Last Day.February 20, 2014 at 10:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
I show up in the usual ultrasound department this morning at 6:30, knowing that the first blood draw starts at 6:45.
At 6:45, I’m directed upstairs to the OB/GYN department – apparent there are too many monitoring patients, and for bloodwork only you are seen on the 3rd floor.
I am the first there. They call my name at 7:00 sharp, and I walk in. There are two phlebotomists in the office, one all business, the other quietly waiting by the chairs.
What test? The business one asks me.
Pregnancy, I respond. I nearly choke on the word in my throat.
The quiet one asks me, How are you today?
I admit: It’s not one of my better days. As I roll up the sleeve on my left arm, I point out the pinhead scar on the vein from so many other draws. Think you can work around this? Or do you want to draw from my other arm?
She confirms she can work from it, there’s another vein in that arm that looks good.
And as she’s putting the needle in, she asks me, so kindly: How many is this?
I pause. I have no idea. I don’t know, I say. I’ve lost count. But we did get lucky once – I have a son who is going to be 6 next month.
She finishes my draw, gives me the pad to hold to the vein, and then tapes me up. And she says something which I can’t remember now. Probably empathetic and sweet and nice, because she was the first person who has taken my blood that has really asked me how I am. And I really have the sense she CARES about my response.
But all I can hear, as I’m putting my sweater and coat back on, is her question.
How many is this?
I really have no idea.
How many cycles, how much hope lost, how many embryos squandered?
How much suffering, how much loss?
The tears come unbidden. I can’t stop them – it’s all I can do to get down the three flights of stairs to the main lobby so I can escape into the winter air. I manage to get to my car before completely breaking down.
We started this second round of treatments almost 4 years ago. Of course we’d get pregnant again; after all, we fixed my uterus with surgery and then got pregnant and had our son at term – 37 weeks. It was resolved – we fixed Ute.
But here I am – however many cycles later. With no baby to show for it.
I know it was a fight worth fighting; it’s our FAMILY, after all. But if I had known that we’d lose the war, I would have stopped a long, long time ago.
Because this time around, it’s affected everything. My marriage, my happiness, my identity, my dreams, my hopes, my fears; the very foundation of who I am and what I believe.
I used to believe that if you worked hard enough, you’d succeed. I used to believe that there were battles worth fighting. I used to believe that infertility might bring me and my husband closer together. I used to believe that infertility helped make my heart bigger; it gave me a huge reservoir of empathy and gratitude for where I did get Lucky. I used to believe that if you put something out into the universe, you’d get it eventually, even if it wasn’t in the form you expected.
Today, though, I don’t know that I believe in any of it. I loathe my body. There’s a chasm between my husband and I that I’m not sure we can ever bridge. I have so little control over anything in this life.
And I sometimes want to smack the little girl inside me who thinks that by wishing on a fucking star, I’ll make my wishes come true.
We worked so hard to make our dreams come true.
So hard, we lost count.