BFN – Big Fat Negative

Failure: what our first IUI resulted in; what I feel like because my body still couldn’t do the one thing it was meant to do even with the help of a doctor and science.

If you follow my Instagram (@thebabystepsblog), you know that our first IUI didn’t work. But here’s a little bit of how testing day, and the night before, went.

J and I went out for dinner on Monday, June 17, I told him I just wanted to be out of the house and not think about taking a pregnancy test the next morning. Those thoughts had already filled my day and I needed a mental break. I had been symptom tracking for a few days and with every pain or twinge I thought “Period or pregnant?” “I’ve never felt that before, let’s Google it!” Or “Oh, I definitely read about girls having this and they turn out to be pregnant!” The madness had to stop so I told J that I was thinking of not testing the next morning but would wait a few more days. Crazy, I know, but hear me out! Testing day was a Tuesday and a 10 hour workday for me, that’s a long time to put on a brave face, so if I could hold out until Friday morning, which would have been 17dpIUI (17 days post IUI), I would have three days off to sit and sulk if it were negative. That coming Friday was also when my next cycle was due to begin and I’m one of the lucky women (insert eye-roll) who always wakes up with her period, so I wouldn’t have to waste a test, God would hand me the answer. And yes, I know, you still test, period or no period, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up (as much). J was completely on board with whatever decision I made and I truthfully didn’t know what I was going to do until the next morning.

My alarm clock goes off at 5:40 every morning, but this was one of those days where I woke up just a minute earlier. Was this God’s way of telling me that something good was about to happen? J was sound asleep, so I slowly got out of bed, went into our bathroom, opened the medicine cabinet, found a brand new shiny box of Clear Blue digital pregnancy tests, and ripped one of those babies open. Here goes nothing: pee for five seconds then wait three long minutes. I knew I didn’t want to watch the countdown on the test, so I washed my face and brushed my teeth and just as I was finishing, I caught a glimpse of the result. “Wait, ‘Not Pregnant’ that can’t be right,”

I thought to myself as my eyes immediately filled up with tears. I quickly tried to read the instructions to see if I did something wrong, surely I did. Nope, did it right. Then I read the instructions again to see if there is a disclaimer about the “Not” disappearing. Not possible. This is when the self-doubt started. “How could I have possibly thought that it would work for us after all this time? Obviously, we don’t deserve to get pregnant. Why can’t this be easy for us? What did we do wrong in our lives for this to happen to us? Why did God have to give each of us broken reproductive systems?” All of these awful thoughts just kept swirling around in my head, louder and louder as I was trying my best to be as quiet as possible. But I knew I couldn’t hide in our bathroom all morning and would have to face J. I quietly opened the bathroom door and he was standing there, fighting back the tears and just hugged me. He knew. He always knows.

I did what I do so many other days, wiped the tears, put on a brave face, packed all of my pills for the day and headed out the door for work. Then I called my mom, our phone call started the way it does every morning “Hi Katie, how are you?” My answer? Tears. She knew. She always does and she feels all of my heartaches. Then she started crying too and told me it wasn’t fair and she doesn’t know why we have to go through all of this. I was glad she said it because I had already said those things so many times that morning. But then she flipped the script and told me that it would all be okay and she knows J and I will pick ourselves up and move forward like we have all the other months. She was right but I couldn’t agree with her then, I was too angry and sad.

I tried to do anything to distract myself that day, but I couldn’t ignore all of the texts of prayers, good vibes and the big question. Despite trying to ignore my feelings, I only had four breakdowns at work which I really considered a success! However, I have to be completely honest, of all the things I did that day, I did not call the FIRM to tell them. I know I was supposed to but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. *Don’t be like me if you have a failure, the office knows how to deal with this and can give you support.

It was time to wait for my next cycle to start so we could move forward with our second IUI. But in the meantime, I treated myself to some of the things I was avoiding. Although I treated myself to a Jimmy John’s sub, Dairy Queen ice cream and a Coke Slurpee, I couldn’t give in to a glass of wine or cup of coffee. They weren’t important enough to me and still aren’t.

I also treated myself to a new piece of jewelry that I had been eyeing. It’s a necklace by Erin McDermott designed for the Samantha and Kyle Busch Bundle of Joy Fund that advocates for infertility awareness and education and has had 19 babies born so far! I first saw this necklace on Samantha Busch’s Instagram, she is one of the celebrities that is open about their infertility struggles. From the moment I saw it, I loved the design and message, and knowing that 100% of the proceeds were donated to the fund made it extra special to me. My necklace came packaged with the greatest message. The back of the card read “Regardless of where you are on your journey, or how you arrived at motherhood, this necklace is symbolic of not only the love between a mother and her child but also the journey of becoming a mother – which should be celebrated. Whether your child is here, you are still pregnant, you have expereienced loss, or you are trying and giving everything you have to become a mother, this necklace celebrates the journey of becoming a mother and a mother’s strength, even in the toughest moments. It is a representation of everything a mother is – loving, caring, nurturing, protective, and downright amazing.”