I just couldn’t wait until NEXT Monday for another ultrasound of doom. I figured that by today, three days after the fateful appointment wherein I was told that Critter probably wasn’t going to make it, that we’d see progress or a lack thereof. Sure enough, we, my new doctor and I (Old OBGYN too far away and too hard to get an appointment with, fertility clinic too expensive for another screening), couldn’t detect a beating heart. On Monday, I cried enough to fill up a dozen Olympic swimming pools and my eyes burned so badly I couldn’t wear contacts until this morning. But now I put the tears behind me. Mother Nature made her choice so I wouldn’t have to. Because if it were up to me we’d all have tons of babies and money and unlimited health and happiness! Unfortunately, I don’t control the weather or the health of my embryos.
That’s something that really really bothers and baffles me. How did I NOT adequately control the health of my eggs? My organic eating, gluten-free, fitnesswhore lifestyle still led to this – a baby that stopped growing at 6 weeks. My alcohol free, decaffeinated, 8-hours per night regime brought me here, 48 hours away from a D & C to dispose of this poor fetus still nestled in my hormone inflated womb. What of my year of prenatal vitamins? What of my Chinese herbs? The only solace I have, really, is that this loss was achieved through natural means, that it was able to happen at all! I won’t lie that I’m glad we waited that extra month to start IVF and that Critter came to the tune of $100 a week at an acupuncturist to the stars (though who knows if THAT was the magic bullet) instead of at our ridiculously pricey Beverly Hills fertility clinic. Because my heart breaks for those of you who have had a failed IVF cycle or IVF miscarriage that wasn’t fully covered by insurance, though I know the loss of money PAILS in comparison to the real pain of not getting and staying pregnant. It must feel like another million twists of an already deeply thrust knife to go through IVF and fail. Progesterone shots were bad enough, I can only imagine stimulation meds. And yet, that might still be our future. We’ll try CM for another 6 months, maybe even a year, but IVF looms like some taunting storm cloud that may or may not deliver the fresh rain we want so so badly. Forget cats and dogs (though I love them), I want a downpour of babies! Half him, half me babies!
I remember telling a friend who miscarried lately, “At least you know you can do it!” and I really believed that. At least she knew she could do that amazing, beautiful, wonderful thing. She could conceive! I relayed something similar to my husband. I said something like, “I don’t even care if I miscarry, I just want to know that your sperm and my egg are capable of creating a pregnancy.” Stupid, stupid me. Because what’s worse: not getting a BFP or getting a defective, soon to die one? An unsuccessful pregnancy is still unsuccessful.
Though Mother Nature has made her choice and has moved on to flick the wrist of fate elsewhere, the questions still remain. Can our DNA merge to create a healthy, viable offspring? Have I already been given too much in a funny, tall, supportive husband, who humors my novel writing career? Who accepts and loves me unconditionally? Is a healthy child more than I deserve? Did I fail when I chose the happy over the high? When I chose a stable relationship over the more tumultuous ones of tortured, but out of this world make-up sex and unfulfilled longing? Perhaps I made a deal with the devil when I didn’t chase unrequited lust and addiction driven love, in favor of a more sustainable one. Am I being punished for mistakes of my youth, ones I can’t list here or my uber Catholic family will lynch me? Was it that lemon grass tea I was drinking like an idiot before finding out I was pregnant? The goat cheese? The salami? The moderate exercise? As you see, this, losing a pregnancy, brings up so many fears and doubts and self-abuse. If you’re struggling with this or infertility, I know you feel me. They are dark those places our minds go. They are cold and unforgiving those unwelcome thoughts.
So now what? Maybe I can’t control my eggs or embryos or ovulation or hubby’s swimmers, but I can control my prayers. I’m sorry God, Mother Nature, and the Universe but just getting pregnant isn’t enough. It’s not. I thank you for the sign, for the blessing, and for the tiny ray of bright hope. But can I PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a healthy full term baby that lives until 101, next time? PLEASE. My eyes might fall out if I have to go through this again and my heart might explode.