February 29, 2016 5 minute read
To our beloved second child,
February is not the month – it’s just not the month. While January was filled with all the hope that a new year brings, this month has not been so kind. I’ve learned a lot over these past 29 days, but this knowledge came at the price of a period of heaviness. With more knowledge I could no longer pretend that this will be easy, I could no longer tell myself, “After everything I’ve been through I’m finally getting a break.” Because for all my efforts, I still can’t control all that happens in my life, and I can’t seem to fully accept that this means not everything goes to plan. Just when I think I’ve got it, I’m thrown for another loop and a part of me clings to my plans like they’re all that are keeping me together. Then when one suddenly crumbles at my feet I’m on my hands and knees trying to pick up the pieces. It’s exhausting. Baby, I hope you’re not a planner, because we planners are stubborn folk who for all of our intelligence are very slow to learn what faith and acceptance and non-attachment look like while striving towards dreams. We can say all of the things and use all of the words but when it comes to living them out in times of crisis we resort back to our list making, number crunching, fact checking ways. Some things are simply easier said than done.
I’ll just come right out and say it: our second round of fertility treatments crumbled into pieces. I spent a lot of time – too much time – trying to put them back together this month. At my first ultrasound on February 18th (the week after your father and I had our first appointment at the fertility centre) we learned that I have PCO (polycystic ovaries). This is the heavy kind of knowledge because it means that bringing you into the world will not be easy. If I’m being honest, I expected to go into that ultrasound and have our doctor tell me everything looked great and that I’d be pregnant in no time and then laugh me out of his office. Instead, he said, “This is unexpected.” It’s hardly ever a good thing when you surprise your doctor.
That first ultrasound wasn’t all bad though, it also showed us that I started to respond to the femara (aka letrozole) and that I was on track for ovulation! This gave us a tiny hope-filled balloon to carry around for a few days. I remember looking at the two largest follicles in my left ovary thinking, this could be my first glimpse of you – well, half of you anyways. This thought, along with all of the love people were sending our way after we shared this update on Instagram, kept me going until my second ultrasound a few days later on February 22nd. Things still looked pretty good at that ultrasound; those follicles were still growing and one in my right ovary had even caught up to the lead in the left – it was presumably jealous of all the attention my left ovary was getting. But they weren’t nearly as big as they should have been and so this was when our hope-filled balloon started to deflate a bit.
Our third ultrasound on February 25th was what let all the air out of our balloon. The big follicles had degenerated and our chances of conceiving this month left with them. I completely deflated with that silly, imaginary balloon. We were given options: re-dose on femara, start on progesterone, or wait. We decided to wait and then do another ultrasound before taking any kind of action – your mama really didn’t want to have to take more drugs yet. So, this morning we had that fourth ultrasound. I didn’t have much hope for it. I expected it to be a confirmation that this cycle didn’t work, so when I left today with two new prescriptions, a blood work requisition, and new instructions for round two of this plan I wasn’t surprised.
So I start on progesterone tonight and I’ll take an increased dosage of femara this next cycle. I’ll also be getting a glucose intolerance test tomorrow – the last time I did this was when I was 24 weeks pregnant with your big brother. This will be so hard, but it will be so worth it if it helps bring you a little closer to our arms – this all will.
So, no, February is not the month. Or, at least, it’s not the month you enter our lives. It has been a whole lot of other things for us but it doesn’t get a sweet and celebratory bow to finish it off – the kind of bow that announces you are close. But I saw someone write recently, and I can’t remember who, “Not all things get a bow, and that’s OK.” It’s OK that this month doesn’t get a bow, even though I wish with all of the broken pieces of my heart that it did. But when you are finally here there will be the most incredible bow, a bow that shines with fulfilled promises and renewed hope at the announcement of your arrival. I can wait for a bow like that.
One of the 4 blood draws I had this month. Only for you, baby. Baby, if you are a girl, and if you ever have to get an internal ultrasound, they will tell you the ultrasound wand is “just like a tampon.” They are lying. That wand is NOT just like a tampon.
Just a few of the pills (not pictured are the disgusting powders and tinctures my naturopath makes me take) that are working to make my body healthy enough to carry you.