As you know, I have had my ups and downs in regards to this pregnancy. While I am thankful and happy that things continue to look good, I am also still grieving the losses of the last five years.
The last 48 hours have been no exception. Sometimes I wonder if we ever truly get off of the IF roller coaster. Perhaps the ride just shifts a bit as time goes on.
Saturday morning I woke up - for the second day in a row - with the thought, "Everything is not ok with this pregnancy." I believed it was just the normal fears which come with a pregnancy after years of infertility and loss, but I wasn't sure. And although we are just at the cusp of when people will start to feel movement, the waiting and hoping reminded me so much of the 10 weeks I waited for Ernest to move, that I started to get anxious. So I called the hospital where my OB works and asked if he was on call Saturday or Sunday. It turned out he was on call that day. So I left a message asking if he could get us in for a scan. He called about 2 hours later and said that he was very busy, but if we could get there in 30 minutes, he would try to get us in.
We rushed to the hospital and met him in Labor and Delivery (thankfully he was immediately available and we were spared hanging around). We walked to his office that is part of the hospital complex and did a quick scan. Everything still looks good. It was such a relief to see movement. We saw a 4 chambered heart, a bladder, two kidneys and a brain that seems to be developing normally. He said the placenta was anterior (between me and the baby) so it makes sense that I haven't felt any movement yet. I would have been happy to wrap it up after we saw a leg move, but we are extra grateful for the additional details. On the way back through the hospital, he apologized for needing to make it so quick. Did I not say he was Dr. Wonderful?
That led to a very nice and peaceful Saturday and a restful sleep Saturday night. Sunday, the clouds rolled in again. It wasn't a bad day, but I was feeling the usual holiday blues. I was hoping this Christmas wouldn't be so sad. Ok, if I am honest, it is much better to be pregnant over the holiday than be on the other side of a failed cycle and waiting for the next one to start. Still, I felt the sadness of the past Christmas seasons and wondered if I would ever feel the joy I used to feel around this time.
Trying to cheer things up, Brad and I decided to wrap Christmas presents while drinking tea and listening to This American Life on a podcast. It is an public radio show that takes a theme and tells 3-4 stories around this theme. It seemed to be a safe subject about friendships that form or stay together even when it seems they shouldn't. The last story was about a woman with infertility issues who becomes friends with her doctor's wife. Brad suggested we turn it off, but I thought I would be ok. I mean, it doesn't mean it is going to be a happy ending just because it is about infertility. Yeah, right. The woman tried for 3 years but it is unclear if she had multiple failed IVF cycles or not. And of course, they transfer two embryos and she has healthy triplets. It was the drop of water that broke the dam. I sobbed for an hour. It was the first time in about a year when I hoped I wouldn't wake up in the morning. I felt like such a failure. "Why," I begged my husband, "weren't we lucky? Why wasn't I able to do enough to make it work for us? Why did we put back three perfect donor embryos and have only one implant?" (Note: I really never wanted twins or higher order multiples. The only downside of one is the $28,000 it will cost to have a sibling, but I still wonder why the other two didn't implant). Once I stopped crying I went to bed and tried to remind myself that I was not a failure. No one who knows what we have done would call us failures. I repeated some of the things my RE recently told me when I called him for reassurance and support. He said I was "absolutely not a failure" and that I was amazing. He said I need to let go of the dream of having my genetic child. He expressed his confidence in me to decide I can be ok with this. I cuddled up to Brad and fell asleep.
This morning the sun came out, literally and figuratively. I thought about my friend Kate who is dealing with an extremely likely chemical pregnancy right now. My heart goes out to her and her latest post really captures those feelings after a failed cycle. I understand where she is at, as much as any another person can. I have been there and it is so unbelievably hard. It made me realize how much better it is to be here, in this moment, with such hope on the horizon. Even though I have struggled with the feelings of loss and failure that come with using donor eggs, I am thankful to my RE for encouraging me down this path.
I am thankful for all the people who have supported us (paid and unpaid) and the bond Brad and I have. I am thankful to Belinda for being our donor. I am especially thankful for Little Project and the hope that she has brought us. Please continue to be healthy, little one.
644th Friday Blog Roundup
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