Fertility Vacation 3.0 // When Getting Braver Doesn't Work

Our road isn’t what I thought it would be. I can’t believe we are looking at IVF 3. Time to get brave again. Well maybe not again. Last time, I couldn’t find my way to bravery. I tried with everything that I had to gather my usual amount of bravado and failed. Bravery is just too much to ask, and doesn’t make sense. I don’t have the same admiration for it that I used to.

Ok, if I can’t be brave, what do I need to be?

Maybe instead of being brave I need to find a way to suffer more gracefully, without internalizing, without stressing my body. Surrender.

What qualities should I nurture in myself to make this journey in the safest caring way?

I’m not going to ask, “How can I be braver?” I’m going to look inside, and ask for safe passage. I am going to ask, “How can we get from today to the days where just the three of us will sit on the couch laughing, playing, and singing songs together?”

Our journey won’t be filled with bravery this time, yet everything in me feels like we will look back on these grieving moments and say, “I can’t believe we ever thought about giving up. What fools we would have been. We would have given up the chance to love you.”

 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Duplicity

My heart skipped Fall. All of this traveling has confused my inner season clock. Like so many parts of me, I am searching for a true north that I can’t quite find.

I like Vienna. I like coffee houses. Is this beautiful city my hideaway? Walk, shoot, museums, eat, shoot, walk. I think it’s the right thing to be doing. I love to cheer myself up with everything that’s available to me.

For me, being happy is being grateful for what I have and pointed in the direction of what I’m looking for. If you are someone who is always using the silver lining as a north star, it’s easy to move your expectations a little to the left or right, but still forward.

Motherhood is a deal breaker. I don’t want to move right or left, I want the dream. I want the sunny day, a family with Mike. However we get there; adoption, surrogacy, IVF.

It makes me think of the quote, "how many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?". How many times will I walk down this road?

Who will I be at the end of all of this?

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Fertility Vacation // Implantation Day

Today is implantation day. April 1, 2017.Today is one of the best days of my life. We have a chance for hope; a chance to be parents. Maybe we will be parents in 9 months, maybe we won’t, but today we have the best chance we’ve ever had.

A questionnaire once asked me to list the three best days of my life. Of course there have been so many, but here are the one’s that stand out:

  1. The day I met Mike Ofeldt
  2. Our wedding day
  3. The day my world expanded as a 17-year-old when my dear friend Cristina explained backpacking and the endless possibilities of travel.

Today is coming pretty close.

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Implantation went great.  They implanted two excellent embryos and froze two excellent embryos. The procedure was relatively quick and painless. There was a point where it hurt and I held Mike’s hand tightly. I think it’s unusual for it to hurt, but I have a tilted uterus so perhaps that was the issue.

I zoned out and imagined two babies in footsie pajamas laughing and playing with Mike and I on the couch. I listened to Don Williams’ “I Believe in You” on repeat and then the procedure was over. I then took a 20 minute nap in recovery. Acupuncture right before and right after was a great choice.

Everything went as smooth as possible. In two weeks we will know more.

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Fertility Vacation // The Past & Choosing Prague

I’m pretty comfortable at 30,000 feet above sea level. Although, as I pack my bags for this month-long adventure, it feels different. A fertility vacation in Prague; this trip has more unknowns than ever before.

Quick backstory to catch you up. Up until I met Mike, I could never mentally picture a husband in my vision of my future self and family. I would see other people getting married and think, how could I ever love someone enough to spend my entire life with them? After I met Mike, that vision changed almost immediately. His mom sent me a card one day and taped to it was a picture of Mike as a baby in the bathtub.

I want to have a baby with this man.

Mike and I have been trying to start a family since 2013. It’s been devastating. I can’t possibly be dramatic enough with words. It’s been hard to be strong everyday and make this dream come true, when everything feels so hard. It can be easy for some people, but it’s hard for us.

It was really surprising to me that we couldn’t get pregnant, and something I never expected with life. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and have never doubted this is something I will be. I always just thought I would get pregnant right away. When I didn’t, it made me question myself and my choices on such a fundamental level.

IVF was always something I thought about, even as a kid. But as reality set in as an adult, Mike and I discovered that it was out of our price range.

My friend Nicole enlightened me to fertility vacations in Prague. This of course got my heart pounding with interest. Prague has a good reputation for IVF, is considerably more affordable than IVF in the U.S, and is a beautiful part of the world.  Check, check and check.  

I feel comfortable in Prague. It’s a photogenic, walkable city. Being in Prague, away from the financial pressures and the stress of everyday life will help me stay relaxed. As a person who values freedom and exploration, being in a different city feeds and calms me. I am my truest self while traveling.

In real life, I run a photography business and “adult” everyday (well, mostly everyday). On vacation, I get to walk around all day and take photos, eat lunch outside, visit museums, and feel the energy of the city. Days full of self care and relaxation.

A fertility vacation in Prague makes perfect sense.

The process as I know it so far will consist of hormone injections every three days for two weeks. There will be more appointments, and then eventually they will remove my eggs and put Mike’s sperm and one of my eggs together. And then, they will put the embryo back inside me.

I’m sure there will be a little more romance and details involved, but I’ll focus on that once my feet hit the ground.

We will try IVF three times in Prague over the course of this year. We will then try adoption. If not adoption, we will be Big Brothers and Sisters.

I am a little nervous, but mostly hopeful. We know that ultimately we will be parents, we just don’t know the path quite yet.

And now to finish packing. Three suitcases, art supplies, and movies. Journals and soul books. Everything creative. I wish I had more time to pack, but I guess it wouldn’t really matter. I'm not sure I'd ever be ready.  Time to jump.

xoxo

Suzanne

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