The doctor said that the polyp would make it very difficult for sperm to get through.
I have had a range of feelings in the past week (I guess the numbness is wearing off… sort of feeling a tingling.) I have felt relief and joy that they actually found something, a reason maybe, and that it is gone. I have felt annoyance and anger that we did not find it before. I have felt remorse that I did not research and inquire earlier. I have felt bitterness towards all the doctors I have seen regarding infertility for not doing this before we spent money, time, and emotions on the FOUR IUIs. I have felt incredible gratitude to my husband, family, and friends for the care and prayers. Right now, I believe I am still relieved that it is gone and I am anxious for my next appointment.
I would be doing a disservice to my husband if I did not mention how saintly he has been during this process. He took off the entire day of work the day of my hysteroscopy. He had to wake up crazy early to drive me to Norfolk, wait by himself in the waiting room with a book (which I’m sure he truly enjoyed) for over two hours, and take me home after. He cared for me so well, making sure I safely got in bed, making sure I ate something, got me gatorade AND ginger ale because I could not decide which one I wanted. He kept an eye on me all day, cooked, cleaned, went grocery shopping, and many things I am sure I did not see or know that he did. He did me the biggest favor of all by keeping family and friends updated so that I did not forget to in my weird post-anesthesia state. He has been my champion through it all and I would not trade him for anyone or anything. Seriously, someone get this man a trophy. Or donuts.
I was also blessed by the thoughtfulness and care of others, by my in-laws for bringing us dinner, for my friends who brought me the BEST cookies and sent me flowers, for my family who sent me cards. These are the things that I will one day tell our children, that before they were even conceived, they were loved through these actions.
One of my sisters named my polyp “Polly,” and we are so glad to see her go.