Last week, I had a track playing in my head that just kept repeating "I hate my life" over and over again. I hate that M and I have to involve anyone else in our family building in the first place. I hate that even after we prostrate ourselves, it still isn't easy. I hate that we have so little say in when and how our family will grow. I hate that we have to weigh the value of another child against the significant, real, and enduring financial consequences to our family that continued OOP treatments will bring about. What a gut-wrenching equation. Most of all, I hate that we have to do all of these things when others do not. These things are not the prerequisites to child-rearing for most people. I hate that they are for us.
This weekend, I was able to coax myself into some perspective. I don't hate my life; I hate this part of my life. This part of my life is all-consuming right now, but it won't always be. There are many things about my life that are wonderful and should not be short-changed:
- I have an uncomplicated, supportive relationship with a wonderful partner. During our ten years together, we have honed our ability to cut through the static and care for each other, even in the hardest of times.
- We have a healthy, smart, and funny little boy that is generous with his hugs and kisses. The fact that he made it into this world seems more of a miracle to me now than ever.
- We have good jobs and a comfortable home.
- We have the unconditional love and support of both of our extended families.
- We have the resources to try again. I'm not sure yet where they will come from. I do know there will be pain and sacrifice involved. But we'll make it happen somehow.
There are even silver linings to the loss of this pregnancy to be grateful for:
- I'm fulfilling maid of honor duties for an out-of-town friend in April. It will be much easier to enjoy all of the travel and pre-wedding festivities (not to mention the bar at the reception) without any first trimester ick to contend with.
- We just booked a trip to England in June. Part of the trip includes four days on a canal boat with KD and his wife and they... how shall I put this... let's just say there will be at least as much pub-crawling as canal-boating going on. I was fully prepared to be the sober chaperone, and also to manage the international flight with a toddler and a 20-week belly, but the trip will certainly be easier and more enjoyable without these considerations.
- I'm not in great shape right now. I'd be better off to start a pregnancy 10-15 lbs. lighter than I am and now it looks like I will have time to make that happen.
When we were TTC Elliot, I had a mantra that helped me get through the BFNs. I wrote about it here. The gist is that our child will be one in a billion, conceived at a precise moment in time, and to wish for that time to be earlier than it is meant to is to wish for a different child than the one we are going to have. So it is okay to wish that OUR child could be conceived earlier rather than later, but it has to stop there. Once the BFN comes, there is no point longing for the pregnancies or the babies that weren't to be, because they were never meant to be ours, and they had to be lost to keep our arms and hearts open for the child that is still waiting for us. (I should note that this is how I personally choose to think about this, because it helps me, but it doesn't mean I think anyone else should subscribe to the same philosophy.) Anyway, I tried to focus on that a lot this weekend too, and it took some of the sting away. Well, I think it did.
The problem with all of this is that today is another bad day, and I've lost sight of the sunshine I found this weekend. I thought I would be grateful for today's test as a step toward closure, but I had the same sick feeling walking into the RE's office today as I did on Thursday. This time, however, I got lost in the shuffle at the front desk and had to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes prior to my test. While I was sitting there, I realized how different and scary that office seems now. We didn't move to the RE until IVF, so to me, that office has always been magical. After nearly two years of BFNs, we walked through their doors and left with a baby. Our experience with them has been strictly that you go to them when you need a miracle and, lo and behold, they achieve the unachievable. This failed FET has reminded me of the darker side of RE's offices; the side I was mercifully spared the first time around. Now they have dealt me heartbreak, too. My 30 minute wait also gave me the time to survey my routing slip, complete with the "reason" for today's visit: rpt qbhcg not a gd# Translation: Repeat quantitative beta hcg, not a good number. Ouch. By the time I finally got back for my blood draw, I was hanging on by a thread. The nurse spotted this instantly and asked if I was okay. That was apparently enough to open up the flood gates. Teary meltdown in public = everyone's favorite way to start the day.
The nurse called while I was writing this post. Beta is down to "less than five." This is mostly good news, given the circumstances, but sad news as well. Nothing left to do now but stop my meds and wait to bleed.
Today is a bad day. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, the sun will come out again and I will remember the things I knew over the weekend: I am a lucky woman with so much to be grateful for. Someday, this will all be worth it.