Day 41

I’m about to get my period and I’ve never been so excited to start my cycle. I usually dread it, but I can’t wait for it to come now.

It occurs to me, baby, that you don’t want to hear this. I realize that you probably have no desire to know the details of your conception, or your mother’s cycle, or anything else about this whole thing. I get it. I really do. And you can choose not to read any of this. I won’t be offended. It’s a weird thing, to be writing this to a child that is not here yet. But it’s a way to keep me hopeful and, to a large degree, this journal is more for me than for you.

But also, baby, there may come a time when you are struggling with having children of your own. And there will be a time when I am no longer here for you to ask questions to. I hate that I have so many questions about myself, my family, my life that had not occurred to me to ask when my parents were alive. And now that they are gone and I have questions, I have no one to ask. So if that is the case for you (because I have no pretense of immortality), this might help answer some questions. Or, perhaps, give you a deeper understanding of me and who I am as a person. To you, I’ll just be mom. And it will likely be decades before you realize that I am a woman first, and a woman who wanted desperately to meet you and raise you with your father. A woman who would do anything to make that happen.

But back to this whole messy process. My cycle is starting, and that means the real fun can begin. I’ll start birth control on CD2, and call my doctor. I’m most anxious to learn the timeline of how everything will go down, and to learn my protocol (what meds I’ll take and when).

I’ve been dreaming a lot about babies and pregnancy. I think about it even when I’m sleeping. And your father, in his quiet way, is super excited. I tend to go overboard when I’m anxious or excited about something- I read everything I can get my hands on and become immersed in it. Usually, your dad will put my feet back on the ground and remind me of reality. And he is doing that in this case, too, though very gently. He knows I’m online looking at baby stuff and reading about IVF and even being part of an online community for women who are parents or trying to conceive. But he’s going with it and doesn’t get annoyed when I talk about it. In his way, baby, that means he is excited, too. I can’t explain what happens when we talk about you. It’s weird. I cannot wait to see him in action with you. He’s going to be the fun parent, I know it. I’m too tightly wound to be the fun parent. And everything I do is rule-based. He is going to teach me a lot about parenting, I bet. I think we’ll learn from and about each other. You are going to be life changing. You already are.

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Day 33

Hi Baby,

Not much is happening here right now. I started Provera, so now I wait. I’ll take it for 10 days, then wait some more. I’m not very patient (you’ll see… and I apologize in advance for that), so this waiting business is killing me.

The holiday season is in full swing. Last night your father and I were watching TV on the couch together, having a lazy and quiet night. Will this be the last holiday season that I can be lazy? Will I be buying toys next year and visiting Santa at the mall with you? Will I take you around to see the Christmas lights in our neighborhood? Will have a “Baby’s 1st Christmas” ornament to put on our tree at this time next year? You’ll be young then, maybe only a month or two old. But you’ll love all the lights (it’s my favorite part of Christmas, baby. I wonder if it will be yours, too?).

I ache for you, baby. I can feel it. I can feel like it like I can feel when I bite my tongue or stub my toe. It’s a sharp pain and it often comes out of nowhere, like when I see a woman at the grocery with an infant or when a friend announces an unexpected pregnancy. But I also feel it like I feel a headache. It’s this sort of constant dull aching deep inside. I was created in order to create you; biologically, I am designed to procreate. But it isn’t just biological. My heart aches for you, too. If IVF doesn’t work, will that never go away? Will I live my whole life with a hole in my heart where you should be?

Look. I am a complete person. Your father and I are solid. My marriage won’t fall about if we don’t have children, and I won’t feel less-than or incomplete if I can’t naturally have a child. But will I will grieve for you and our future together. Will I grieve for you always? When I’m 70, will I still ache for you?

Day 24

Happy Thanksgiving, baby. I have a lot to be thankful for, that’s for sure. An amazing husband, a fantastic support system, your aunties, a job that pays our bills… the list goes on. But today, I’m thankful for hope and optimism. I’m thankful that I have the ability to look forward and see you in my future. A lot of women who are going through this process (and are much farther down the road than I am) have lost that luxury. I suppose when you go through years of heartbreak and physical and emotional pain, that’s what happens. It’s a cost of infertility, I guess. But I haven’t paid that due… at least not yet. And I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful that, at this moment, I’m not living under a cloud of bitterness  and gloom. Right now, our futures look bright, baby. And maybe that will change. Maybe I’ll look at this post in a few years and bitterly laugh at myself and my naiveté. But right now, baby, that’s not the case. Right now, I’m thankful for the prospect of holding you in my arms.

Day 22

Day 22.

Oh, baby! We got the best news last night. We applied for a discount on medications through Compassionate Care and learned that we get 50% off the fertility medications! What an enormous blessing! Medications alone can cost around $5000, so knocking off half of that is huge. Maybe this is a sign that good things are to come. Maybe it means that though this road will be long and difficult, we won’t be alone. God is looking out for us and has everything under control. I have to believe that, baby. I hope (and believe) that the blessings will keep coming! See, baby? It’s not just your father and I who want you here. You are meant to be here with us.

Thank you, God. Thank you for blessing us with less of a  financial burden than we expected. Thank you for everything you have given us so far, Lord. I pray you continue blessing us along this difficult journey, and that I feel your love and peace throughout the process.

Day 21

Day 21.

I’ve decided to wait until I hear back from my doctor to start Provera early. I don’t want anything to mess this up. I’m so scared, baby. I’m scared that this won’t work. I’m scared I’ll never meet you. I’m scared to go through everything and come out with nothing but weight gain and misery.

I think I need to stop turning to the internet for answers. I can’t win. When I look for information, every source says something different; different protocols, different results, different success rates, different advice. When I go to message boards, I see those who have had success and I get jealous or (maybe worse?) I get my hopes up. But then I see these women who have gone through years of struggles and loss. Women who have had 4, 5, even 6 cycles of IVF, only to end up suffering miscarriages or giving birth to premature babies who didn’t survive, or ectopic pregnancies that resulted in losing a fallopian tube or an ovary. What if that happens to us? Will I be as strong as the women who have gone through that? I admire their perseverance and strength, and I know it comes from a place a love for their own child. But, baby, can I do that? I love you so much already, could I stand to lose you? Could I survive that? I just feel damned if I do, damned if I don’t right now. I need to stay positive and hopeful, but I want to be realistic. And that’s a fine line. At the end of the day, I need to remember that all of this is for you. I’m scared because of the pain that I will go through and the heartbreak that I could feel. But it’s not about me. It’s about you and getting you here with me and your daddy.

So for today, I’m going to take some deep breaths and focus on positivity. This is going to work. You will be here soon.

Day 20

Day 20.

I’m so impatient. I’m ready to get this party started. Yesterday your daddy and I talked about timing. Your dad is awesome (he’s going to be your favorite parent, I know it). He loves to take on big challenges and he has decided to take on the challenge of a marathon. He is going to run the Disney Marathon in January! We have been excitedly planning our Disney trip for months now. 5 days in Disney and 2 at Universal to go to Harry Potter World!! I am so excited to introduce you to Harry Potter. I can’t wait to read you the whole series. I used to love when my mom read to me at night. She’d read to your aunt and me every night, even when she was exhausted. She loved the Raggedy Ann and Andy books. It’s such a lovely memory, I can’t wait to do that with you.

But I digress. If we wait until the doctor told me to start the process (which will be to take a medication to start my cycle), your dad will likely have to cancel the marathon. I don’t mind not going to Disney (it will help us save money, and then we can go later with you!) but I hate that your dad would have to miss the marathon. So to avoid the potential of  him having to skip the marathon, we talked about me starting the medication today. Plus, (and this is the bigger reason) I want to meet you ASAP. But I’m nervous. I want to do everything by the book because I don’t want anything to go wrong this round. I want this IVF to work and I don’t want to wait any longer to meet you.

So I’m confused. I don’t want to wait two more weeks to start the process when my doctor told me to. But I don’t want something to go wrong because of my impatience and then have to go through another round of IVF and wait even longer to meet you.

I keep praying for strength and patience. I think I need to pray on that again today. Maybe I’ll e-mail my doctor and see what she thinks. But what if she tells me to wait two weeks? That will be the wrong answer in my book. But she knows best. Oh, baby, I’m so torn.

Day 18

Day 18.

I’m at work. I haven’t been able to function here for at least a week. You’re all I think about. You’re all I care about. My staff thinks I’m busy working on spreadsheets or something equally stupid, but I’m usually on the message boards of babycenter.com or googling IVF timelines or something. When your father asks about work, I can’t tell him that I am no longer productive because I’ve started looking at baby registry gifts online. Even now, I’m writing to you while I should be working.

I’m so anxious to get this process started. I want to know exactly what will be happening, and when it will be occurring. I want to know specific dates so that I can know what’s coming. I want to know as much information as I can, and I want to know it right this instant. I am letting my anxiety get the best of me.

The weird thing is that I want to talk about it all the time, but yet I don’t want to tell anyone. It’s as if I get so tired of thinking about it that they by the time I am with someone that I can talk to about this, I don’t feel like it. I want to tell every single person what’s going on because I’m so excited to meet you. But I don’t want to tell anyone what’s going on because… well, I don’t know why. It could be because of the stigma, because I don’t know how people will react. But it’s a very personal thing, and I am not usually around people that I would discuss this sort of thing with. Plus, and I don’t even want to put this out into the universe for fear that it will actually happen, but I don’t want people to know what we are doing and then getting a negative… or get a positive pg test and then miscarry. I couldn’t bare to lose you, baby. I don’t know. Is it better to know that I can get pregnant, but lose you? Or better to not have had you at all? I don’t know.

Whether you exist or not, whether you are ever in my arms, I love you with all my heart. Please know that. If I could love you into existence, you would be here with me now.