The truth about In Vitro

I just noticed that the last time I wrote a blog post was August 26th…that’s how long I’ve been trying to keep my head above water. This blog post was my husbands idea. He thinks that it’s important for me to share my struggles in hopes that it will help someone else who is struggling…but I really think he hopes if I pour my broken heart out in words that it will help heal my heart. I’m not a writer and I don’t pretend to be. This probably won’t even convey what I really feel but I will try my best to write from my heart.

Many of you who follow me see my three beautiful girlies and probably don’t think much about how they got here and the struggle it was for us to have a family. They are my miracle babies. I’ll save their stories for another day and just write about the last year because it is a lot clearer in my head than the rest.

I was done having children after my twins were born. For many reasons I had a very rough pregnancy of bed rest and 9 months of morning sickness and when the twins were 6 weeks old I had emergency surgery and 48 hours later almost hemorrhaged to death. Honestly the only time in my life I thought I was going to die. So for my safety and lets be honest, my sanity, we decided our family was complete. 6 years later, I realized Heavenly Father has a very funny sense of humor.  The signs that I should have another baby just started coming at me like frisbees. Honestly I can’t even begin to tell you the things that happened to make me believe there was another little baby. There were so many private and personal experiences that I won’t write here, but what I will write is that in the midst of being on my knees in sobbing prayer my Presley walked in the door from school with a family picture she had drawn of the 5 of us and I was holding a baby in my arms. I asked her who that was I was holding and she said my new baby sister. I knew at that point I couldn’t ignore the signs even though I was trying pretty hard to just pass them off as a coincidence.

We had one frozen embryo left over from when we did in vitro with the twins 6 years earlier. We weren’t sure what condition it would be in after being frozen and thawed. Some don’t even survive the thaw. But by another miracle the embryo survived the thaw and was healthy.

I went from knowing what I was suppose to do and excitement to completely scared and for lack of a better way to describe it a selfishness because I knew how hard in vitro was on my body from before and how sick I was 24/7. The thought of going through that again terrified me.

After countless prayers, we started the in vitro process again. It is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.In vitro is ugly and hard and emotional and everything in between. Don’t get me wrong I think modern medicine is amazing and I’m grateful everyday that they have discovered a way for women to become mommies. Unfortunately, everything has a down side and for lack of a better word the process is pure hell.Countless injections, swelling, sickness, pain, pressure, headaches, nausea, shaking, fevers, fatigue. Every symptom even if it was a 1% chance… I had it. But these medical symptoms don’t even come close to the pain or the heartbreak, the stress or the anxiety.

Maybe for some, the daily injections and shots are nothing, but I have major needle phobia and I’d rather wrestle a bear than be poked by a needle. I literally hyperventilate and have a melt down leading up to the actual poke. It’s all mental I know, but man, if I knew how to change that I’d do it in a second.

Your all going to see me in a different light here, but since I’m pouring my heart out I might as well show you what in vitro does to me. Honestly it was everything I could do to just get ready and get myself off the floor. I was consumed with sickness. So I would shower then lay down, then put on my makeup and lay down again and etc. until I was ready. Oh and yes I’m laying on dirty clothes and didn’t even care:) lol  And P.S. my husband hates my shower cap:)

  But despite all the sickness, anxiety and stress when you get that positive pregnancy test you know you’d do it all over again 100 times if you had to.We got that positive pregnancy test last August.

When you’ve had twins before and you see this ultrasound… you laugh and then fall off the table because you are in shock. My friend Jenny had gone with me to the ultrasound because my husband was out of town. We both couldn’t stop laughing and crying. When there are two sacs you can’t believe your eyes! Don’t worry… it was a less than 1% chance of the embryo splitting. Twins again!!! I called my husband to tell him the news and he was in shock. He said,” ummm I’m gonna need to hang up and call you back!” I was crying from laughter and from still being in shock. I text him the ultrasound and he called me right back. He was laughing…or maybe it was crying at this point.

And this is where the roller coaster really begins… Fear, excitement and love all covered my heart like a blanket. The first ultrasound takes away all the fear and turns into pure excitement. We’ve done twins before so of course we can do them again. I mean we are pros at this point, right?!?! Little did I know the next 6 weeks would be the hardest 6 weeks of my life. At our last ultrasound the doctor told us the babies were growing slower than normal but sometimes that happens with twins when they split they are a little behind the whole time. Fear turned into reality. At our 10 week ultrasound my babies didn’t have a heartbeat. I was beyond devastated. Forget all the things you have heard in the past about how it’s better this way because they probably weren’t healthy and it’s natures way of telling you the babies weren’t healthy or it was so early that they weren’t really babies yet. As true as some of that may be…try telling that to the mother that is carrying these babies in her belly. No words, no hugs and no stories were going to cure me of my heartache.

I remember thinking of all the times I have heard or known of women miscarrying babies and I was heartbroken that I didn’t reach out. I never knew of their pain and heartbreak until now. You know that aw-ha moment in your life where your being taught a really great lesson the hard way. It was like I had been struck with a stick and I finally realized that you may not have to understand someones pain to serve them.

My husband was out of town at the time so the heartbreak was compounded. I had to call and break the news to him. Can you imagine leaving town and your wife was pregnant and when you come back home she isn’t anymore?!?! It was horrible. I had a scheduled D&C surgery the next day and no one to take me so he told me I needed to call his parents and tell them. That was a hard phone call. So… by the way we are pregnant with twins, but I need someone to drive me to surgery tomorrow because there are no heartbeats. That was a rough rough day. I wanted nothing more than for my hubby to be there with me. To just hold me while I cried. And I should mention my oldest was crying and devastated. We didn’t plan on telling our children but my kids are smart bugs. It’s hard not to catch on when mom is limping around, shots daily, bruises all over her stomach and hips and throwing up. They eventually asked and so I told them we were trying. It didn’t take long for them to name the baby. Berkley was her name. They were convinced it was a girl. I mean what are the odds?!?! Apparently we can’t make boys. And quickly this sweet baby had a nickname “Berkey Turkey” from her sisters who were impatiently awaiting her arrival. The next day I got my kids off to school and left early for surgery.

They did one last ultrasound before surgery just to make sure nothing had changed. I don’t know if I’ve ever prayed harder than I did in that moment. That maybe by some small miracle there had been a change. Sadly there was still no heartbeats.

The next few weeks were awful. When you have a D&C after in vitro they have you stop taking all the hormones and injections immediately so your body kind of goes into shock. The headaches and cramping were horrible. My hormones came crashing down and my emotions were shot and my heart shattered into a million pieces. I had the cutest idea for a family picture announcing our new little addition. I had purchased a vintage baby stroller and vintage outfits for my family. Oh if you could have only seen what I had it mind:) The day after surgery the outfits I had ordered online arrived in the mail. I sat there bleeding and unwrapping clothes I had planned on wearing to announce my pregnancy.  After a few days of barely surviving and honestly doing the bare minimum to take care of my 3 girls my husband face-timed me. He noticed I was still in the same pajamas from 3 days earlier and by the looks of me he could obviously tell I hadn’t even showered. I told him I just didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. He said he was staying on face time with me until I got my buns out of bed and started back to life. Even being so far away he knew that I had hit rock bottom.  I wanted to just curl up in bed and let the world continue on without me. Turns out he was right a hot shower was just what I needed.

That’s the crazy thing about life. Your heart seems to always recover. Maybe never fully, but man mine is pretty resilient at this point.

And because I’m part crazy and I still felt really strongly that “Berkey Turkey” was waiting to join our family we went for in vitro again.This time the process was more complex because we didn’t have any frozen embryos left so we would have to do the entire in vitro process again.

It was really really hard on my body and this time I had some complications. They gave me the wrong size needles and I was hitting the bone in my hip. I had a severe reaction, swelling and wasn’t able to walk well. The nerves were damaged in my hips and the lumps were massive and painful. And at the end of it all we got a negative pregnancy test.

And so it continues. Third times a charm right?!?!

This time everything went according to plan and our embryos looked perfect and my ovaries and uterus were cooperating perfectly! My body was being Awesome:) lol This was the one and we just knew it. NEGATIVE…. I was shattered. My body was wrecked, I was barely walking and my hormones were so out of whack.

This was the point of no return. I knew my body wasn’t going to hold up. I knew a lot at this point but what I didn’t know was this…. How are you prompted to do something so hard if in the end it doesn’t work out? What was I suppose to learn from this? Why had I been so sure that this was what we were suppose to be doing? I had lots of questions. Questions I now have some of the answers to and some I still don’t. I may never fully know why I went through this or why I felt prompted to have another baby. But I do know this. That people go through hard things all the time. That everyday someone close to us is struggling with something. Big or small it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we love and support each other. That we give hugs away more often than not and that we speak words of kindness and love. On the day I found out that my test was negative I had some very special friends just show up at my door out of the blue. I couldn’t really talk but I didn’t need to. They just came to sit with me. Sometimes thats all you need.

For months I can’t describe to you the ache in my heart and sickness in my stomach every time I saw a beautiful pregnant mommy or sweet baby. It was like my heart was being ripped from my body. The maternal instincts you’re born with as a women are real.

For those who have gone through this or are going through this, this is for you. I pray for you daily. For your heart to find peace and for you to know how much you are loved. I’m also beyond grateful for women like you who will put themselves through this time and time again because they yearn to be mothers. To be selfless loving mothers. Bless your sweet souls. And know that you are not alone and I love you!

Love, Brigitte

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