Exactly As It Should Be
When The Hubs and I decided to start to try for our second baby we knew that more than likely we’d end up back at the reproductive endocrinologist (RE)—actually, I should say I knew we’d end up back there. I just had a feeling that things wouldn’t be as easy as everyone said. If I had a dollar for every comment made to me about how “it will be SO easy for you next time now that the pipes are working” I’d be retired right now.
At our first appointment back at the RE, I didn’t have high hopes. Our doctor, whom we loved with our first go around, didn’t even seem like the same doctor. She told us we’d do everything the same as the last time, only, the treatment she prescribed was totally different. They also had two files on me, and called me by the wrong patient name—not exactly instilling a huge amount of confidence in either of us. We did however decide to stick with it and the practice. I just needed to trust that other than the patient name mix up, they did know what they were doing; they got us pregnant the first time, this time they’d get us pregnant again.
After the same barrage of tests as with my daughter, and after 2 failed IUIs, I had decided I was emotionally taxed and I couldn’t handle what infertility was doing to me and my family anymore. Running was the only thing that I had that helped keep me relatively sane and not freak out on The Hubs or Lil One thanks to the medication they put you on to get your body to respond to the treatments. I was in the midst of marathon training and my long runs were perfect for me to tune the rest of the world out (even though I ran with my running buddies). Speed work and intervals after work on the treadmill helped to push out the mid-week aggression. But, once it came down to the 3rd IUI (intrauterine insemination), I decided that if try #3 didn’t work, we’d take a break and sort out what our next steps were. In all likelihood, our next step was to be nothing. I had a beautiful, healthy daughter maybe that was enough. After many times crying alone, I decided that sure it wasn’t my vision of what my “family” would look like, but maybe that is what was meant to be. I was “lucky” enough that one of my best running-mates, Scary, also suffered through some infertility issues herself so she was very sympathetic to my ordeal and was able to provide me with great insight while we’d go out for training runs (I was training for National Marathon and she was training for Boston).
Enter Marathon Monday (aka Boston Marathon Day). I was to head up to Newton and Chestnut Hill and meet Scary around the base of Heartbreak Hill. The plan was that I was going to jump in and run with her up to Boston College to support her, and attempt to kick her butt a little if she needed it. Turns out plan were about to change. That morning, when I peed on the little OPK stick (ovulation preditctor kit-think pregnancy test only it detects ovulation hormones instead of pregnancy hormones) it came back positive—that would mean a trip to the RE for an IUI. Really??!! I had never spectated at the Boston Marathon before, let alone help a dear friend towards the finish, and today of all days was when the stupid OPK decided to work for me? I was beyond upset. I broke down in hysterics because I had to go for a procedure that I knew wasn’t going to work, and in the process, potentially miss Scary, and if I did manage to see her, not be able to run with her up HBH as planned…and I couldn’t even let her know in advance!!
The IUI went as well as could be expected, and we even had enough time to get to Newton, but running with Scary was out of the question. There we stood me, The Hubs, and Lil One, cheering on runners as we watched the crowd for Scary…if I couldn’t run with her I at least needed for her to know I was there. As I saw her approach, I started jumping up and down screaming my head off. She looked at me, looked down at the flip flops on my feet, hesitated for a second or two with a look of confusion on her face. I hugged her, told her I was proud of her, and told her—“I’ll fill you in later—GO GO GO!” And with that, I sent Scary off to conquer HBH on her own. She had looked amazingly strong for that point in the marathon so I had confidence she could do it on her own.
As it turns out, things happen for a reason. I wasn’t supposed to run HBH with Scary—she KILLED it on her own, and finished Boston in a fantastic time on her own without my assistance. She was running in her dad’s memory for the Dana Farber Cancer team and while she was physically alone, she was running with her dad up that hill and I would have been a 3rd wheel—that was her time with her dad. And for me, as it turns out I think I needed that breakdown that day; I needed to be at one of my lowest points because it was that IUI—what was more than likely my final attempt, which worked. I found out 2-weeks later, the day after I ran a ½ marathon PR, that I was indeed pregnant. For me, Marathon Monday was about a journey more than 26.2 miles long. It was an emotional journey, one that would be with me forever in the face of my son. It’s something I hope to share with him some day—maybe when he is running the Boston Marathon himself…or the Olympic Marathon trials (Scary and I joked that if I had had a boy, I’d have to name him Ryan Hall since Ryan Hall ran Boston that day ha ha). Running would now be a bond that I shared with my son. I can’t wait to run with him!
What’s your thought—do things happen for a reason? In hindsight have you felt like you needed to be at your lowest in order to have seen the good come out of a situation? How has running helped your mindset during a difficult ordeal?