Wednesday, January 22, 2014

And another year passes...

So, B and I were slowly getting excited... We had our 2nd IVF in December, right before Christmas. We waited for the date listed on my blood test form to have the draw. I woke up really excited that morning, and went to the closest lab on my way to work. I tried not to think about it all day (puh-lease! We all know how that went!), and focused on my students. I tried to ignore walking over to my desk ten thousand times to tap my cell phone to see if any messages had come through.

After lunch, I checked one more time... and there was the missed call and voice mail. After last year's disappointment, I knew that the message wouldn't say any more than to call the office, but it still made my breath catch when I saw the notification. B was home early that day, so I wanted to wait until I was with him before I made the call. The call that left me sobbing just one year prior. The call that I dreaded to ever have to make again. I held it together until I got home. We huddled together upstairs in the bedroom and I dialed the office, waited for what seemed like forever (just a few moments, really), then my doctor was on the line. And she was telling us the words we had been waiting to hear for almost 7 years...

"Your test is positive (ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod... but wait... there's more, she's still talking... shhh), but just barely." This could mean one of two things: (1) we are in the very early stages and implantation occurred later than expected; or (2) it started to implant, but didn't finish and I was having a chemical pregnancy. *Hope crushed* We listened numbly for a few more minutes, received instructions to continue taking the medication (you know, just in case it was a real pregnancy), and to repeat the blood draw in a few days (to give more time for the HCG to raise).

So, instead of tears of joy, we spent the next few hours trying to give one another hope, trying to figure out what we could do to keep things moving, trying not to fall apart completely. And this journey lasted for almost two more weeks. Two of the roughest weeks of our lives. Every blood draw, and subsequent phone call, gave us a little more hope and a little more disappointment. The HCG numbers were doubling, but they started so low, that it really didn't make too much of a difference.

8 weeks after our 2nd IVF began, it was all over. Confirmed that the embryo didn't finish implanting and start growing. We were devastated. Even with all the knowledge we had that most likely this was not going to end in a viable pregnancy, we still had hope. We still wanted to dream. We still walked around Target, laughing and smiling with our secret knowledge, and "window shopping" for our future little one's nursery. Deep down, I knew... we knew. We knew it wouldn't be viable, but we couldn't accept it. Did not want to accept it.

I spent the next few days in an automatic daze. I got up in the morning, went to work, enjoyed my students, came home, went to sleep. I ate here and there, I kept a bright smile on my face whenever I was out of the house, then came home to let the misery wash over me in private. When B was home, we talked about our days, watched TV, played on our computers, but we didn't really discuss what happened. I cried by myself in our room. I didn't want to feel, and I didn't want anyone to know what I was going through. I wanted to just keep moving, thinking positive, planning our next steps.

I was trucking along, and even though I knew B and my parents were concerned about me, I just didn't want to talk about it.

Then we received a card in the mail from our IVF office. It was a card of condolence on our loss. I opened it, read it, and put it away. We went out to spend time with our friends that night, and B told them about the loss. They expressed brief condolences, then we moved on as if nothing ever happened. I drank that night, more than I had in a long time (because, remember, you aren't supposed to drink during the IVF process!). On our way home, I played a song that I had come across in my searching about miscarriage, chemicals, etc. And then I dissolved into tears. Loud, gut wrenching sobs while I mourned the loss of our "baby." S drove us home to my parents house, brought my mom out to me, and she held me in the freezing Winter cold while I spent the next 20 minutes or so letting it all out. It was painful for all involved.

Eventually we went in the house, I went to bed, slept fitfully, and the next morning, my mom and B were there to talk to me. We talked for a long time. They both suggested counseling, but it just wasn't something I wanted to pursue. I realized during that talk that I was not the only one hurting. B was not the only one hurting. Our parents were hurting with us. Everyone was so worried when I just moved along as if nothing had happened. It was so out of character for me, as I normally fixate on anything difficult. They knew my moment was coming, and they knew there would be more (though next time, I hoped alcohol would not be my undoing).

So, why bring all this up now? Because we just passed the year mark of our loss. And no matter what your belief is (a baby isn't a baby until it is born, conception is when sperm meets egg, it all becomes real when it implants, etc.), my belief, at that moment, was we lost a baby. We lost the hopes and dreams that we had been working towards for 7 years. We lost something so special and important to us, that the actual term "baby" no longer had a definitive definition. At that moment, that was our baby. That was our loss. That was our heartbreak. And no one can prepare you for how you handle it.

And another year passes...