Saturday, August 1, 2015


This seems like more of a post for here, my mental health and OCD figure into it all.

Last month the stars, the hormones, the fertility drugs, and  my ovaries all aligned and we found out we were finally pregnant. We were going on our eighteenth month of trying with timed intercourse, dipping sticks in pee, checking, counting, and the utter hell and heartbreak of infertility. If you've ever seen a movie or tv thing about a woman trying to get pregnant, it's much closer to the truth than I ever imagined. We lose our goddamn minds with it.

I have been stranded on the toilet sobbing too hard to even stand up and pull my pants up at least once a month during this time. Or waylaid by a woman who walks through the waiting room with a newborn. Utterly shattered by the toddler in the grocery cart near me who is playing peek-a-boo. I have have been so sure that it was our month so many times. It never was.

And then, there it was, two lines on a test. Two lines on a dozen tests. Five digital tests saying it was true.  Then a quantitative HCG blood test. And then another. And yet another. And yep, I was knocked up for real. Everything was doubling in 48-ish hours. We set up my dating scan for mid-July. We spent that weekend being giddy and cuddling and randomly saying things like "Oh my god, we made a baby. Well, right now it's a blastocyst. We made a blastocyst!" It was the first Father's Day that I acknowledged since 1984.
It was us and the poppyseed.

The next week we just let it soak in. I can't say I felt sick or tired or anything yet. Things smelled different all of a sudden. Mostly I felt gassy. I wasn't but I just felt bloated. And then I felt some little stretchy things, it didn't feel like anything else. Just like little stretchy kind of sparky twinges. And warmth. I was HOT. my body temperature was up over 99 degrees for three weeks.

And we started to accept that this was really happening and we were nearly 6 weeks along and getting closer to that ultrasound every day. That ultrasound where we would see a heartbeat and could relax.

And then it stopped happening. I started bleeding. The doctor's office told me to hang in there and just take it easy and remember to breathe. The next day it seemed to stop for a while. And then it was back and painful. It was obviously not going to be OK and the repro med center wanted me to come in that afternoon.

The ultrasound showed no gestational sac in my uterus. The remnants of one were near my left ovary, it was reabsorbing, there was no more evidence of the poppyseed, which should have been a sesame seed by then. I know it's the best possible outcome for an ectopic, my body was clearing it out. It was so efficient that my right ovary was already working on the new follicles.

I wasn't pregnant anymore. I wanted to make everyone in the room just stop and let me take it in. I kept thinking they can't tell me this, we want this so much, we have done absolutely everything possible to get here. How can they break my heart before I have even been allowed to put my underpants back on? While my doctor was telling me to go to the main hospital lab I was just hoping I wasn't bleeding all over the floor. Because the cramping was getting worse by the moment.

We left and I had to sit down in the lobby. I couldn't breathe. It all hit me so hard that it just took my breath away. Emergency blood work at the main lab confirmed that my HCG had dropped by a huge amount, and two days later it was down in the definitely not pregnant range. And for the next few days I would randomly fall apart crying while my body was working on tidying up, it was painful and upsetting. I really hadn't thought of miscarriage as a process more than an event. It took several days to be complete.

And then I was OK and carrying on. We got the go-ahead to try again as soon as we wanted. And through whatever fuckery that governs my endocrine system, I was gearing up to pop out an egg on my own so, we once again gave it our best shot. And I did ovulate and even early. So we waited.

And we didn't catch it.

And it was somehow harder to accept this failure. I don't know why, it just made it all so much more real.
So it's a new cycle, and this time medicated. And at seven days into it, it could be the fertility drugs talking, but it hurts. I feel like a raw nerve. I cry. I cry so hard I can't breathe. When I'm not crying my throat hurts from swallowing the tears. My ovaries are feeling warm and heavy from the pills. I am trying to feel positive. I am trying to accept it all.

But I just want to scream that it's not fair. That this hurts too much. That I can't do this again. Except that we aren't ready to give up yet, we can't not do this.

And so we move ahead and I am focusing on my bans*, I am doing a leaner version of fertility charting, I am not checking and double checking or triple checking every symptom. I'm still going out. I am letting people in. I am feeling my emotions and handling them in appropriate ways.

It's the hardest thing I have ever had to do. June 29th was absolutely the shittiest day of my life so far.
I think that February 24th will be the second shittiest. It's the day after my birthday.
It would have been my due date.

* my bans are my banned behaviors, things I am not supposed to do. It's part of cognitive behavioral therapy. Negative self talk and OCD information seeking are my superpowers. 

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