Here we are. Ready to be parents. Baseline date set. Check. Flights booked. Check. Accommodations. Check. Time off. Check.
We had everything ready. I had requested time off from work. My husband’s underway schedule lined up perfectly with our dates. My mom was going to meet us in DC to help with surgery day. Our flights were booked. We found an apartment to rent for a month that was super close to the facility. It was working out perfectly for the first time…ever. Then things started to happen that we couldn’t control.
I try to avoid the news at all costs but this story was everywhere. There was a virus out in China and on cruise ships. It was scary. We’d seen these before though. Swine flu. Ebola. You name it. This one wasn’t here so we were good. Until we were weren’t.
It was Friday, March 13, 2020 and Disneyland was closing until the end of the month. This virus was serious and we had to get it under control. After Disneyland closed, the rest of the state started closing. I was actually looking forward to the two weeks of paid “vacation” until I realized that it wasn’t a vacation at all. It was a quarantine and I literally couldn’t go anywhere. Lennie was underway at the time safe on a ship. I was home scared and alone but hopeful that these next two weeks would give our country time to wipe this virus out. The airports were empty. The highways were bare. The stores had no toilet paper.
I started hearing chatter about medical procedures being cancelled. There wasn’t enough surgical equipment to go around for those in need so non-essential care was just that…non-essential. Elective surgeries were being cancelled. Dental appointments were being cancelled. Doctor’s appointments were turning into telehealth visits. Then it happened. Our IVF cycle was cancelled.
I was pissed. Mad at the world. Mad at God. Mad at people for not wearing masks. Just mad. It felt like every time we wanted to do this, something kept us from it. It must not be meant to be. Of all the times to have this happen it would be now. I’ve waited for 10 years! Then this. Not only was the cycle canceled, there was no date in sight to resume this. We had no way of knowing when the pandemic would be over or when the military would let us travel or when non-essential procedures could resume. To me, this was essential. But it wasn’t. There are people dying who need these resources. There are medical personnel who are risking their lives to save others who need these resources. There are families who are out of work who need help. So, I started making masks and sharing them and just doing my part to help where I could. This was serious. I canceled our flights and thankfully got a full refund. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the money back from our accommodations. Nope…$5,000 gone. (Don’t book through Global Luxury Suites. They have beautiful places but they were awful during this pandemic.) All I could do was wait for this to be over.
And I waited.
We knew Lennie would be going to grad school this year. That was the plan before we moved to California. We just didn’t know where. I was not-so-secretly hoping we’d be able to stay in Southern California. I loved it there. I had a dream job working for Disney and our neighborhood was amazing. There was an option of online grad school and also a program in San Diego. Ultimately, he ended up with the University of Rhode Island at a program in person. That meant we’d have to move back to the east coast. When the pandemic hit, I was hoping his grad program would turn into an online program and we could stay in Southern California. Nope. Didn’t happen. I did find a silver lining. Now we’d be closer to Walter Reed. My goal was to get pregnant before we moved but now that plan changed. We could do the cycle after my husband’s change of command. We’d do this when he was truly free from this super demanding position. We still didn’t have the go-ahead but I was trying to find something positive out of this wrench thrown our way.
So now we had to prepare for a move during a pandemic. I was hoping I’d get back to work soon. It didn’t happen. The two weeks turned into a furlough and endless weeks of unemployment. I tried to maintain my workouts and weight loss as best as I could. My long shifts at Disneyland had helped out more than I’d realized. Gyms were closed so I had to rely on at-home workouts. I was too afraid to walk the neighborhood at the time. I stayed busy making quilts and purging for our move and working on my book. (I’ve been writing this book for years…lol.) Lennie got underway again. There were protests and riots. The world became so much. I started wondering why I would want to bring a child into this. Was all of this a sign that I didn’t need to do this?
My struggles with God came to a head at that point. It was all too much. Racism, hatred, baby struggles, marriage trouble, everything was too much. I surrendered. My relationship with God and religion is a complex one but I knew then what was real and what really mattered. I knew that I needed to let go and trust the universe. I needed to accept that there were things I would never understand. I needed to accept that there is a power, a force, a something that is bigger than I am. Then I knew I couldn’t give up. I did my best to maintain some sense of normalcy in this abnormal time. Lennie eventually finished his tour of duty in Los Angeles. We got the call for a new date for our IVF cycle. Movers came and packed up our home. My car was shipped. Disneyland remained closed and I never got to say goodbye. We packed up the pickup truck and started our trip back east. This time, we had more than a move to look forward to. We were going to start IVF in August 2020.
And that’s what we did.
If you want to know the outcome right away, highlight the text below. If you’d rather read the story and find out later, read the next posts. Thank you so much for your support. You all truly are amazing.
Although this is my real life, I know that there are people who are genuinely interested and hoping for the best but want to follow along in anticipation. If that is you, turn away. If you’re anxious to know the final outcome, keep reading here. We already went through the process and have a result. Although miraculous, our cycle did not end in a pregnancy. I do encourage you to continue to follow along. The following posts will be about the process we already went through. Also, will we do it again? Will we adopt? Will we live a childless life?