I’ve been trying to think of a way to smoothly transition this blog away from the focus on fertility… but honestly, the transition itself wasn’t all that smooth so it makes sense that telling the story post-fertility treatments would be just as meandering as the journey itself. Here we go.
On April 16th 2021, we did our final frozen donor embryo transfer. Let’s be real, by this point, neither of us were particularly hopeful. By this point we had used 6 embryos that were biologically ours and 6 from donors… and none of it worked… including this transfer… with no real reason as to why healthy embryos won’t implant in my healthy uterus. I could’ve done another biopsy… another exploratory surgery… but I just couldn’t. The decision was made for no additional interventions. It was both the hardest and easiest decision throughout this entire process. I KNEW I couldn’t go through one more procedure. I KNEW I couldn’t hear, “We don’t know”, one more time. I KNEW I couldn’t throw another $3000, $4000, $5000 at something that likely wouldn’t work. All that being said, I also KNEW this decision would be definite. Once we ceased treatment, there would be no going back. But that’s the decision we made.
The other thing that happened is that we made the decision to end our marriage. Did that feel like it came out of left field for you? Yeah, me too. And it came within weeks of ceasing treatment. That was… hard. Oh, let’s call it what it was. It was fucked the fuck up. I started therapy immediately and really began thinking about what a life without Kaptain would look like. We still talk frequently. His apartment is like 5 minutes from my house but we are no longer partners… in marriage or in life… we’re just friends. It’s been 8 months since that decision and I’m still acclimating. I know it’s truly the best for both of us. We were always better friends than romantic partners but it’s still a big change. Not finding out what he wants from the grocery store when I’m making my order, not watching tv together, the little things, you know? But we’re both doing good and life moves on.
Because fertility treatments were so all-consuming, I’d really let everything else go. My hopes, my home, my physical appearance, my health, my interests… everything except my job and trying to conceive. And I know this is common when people are dealing with infertility. Everything is so dependent on timing, on finances, on a new piece of research. At one point, I was spending around 7 or 8 hours daily reading research articles, on forums, shopping different clinics and medications, reading anecdotal examples of success, following fertility bloggers and bloggers, watching documentaries, etc, etc. It was my life. And now? Now I’m taking my life back. I started working out again 6 days weekly and have taken off 45 pounds and built some muscle back. My lower stomach is still a mess after all the exploratory surgeries and muscle atrophy but I’m not giving up on it. It may never be flat or even flattish but I can feel a tiny bit of muscle within it.
I’ve also been enjoying doing things I could never do before because of the timing of another treatment cycle… and the money to pay for it. At the beginning of November I spent a week in California. I hiked Muir National Monument, drove the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles and spent time with the first person I ever loved. It was awesome and reminded me I could enjoy a life on my own. And then this week I had a trip booked to DC for Kaptain and I. The original purpose was to see Streetlight Manifesto and then to enjoy the city. Kaptain cancelled the day before we left due to some health concerns. Initially I was incredibly frustrated… pissed… but then it hit me: I could do this trip my way. I spent several days exploring the city, going to museums and monuments and the concert ON MY OWN… and it was amazing. I walked everywhere. Hours and hours each day I got to explore the city at my pace. And it was amazing being able to have a tangible experience for money spent opposed to just throwing it at a clinic/pharmacy and hoping it would turn into a human.
Today I’m flying home to Lubbock. I will do some laundry tonight and go back to work tomorrow. I’ll take care of the animals and make sure I stay on top of everything that needs to be done. But I guess the big difference is these days I will do it for myself, for my hopes, for my goals, for my future. And I’m learning to be okay with that. Does this mean I’ll never adopt from foster care or won’t end up making a life with someone who already has children? Not necessarily. But at this time, it really is just for me… and that feels good.