I wrote this post a while ago about the parts of TTC#2 that felt harder than TTC #1. I was hurting and venting and it was completely one-sided. There are things that suck about TTC#2 that are different from what we went through last time, but there are also things that are better. One big one in particular: Elliot. No matter what happens with this cycle, I am already a parent. The "worst case scenario" is that we stay a family of three, not that we might have to re-imagine our future without a child in it. Knowing that is luxury I didn't have the first time around; a luxury my friends currently battling primary infertility do not have. It is true that the longing to not have an only child has a familiar fire to it, but it's not the same. The fundamental cross-over is really from child-free to parent, isn't it? Everything after that is important, yes, but it doesn't redefine everything from your morning routine to your overall identity the way becoming a parent for the first time does. I feel like a jerk for bemoaning the growing age gap and the omnipresence of babies and bellies everywhere we go without acknowledging the privilege contained therein. Sorry about that. I was in the quicksand at the time. Having stood on both sides of the fence, I can officially confirm that there's a whole lot of brown (and green) grass everywhere.
Another edge secondary infertility has over primary is that your life is a 3-ring circus and it is virtually impossible to obsess too much over the details of your treatment cycles. (To a fault, at times.) Time flies by, and your cycle rolls along with it. Here's hoping the 2ww passes as quickly as the last month has.
Choppy segue to more good stuff...
As I mentioned a few days ago, my FET cycle buddy gave birth to healthy twins last week. (And holy crap are they adorable.) It's hard to have such a tangible reminder of where we desperately wanted to be right now. They are the Road Not Taken. The only thing that makes seeing their beautiful faces bearable is that I guenuinely feel good about where we are instead. Back in February, I wrote this post including all of the silver linings to not being pregnant following the FET. Among them:
- Fulfilling Maid of Honor duties for my out-of-town friend in April. Check. It was really fun, and really exhausting, and that was without any hit-by-a-truck pregnancy fatigue. If I were pregnant, there's no way I could have participated to the extent I did, if at all. Sharing in her wedding was so special and I'm not just being trite in saying I will treasure my memories of it for the rest of my life. The champagne was good, too.
- Trip to England in June. Check. I had more than one bout of feeling cranky and disenfranchised leading up to this trip, but I knew that once we were there, it would feel worth every sacrifice, and it did. I met members of M's extended family for the first time (after 10+ years as a couple) and watched them play with and love on our son. We spent 4 days cruising up and down a canal - hiking mile upon mile during the day and drinking pint upon pint at night. We met the lovely Vee and Jay and marveled as our Transatlantic Twins took Legoland by storm - these two amazing beings we all spent years fearing we'd never conceive. I took over 1000 pictures (so basically a flip book) and every time I look at them, I feel deeply lucky that we were able to take this vacation when we did. Who knows when we will have the opportunity to go again and who of M's family elders will still be around to receive us?
- Lose 10-15 pounds. Check. 14.4 pounds, to be exact, and at least a full pant size. This has come in extremely handy as my midsection expands to epic proportions in response to the stims. Both yesterday and today, I gingerly zipped myself into pants that haven't seen the light of day in months. Aside from the logistics of not having to go to work naked, it feels good to be hopefully launching a pregnancy from a healthier starting point.
- I was in a musical. Not just any musical - a challenging, rave-reviewed, all-out party of a show (See loss of 14.4 pounds above.) So much fun. So many memories. So, so glad I was able to do it.
- We took E to Disneyland. It was one of the best vacations I've ever been on. Seriously. E (aka Evil Knievel) loved every second of it, and it's true what they say about everything seeming new and exciting through a child's eyes. Oh, and I was able to ride roller coasters to my heart's content. (Do NOT miss California Screamin' at the California Adventure park. Amazing.)
My reasons for spewing rainbows into the blogosphere this morning are two-fold: (1) I really wanted to get all of this down "on paper" before my retrieval. I'm worried that if things don't go well at any stage, I'm going to lose sight of some of this, and I want it documented to come back to. (2) I am a hot mess this morning and feel the need to off-set it a bit. It's gray and rainy, I look and feel like crap, I have purple and green bruises on both arms, I could pass for 5 months pregnant with all the bloating, and I woke up with a raging case of Pink Eye. Oh yes, I did. My doctor is calling in a prescription for the last item on that list so hopefully I can pick it up on my lunch hour. Still 18 follicles on ultrasound and they were bigger this morning, but barely. Now I'm nervous they're going to make me wait one more day which means more expensive meds to order and more waddling to do. I'm fine with whatever they think will give us the best chances of success, but I also wouldn't complain if they said I could be done sooner than later. :-) More news as soon as I have it!