Precision. Lots of precision. And luck. Preferably luck of the good kind. Those are probably the two words that describe this whole ordeal best.
When I look back over the past two years and think about the heartache, the majority of the thoughts that come to my mind all relate to the fact that we are not holding a baby in our arms (or in my body!). But there is an entirely different side to this heartache that most folks don’t think about. The heartache that comes with missing out on events — all tied back to the “precision” that goes into the process.
I can think of three distinct times where baby-making won out over events and experiences that I will never get back.
In August of 2015 — my birthday to be precise — we spent the weekend in Chicago at a Ravinia concert with my mom and stepfather, Paul. Unfortunately, while we were at the concert, my grandfather fell ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was one of the last times we would get to see him and spend time with him, as he passed a few weeks later. I wish I could have stayed at the hospital with him longer — heard one last story, seen one last smile. Instead, we rushed back to Louisville because my trigger shot had already been given and we needed to complete our IUI at a precise time (intra-uterine insemination, for those unfamiliar with the term).
In June of 2016 — my beautiful wife stood up in our good friend’s wedding in Denver, CO. The scenery was breathtaking, as were the brides. At least, that is how it looked in the photos. I was stuck home in Louisville, feet propped up, after undergoing our first (failed) attempt at IVF. Travel was out of the question as we were not risking anything after spending thousands of dollars on this future ball of cells.
Most recently, a few weekends ago, we were happily on our way to Chicago for my sister’s surprise 30th Birthday party. While on the road, we received a call from our doctor in Denver. Apparently, a scan earlier in the day showed a sizable cyst on one of my ovaries. Although this would normally not be a cause for concern, as women get these all of the time throughout their lifetime, this particular cyst meant that we would have to cancel our IVF cycle completely. With our ever-looming move to Korea in the future, we are on a somewhat tight timeline now to get pregnant. Our only option in order to save this cycle was to turn around, return to Kansas, and catch an early flight to Denver in order to undergo a minor procedure to drain the cyst. I’m sorry for missing your party, lil’ sister, but your future niece or nephew will hopefully make up for it!
You don’t really think about the ripples that extend out from infertility, but they really do reach parts of your life in unimaginable ways.