Monday, July 9, 2018

Where I've Been

Hiiiii....
So the past year(ish) has been a little crazy. Not only did I have the toughest school year in to date, but my husband and I started our IVF journey last July. Let's start with the school year.

So the 2017-2018 school year started a little nuts, and I was not in the best mindset. My class and I were not clicking and it took a long time to click. After having an amazing school year the year before, I was taken aback and almost in disbelief in the lack of chemistry I was having with my students, and the lack of chemistry they were having with one another.  I had so much going on outside of school, and really had a challenging time slowing down to really figure out what was going on with my students. As the year went on things improved. We hit a rhythm and got used to the routine and I slowed down and went back to the basics. And luckily, I have the MOST amazing team of ladies to lean on. They're literally the BEST. Things did get better. It took more time than I would have liked, but we made it.
We also got a new math curriculum that I do not love, and was not meshing with it. Math is my jam, so it made me very sad, and made me loathe teaching math.
As I said, it was rough. We did end the year on a high note, and we were able to create some happy and loving memories. We did a lot of cool things, and some of my students really created lasting friendships with each other (which is always the sweetest thing).


To say I was ready for some downtime is an understatement.



2017 came with some heartaches and some goodness though. We began IVF in July 2017, and the sleepless nights, anxiety, bloating, bruises, and all of the wonderful things that come with IVF began.
I had my first egg retrieval on the second day of school (YES, I had a SUB on the SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL!). Five days later my Reproductive Endocrinologist transferred one perfect little embryo. Sadly... It did not take. And that was ok. We still had one little embryo on ice, and we were part of the money back guarantee program at our fertility clinic, which gave us some piece of mind.





September did have some upsides though. My sister gave birth to my perfect little niece, Winnie. 


Later in September, we transferred our second embryo. Great news, this one took! We were overjoyed! All of this work, and it worked! My numbers were looking great, and continued to rise. Then, I started bleeding. And panic set in. Early on October 7 we headed to the doctor's office for another blood draw. We got the call a few hours later that my levels had continued to rise, and that I was in the green. Then Sunday came. Tom was gone all day, and there I was. Passing clot after clot of bright red blood. I just kept thinking, there is NO way this little tiny embryo made it through this. I had my hopes up that it was just an SCH, and that baby would survive. I took the next day off, and headed back to the doctor's offices for another blood draw. A few agonizing hours later, I got the call. Sure enough, baby was gone. Another heartbreak. Another baby gone. And all of our embryos were gone. Our second angel baby was gone. 

That meant another round of meds {and another round of paying for meds}. Another surgery. More time off work, more shots. More. We started our next cycle of meds sometime in late November, and they were able to retrieve 16 more eggs. 15 were mature, and they all fertilized. By day 5, we were down to 3 embryos. I feel like people usually get more than 3 little embryos, but hey, you take what you can get. On December 16, they transferred 2 cute little embryos. We crossed our fingers and waited. I began testing 5 days after the embryo transfer, and surely enough the test was negative. I thought it was over. Threw in the towel, and I was done. That weekend we were out town celebrating the holidays with our families. We drove back to Cincinnati on the night of Christmas Eve, and on the way Tom convinced me to take another test. We stopped at Walgreens and bought one overpriced pregnancy test. When we got home, I took it right away. And then we waited. Three of the longest minutes later, there were two lines. We had hope. Hesitant, trying to not get too excited, hope. That week I took a test everyday. To make sure the lines were getting stronger. To make sure I wasn't hallucinating. And sure enough. Each test was stronger.
On December 28, I had my first blood draw at the doctors office. With my
fingers, toes, and everything else crossed. I waited for the call, and there was my favorite nurse, Heather, on the other end. My numbers were high. strong. They asked for me to come in in 48 hours for another check. The next one was even higher. Then the next one. At 5 weeks 5 days we went in for our first ultrasound. There were two sacs. One was bigger than the other. We could see a heartbeat in the bigger one, but there wasn't even a fetal pole in the second one. Our RE requested for us to come in the next week for another ultrasound to check on the second sac.
We went in the next week, and our bigger baby looked great! But the second sac was now oversized and the doctor told us that this was a typical size for a vanishing twin. Our Third baby. Gone. My heart was breaking for the third time, but yet I was overjoyed for the other baby to be thriving. Two totally opposite feelings to feel. Mourning the loss of one baby, but being hesitantly excited for the other baby. 
Our first miscarriage was in June of 2015, at 8 weeks. That was my goal. To make it to 8 weeks. We made it. We made it to 8 weeks. And then to 10. And then to 12. At 12 weeks we were released from our RE's office, and head to the OBs office.  At 14 weeks we told our families, and at 19 weeks we announced to the world. We have decided not to find out baby's gender, because neither of us know if this will be our only pregnancy. While I have not enjoyed every minute of being pregnant, it makes me so so sad knowing that this could be the only time I have a little one rolling, kicking, and punching me from the inside. It has truly been an honor to grow this tiny person. 



So now here I sit. VERY pregnant, VERY uncomfortable, but so so so so happy, and so in love.
So this year, I will head back to school quite pregnant. My leave will start on September 4, unless baby decides to make their grand debut before that. I will return to school after the holiday break in January. 






Thank you for reading this long, drawn out, story. If I can help just one person have hope, than I have done my job. If you're going through this awful fight, entrust in someone. Share. Talking about it really helps. And know you're not alone.

Thanks for reading friends!