I had an appointment with my NaPro Dr last week. Very possibly my last NaPro appointment ever. I knew it going in.
I'm not usually an emotional person in front of other people, unless they are very close friends and I feel really comfortable with them. Even then, it's rare for me to cry in front of them. I usually don't even cry in front of my mother. I reserve it all for my poor husband ;)
But last week was an exception. Without warning, I burst into tears at least three times while discussing plans for stopping all supplementation and meds and everything connected to trying to conceive. I started out by saying, "Well, DH and I have discussed that since I am now over 18 months since my last surgery, there is little to no chance of my conceiving, so..." and it was while admitting that fact aloud that I first broke down. Those words have echoed in my head over and over again "little to no chance..." but actually saying them out loud gave them a new meaning that I couldn't ignore.
As my Dr and husband discussed that "giving up" for now does not and need not mean "giving up" forever, I interrupted to say that no, on the contrary, I am an All or Nothing person, who needs to at least assume for now that my trying to conceive days are over. For good. I cannot function knowing that the "clock is ticking down" on the 6 months, or the year, or the 2 years until we try again. The pain of these past 5 1/2 years has been absolutely immense. My Dr nodded, and told us, "OK. Let's look at it this way. Some people need to have a deadline in mind. But others need to just live and operate in the present moment. Just remember that God has something planned for you, and be open to whatever His plan may be over the next several years." That I can live with.
But I also mentioned that my putting TTC on the shelf and burying it way in the back behind everything visible does not mean I will also be (nor that I could if I wanted to) likewise burying my desire for a life that is not my own. I just cannot ignore this intense desire for motherhood. I cannot push it into the background. I cannot bury it deep under the surface. And I will not pray for it to be taken from me. This is the cross God chose for me. I once believed myself to be carrying this cross of childlessness to my destination of motherhood. Now I know I am carrying it in whatever direction God intends, and ultimately, towards my salvation.
I won't lie. This is one of the scariest moments of my life. To know that, with ALL that I have done to improve my fertility over the past 5 years of NaPro Technology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Reproductive Immunology, and alternative therapies... nothing has worked. And now? Now I venture into a world of doing absolutely nothing, but praying. Praying that God make His will known to me, that one day He may fulfill my desire for motherhood, and that above all, He grant me an everlasting peace I so long for. Because I know... I know I cannot survive in this pain much longer.
After my P+8 labs showed a progesterone level of 10.4, on P+14 when my period had still not arrived, I became worried. Shouldn't my progesterone have decreased to about 3 or less 5 days later?? My Dr recommended a blood test when a urine test that evening in the office showed a BFN. The next day, still no period on P+15, and my blood hCG was negative... my progesterone was 8.8. WHAT? From 10.4 to 8.8 in FIVE DAYS???
I waited. And waited. I began spotting brown that evening. It continued, but got lighter, for the next two days. Christmas Eve, it was barely there. I had already made my peace with not being pregnant in my last "trying to conceive" cycle, but now I was worried that maybe, just maybe, I had a late implantation??? Christmas morning I woke up to complete dryness. No spotting, not staining, nothing. We went to Mass, I prayed feverishly in front of the Saints that flanked us when we got married 5 1/2 years ago in the same church: Saint Rita and Saint Anthony. I prayed that our miracle of life was inside my womb at that moment. We arrived back at my parents' house after Mass, I visited the restroom, and was still dry. I began to realize, here I was on P+18, having taken no progesterone or hCG... should I test today, or wait until tomorrow?? Was this really it??!!
For good measure, I wiped one more time before getting up. Red. Period. Death of the dream. Death of my hope. Death of my peace.
The following day, I suffered a migraine. Luckily, I caught it early enough that I didn't vomit or pass out. These are the things that I consider myself "lucky" about these days. Praise God! I didn't puke or faint!
And here I sit. Cycle day 3. Or is it 4? It doesn't matter anymore, since I'm not charting. Or caring. I only want to find peace in where God leads me next.
My anger with Him is subsiding. I know He is not punishing me. (Though, it was hard to convince myself that after the whole Christmas P+18 episode.) I know He has wonderful things in store for me. I know there is a reason and a purpose for my suffering. But lately, it seems that the suffering is getting greater and greater, and there is less and less understanding within it. My trust in His plan is wavering. I am scared to death.
A childless life. Something I never, ever planned for. And because I was planning for children, perhaps I missed so many lessons and blessings these past 5 1/2 years. My life HAS BEEN childless this entire time. And it very well may be, forever. I need to begin planning for THAT life. Scratch that. I need to begin... LIVING that life.
Surviving on prayer and prayer alone.
As my husband put it in the Dr's appointment, we could stop trying to have children while knowing that we literally did EVERYTHING possible within our moral and ethical ground. My Dr agreed that of everyone she has ever encountered, we had done the most. This brought comfort to my husband. It brought me fear and distrust. If we would ever be blessed with a miracle child, it would have been with treatment. "Maintenance" meds that help treat all of my plethora of health issues, while simultaneously improving my fertility... this has helped others to conceive when they thought there was "no hope." I'm not on ANY of my prescribed maintenance meds. Zero. Nada. Just me and my broken body. Hoping against logic and against science that God's will can move mountains.
Surviving on prayer alone.
I will always hope and pray that children may be a part of His will for my life. But I'm done fighting tooth to nail to get it. Obviously, it has not been a part of His will up until now, and it may not ever be. There is a great peace about stopping all intervention and maintenance meds... and with prayer, that peace may wash over the fear that comes with the unknown.
I wish you all a very blessed Christmas Season, and hope that you find love and peace in 2012 and beyond.
PS, my Prayer Buddy was Monica from His Essence is Love. Monica, I prayed for you in the chapel at my work, I offered my daily rosary for your intentions, and entered your name in the book of intentions. I prayed for your specific intentions, but I also added my own - I asked that you would have a quick and easy load to carry to your baby... but that if His will was for a longer, harder road, that He give you ALL of the strength and perseverance needed to carry that cross. May God grant you all the hopes and desires of your heart, Monica!