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.

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11 Comments »

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  1. That’s all just really shitty. What shitty things to have to do, to say and worst of all to think.

  2. That’s all just really shitty. What shitty things to have to do, to say and worst of all to think.

  3. Holding you inside my heart while you cry. Let it out.

  4. I don’t know what to say. There are no words. I too believed that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. I had to accept the *possibility* that that might not be the case but I was spared the reality of it actually being not the case. I think my faith in everything would be shattered if learning that lesson were my life. It must be utterly heartbreaking.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your innumerable losses. I’m sorry for all of it.

    Abiding with you.

  5. It is like you are channeling my thoughts right now. Your last sentence broke my heart.

    My Dad said to me on the phone the other day, after I had said to him that I could cope with E. being an only child, but that if that was how it was going to turn out, I wished we could have gone back in time and just been happy with him as an only and never tried for a second, “Well, Turia, everyone fails at something in life. And you’ve had very few failures thus far.”

    And I wanted to say to him, but couldn’t put the words together then, that there is a huge difference between failing at something because you didn’t prepare properly, or didn’t put the effort in, or didn’t try hard enough, and failing at something even though you tried SO FUCKING HARD to make it work, did everything you possibly could to make it work, longed for it to work with every fibre of your being, AND had it work once before, so it’s that much harder to understand why it won’t work again.

    I felt exactly like you did with your expectations when you started the process over again. We did a long protocol IVF and a blastocyst transfer and we got E. THAT’S what we needed. THAT’S what worked.

    But now that’s failed too.

    I feel like I am trundling along in your footsteps- a few twists behind still, but following the same road. Reading your posts and your comments help a lot.

    You said to me in your comment on my last post that you’re going to be ok, you and your family.

    You will be.

    I’m just so sorry it’s not going to be the ok that you wanted.

    xoxo
    T.

  6. I am so very sorry for your BFNs, and for the toll this has taken on you, your identity, and your marriage.

    Thank you for posting again; it takes a lot of courage to be open (courage I seem to lack, or it’s too mixed with ambivalence). Sending you much love, plus a pat for your dog.

  7. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

  8. I’m so sorry Serenity. You are going to be OK, but dang, it hurts now.

  9. I want to say it’s all going to be ok in time. That having traveled ahead of you in this path, I know you will make it through and find yourself again. That you and your husband will find a way to bridge that chasm. That you will find peace. But, honestly? Yes, you will find peace on some level. Probably on many levels. And you will probably connect again with your husband in a way that overcomes the chasm. But I know that for me, for all the peace I have found, for the ways we have found to move forward together as a couple again, if there was a way where I could be 100% certain to have another child, I wouldn’t hesitate or think twice. That’s not so say I haven’t found fulfillment in the life I have with one living child, but that longing, however muted and at rest, is still there. It doesn’t need to scream out in pain or despondency any more. But I know it will always stay with me. I think I have to keep it with me because it is all that I have of my lost children.

  10. Serenity, my heart breaks.

    I’m not sure what to say. I was surprised to see you back in this space, but I can understand that sometimes you need it. Look! People reading. Cold comfort, I know.

    Bea

  11. Thank you for voicing something I have really been battling to put into words… I too am facing the end of treatment for my second child… I’m so tired of having to justify why I want another… I’m also broken…


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