Heartbroken for the Holidays
Since November 2018 (when we started trying to conceive), I've been dreaming of how we would tell our families we were pregnant.
We wanted to give our families the BEST gift on Christmas 2018. During our honeymoon, we looked everywhere we could for a onesie from the Bahamas (because we thought we'd be the couple that gets pregnant on their honeymoon!).
I remember being bummed out when we didn't find one. But now, I'm relieved we didn't because it would just make me more sad. It's crazy to think that if we had gotten pregnant then, we'd have a little one who is a little over 2-years-old right now.
Then, I thought for sure we'd have a baby by 2019 Christmas.
I dreamt of Baby's First Christmas ornaments and family Christmas cards. Adorable holiday outfits and all the new traditions we'd begin as the Morgans, family of three. I dreamt of how different our family Christmas celebrations would be with a new baby and how much joy he or she would bring to all our loved ones' hearts.
Then, Christmas 2019 came and went with no baby.
Babies are basically all I think about, so of course I thought it was a no brainer we'd have one by Christmas 2020.
Maybe we'd conceive while we were in Hawaii in February (I would ovulate on that trip, so there was a chance!). If the baby wasn't here by Christmas, maybe we could incorporate our baby announcement with our Christmas cards.
Then COVID happened.
And fertility testing began.
Maybe we'd figure out what was wrong, fix it, and have a quarantine baby!
Months went by. Test after test. Scan after scan.
Buckets of tears, mountains of worry, endless feelings of hopelessness.
As each month passed, the chances of us being pregnant by Christmas decreased.
I held onto an unreasonable amount of hope.
With Brian's TESE surgery in August, we could do IVF in September/October with the sperm they find during surgery and be pregnant by Christmas! We could still surprise our families with the best Christmas gift.
But then August 13 came and we got the worst news ever: Brian simply doesn't produce sperm. None. Not even one little swimmer.
Then I faced some of the absolute worst months of my life trying to come to terms with the new reality of never having biological children with the love of my life.
Christmas was hard that year.
No doubt in my mind–Christmas 2021 WILL be the year of the Morgan Baby.
Sperm Donor: ✅
All Testing: ✅
IUI Plan: ✅
Everything's aligning to have a baby by Christmas!
First failed IUI: no biggie, we'll try again next month
Second failed IUI: that's OK, we will get it next month
Third failed IUI: hmmmm
Fourth failed IUI: big letdown –– we thought this would be THE ONE
OK, everything is not aligning, but we still have time.
Pixie the Uterine Polyp: didn't see that one coming
IUI #5 Biochemical Pregnancy: So close, but such a letdown
IUI #6: bummer
Stopped responding to hormones and didn't ovulate: didn't see that one coming
New hormone to trigger period: didn't work
Birth control to trigger period: sent me to the ER
Different birth control to trigger period: Will I ovulate this time?
Numerous trigger shots: ✅
Numerous meltdowns: ✅
Numerous trans-vaginal ultrasounds: ✅
I honestly didn't seen any of this coming.
I honestly thought we'd do a couple IUIs and be pregnant.
But, that's not our story.
There will be no Morgan––family of three––this Christmas.
Tis the season to be.....sad.
The pain of infertility is always there. But for me, it intensifies during different times of the year, and especially during the holiday and winter season.
Short days. Cold nights. Snow, clouds and below-zero temperatures. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) heightens for me as I go through infertility. I'm not looking forward to winter.
The holiday season amplifies the fact that we are living with infertility in a fertile world. I mean, even the story of Christmas celebrates the birth of a miracle baby.
Christmas cards fill our mailbox, spotlighting happy families and beautiful children. We spent the year longing for a child, while our friends' kids spent the year growing. That makes me sad. (Don't stop sending us cards! We love your kids!)
Joy and merriment everywhere I go. Target aisles filled with the hottest new toys and matching family Christmas pajamas. Long lines filled with excited children at the mall to see Santa. That makes me sad.
Kid-focused holiday happenings flood my social media. Every. Single. Day. I try to avoid it as much as I can. That makes me sad.
Stockings hung by the chimney with care. Traditions I did as a kid that I want to pass along to my kids (if I ever have any). Seeing the holidays through the eyes of my child. This won't happen this year (again). That makes me sad.
The holidays are a significant marker of the loss of time. A new year (usually full of hope) is right around the corner, but for me, the cumulative grief I feel about this year, and last year and the year before that, strongly overshadows the promise of hope in the new year.
The holidays are also a grim reminder of who I hoped I would be at this time in my life, who I used to be before this journey started, and now the person I've become––all because of infertility.
I never wanted to be angry. I never wanted to be hopeless. I never wanted to be jealous or bitter or resentful. I never wanted to NOT look forward to "the most wonderful time of the year."
The holidays are chock-full of triggers I usually avoid and feelings I usually shove down deep. This means that the holidays can be absolute hell for us. Please be patient with Brian and me this holiday season, and anyone else you know who's going through infertility or other life crisis.