A picture is worth a thousand words...

We have a cabinet in our kitchen which is where we stored all of our meds for IVF - all of our needles, sharps containers, syringes, all of it. We also have our liquid gold Follistim in our cheese drawer in the fridge. :) For the better half of 2013 this cabinet was used very often and our nightly ritual was to eat dinner, wash our hands, sanitize the counter and I would ice my belly or thighs while Dr, Chris would mix the meds and get all of my injections ready for me. I remember every single second of these days - not because the shots hurt or because it was a pain - but because it reminds me how far we've come.
As we arrived home from the baby shower this weekend with all of our gifts - many of which will be kept here in the kitchen - and we were looking for a spot to keep them I opened up the IVF cabinet and knew this is where the bottles and baby bullet were going to go. However, as you can see I still have yet to part with/donate my meds and I still have my 2 full sharps containers. I used to tell myself I will donate the meds when we hit the halfway point, well at 20 weeks I was still scared so I decided once we hit viability at 24 weeks they would go to a deserving TTC sister - but here I sit - almost 35 weeks along and about 35 days from meeting our miracle and I just cannot give them up yet. Call me superstious or what you will - but I can't do it. And often times I feel guilty as I see some of my girls starting cycles and I know they could use them - but I'm just not quite ready. The sharps containers - I honestly think I will keep them forever. I cannot ever see getting rid of them because they are such a part of our journey and our struggle.

I wanted to post this picture as inspiration for everyone undergoing infertility of any kind - whether is be trouble conceiving, failed IUI or IVF cycles, miscarriages - any of it. I - for some reason - always believed that we would have trouble conceiving. Then I remember as the months lagged on and Chris and I were not successful in getting pregnant I thought hmmm, maybe I'm right. Then when we went through all the testing and the doctor sat across the desk from us and told us that IVF was our only option I remember being relieved rather than sad. I thought finally - we have some answers and a plan and we are giong to make this happen! I went into my first IVF cycle 100% positive it would work - how could it not? This very sophisticated scientific process was a sure thing. We had a great clinic with very capable doctors and on May 6th, 2013 my whole world came crashing down when we got the call that our beta was 0. I never in my mind imagined it wouldn't work. And immediately I wanted to throw in the towel. I had a call with a very sweet girl who works at an adoption agency and I was ready to start that process. The doctor told us we had bad eggs and bad sperm and didn't really have any answers for us above and beyond that so in my mind we needed donors for both. We talked it over - explored the options of donors - and decided to make some changes and give it one more go with our eggs and swimmers.
Thank God we did. So where am I going with all of this? If you are struggling I want you to know it can happen. I can't promise you it's going to be easy, or on your timeline (ours certainly wasn't), or maybe even the way you wanted it - but dreams really do come true and I am living proof. I also would encourage you to talk about it. And I understand talking about it isn't easy. We found that very few people in our lives understood what we were going through - and to their credit why should they? Many of them had not been there themselves. I know that when my first IVF failed it was very very hard on Chris and I as a couple. It's all we talked about and we lost sight of one another. This was when I sought support on the internet and found Meg at A Brink Adventure. I emailed her and we talked and connected on Instagram and I finally found a place where I felt like I belonged.
Everyone in our TTC community is in the same boat and I could open up, talk and connect with other women who were going through or had gone through what I was - and not feel silly or ashamed for it. And this gave me the strength and the will to fight through round 2 - and the hope that I was going to see those 2 pink lines in the end! And even through pregnancy it's helped because the women in our community understand. Everyone likes to think after IVF you are just like any other pregnant woman - I've actually had people say that to me - and that's so not the case. #1 there can be physical complications - case in point - I'm convinced my sub chorionic hemorrhage was a result of IVF. And #2 mentally you just aren't the same. Every momma to be has worries - but after failed cycle after failed cycle and truly feeling like your dream of being a parent of a biological child will never happen - you are scared and terrified that it's going to be taken from you. at almost 9 months pregnant - I'm terrified every single day that something will happen to this little nugget in my belly.
So to anyone struggling - hang in there - come hell or high water your dreams can come true. And if you are feeling down and you need support find me on Instagram KRISTENWIKLUND - and I'll introduce you to the best group of girls you will ever meet - no joke. Without my TTC sisters I would be a crazy mess and I although I haven't met many of them - they are some of my best friends in the whole world and I love each and every one of them!

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