I find myself in a really bitter place. It’s not that I resent pregnant women, but I’m filled with an ugly blend of envy and grief every time I scroll down my newsfeed. I think I’ll be grieving some aspect of this for a long time. I will never have a cute story of being late and surprising Hubby with the news. I have to mourn the way I thought things would be. The reality is that no little girl brushes her doll’s hair thinking “I’m going to go through IVF”. So yes, I’m bitter.
Part of me thinks I missed a crucial opportunity to capture an entirely different side of the infertility struggle/journey/cliché. April 2013, I was full of hope and maybe even a little excitement. Sure, I had just found out that I was born with half a uterus, but we had met a brilliant (albeit obviously conceited) doctor who assured me that he had a plan.
Life got in the way. Dad got sick. Hubby’s Dad got sick. Hubby’s Dad died. My Dad died. All before I met a BMI requirement to even start the IVF process.
By the way, if you’re not a normal weight, you run the risk of serious medical fat bullying. Short of a significant hormone imbalance caused by something like insulin resistance, your weight may seriously have no impact on your fertility. Our conceited specialist had it out for fat people, as I got to learn by reading his notes later on. Lucky for me, he left his practice and we were referred to Boston IVF. BMI issue became a matter of a few extra consults and we were on to cycle number 1.
Our first cycle was scary. So many needles and then I found out how they retrieved the eggs. Yikes. Even though it didn’t result in happy little 5-day old embryos (technically blastocysts) I was still pumped. This IVF thing wasn’t so bad. I was disappointed that I had to wait to start again until the hormones from cycle 1 cleared my system.
Cycle 2, I was a pro. We had 1 blastocyst that was transferred. They gave us a photo and we joked about baby Blastkap’s first baby picture and we splurged on acupuncture to help Blastkap get comfortable. After the longest 9 days of my life, negative pregnancy test. I cried for a good week or so but 3 years into this seeking the stork business I was used to negative tests. We skipped a month, went to Disney, and went into the next one with excitement.
Cycle 3 injections were uneventful in all. Third time’s the charm. I waltzed into my egg retrieval like it was a haircut. One of the original directors of Boston IVF was the physician and he expressed sympathy that we were at number 3. There were 3 egg retrievals that day and as we sat in side by side waiting areas I heard that they too were on cycle 3. This was it. Baby RafKap would finally be coming. As luck would have it, our blastocyst “Blastkap2” made herself comfortable and implanted on the day of our 5th wedding anniversary. 9 days later, while in the car on the way to NY, I got the call I had been waiting for. I was pregnant. Minor catch. HcG (pregnancy hormone) had to double by Tuesday, I couldn’t wait to pee on a pregnancy test to finally get a positive. We planned when to make our big announcement. Sunday afternoon I had some disconcerting symptoms. Sunday night worse. Monday even worse and talking to the office nurse I had a feeling this wouldn’t be good. Tuesday I prayed. I prayed to Mary, to St. Gerard, to Jesus, to anyone who would let me keep my baby. Tuesday afternoon I was running a meeting in my office when I saw the call and the voicemail. I went outside and listened. HcG had dropped, and so did I. I all but collapsed onto the curb behind the dumpster at work and sobbed. One of my staff members found me and was obviously concerned. “I just miscarried at 4 1/2 weeks” I blurted out. I wrapped up my day, went home, and cried. I went to bed. I got up. I went to work. I came home and cried. This went on for a few weeks. I met with the doctor. My eggs are mature for their age. Curveball. I said I was done with IVF for now with the possibility of for now being forever.
Our marriage suffered. Fights stopped being fair. Things like “what about what I want” was met with “then you find someone else to do it for you” or even less reasonable “then you grow a uterus and do it yourself”. If we hadn’t been recommended to a couples counselor, one of us would have moved out by now.
So here we are. Let’s hope I find my way out soon.