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On Patience

Anyone who knows me knows that patience is not really my thing.

I’m actually very patient with my kids. However, when it comes to other aspects of my life, patient is not an adjective that would best describe me. When I know I want something, I expect to get it right away, or at least on the date promised. I can't deal with traffic, lines, or being on hold for too long on the phone. I'm basically the person who constantly checks the water to see if it has come to a boil. And yet here I am, about to go through another round of IVF, "patiently" waiting for that day to come.

When I first signed up for IVF no one warned me that I would have to be patient. No one told me that there would be a lot of waiting around, a lot of predictions that didn’t come to fruition, and a lot of letting go of control. In fact, I thought by doing IVF I would have more control! I would go in, go through the cycle, choose the sex of the baby, and be pregnant in three months. Writing that makes me laugh now; boy, was I ever wrong!

I ask myself time and time again if I would have gone through IVF had I known that it was not a guarantee. Maybe, but I suppose no one could have predicted that either. See, that's the thing: NO ONE has the exact answer, ever. Not my doctor, my nurses, my intuition; they've all been educated assumptions or predictions, but no guarantees.

This was a hard thing to accept to be quite honest. I would feel let down, lied to, and very depressed after each doctor visit that didn’t go as planned (and for the record, most do not go as planned since we can't control our bodies!) When my body was slow to react to a certain medication I would feel so defeated, so on-edge, and so eager to come back for that following appointment to see if anything had changed. I started to hang on to patterns that I thought my body was developing (length of time it would take to get my uterine lining to thicken, for example), and from there I started to place deadlines on myself. By this date I will be pregnant so I need to make sure I don't plan… This is how my head used to work. I was always so sure that "this round" would be it! I would be pregnant by a certain date and then I would plan accordingly, as if I already was pregnant.

Let's just say that this is not the best plan. So I was forced to let go of that (or any) sort of plan.

It took almost two years for me to realize I couldn't control any of these outcomes. I can't make my body react to medication. I can't control any cysts that may form due to all of the procedures over the past two years. I can't control if my body produces a certain amount of healthy embryos and I can't control if I develop some physical set backs because of the trauma my body has gone through. And while I can do everything I can to help the outcomes of each of these scenarios (take supplements, take care of my body, sleep, maintain a healthy weight, stop exercising too hard, limit or eliminate drinking, use organic products only, stop Botox… the list goes on), I can only control so much.

It's funny though, as I’m sitting here writing this, I still can't fully accept it. I can say it, I can believe it, and I can try to practice this every single day but let me tell you, this is some hard shit to let go of, especially when you’re a control freak like me. I think the hardest one is feeling like you could have made that embryo stick, or even harder, feeling like it’s your fault that the miscarriage happened. Why is my body rejecting a healthy embryo? Why did my body cause the baby to stop growing? These questions circle my brain every single day. And while I'm able to tell myself it wasn't my fault, I still don't fully believe myself, but I know I have to.

After my 5thfailed transfer in August, I decided to really work on my patience. Being patient with the process HAS actually gotten easier. What has been the hardest to overcome is being patient with myself. I've been trying to let go of any expectations I put on myself and instead continue to work on what will make me healthier, stronger, and better prepared for when this baby decides to come. I'm still eliminating all toxic products, limiting my drinking, and increasing my sleep. But more importantly I'm focusing on the present. Its F*&ING hard some times, but most times it actually helps so much! I'm trying to be there (even more) for my girls, for Nick, and for myself because that's what really matters right now.

As I look back I actually feel guilty on how much time and energy I let my mind sink into depression with this whole process. Some days I cry because I feel so bad, like a bad mom and wife. But then I realize that this has all been a test, a LONG lesson that needed to happen in my life.

Patience, a word that has so many different meanings to everyone, has become something I'm actually working on every single day. And I don't just mean the driving slower and not having road rage, or not being annoyed about waiting in line for things, but a much deeper understanding of patience.

As I sit here a few days shy of my 7thFET, I can somewhat understand why we aren't told to be patient. It's not something that can be taught or explained or spelled out in bullet point form on a spreadsheet (although I wish it could). It’s something that I know I had to learn on my own. I guess this is something that I had to face head on before bringing anyone else into this world. While I will never be perfect at being patient, I definitely understand what it means to me. And maybe, just maybe, these past two and a half years happened so that I could go through some personal growth, become a little bit stronger, and become a little bit better of a human being for my people.

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