I’m so excited to have a giveaway for you today. Jen Noonan, author and counselor, has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her new book, In Due Time: A Journey Through Infertility, Loss, and Embracing the Unknown.
Jen is a passionate primary and secondary infertility advocate who attempts to de-stigmatize the shame and guilt surrounding infertility and miscarriage. She lives in Denver with her husband, Patrick, their two sons, and a cat named Lois. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
As excited as I was about the possibility of a successful transfer, and grateful for supportive friends, I allowed the worries and doubts to creep in:
“What if this didn’t work?”
Should I be feeling cramping sensations?
Are my breasts slightly sore?
My breasts are slightly sore because I’m pumping a lot of progesterone into my body.
Maybe they’re not actually sore. I don’t know.
What if I’m pumping all these hormones into my body, and I’m not actually pregnant?
I’m convinced I’m pregnant. It HAD to have worked. I have everything working in my favor! The conditions were perfect, and I’m a textbook perfect case!
I’m feeling a little more sleepy than usual. I think that’s one of the first pregnancy signs.
It feels like there’s something going on in my abdomen.
I’ve been on such a long journey, and we’ve spent SO much money. It HAS to work this time.
I got nauseated the day after the transfer for NO apparent reason. That has to mean something, right?”
The “two-week wait” was pure torture. Day four, and I had another five days to go. It was excruciating not knowing one way or the other. I was hopeful, but fearful at the same time. I did my best to fill my days with distractions. I kept myself busy to fend off the self-defeating thoughts, but I continued running the same script.
I finally received the call from a nurse who said my pregnancy test was positive, but my hCG level was a little lower than ideal. She added that my progesterone and estrogen levels looked great. The low hCG number scared me, but she said she had seen successful pregnancies at that level. Still, I was afraid mine would not be one of them, and when I hung up the phone, I broke down in tears.
Dr. Surrey called not long after and congratulated me. I was triggered by the memory of hearing that same word just over five months ago, when the pregnancy was false and there was nothing to congratulate.
“I’ve spent the last ten minutes on the phone crying to my girlfriend,” I said.
“Let’s not lose hope. I’ve seen a baby boy born with a starting hCG level of eight. Your level is forty-seven, only three points below what we like to see, so try to think positively. We’ll have you come in for a repeat test, where we want the number to increase by 60 percent.”
“I thought it only had to double,” I said.
“No, that’s old-school thought. We do, however, want to see the number above one hundred three days from now.”
When the call ended, Patrick was relieved. He always liked hearing the information straight from the doctor, especially if it was positive. I was not relieved. I felt in my gut that this wasn’t right. I started noticing that the bloating in my abdomen had decreased, and my breasts didn’t feel as big or swollen. Some of it could have been subconscious, and some of it could have been due to not eating lunch because I was so anxious about the call. That night I went in and out of crying spells and didn’t sleep well.
Here we were after three losses in only a year and a half. I just didn’t understand it. All the conditions were perfect. I had done so much work on myself. I understood (or so I thought) the possible reasons for the other miscarriages. Never in my ENTIRE life, had something been this challenging or humbling. I needed to have meaning, and I couldn’t grasp the meaning of this. I was being tested, and tested, and tested, and it was getting exhausting. I didn’t know how much more I could take.
I had an expectation; a high expectation that our first frozen embryo transfer would be successful. I focused on the many reasons that it should work. And there were many. We had chromosomally normal embryos, my hormone levels and endometrial lining were within normal limits, I personally knew a number of couples who had become pregnant their first time via my reproductive facility, and most importantly, I had a healthy living child. Why wouldn’t it work? I was not told, nor did I read any studies to indicate that first time transfers are statistically not as successful as second and third transfers. I discovered this after the failed transfer.
I embarked on our first transfer expecting it to work, and that was a mistake in hindsight. Yes, thinking positively about any situation is ideal, but I believe I set myself up to fail by my expectations. To this day I am still working on them. I battle with having high expectations that loved ones will support me unconditionally, that my computer will work when I need it to, that if I just work hard enough I will make things happen. I wonder if instead of expecting things to happen, we should simply put forth our best effort and have faith in a positive outcome, no matter how that outcome appears. What do you think?
You can find out more about Jen and her book by connecting with her on Twitter and LinkedIn. Enter to win a copy of the book by using the Rafflecopter widget below. (Click here if you can’t see the widget). Jen has been gracious enough to open the giveaway to readers worldwide. Of course, if you don’t want to try your luck at the giveaway, you can always purchase the book on Amazon. (By the way, as of the date of this post, the book is the #1 New Release in Amazon’s Reproductive Medicine and Technology category).