Infertility and The way to Navigate Life and Loss

Set off warning: loss, infertility, miscarriage.

Immediately 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 keep in mind assembly Tess from her submit all about habit and restoration. Tess and Lauryn related on Instagram and Lauryn actually needed her to come back on and share her story as habit and overcoming adversity are main subjects on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast and this weblog.

We at all times need to share completely different views and different individuals’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 discovered through the course of.

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


Infertility and The way to 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 I by no means thought this is able to be my life; I’m simply 29 years outdated.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 technique 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 12 months prior, and my husband and I had been having conversations about increasing our household (he has two daughters from his earlier marriage). I used to be 26 years outdated after we began having these conversations, and I assumed this a part of our journey could be really easy. These had 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 flawed. My husband has kids, so his fertility wasn’t in query. I used to be in my twenties, I’d been off contraception for a 12 months, we had been each sober and handled our our bodies properly — one thing wasn’t including up. 

For many who don’t know, there’s quite a lot of testing while you first go to a fertility clinic. I didn’t know precisely what the issue was, however we knew we needed to do some assessments to verify every part was okay. There are tons of labs, sonograms, and hysteroscopies concerned. Each companions get their justifiable share of preliminary testing. The entire course of takes a few months. However then we had been hit with slightly factor known as COVID-19. The world shut down together with fertility clinics nationwide, and we had been left with little or no we might 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 via IVF (In-vitro Fertilization). This got here as fairly a shock to me as a result of regardless that I seemed 26, my physique was biologically 10 years older. Not one thing a girl likes to listen to. The one factor we might do at the moment was to go on the treatment and complement protocol urged by our physician. 

Quick-forward one 12 months later, and we had been again in enterprise. The world was (form of) opening once more and our take a look at outcomes had improved sufficient to go forward with IVF. Fertility therapy is a complete new world; it’s actually like studying a overseas language. All of the acronyms and lingo are in league of their very own. I had some associates who had gone via IVF earlier than, however I had no thought what we had been actually in for. 

Retrieval #1 was in February of 2021. Over the course of two weeks, I took every 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 seemed 9 months pregnant at 4 days submit retrieval. There was no method 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 correct variety of chromosomes. We obtained two wholesome embryos from this cycle — What a blessing! 

Lesson Realized: Make zero plans, clear your schedule as a lot as attainable, 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 troublesome first retrieval, I needed to offer my physique a break. I couldn’t work throughout retrieval cycles because of the bloating and bruising from injections, so I used to be keen to return to set when my physique was prepared. I gave myself quite a lot 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 contemporary air. We had 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 youngster you want to have; typically it takes just a few tries for a profitable IVF switch. After PGT testing, we came upon that we had two extra embryos! The blessings stored coming. 

Lesson Realized: The extra acquainted you get with the method, the better 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 part would work out because it ought to. I don’t know the way, however I managed to not take a look at 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 take a look at. The longest two minutes of my life… it was constructive. I had by no means had a constructive being pregnant take a look at earlier than; our time had come. 

Lesson Realized: Belief the method.  

With an IVF being pregnant, you could have extra frequent monitoring and blood attracts than with a conventional being pregnant. You go in for a blood draw each two days to verify your HCG is rising appropriately. You will have 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 part was creating completely. On the 8-week ultrasound we noticed essentially the most lovely heartbeat of 130 bpm, one thing I’ll always remember. We go in for the 10-week ultrasound, and that’s when every part 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 keep in mind the remaining. We had 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 making ready and praying for this for therefore lengthy. I wasn’t simply grieving the lack of our youngster, 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 assumed. 

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 might have the process. By no means in one million years did I feel I’d be reluctantly getting a D&C for a child that we so desperately needed. There was no different alternative 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 associates that we had been pregnant. Everybody was so glad for us, particularly our daughters. Now, we needed to inform our households that we had been, in actual fact, now not pregnant. My husband stepped up and actually took the reins by calling again all our associates. I couldn’t get myself to go away mattress. My cellphone was on don’t disturb for 3 weeks straight. How might life probably 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 title 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 cherished. All the pieces was completely in place, till it wasn’t. 

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

They are saying relationships are speculated 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 together with his personal two palms. He introduced me espresso in mattress each morning with little love notes, held me after I cried, and talked me via my panic assaults. He did every part 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 might.

The grief was all-consuming. I turned a shell of the human I as soon as was; defeated, damaged, and hopeless. I wanted assist (once more). In restoration, if you end up newly sober or undergo certainly one of life’s hardest moments, it’s beneficial 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 in the future at a time. 

Over these three months, life went from black and white to paint once more. Slowly however certainly, 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, understanding it very properly may take us just a few tries. This time I did all of the photographs myself. It ended up being the perfect one but. We study and we develop. There are such a lot of extra assessments you will need 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 superbly 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 is no such thing as a ending — It’s a journey. Very similar to therapeutic, it’s an evolution that doesn’t actually finish, however relatively evolves to the subsequent section 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 via. It helped me discover ladies to attach with who had skilled the identical heartbreak. It allowed me to have weak conversations with these I cherished most and with full strangers who I immediately felt that I had recognized endlessly. So many ladies bear these struggles. We’re all rooting for one another.

This expertise has introduced me a neighborhood of a few of the most decided, robust, and weak ladies I’ve ever met. Each lady who goes via 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 at all times dreamed of. 

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

I’ve discovered to let go of all expectations. 

I’ve discovered to give up management. 

I’ve discovered to belief God’s timing. 

I’ve discovered to lean into my religion as an alternative of my worry. 

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

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

I’ve discovered to advocate for myself. 

I’ve discovered to belief the journey. 

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

I’ve discovered that grief will at all times be there and the best way to stay with it. 

I’ve discovered to guard my peace. 

I’ve discovered to have a good time different’s joys. 

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

I’ve discovered to have endurance and know that our time is coming. 

However principally… 

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


We hope this submit resonated with you or with a buddy who is perhaps going via this proper now. You should definitely observe Tess on Instagram & take a look at her website the place she affords one-on-one well being teaching & has a weblog the place she shares wellness suggestions & 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.