My (in)fertility journey

My (in)fertility journey

If you follow me on instagram, you may know that I have a separate account (@sweatlee_ivf) that talks about my trying to conceive journey in detail. Well, the long and winding road of infertility has finally come to its first rest stop because I’ve successfully survived my first cycle of IVF, successfully been inseminated and successfully conceived. Which means, I’m with child you guys :’)))))

So, thought I’d write something here because heck…I used to love writing here. I loved just pouring my heart and soul out in rambly sometimes funny sometimes emotional paragraphs which instagram will never do justice for.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be at Week 7, which also means it’s still very early on in my pregnancy. Said child is still an embryo and not even a fetus, what more a baby, what more a child yet. Said embryo is the size of a blueberry, or a jelly bean, or a bee, or the red pill from The Matrix, depending on which app you use (and I have 4 of them..).

And….I’m a wreck. I’m constantly worrying that there’ll be no heartbeat in my next scan, or that something bad is going to happen. I guess because the infertility journey is 99% failures before getting to that sweet success, it’s hard to come to terms with thinking that things WILL work out. I often wish I could be one of those women who would get pregnant “accidentally” and wouldn’t even realize it until I start feeling really sick and showing at Week 10/12 or something so I could skip the anxiety of first trimester completely.

But alas, life….

I’ve never thought I’d have problems conceiving. I mean, I’ve always gone through life with such optimism that things will go my way somehow if I’d just worked hard for it. Study hard, get good grades, work hard, get a good job etc. But with fertility, working harder ie having more sex doesn’t quite work..

So my journey of getting this bee/jellybean/pill has taken me +2.5 years than originally planned, but in a lot of ways, it has made all the difference.

When I was 18, I knew I was meant to be a mom. I just really like kids and could imagine myself being one even that young. But along the way, once I see more of my girlfriends being mothers and seeing how it has affected their marriage and eventual happiness in life…I started doubting that it was worth it. My marriage was going great, so why change it unnecessarily?

Kids are A LOT of work. I’m good with them, but I’m always happy to return them to my sister, cousin, friend, once I’m done with them. If I had my own child…I’d have to live with that “burden” forever! I don’t know if I had it in me to be that selfless and to go down a path I can never be certain of ever. What if my kid turns out to be a monster?? What if I end up as an angry, dissatisfied and disgruntled mother for life?!

Which is why I’m really glad it’s taken us a while to get here.

Despite the failures and challenges, I hate to be super cliched, but it’s truly a blessing somewhat. If we had gotten pregnant immediately because it was expected of us, I would never have been ready and our marriage would not have been solid enough.

The last 2.5 years, I saw a very different side of my husband and I as we made sense of what this journey meant and what we really want from life together. I never thought infertility would lead to such personal growth and growth for us as a couple as we supported each other through the heartache and pain. Having said that, I also don’t want to glorify the journey because much of it is actually extremely lonely and depressing. No two couples will have the exact challenges so you’re often grappling with your issues yourself and even the most supportive partner sometimes is not enough.

The lowest I felt so far was probably when I found out that out of 12 of my eggs, only 5 fertilised and only 2 made it to embryos. After all that physical toll, money, time, and emotional effort, we only got two embryos which may or may not even implant. And people tell you to hey think positive! Don’t be stressed! But I grieved like mad from that loss, and cried my heart out alone in my car in some random parking lot that day.

Tbh, I’m considered one of the lucky ones cos I got pregnant from my first transfer. Already it was so taxing so I cannot imagine the strength others who have gone through more cycles must possess.

It’s still a loooong road for us and I will never stop worrying, but I just want to really acknowledge the women and men who have or are going through this journey no matter how long it’s been. Many chose to remain silent for many reasons so when I chose to talk about it openly, so many people said I was really brave when in actual fact I’m just dealing with something many others deal with except my coping mechanism is to talk about it publicly. So here’s a cheers for all of you out there too (though clinking wine glasses is something many of us could never do for a really long time :(((( )

As I’m writing this, I’m taking turns doubling over in pain as my cramps are killin’ me but I hope it means the embryo is alive and well…documenting this to add to the list of what it takes to get this kopisusu baby for blackmailing purposes 18 years later.