Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forty-Six Healthy Chromosomes. Zero Explanations.

In general, I don't think of the fetuses I've lost as lost children. That is an evolution from my first loss, pre-H, which, because it was my first-ever pregnancy, felt most like the loss of someone. In general, I find it easier to go along with the doctors and assume these pregnancies were the beginnings of life forms that were ultimately incompatible with human life, and my body had the good sense, for better or worse, to recognize that and let them go.

But every once in a while there is a wild card that throws off that construct I've tried to build neatly around these losses. There was the second of these past four losses, last year, that looked perfect on-screen right up until the moment it left my body, suddenly, without explanation. That one still haunts me. What was wrong with it? Did my body reject a healthy baby? Could that have been another sweet little H who might have walked and talked and said funny things?

And now I have another one to ponder, another pregnancy that suddenly seems more like it could have been a loss of an actual person than some ersatz collection of cells. The OB called yesterday and told me that the karyotype on this pregnancy came back showing no chromosomal abnormalities. Which is now sitting out there like some ominous clue in a bad suspense movie, leaving us to ponder why, then, the heart of this little creature started beating but couldn't become anything more. Why it then died too, joining four other siblings, or mizukos, or promises of lives that were, for whatever reason, defined or never to be known, not meant to be.

It's hard to know sometimes how to read the highway signs of life. What am I to take away from this fourth loss? Do I listen to this nagging voice saying maybe it's time to toss that proverbial towel? Or do I listen to this other voice that says this is your dream, and you don't walk away from your dream just because the going gets tough? What if I'd walked away before H? Some people do, and no one would have blamed me if I had.

My meeting with the new RE is tomorrow. For the first time since I started this slog six years ago, I have no plan, no direction, no clue what I want to do. All I know is that I've spent my entire 30s to this point trying to have babies, and I'm exhausted.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day Three

I was doing fine, but I forgot about day three. That dreaded day three. It doesn't matter how you feel in your head, because when the hormones take a nosedive, they're taking you with them. My OB told me about the curse of day three when I lay in my hospital bed weeping, inexplicably, after delivering a perfect little baby three years ago. The day three business of dropping hormones also happens when you get a sick fetus sucked out of you, and this is just one of life's unfair, dirty little secrets. You can't be okay about it even when you really feel okay about it, because the physical process is going to force you to cry.

And cry.

And cry and cry and cry until you're limp and the only thing you know how to do is binge eat ice cream.

I also drove myself to get sushi for dinner, blasting Florence Welch on the way. Next up: a reckless caravan of additional verboten pregnancy foods including unpasteurized cheese, meat sandwiches from food trucks, etc. And, as soon as I'm done with this doxycycline, a bottle of wine.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Habitual Aborter

Serious shizz has gone down, people. We moved again -- a major, out-of-state move this time. Because I love my husband and he hated his job, because, let's face it, I was bored in the little town where we last moved, and apparently, because I'm a glutton for punishment, which upending your entire life when you have a preschooler so clearly is.

But let's start with what's germane to this forum, namely: girlfriend realizes, a mere two weeks after arriving in her new town, that her period probably should have arrived by now. This cycle was all thrown off because I'd stupidly thought I could handle squeezing in an IVF cycle before moving. I thought, hey, I am the queen of multitasking! I can handle this! But no. I could not handle it. So after four days on the Pill I stopped the Pill and pulled the plug. And I had a withdrawal bleed (right after my regular one) so my RE said that could throw off timing and don't be surprised if it takes a good six weeks to get my period. 

So I wasn't worried when I bought the test. I had been talking to my friend that day (one Who Knows) and told her I was going to test but there was No Way, Repeat, No Way it would be positive. Which in retrospect makes no sense, because why would I be testing if I thought there was no way. But anyway when I got home from the playground I sat H in front of the boob tube and went to pee on another stick, and I'm telling you, the "Pregnant" line lit up before the control line, literally as soon as a drop of pee landed on it. I definitely shrieked from shock, and I'm pretty sure the words were, "You have GOT to be kidding me," and I later thought I would definitely have to rewrite history on that if this pregnancy stuck around. And then I thought, I will probably be punished for not being instantly filled with joy. But I'm sorry, once you've had a miscarriage or two -- or three, or four, if you're me -- if you are alive and a feeling human being and not a robot, your first feeling at seeing the two lines is dread-laced fear. 

Anyway, I will get right to the point: the D&C was yesterday. I don't know what was wrong with this one. I only know that when I went for my second OB visit (after scrambling to locate one in my new area who might be able to handle me), I was talking to the receptionist when I felt the gush of blood. I bled profusely as they did a scan and saw a sac and a yolk sac and sent me on my merry way with a 50/50 prognosis. I returned last week and the OB, who scanned me herself, told us there was a heartbeat but it was incredibly slow. We scheduled the D&C for yesterday and scanned again just to be sure. Another day, another still screen, another IV of sedatives, another vacuum ripping out what could have been my bonus baby. 

I didn't cry this time. Well, I did, just a little, when I heard "Isn't She Lovely" in the car last weekend, because it moves me and I was hormonal and the tears were sort of involuntary. But that was it. I never connected with this pregnancy, never allowed myself for a second to believe that it could come true. So there was nothing to mourn, really. I realize this could sound harsh and unfeeling to someone who's never been in these shoes. But trust me, after one miscarriage, or two, or three, or four (this was my fifth, all told, with one before H) bring you to your knees, you sort of reach a point where you don't have to do that again in order to let it go. It's sort of like shorthand, or muscle memory, or something. You sort of say to yourself, yup, this sucks so bad, but you don't have to actually go through the histrionics to reach the same conclusion. You decide you could spend some time falling apart but quite frankly you'd rather search on Pinterest for some decorating ideas for your new house.

So. I can read the writing on the wall (I'm smart like that). If I want another baby, I have to put on my big girl pants and do the damn IVF. There are moments, though, when I'm not sure. You know sometimes when you try really hard for something, like a new job? You buy a new suit, you arrive early to the interviews, you make sure you're totally on point. And then they keep having you back to meet with different people and you don't hear from them exactly when they tell you that you will, and you start to get the sense that you bought a new suit for nothing, that they may never actually hire you? And then the whole thing starts to jump the shark, and you feel like, damn it, if they don't want you then you don't want them either? 

That's how I'm starting to feel about this. Like, if being a mom of two doesn't want me in its fancy little club, then I have better things to do than to keep trying to sneak under the velvet rope.

I'm meeting with an RE in my new area in two weeks. We'll see if he can say anything that makes me feel hopeful again.

design by suckmylolly.com