Infertility and How one can Navigate Life and Loss

Set off warning: loss, infertility, miscarriage.

At present is the final day of Infertility Consciousness week and Tess Annique Souray is right here with an extremely weak submit, sharing her journey with infertility.

You might bear in mind assembly Tess from her submit all about dependancy and restoration. Tess and Lauryn related on Instagram and Lauryn actually wished her to return on and share her story as dependancy and overcoming adversity are main subjects on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast and this weblog.

We all the time wish to share totally different views and different folks’s tales in order that issues aren’t so taboo and we don’t really feel so alone. And this submit does simply that.

On this submit Tess is diving deep into the timeline and ups and downs of her IVF journey in addition to what she’s realized throughout the course of.

With that, let’s welcome Tess again to the weblog.


Infertility and How one can Navigate Life and Loss

One in eight {couples} cope with infertility. One in 4 ladies will expertise miscarriage. I’m one in eight. I’m one in 4. I by no means thought this may be my life; I’m simply 29 years outdated. How is that this my actuality? An impediment that so many {couples} face, however a subject they by no means talk about.

Nationwide Infertility Consciousness Week takes place from April 23 to April 29 and hopes to make clear the reality behind infertility. The one method to share my reality is to start out from the start of my story.  So right here it goes… 

Our first assembly on the fertility clinic was in January of 2020. I had gone off contraception a yr prior, and my husband and I have been having conversations about increasing our household (he has two daughters from his earlier marriage). I used to be 26 years outdated once we began having these conversations, and I believed this a part of our journey can be really easy. These have been my well-known final phrases.

I didn’t know a lot concerning the world of infertility, and even my very own physique in that regard, however I felt that one thing was improper. My husband has youngsters, so his fertility wasn’t in query. I used to be in my twenties, I’d been off contraception for a yr, we have been each sober and handled our our bodies nicely — one thing wasn’t including up. 

For individuals who don’t know, there’s a number of testing once you first go to a fertility clinic. I didn’t know precisely what the issue was, however we knew we wished to do some exams to ensure every little thing was okay. There are tons of labs, sonograms, and hysteroscopies concerned. Each companions get their fair proportion of preliminary testing. The entire course of takes a few months. However then we have been hit with somewhat factor known as COVID-19. The world shut down together with fertility clinics nationwide, and we have been left with little or no we may do.

Over zoom our physician instructed us that each of our ranges merely weren’t the place they wanted to be to conceive naturally, and our solely probability of increasing our household was by IVF (In-vitro Fertilization). This got here as fairly a shock to me as a result of regardless that I appeared 26, my physique was biologically 10 years older. Not one thing a girl likes to listen to. The one factor we may do at the moment was to go on the medicine and complement protocol urged by our physician. 

Quick-forward one yr later, and we have been again in enterprise. The world was (sort of) opening once more and our check outcomes had improved sufficient to go forward with IVF. Fertility remedy is a complete new world; it’s really like studying a overseas language. All of the acronyms and lingo are in league of their very own. I had some buddies who had gone by IVF earlier than, however I had no thought what we have been really in for. 

Retrieval #1 was in February of 2021. Over the course of two weeks, I took day by day injections that swelled me up and made me really feel like a bloated hen. I couldn’t do the injections myself, so my husband needed to do them for me. I felt queasy and lightheaded each time I tried to inject myself, with zero success. Retrieval was scheduled for February 10th and we had deliberate a visit to Cabo for Valentine’s Day. How cute and extremely naïve. After my egg retrieval I developed one thing known as OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) which mainly made me really feel like I used to be going to blow up.

It’s an exaggerated response to ovarian stimulation utilized in an IVF stim cycle for retrieval. I appeared 9 months pregnant at 4 days submit retrieval. There was no approach I used to be going wherever, or doing something, besides laying in mattress with my heating pad. Cabo, clearly, was canceled. We determined to do PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Testing) testing to assist decide if the embryo had the proper variety of chromosomes. We received two wholesome embryos from this cycle — What a blessing! 

Lesson Discovered: Make zero plans, clear your schedule as a lot as doable, and provides your self the grace of the training curve.

Typically it seems like infertility controls your life. All of your fertility appointments are scheduled to the timing of your cycle. After a bodily tough first retrieval, I wished to provide my physique a break. I couldn’t work throughout retrieval cycles as a result of bloating and bruising from injections, so I used to be keen to return to set when my physique was prepared. I gave myself a number of time and beauty earlier than we did the second retrieval. We took the summers off and loved time by the lake, clearing our minds and having fun with the recent air. We have been constructing our home, had gotten engaged, and deliberate a marriage! Within the midst of infertility, life was occurring too. 

Retrieval #2 was scheduled for Could 2022. This one was a lot simpler than the primary one. I knew what to anticipate. There have been no surprises. I felt far much less anxious, and the 2 week injection stim cycle flew by. The fertility clinic adjusted my meds, and my restoration was a breeze. They are saying to have three embryos for each baby you want to have; generally it takes a couple of tries for a profitable IVF switch. After PGT testing, we came upon that we had two extra embryos! The blessings stored coming. 

Lesson Discovered: The extra acquainted you get with the method, the simpler it turns into.   

After our fairytale wedding ceremony, celebrating our anniversary, and having sufficient embryos on ice, we felt able to strive our first embryo switch. We had been collectively six years at that time and struggled with infertility for 4 of them. I felt so hopeful that it was our time. Our embryo switch date was October 4th of 2022. I felt an odd sense of peace; that every little thing would work out because it ought to. I don’t understand how, however I managed to not check for per week after the switch. After one week, I felt this overwhelming wave of urgency come over my physique that I simply needed to check. The longest two minutes of my life… it was constructive. I had by no means had a constructive being pregnant check earlier than; our time had come. 

Lesson Discovered: Belief the method.  

With an IVF being pregnant, you may have extra frequent monitoring and blood attracts than with a conventional being pregnant. You go in for a blood draw each two days to ensure your HCG is rising appropriately. You’ve gotten ultrasound appointments at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, and 10 weeks (at 10 weeks you ‘graduate’ and transfer on to a conventional OBGYN). We walked into our first six-week ultrasound, and every little thing was creating completely. On the 8-week ultrasound we noticed essentially the most stunning heartbeat of 130 bpm, one thing I’ll always remember. We go in for the 10-week ultrasound, and that’s when every little thing modified. The room went very quiet and all I heard my physician say was, “It’s not excellent news. There’s no heartbeat.” The room went black, and I don’t bear in mind the remainder. We have been ten weeks pregnant and misplaced our child. A 1% probability with a PGT embryo at the moment. It was November 22 of 2022. The worst day of my life. 

The factor with IVF is that it’s a journey: It’s a marathon, not a dash. This marathon felt prefer it was 4 years lengthy and I used to be exhausted. I had been getting ready and praying for this for thus lengthy. I wasn’t simply grieving the lack of our baby, however the work that it took to get to that time. 4 years of working, dreaming, planning; 4 years gone, identical to that. I had a Missed Miscarriage (MMC), which mainly implies that your physique reveals no indicators of miscarriage. I walked into my ten-week appointment excited and hopeful, and left feeling totally damaged. I trusted my physique that it knew what it was doing; or so I believed. 

The child’s wholesome measurement meant that I needed to have a D&C. It was Thanksgiving, so I needed to wait per week earlier than I may have the process. By no means in one million years did I believe I might be reluctantly getting a D&C for a child that we so desperately wished. There was no different selection and no different possibility. This was our actuality. 

The following two months the place a blur. I didn’t depart mattress. At 9 weeks we had began telling our household and shut buddies that we have been pregnant. Everybody was so blissful for us, particularly our daughters. Now, we needed to inform our households that we have been, actually, not pregnant. My husband stepped up and actually took the reins by calling again all our buddies. I couldn’t get myself to depart mattress. My telephone was on don’t disturb for 3 weeks straight. How may life presumably go on?

The factor about miscarriage is that you’re grieving the lack of a future you so confidently imagined. We knew our child’s gender; we’d had the identify picked out for years. I had already deliberate the nursery and had the décor picked out; I had designed issues on Etsy. We had purchased child garments. I had my excessive threat OBGYN whom I beloved. The whole lot was completely in place, till it wasn’t. 

I packed away all the infant gadgets in storage bins that now sit behind a closet. My maternity garments received shoved to a again nook of the wardrobe that’s onerous to succeed in. The polaroids we had taken to doc the bump journey are in an envelope in the back of a dresser together with our sonogram photographs. The one emotion I felt was insufferable ache and grief. One of the simplest ways to clarify grief is love with no place to go. 

They are saying relationships are alleged to be 50-50. Over these two months, it was 99.9% -0.1%. My husband was choosing up the items of my damaged coronary heart and holding all of it collectively along with his personal two arms. He introduced me espresso in mattress each morning with little love notes, held me after I cried, and talked me by my panic assaults. He did every little thing beneath the solar to place a smile on my face. He suited up and confirmed up for me in methods I didn’t know he may.

The grief was all-consuming. I grew to become a shell of the human I as soon as was; defeated, damaged, and hopeless. I wanted assist (once more). In restoration, if you find yourself newly sober or undergo considered one of life’s hardest moments, it’s really useful to do 90-in-90 — 90 conferences in 90 days — In order that’s what I did. My husband and my restoration picked me up at some point at a time. 

Over these three months, life went from black and white to paint once more. Slowly however absolutely, we put the items again collectively. It took seven weeks for my HCG to return all the way down to zero. We ended up doing one other retrieval, figuring out it very nicely would possibly take us a couple of tries. This time I did all of the photographs myself. It ended up being the very best one but. We study and we develop. There are such a lot of extra exams it’s essential to do to strive to determine what occurred, to see in case your physique is ‘okay’ submit D&C. I felt like I used to be beginning over at sq. one, however as my husband so fantastically mentioned to me, “We’re not ranging from scratch. We’re ranging from expertise.” 

This story doesn’t have a cheerful ending but as a result of there isn’t a ending — It’s a journey. Very similar to therapeutic, it’s an evolution that doesn’t actually finish, however somewhat evolves to the following part of life. Two months after my miscarriage, I made a decision to share my story on Instagram. It allowed me to personal my reality. It gave me the chance to attach with so many ladies who had additionally felt what I had gone by. It helped me discover ladies to attach with who had skilled the identical heartbreak. It allowed me to have weak conversations with these I beloved most and with full strangers who I abruptly felt that I had identified ceaselessly. So many ladies bear these struggles. We’re all rooting for one another.

This expertise has introduced me a neighborhood of a number of the most decided, sturdy, and weak ladies I’ve ever met. Each lady who goes by this journey deserves to be a mom. Each lady who finds herself within the trenches deserves to share her story. Each lady deserves to have the household she’s all the time dreamed of. 

So what classes have my miscarriage taught me? Properly, briefly, every little thing. 

I’ve realized to let go of all expectations. 

I’ve realized to give up management. 

I’ve realized to belief God’s timing. 

I’ve realized to lean into my religion as a substitute of my concern. 

I’ve realized to place one foot in entrance of the opposite & belief that small steps will flip into giant strides. 

I’ve realized to ask for assist (once more). 

I’ve realized to advocate for myself. 

I’ve realized to belief the journey. 

I’ve realized that it’s okay to grieve, however to not let grief devour you. 

I’ve realized that grief will all the time be there and the way to dwell with it. 

I’ve realized to guard my peace. 

I’ve realized to rejoice different’s joys. 

I’ve realized to not solely settle for my reality however honor it. 

I’ve realized to have persistence and know that our time is coming. 

However principally… 

I’ve realized to consider in miracles as a result of hope is all we have now. 


We hope this submit resonated with you or with a pal who could be going by this proper now. Be sure you comply with Tess on Instagram & take a look at her website the place she gives one-on-one well being teaching & has a weblog the place she shares wellness ideas & recipes.

Love, The Skinny Confidential workforce.

+ take a look at Tess’s first weblog submit: a grateful alcoholic right here.

++ for extra on IVF and freezing your eggs, hear here.