Friday, August 29, 2014

One Good Folder

I'm organizing my office, finally. And part of that is finally, finally addressing the monstrous file folder of tests, procedures and sad outcomes that make up my infertility/miscarriage medical records. The folder was brimming over, and every time I used the drawer I would have to curse, because the papers would hang out and create problems when I tried to close it. So I'm sitting here organizing everything into categories of misery.

But for one. There's one new folder, now exclusively devoted to H's pregnancy, and even though that pregnancy had its own baggage, it makes me happy. In it, there's this photo. One of the embryos here is my H, the most hard-fought win I've ever achieved. My best work. We can all take an educated guess at which one he is, which one looks classically as if it would have stuck. But then again, we all know that in this game, surprises are everywhere.

One of those embryos is my H. I've had a rough week, been feeling emotional about the loss, feeling uncharacteristically whiny. And you know, no matter what people say about infertiles just needing to appreciate what we have, it's really ok to whine when you've lost a baby. Whether it's your first or fourth. Whether it was easy to conceive or not. But in the end, no matter what happens, this photo, this result, this family I have -- it's all that matters. Don't let me forget that, okay?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New World Order

The thing of it is, I think I've done pretty damn well. I haven't missed a beat with work. I've been very present with H and enjoyed so much of the summer. I have moments when I feel carefree, when I almost forget. I really do.

But it's still like a dark shadow. The...angst, I guess. The pain. The fear. I am so afraid of what happened, of what it means. And, maybe more than anything, I'm really fucking angry.

Every time I pay yet another medical bill ($500 for the second surgery paid yesterday...a drop in the bucket), I seethe. We'll finally be free of all these bills, we'd thought. Finally just have a normal year where we're not paying our copay for another D&C or our fee for someone to put our egg and sperm together and make a ball of cells that maybe, just maybe, might be more than wasted.

Every time I see someone with a baby I just want to demand to know why it was all too much to ask that I get my sibling too. That I be done. That I never have to spend another minute wondering about whether H will be an only child. That I close the book and return it to the Library of Sad Stories, satisfied with my hard-earned happy ending. Why.

And then I self-loathe over the sense that I shouldn't be upset about others' babies, that it shouldn't bother me. That I should be more graceful and less envious. But then I feel like I've spent so much time being happy for others, too, genuinely happy, and why can't I just add another baby to our family without having to feel guilty or greedy. I've been a good sport. And around and around it goes.

Today I was going through receipts and found one from a few days before The Bad Ultrasound and I had this odd urge to jump into the story and rescue the heroine from all the doom. Don't look now, but after you pay for those groceries you're about to walk into a total shit storm. Brace yourself accordingly.

And sometimes moments flash before me, like scenes from the battlefield. The moment I stood in the bathroom outside the OR before I went in, my round abdomen propping up the hospital gown like a circus tent, the last time I'd see myself pregnant. How I told him goodbye. And that I was sorry.

These are the things that keep me feeling different. That keep me clenching my teeth so tightly the pain travels up the side of my head and makes my jaw sound like gritty sand when I move it.

Our surrogacy plan is in question. It's not over yet, but there are some hurdles to climb. The future still feels so uncertain, and it's so painful to know I had the answer in me but we just couldn't get to the finish line.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Over the Hump

Would-be delivery day came and went, thank God. I spent it with old friends, wrapped in the comfort of familiarity. I didn't know what I'd feel like doing to commemorate where I should have been, and in the end, what I wanted to do was enjoy the day like any other.

I don't know if that's a betrayal or not.

I do know that I'm glad the phantom pregnancy is over. Now when I see a pregnant woman I don't have to compare where I would have been in mine with hers.

Only thing is, now there's a phantom baby. 

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