During that long fight against infertility, there are moments of weakness that drain the marrow from your bones. The struggle takes so much strength from you, that any other battle, even that constant fight to keep the house clean, takes too much effort. In my own struggle, I know I have spent days feeling overpowered, anemic with despair.
I remember days when I felt that there was nothing left in me and I sat on my bed wondering if I could fix anything ever again. Would we ever be able to have children? Would we ever get the money to even try? Would there ever be a day when I didn’t have to dig deep into myself to be able to dredge up a laugh or another ounce of courage? The pressure of dealing with this for the rest of our lives, even if we do manage to get pregnant once, often seems to gape open like a crushing maw.
And then there are other days that come in like a Tsunami—with sudden and overwhelming force. These are usually days of decision. Most of the time, when I remember these days, I see the signing of important papers, the giving over of long-saved money, and the plunge of fertility-drug-holding needles. There’s still a lot of debris in that wave of courage --some sadness, some fear, but it comes. And it carries you. And each time one comes, you get farther in toward shore.
Recently, my husband and I have started in vitro. I have been looking forward to this day and dreading it in equal measure. You see, I'm terrified of needles. For simple blood draws, I start to hyperventilate, my hands and feet grow cold and sweaty, my head starts to feel like it will drift off my shoulders. With in vitro, I will be getting around fifty shots—not including the egg retrieval or any blood tests the doctor deems necessary. When I first heard about in vitro, it was as an option that I thought we would never even need to consider.
"Thank heavens I'll never have to do that," I thought.
The day the doctor announced that was probably our only option, I felt like I suddenly went hollow. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to start right away. I was relieved we had some course of action. I was terrified that my only hope sprang from one of my greatest fears: needles. Trent and I had a long talk about it. We decided we would move forward. It took us years to be able to get to this point—where it is actually happening. The time didn't diminish my fear, but it did give me the opportunity to gather up a great wave of determination. Every night, as the time comes for me to get my injections, my hands and feet start to sweat and my head gets light, but I don't hyperventilate. Instead I take a deep breath and my husband gives me the shot. And I live through it again. I'm still scared, but I am moving forward nonetheless.