Embracing the Chaos of IVF Part 6: One Journey Ends, Another Begins
It’s now time for us to end our infertility journey and move on to this new one that will add another member to the Stone family. This new journey includes getting rid of the boxes of girl clothes and figuring out where to put all of that important stuff I’ve stashed in the baby room’s closet, formerly known as our guest bedroom. Like most journeys, we’ve had a few bumps in the road and luckily, our bumps have been minor so far.
We recently found out we’re having a boy. Finally, more testosterone to balance out all of the female hormones in our house! A sense of relief has come over Barry knowing he’ll have another dude to share the “boy smell” burden with in the family now. We have a male dog, but he doesn’t really count since he’s neutered. Of course, Maya originally preferred to have a little sister to dress up the moment it came out of the womb, but she is coming around to having a little brother. At 24 weeks, most of my fear has subsided, with a few panic moments here and there.
Some aspects of my pregnancy are similar to what I experienced with Maya – the insatiable cravings for watermelon and queso dip, nighttime back pain and the exhaustive quest to find the perfect nursing bra. But some things aren’t, like how long my morning sickness lasted, or how I no longer need to look at the stars for my astrology updates because my face has become a constellation of its own thanks to pregnancy acne. Maybe these differences are due to the fact that we’re having a boy this time around or because I’m turning the big 4-0 this year. Whatever the reason, I’m not complaining. I better not complain, I keep telling myself.
According to experts, I’m now considered a former infertile (FI). I would have chosen a different name for women like me such as “super-lucky bitch,” but I wasn’t invited to the brainstorming session. Maybe next time. And, the word “journey” has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
As with so many challenges we face in life, I’ve learned so much myself during this journey. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that I’m a lot braver than I ever thought. Hell, we women are a lot braver than we give ourselves credit for. We put our girly parts as well as our minds through so much in order to bring a child into this world and raise it. We’re also incredibly brave for the decisions we make about children – whether to have one or more children, raise them as a single mom, go through infertility treatments or to not have children at all. Each decision comes with a price, and it’s our strength that gives us the ability to make the right decisions for ourselves and for our families.
I’ve also learned that I could have never gone through this journey without the love and support from others. I am so thankful for my husband and the rest of my family; Dr. Swanson and the gang at Conceptions; national resources like Resolve; and friends and colleagues who’ve seen me at the best and at my worst over the past couple of years. I’m also incredibly thankful for the Mile High Mamas who let me share my story with you in my way. It’s not everyday that you get the chance to share a personal story so publicly without being told how to tell it.
While this journey is ending, I know more journeys are on the horizon. The lessons I’ve learned in this one I know will help me get through what’s to come in the future. I hope my honesty and advice on how to cope through the crap helps you get through the bumps you’ve experienced on your journey with love and laughter.
Dana Stone is a public relations and social media consultant specializing in healthcare communications. She lives in Highlands Ranch with her husband, 5-year-old daughter, mother-in-law and two golden retrievers. She can be reached at email@example.com.