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Embracing the Chaos of IVF Part 3: Learning to have a little faith

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When I got home from the PRSA Western District Conference that Monday night, my husband Barry was awake in the den and the door to my mother-in-law’s apartment downstairs was still open. Usually, her door is shut by this time of night, but since Barry was still awake I didn’t think anything of it. I went upstairs and got ready for bed. Within seconds, my smile vanished as I heard Barry yell my name. I ran downstairs to find out what was wrong, but couldn’t find Barry. I heard my name again and quickly realized it was coming from Nancy’s place. As I turned the corner of her stairs, I saw Barry standing over Nancy who was immobile on the floor.

She explained that she tripped over her magazine rack and fell on her hip. Watching her lay there in pain while we waited for the ambulance was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. It was like staring at my own mortality. Even though my dad died when he was fairly young, his rapid deterioration from cancer seemed so rare to me that it didn’t put mortality in the forefront. But, this was different. This was an accident that could happen to anyone, at anytime.

In typical fashion, I remained positive while Nancy was in the hospital. “You’ll be out of here before you know it,” I kept saying. “You bounced right back after knee surgery last year, you’ll bounce back from this hip surgery too.”

Meanwhile, I didn’t think twice about my IVF process. Everything was moving along like clockwork, even though my stomach looked like squirrels were using it for archery practice. Plus, everything evens out in the end, right? We had the bad with Nancy’s fall so clearly the IVF was going to work.

I really hate it when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about the IVF. You see, in order for Conceptions to proceed with the process, I needed to grow at least four follicles at 18 milliliters. When I went for my first ultrasound check I learned that my ovaries looked like a bar at 4 a.m., completely empty with only a few drunks passed out on the bar. The second ultrasound showed promise with more follicles, but they needed to grow a lot more within the next few days in order to move forward. I tried to stay positive even when the nurses to prepared me for the worst. At the third ultrasound I got the reality check I needed. I never got four follicles at 18 milliliters, just that one. I walked out of the office with my head down and sunglasses over my eyes so no one could see my tears.

For the first time since the first ectopic back in September 2010, I started to realize that this is a game I may never win. I remember watching an episode of Oprah’s Master Class featuring professional NBA player Grant Hill around this time. He talked about how he blamed himself for his ankle injuries that led to his MRSA infection and how he felt like he had let everyone down. I sobbed out loud listening to him because I knew exactly how he felt. I blamed myself too. I blamed myself for the pregnancy losses. I blamed myself for not growing enough follicles. I blamed myself for Nancy falling. I blamed myself for everything.

We knew adoption was an option, but were so mentally exhausted by this time that we didn’t think we had it in us to go down that path. So, I started to prepare myself for the reality that we might not have another child. While I was heartbroken, I knew I had to find some way to come to terms with this. I had to learn to have faith that this may be the best path for my family and me. This was a hard lesson, but I was lucky enough to have friends and loved ones who helped me understand this.

After our follow-up appointment with Dr. Swanson, we decided to try IVF one more time. We agreed to forego the birth control pills in hopes it would eliminate the empty bar effect in my ovaries. Even though it felt as if our IVF journey was ending faster than I hoped, I had learned to have a little faith in what was to come. I started to find comfort in knowing that no matter what, Barry, Maya and I are a family and will always be a family. Letting go of a dream is hard, but appreciating what you have now can warm your heart in ways you never imagined.

Did you have to let go of a dream? How did you do it and what life lesson did you learn from letting go?

Dana Stone is a public relations 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 is currently seeking infertility treatments at Conceptions Reproductive Specialists of Colorado.


Why Grant Hill Almost Died for the Game He Loves

It was the lowest point of NBA All-Star Grant Hill’s life. In 2003, Grant contracted a MRSA infection, a dangerous bacterial infection that attacked his body following an ankle surgery. The recovery left him sidelined for months, and Grant says the near-death experience shook his faith. Watch as Grant reveals how he almost died for the game he loves.

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 11, 2012

    Beautiful post, Dana. Such a roller-coaster, painful journey full of highs and lows. I’ve definitely had to let go of dreams along the way. In retrospect, the dreams I ended up building instead were wonderful as well and not anything I could have ever imagined.

  • comment avatar Dana July 11, 2012

    Thanks, Amber. It sucks letting go of dreams, but real life is so much cooler! Of course, at the time it never feels that way.

  • comment avatar Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey July 11, 2012

    So funny. I am writing about similar themes, but different topic today. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

    • comment avatar Dana July 12, 2012

      Thanks, Aimee. Unfortunately, life totally sucks sometimes, even though the circumstances are different for all of us. I’ve always admired your ability to share so much of yourself on your blog and your honesty has helped me be brave enough to share my story. I hope I can pay it forward now! 🙂

  • comment avatar Christina Clark July 12, 2012


    You have a God given talent to share your expereinces and somehow always point to the hope of overcoming those obstacles one way or another. I love that even through this brutal time, you can still touch on the topic of faith and how that can see you through these chalenging times. I am so proud of you and who you are and who you have yet to become. There are no limits when you have faith. Love you, girl!

  • comment avatar JoAnn July 12, 2012

    What a great series, Dana! For the benefit of those just tuning in, I’ve copied the links to the other two posts here:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

  • comment avatar Dana July 13, 2012

    Thanks so much, Jo Ann! I really appreciate your support.