No more counting

I can no longer title my posts by the number I’ve written (89). I can no longer count the days or weeks pregnant.

Last night, we celebrated our pregnancy.
Tonight, we cling to each other in our grief.

A neighbor walked by and greeted us as we sat out on the deck and I couldn’t fake a thing. I just walked inside the house and fell apart. I poured each of us a glass of Scotch and after a few sips tossed it out. Drinking has never been a refuge for me. I ordered in some sushi thinking that would make me feel better. It didn’t – it made my stomach sick. After all, the unresponsive embryo still is in there, waiting to be released, along with the progesterone injected into me early this morning.

When five embryos have been put in your body and fail, you naturally think about what is and isn’t meant to happen. Is it a matter of continuing to try, as our RE says we can do as early as October, and putting our minds, hearts and my body into another rollercoaster of hormones and emotion, we are not ready to make that decision. He understands. He and his wife spent 8 years trying to conceive, which is what made him go into this specialty. But we are still alone.

On one hand, we have now seen what it’s like to have a positive test, to see a flickering heartbeat, but I just don’t trust my uterus to finish the job. Anyone who’s gone through miscarriage understands this. And those who’ve gone through this after repeated in-vitro failures, they are my sisters in the fight.

I suppose what’s so hard is that we really went into donor egg IVF believing the statistics. 50% for one, 80% for two success rate. But after four punches in the gut? While the doc said it’s not me, it’s the embryo that was a bust, it’s not a rational mind that allows you to forgive your uterus. Or yourself. $28,000 later and a slow summer of business for me has meant there is no more extra money in the kitty for more treatments beyond charging it to our credit card.

Yet this afternoon I felt something inside me change, something I never imagined thinking and I shared it with my husband.

I am not ready to stop fighting for our family.

Now I don’t know what this battle will look like, I will add. Adoption is not a given, unlike what many outsiders assume. Ethiopia is at a minimum 2-3 years away…and that is if the program stays open until then (anything is possible when it comes to the rapidly changing landscape of international adoption…many countries have pulled out of Ethiopia in the past year), and therefore, like IVF, there is no guarantee. But we do still have 8 frozen embryos, and something inside me is becoming fiercer by the minute.

Tomorrow I may feel differently and ask my husband if we can just go to a faraway beach somewhere warm. I am giving myself every option.

When my body begins to bleed and I fall to my knees in deeper heartache, I will allow myself to walk through the grief, rather than around it. But I hope, I truly hope, I make it through sooner rather than later. I hope someday my husband can walk up to me with our child in his arms. I hope this is not in vain.

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  One thought on “No more counting

  1. August 5, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I know nothing I can say can possibly make it better, but I’m so sorry and I would hug you if I could. I hope you come through your grief, and that you can keep fighting for your family in whatever battle/s you may face.

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  2. August 5, 2016 at 3:01 am

    I am so sorry to read your sad news. Just heartbreaking.

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  3. August 5, 2016 at 3:19 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Although I’m sure there are no words to comfort, I think your resolve and self care is a model for women everywhere. Love, light and healing.

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  4. August 5, 2016 at 3:22 am

    This is really heartbreaking. I’m so sorry x

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  5. August 5, 2016 at 4:24 am

    You are an amazing woman, whatever you decide I truly wish you all the best xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 5, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I’m so sorry you are going through this too. The same thing happened to me last week. I’ve ranted at the injustice, and cried at the hopelessness I feel.
    I feel for you and your husband. There is no pain like this but in time it will slowly get a little better. I admire your fighting attitude, it’s made me reflect too. Take care.

    Like

    • August 5, 2016 at 6:37 am

      Oh crap I didn’t even see your posts, shit I am so sorry we’re in this same club. Will write more on your blog soon.

      Like

  7. August 5, 2016 at 7:11 am

    It sounds like the two of you are very strong still thinking about the options available. One question I had (and I came in very late to your blog) is whether you had PGS testing on the embryos, as apparently abnormal chromosomes is one of the major reasons embryos fail.

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    • August 5, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Nope, it wasn’t offered at the time of fresh transfer last year (this was our 3rd FET) and doc said too risky on frozen when I asked too late. However another blogger just miscarried last week and hers were both PGS tested so either way it isn’t a guarantee.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. August 5, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I am so very sorry for you, it’s heartbraking. Sending love xx

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  9. August 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I am so deeply sorry. I’ve been there and I know the absolute devastation. Thinking of you xxx

    Like

  10. August 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Ps. We also miscarried a donor egg pregnancy. We rested the fetus and it was genetically perfect. So they are now treating me for repeat miscarriages using an immune protocol… You might benefit from this too as if I am right, repeated implantation failure can gave similar underlying factors.

    Like

    • August 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I did NK and ANA testing and both came out fine, and for this 4th DE cycle I insisted on taking prednisone even though doc didn’t think I needed it. Are you doing intralipids or…?

      Like

      • August 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        Yes… As well as clexane? Also did some genetic testing and came back positive for mthfr. But our de miscarriage was a year ago… I was so broken and really needed some time to heal. To be honest, still don’t feel ready but realise time is ticking away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • August 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm

          Exactly know what you mean on that last part…being 42 doesn’t help!

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      • August 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm

        Sorry… I keep having thoughts after I send. I also tested negative for all those but my doc is still treating me ‘as if’… In his words, we are throwing the book at this next transfer.

        Like

        • August 5, 2016 at 12:58 pm

          Yep I agree, thought that’s what we were doing on our 4th one as well but who knows…I think that’s one of the hardest things, not knowing truly what caused it…

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        • August 5, 2016 at 1:01 pm

          Yip, it’s terrible. Virtual hugs for youxxx

          Liked by 1 person

  11. August 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    While this must be a terrible time for you, your determination is so evident in your post. I hope whatever you decide it brings you happiness. Even though I haven’t gone through a miscarriage (yet) I know what it is to desperately want a baby. My prayers are with you! Hugs!

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  12. girlwithagolddress
    August 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    What is there to say… I read this post with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart… I kept thinking why? Why you? Why again? Why do such terrible things happen to good people? (I’m assuming you are a good person…you seem like one.) I could toss a million whys out into the world and there isn’t a single one that is going to come back with a good answer…and let’s be honest you don’t really want an answer…you want a baby. I know because I want a baby too…
    I know this isn’t exactly new territory for you, but I imagine one never becomes accustomed to pain, disappointment, or loss. I cannot understand exactly what you’re feeling now…but I can relate. I know what a positive pregnancy test after infertility and IVF feels like…and I know what it feels like to walk into an ultrasound feeling like your life is beginning again, like your luck has changed, like a new story has started…only to be told you’re in the same story, just a different chapter…a really crappy, disappointing, heartbreaking and painful chapter.
    Somehow telling you I’m sorry seems inadequate (although I am sorry). I know there isn’t a thing in the world I can type in this message that will make you feel better. Words do not take away pain and I am certain mine will fall short. So instead I thought I would send you something that brought me some peace during my own loss. I read these words multiple times a day during the first few weeks of my own miscarriage. I still read them on almost a daily basis. I hope they bring you even a sliver of the comfort they have brought me.

    (This is an excerpt from an advice column Cheryl Strayed use to write…this is her response to a woman who wrote of the struggles she was facing six months after her miscarriage…the woman referred to herself as ‘Stuck’. I abbreviated the response, but the entire exchange can be found in the book ‘Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar’)

    “Dear Stuck,
    I’m so sorry that your baby girl died. So terribly sorry. I can feel your suffering vibrating through my computer screen. This is to be expected. It is as it should be. Though we live in a time and place and culture that tries to tell us otherwise, suffering is what happens when truly horrible things happen to us.
    Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now. The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over anything. Or at least not anything that was genuinely, mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering. Some of those people believe they’re being helpful by minimizing your pain. Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away. Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death.
    They live on Planet Earth. You live on Plant My Baby Died.
    It seems to me that you feel like you’re all alone there. You aren’t. There are women reading this right now who have tears in their eyes. There are women who have spent their days chanting daughter, daughter or son, son silently to themselves. Women who have been privately tormented about the things they did or didn’t do that they fear caused the death of their babies. You need to find these women. They’re your tribe. The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because they experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated.
    This is how you get unstuck, Stuck. You reach. Not so you can walk away from the daughter you loved, but so you can live in the life that is yours—the one that includes the sad loss of your daughter, but is not arrested by it. The one that eventually leads you to a place in which you not only grieve her, but also feel lucky to have had the privilege of loving her. That place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it. You’re a woman who can travel that far.
    You will never stop loving your daughter. You will never forget her. You will always know her name. But she will always be dead. Nobody can intervene and make that right and nobody will. Nobody can take it back with silence or push it away with words. Nobody will protect you from suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal. Therapist and friends and other people who live on Planet My Baby Died can help you along the way, but the healing –the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change—is entirely and absolutely up to you.”

    I wish you strength and comfort over these next few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 5, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Wow this was incredibly touching and I appreciate so much the words you shared. I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful blog Community around me. Thank you again and big virtual hugs…

      Like

  13. Sarahjane Holt (Jay)
    August 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Mum told me of your very happy news a little while ago and now your very very sad news. Our heart breaks for you, we cannot imagine the rollercoaster of emotions you’ve been through and you must be so so exhausted. You sound like an incredibly brave and resilient woman and I’m sure there’s a lot more fight in you. We send prayers and virtual cuddles although I’m sure they won’t be of much comfort at the moment. Thinking of you xx

    Liked by 1 person

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