A letter to my husband while we navigate a new round of IVF during a Global Pandemic.
This morning as I got dressed in the dark, you turned over in bed and asked if I was okay. It was just after 5am, and Ollie, our pup, was snoring beside you. Still groggy, all you heard me say was “I wish you could come with me.”
This season of Infertility looks different than what we’re used to.
As we gear up for another round of stims and another egg retrieval, we’re constantly comparing how different our experience was back at the beginning.
In the summer of 2018, we lived 15 minutes from the clinic. We had just gotten back from our latest traveling adventure, and we were awake, early, together, every single day, for every single appointment. I never stood in the elevator alone. I never had to text you my thoughts. I always had a hand to reach for. I always had eyes to meet.
We are a team, a partnership in the deepest sense of the word, so you never thought twice about being by my side. While you weren’t having blood drawn or repeat ultrasounds, my results were our results, my numbers were our numbers.
In the spring of 2021, we moved into our dream house, which unfortunately is closer to 75 minutes away from the clinic. We are still living in a COVID world, where clinic procedures are continually changing and currently you aren’t allowed to attend any of these appointments with me.
This morning, as I drove alone in the dark, I thought about everything I really meant when I said to you “I wish you could come with me.”
Infertility is lonely.
Infertility is hard.
Infertility made us stronger as a couple, because we were never willing to allow the alternative.
Infertility made us feel like an impenetrable unit - what happened to me happened to you and what happened to you happened to me, too.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll make this drive alone.
I’ll miss the chatter in the car. I’ll miss the podcasts or the audiobooks or the music that we would’ve listened to together. I’ll miss the snacks we inevitably would’ve consumed together. I’ll miss the adventures we would’ve had.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll venture into the fertility clinic alone.
I’ll miss the looks we’d exchange in the elevator, behind our masks and silent.
I’ll miss reaching for your hand when we walk into the office.
I’ll miss the confidence I had, knowing my rock was standing beside me.
I’ll miss the stupid silly small talk we used to make in the waiting room, the ways you’d make me laugh and roll my eyes all at once.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll have my blood drawn and my growing follicles monitored via ultrasound alone.
I’ll miss sharing the emotional intensity of this appointment with you in real time. Looking at you when the nurse is on her third needle stick. Rolling my eyes when the ultrasound wand gel drips down my leg. Making the frustrated sound when we’re inevitably told that they wanted to see more progress or different progress that morning.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll miss you.
I’ll leave you at home, and I’ll return to you at home, but I’ll miss you in the middle. My journey is our journey, and I don’t love having to go alone.
But I know that I’m not truly alone.
I know that were it not for COVID, you’d be beside me. Engaged. Ready to fight for our chance at another baby.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll think about the first time we did this.
The first days of injections, and monitoring appointments, and the naive hope and optimism we were able to charge forward with. I’ll think about the fact that the first egg retrieval we went through led us to our daughter, who is now a sassy, vibrant toddler. I’ll think about the other three embabies we made that season, and how hard it has been for us to lose each of them.
Today, and several days over the next few weeks, I’ll be extra thankful for you, even when I forget to say it. I’ll be grateful for the extra hugs and the post-injection massages and the treats you pick up at the grocery store when you’re thinking of me.
Today, and everyday forever, I’ll struggle to understand why Infertility has been out story.
Today, and everyday forever, I’ll be eternally grateful that I’m living this story with you.