The Picture

There’s this picture I have. I have just one copy.

It’s our embryos.

Our only two to date.


I have a box, too. It holds IVF memories, cards of encouragement from people, medicine, etc. After our IVF failed, I put these things in the box. Everything except the picture. I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know why, but it stayed on the mantle from November 25 to March 5. It was also my phone screen until then.

Wondering why I had it up for so long? Me too. But I think I thought if I put away the picture, then it was really done. That cycle would be truly over. It would make the ending of our first IVF seem so definitive {even though it was definitely over by December} and that’s painful. It’s not like I sat there and started at the picture all the time. Or my phone, but it was almost a security blanket for me. It was comforting because I knew that even though our first IVF failed, we had those two embryos from it. And I don’t know if we’ll ever have that again. I hope so. I hope we have more embryos to love, but the reality of it, is that we don’t know.

I also think I was holding onto them for so long because I’m incredibly scared to move forward with IVF 2. I don’t often admit it because I like to be positive, but I’m afraid of doing all the shots again. I’m afraid of possible overstimulation. I’m afraid of walking into the transfer room again to find either one or no embryos. I’m afraid of the aftermath and the reality that comes with it. I know that after this IVF, if we have no embryos and it doesn’t result in a pregnancy, that biological kids are likely not in our future, and while I’ve been preparing myself for months, it’s still a mental hurdle that’s going to take time to process.

So, on March 5, I got brave and I put the picture in the box. I texted my friend and told her that I finally put the picture away. She asked how I felt, and I said, “Sad.” You see, I cried when I put the photo away. I cried because I’m sad they didn’t make it and I cried because I’m afraid to put that first IVF behind me. Unfortunately, we both have pictures now that are put away and they’re both pictures that when we look at them, they make us sad. We agreed that we hope we can pull them out one day and not be sad.

So, I’ll look forward. While I don’t want to forget my embryos, I need to begin look ahead – afraid or not.

And I look forward to the day I can look at the picture and smile.

Until then, little ones.



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