Tis' the season to be jolly, merry, and bright, right? Right! Despite some major letdowns over the last few months, rather this entire year, I am determined to end this year with a smile on my face. A smile that most certainly was not on my face as I rang in the new year in 2017.
I distinctly remember how entirely miserable I was last NYE. I was angry, tired, frustrated, scared, and silently weeping about our fertility struggles. December 2016 was the last straw for our short trial with oral fertility meds, and on that very last day of the year, my best friend Aunt Flo arrived. I LOST it, privately, and then publicly at about midnight. Just in time to put a major damper on not only my NYE, but everyone else's that I was with. My disappointment about our unsuccessful attempts for a baby since January 2015 all came tumbling out of me as the night progressed and I began to feel more sorry for myself. I was pretty much secretly mourning our "issues" for over a year at this point and I suddenly felt like taking my sadness out on the good company I was in. NYE felt like a good time to be dramatic. Luckily, my husband and dear sister were forgiving of my irrational aggravations, as they both fielded the brunt of my ridiculous PMS x 10 behavior. Thankfully, they both love me, understand me, and forgave me. My attitude that night was representation of something so much larger than me being irritated that my sister was acting tired and not peppy (she was actually sick, sorry Britt). Ultimately, I was beyond angry that I got my period for the 24th time in a row, when I really didn't want it. I was fed up with what was only the beginning and I really didn't know how to handle all of my emotions. Why us!? The pity party and repressed emotions uncorking amongst the start of a new year was by far the absolute worst way to start 2017. My dark feelings on NYE became the overall vibe of my entire year. The two week shore vacation with my family this summer, should have been amazing! It wasn't for me. It was a week after our miscarriage and I was utterly miserable. My NYE sentiment was replicated all over again. I wound up leaving the vacation days early because I couldn't bare to be around my family, mostly I couldn't bare to be around myself. I LOVE my family dearly! I just didn't know how to feel and act. 2017 was by far, the worst year of my entire life. Beyond, our personal fertility struggles we have battled other hardships within me and Z's immediate family that are very undesirable. All of which has added to the fact that we both think that 2017 sucked, majorly. The good news? We are all still alive and I have lowered my expectations for how great 2018 will be, but still feel pretty optimistic it will be much better than 2017. If that makes any sense?
My intense feelings regarding our infertility struggles continued to cloud any bits' of happiness this year, all the way through to this November. By the time we canceled IVF in October, reverted to a failed IUI, and then failed to move forward with our IVF plans in November (due to ovarian cysts + low antral follicle count), my attitude had not changed, but got much worse. However, with the true nature of the infertility journey being a roller coaster, by mid November I had a renewed faith that things would be okay. Before heading to Jersey for Thanksgiving, my ultrasounds checked out and we were once again on the books for IVF in December. Maybe, just maybe 2017 would end with a bang. Then, about two weeks ago, I flew home early from our Thanksgiving trip to make it to the doctor on schedule to begin treatment. It was the first time that Zach wouldn't make it to our baseline appointment, but it was also the first time I felt strong enough in our situation that I wasn't even phased by it. I could handle this visit alone, so I thought. Three hours of waiting at the Doctor (not exaggerating) went by as slowly as it sounds. Then, it all happened again. Two more "new" cysts and an extremely low antral follicle count. For those that may not know all this fertility jargon, to put it in perspective, many studies would indicate 14 antral follicles to be normal, nine to be low, and four or less as extremely low. Me? I had one, total. Again, no chance at IVF this month due to my bodies predictions that I would again reject the medications and we would be lead to cancel another IVF cycle. My strong mentality going into the appointment was real, but it ended quickly for obvious reasons. I left the office once again, teary eyed and feeling helpless. My drive back over the MacArthur causeway home to beautiful sunny Miami Beach, whilst wiping away at my wet cheeks, was all too familiar.
This January marks three years that have been unsuccessful in our journey of what feels like a lifetime. We are attempting IVF again In Jan/Feb when I will be prepped again for hopefully, not the inevitable and we have a second opinion scheduled soon with a top doc in NJ that specializes in our needs. At this point, we are still heavy on the trail to begin the growth of our family with a biological baby. It could take a while or maybe it won't happen the way we dreamed, but we're still working on it. However, I feel blessed and thankful to God for allowing my heart to open more and more each day to other plans he may have for us. I have been very mad at God, like A LOT and not really accepting of any of this madness. But, today I stand here and I am very thankful to him and I trust his plan. I have had to ease into letting go and accepting that I am not in control. The roller coaster moments this year have been tough. I not only hate the ups and downs for what they are, but I have really struggled with not being "me" this last year. As this year closes, I have felt a change towards authentic positivity, and it feels good.
Thanks again for all the prayers, thoughts, chocolate, cards, texts, long talks over tears and cocktails, hugs, flowers, fruit, and love from all my supporters. It has curbed my pain at moments when I really, really needed it. Cheers to hope in 2018! xo RCN