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.