The Waiting Game
*Cue Jeopardy Music*
My theme song for the dreaded two-week wait. It’s a real thing, that time period after you’ve done a fertility treatment procedure and then you WAIT. And playing the waiting game, let me just tell you, is NOT easy. It actually, really stinks. It’s funny (not funny) how, during that time, the mind/body plays tricks on you…
For instance, I was eating A LOT more than normal- one day I even made my coworkers order Big Mac’s for lunch and proceeded to eat the whole darn thing (maybe I’m pregnant?!)! Even at Thanksgiving, my family was impressed with how many plates of food (3!) I put down! So, there was that…increased appetite. Check.
I was exhausted- could that have been another symptom? Sure, why not? In my head, I let myself believe it. I even went so far (I know this is going to sound crazy) as looking online for baby things. I didn’t care, I was excited. I was hopeful, I went with it.
Tuesday finally rolled around and I started getting really bad cramps and spotting. Still, at that time, I didn’t let myself believe it was my period. I thought- implantation bleeding! Some people do spot early in pregnancy, maybe I was one of those people. Again, with the mind games and trying to stay hopeful.
But when the spotting increased, I knew it - this is my all too familiar, completely unwanted and unwelcome period.
My mind raced and finished the story: this cycle didn’t work, and I wasn’t pregnant. Again. AGAIN! UGH.
My whole world came crashing down.
I. Wasn’t. Pregnant.
Questions flooded my brain: How did this happen? Why did this happen? Why wasn’t I pregnant? What went wrong?
I’m not going to lie, I let myself bawl SO HARD on my way home that night I could barely see. I cried so hard I could barely catch my breath. When you want something so badly and it’s so far out of reach, it’s heartbreaking. It’s painful. It hurts. It’s crushing.
I knew the chances of the first round of IUI being successful was only about 15-20%, but I thought maybe I’d fall into that category. Maybe I’d be in that lucky, small percentage. Not this time.
And then that darn question - the nightmarish one, the question I hate the most - popped into my head: what did I do to deserve this pain, unlike anything I’ve ever felt or even imagined?
And to make matters worse, I was going home to an empty house. I mean, Ralphie would be there (my little snuggle bug!), but what I needed more than anything was my partner, my best friend, my Dan. The other part of we. I needed him to hug me, to hold me, to tell me it would all be ok, but he was traveling for work and wouldn’t be home until the next evening. Greaaaaat.
Just What I Needed
Thankfully, however, my amazing parents, who must’ve just known, were at my house when I got home. They were in the area and had something to drop off at my house and decided they’d just hang out until I got home. And thank goodness, they did. I walked in the door and right into my mom’s arms and lost it all over again. We’re talking ugly crying, swollen eyes, sobbing, snot, all of it. My poor Dad. I don’t think he knew what to do, but he stayed right there with us. I just let my mom hold me and console me and they just let me cry and cry and cry until there were no more tears left. At least for the time being. My parents are literally the best people I know. They are the kindest, most loving, most supportive people in the world and I’d be lost without them and I never appreciated them more than in that moment. My parents have always been my rock; they have always, always been there for me- through it all- and I am forever indebted to them for that. They stayed with me for hours- made me get cozy, wrapped me in a blanket and just sat with me, which was exactly what I needed.
When The Tears Stopped
But ya know what’s funny? Even with all the tears and comfort, I felt the numbness creep in, and I think they did too. And looking back at that night, it’s part of what continues to break my heart. I don’t ever want my parents to feel pain, especially if I caused it, and I think that night I did.
My period went from spotting to full flow the next day and the day after that, I had a monitoring appointment to see when we can begin another treatment cycle.
Here we go again.
About Justine Houle- "Where’s the F%&$#!ing Stork?!"
Justine Houle loves a great pair of shoes, and her boys Dan (husband) and Ralph (a very handsome pup hailing from Tennessee which must be where he gets his southern charm). She began her career in childcare and then joined the RMA of CT team in 2011 as a Patient Coordinator. She's served several roles in the organization since then but most recently as the Marketing Operations Coordinator. She is well known for her impeccable style - and recently became an independent stylist for Stella and Dot. On the weekends, she can be found tooling around with her boys in Fairfield, CT where she grew up and currently resides.