This past week has definitely been worse. For three days in a row it felt worse inside, and today I am simply attempting neutral or numb, whatever hurts least. For those three days I could not seem to separate the loss from the rest of me. And even today, I can’t seem to define myself as anything but this woman whose baby died inside her womb.
I received an email from a local midwifery – who I’ve told twice last month that a) I was not interested in working with them, and b) I’d had a miscarriage – congratulating me on my pregnancy and asking if I wanted to have a free consult. Fuck this fucking shit.
Yesterday I was talking to a client and mentioning I’d be unavailable for a few weeks (while I’m still recruiting for sure, it’s my financial lifeblood, I didn’t want to start any more one-on-one coaching work until after the transfer and results came in), I’d said I was having IVF next week, but then had to spell it out as she didn’t know what it meant. Dang, I forgot what it was like to talk to people who didn’t know anything about infertility. It was this robotic explanation – “I’m infertile”. Those two words just hang in the air, reminding me of who I am. Now I know intellectually it’s not all that I am, but for almost two years it has defined me.
I’d been trying my hardest to compartmentalize all of this, telling myself it wasn’t a ‘real’ baby, it wasn’t like we ever felt a kick, it wasn’t as if I had a bump and suddenly it was gone, it wasn’t as if we knew the sex or had a name decided upon, it wasn’t as if…fuck I don’t know. It’s like maybe if I pretend I wasn’t really pregnant that maybe the pain will dissolve faster.
But, no matter how my mind tries to wrangle it, for a portion of the summer of 2016, I indeed was pregnant. Me, miss three-time DEIVF loser, had finally become a winner at the game in round four. We picked out our midwife and our doula. We told people near and far in our lives. We contemplated how to navigate the paternity leave discussion with my husband’s employer. We celebrated. We nested. We had hope.
Now the optimism is gone. It’s as if the air has been sucked out of the room and we’ve been tossed into an empty field of death and decay, where nothing grows and we have been pushed far, far away from the possibility of family. It’s not pessimism, it’s more like dread mixed with a forced neutrality. Not a lot of us are at cycle five, and I don’t know anyone at this stage with donor eggs, so it’s created a solitude that I can’t quite describe.
Even the miscarriage blogs don’t do much, as most I come across are not tied in with infertility. Many even talk about their existing children and then the term ‘pain olympics’ that another blogger wrote about comes into my mind. You see, if we ever do get pregnant, we won’t ever do IVF again. Just to have one would be, dare I say, a miracle.
This week I put the stuffed animals back on the shelf that my husband had taken down when the miscarriage occurred. Like some crazy person with an imaginary baby, I put the pregnancy books on the shelf below and tried just denying the past 21 months since the journey began. I reorganized the basement bedroom into more of a guest room, and we pulled out the dresser that’s falling apart. My baby clothes from the 1970s lay spread on the bed down there, reminding me of if a little girl were to arrive that perhaps we’d have her in those. I closed the door and won’t be down there for a few weeks. Not until we know.
It’s an interesting thing being at cycle five. The shots aren’t exciting and I don’t do any visualization. When I went in for my acupuncture yesterday (which is what reduced my anxiety to a manageable level, thank goodness), I no longer did the healing mantras. I just tried to breathe in and out. As my wonderful acu goddess said, just try to get oxygen into your blood. I went deep into the lalaland that is a good acu session, and wandered out of there in that rested haze. I needed it. But we did our delestrogen shot again last night (turned out we had more leftover from cycle four than I realized, so I’m still not on the pills yet as I’ll be damned if this $260 vial will go to waste!) and it was just 5 minutes out of our day and we were back to talking about how we might DIY remodel the kitchen this fall. Rather than talk babies, we talked about removing annoying counter tiles and yanking out the base cabinets and doing a freestanding kitchen, inspired by Pinterest finds like these:
Anyhoo. Went to have my mayan abdominal massage this morning and started sniffling as soon as she brought me back to the room. Lovely. Fortunately she asked if I needed a hug and I nodded and she gave me one which I needed. (As my husband said over the phone, “ya definitely wouldn’t see that with a traditional MD”). I had my blood drawn yesterday for my thyroid to see if it’s responded yet to the new compounded T3/T4 etc., so we are expecting to get the results today or tomorrow, and she said if it looks like it’s at least progressing to a lower number that she thinks we should go forward with the transfer, but it’s definitely up to us to decide no matter what if it’s not close to the 2.5 max it should be at. My anxiety around where my TSH is is going through the roof, as I think it contributed to my miscarriage even though we of course can never be sure. Ugh. Fuckity fuck fuck.
Time to go water the garden, as I need to find some kind of center and it’s definitely not happening yet sitting on this sofa. Let the peace come in, wherever it’s hiding…