Thursday, July 19, 2018

What it feels like when your heart breaks out of its ice cage

It's been awhile since we've provided an update. Unfortunately for y'all, you won't see this for some time after it's happened, anyway.

You see, on March 22 we transferred 2 embryos. It was our third transfer. We transferred the 4th and 5th embryo. I was in a state of being and feeling blank. I felt nothing. No excitement, no anxiety. I even took a nap while waiting for the doctor and embryologist to come in. I had removed myself.

Trey would constantly have to remind me about the shot. I would forget. I was not involved because why would I be? We have lost all the other embryos ever transferred, why would this be any different?

Went for beta, came back as 40, which is pregnant. The RN sounded excited, but I couldn't muster any sort of feeling in my voice. Next beta, came back as 95. A little low so they wanted a third test. "Of course. This is it." I told myself. This is the beginning of the end. Next beta: 225. Doctors ecstatic. It had more than doubled! Ok, great. Still doesnt change anything, I thought. I've had great numbers before, and still, nothing.

Went in for early ultrasound. Empty gestational sac. Just like the last two times. Just like EVERY OTHER TIME. And because I had walled myself in I didn't feel anything, except validated that I was right.

Went in for 7 week ultrasound. Tried to convince Trey not to come. "It'll just be the same 'no longer viable shit' " I said. He said he was coming anyway.

I didn't ask to see the screen. I didn't look at anything or anyone except the ceiling.

"Ok, this looks great. We've got the pregnancy right where it needs to be *zoning out* and here you have a yolk sac-"

"I have one?!" I exclaimed. You see, we had never seen anything at the 7 week ultrasound. It had always just been empty. So that's what I was expecting. When your body continually fails you. When you continuously experience disappointment and failure coming from yourself, you don't expect anything else.

We saw the HEART BEATING. And the ice melted from mine. A flood of everything came over me. I broke down after the doctor left the room. Trey just held me and let me cry. How could we have had good news??! I asked "Is this real?" It didn't feel real. I kept expecting to wake up.

We were given pictures. We took them. We had never taken the pictures offered at 7 weeks before. We were given a due date. A due date. I had a due date.

I went home. Still trying to figure out who's dream I was in. Pinching myself. Doing things that I wouldn't normally do to see if I would wake up. It was real. But it didn't feel real. It felt surreal.

The next day, at the 2018 Race to Parenthood, we were so excited. SO excited. I would have a baby at the next R2P. I would have a race baby.

And then. Blood. A river of blood. I tried to ignore it. But then, I felt something. I went into the bathroom (aka porta potty) and things were falling out of me. I couldn't see what it was. Was it just blood or...something more? I knew it was gone. I had lost it in a porta potty for fuck's sakes. Of course. Of course this would happen less than 24 hours after we saw our little beans. Of course. Because WHY would we get our dream?

Went home. Put my blood soaked clothes in the washer. I didn't want to wash them right away because I didn't want to lose the last of our miracle.

"You know you're the strongest person I know." Said to my while lying in bed praying this was a dream. I turned to liquid inside. I didn't feel strong. I felt weak. Felt like a failure. We were going through this again because I can't stay pregnant. Because no one wants to grow inside of me for nine months. Because this is all my fault.

Went in for ultrasound. It was a Saturday and most of the office was out at the race. We waited maybe 20 minutes which was an eternity.

I was anxious to see, but terrified to look.

And there on the screen was our answer.

Our baby beans was ok. Bigger even. Stronger heartbeat. Everything fine.

Everything fine? I asked.

Sometimes it just happens and we have patients who have healthy babies. It certainly freaks us out
(how do you think it makes us feel???) but try not to worry.

Ok-I'll try and not do the impossible, thanks Doc.

But baby beans is still there. And, for now, I am still pregnant. For now, everything is still ok. I will walk around terrified and worried, overanalyzing everything, in between appointments. But for now, the three of us are ok.

We were discharged from the fertility clinic at 8 weeks. I never, ever thought this would happen. I was going to be a regular patient at a regular OB office. No one would automatically assume we had spent years getting to this point. No one would automatically assume that we had to do what we did to make this baby.

When I called the OB office to make my first appointment the receptionist was ecstatic. I'm sure that I sounded less than enthused (I was also attempting to get over a horrendous cold). Because I was terrified. It wasn't real. This was obviously not my life, because we didn't deserve this. I didn't deserve this. I thought the rest of this journey would be filled with heartbreak and loss and devastation. And I am still having a hard time believing that this is happening.

Every time I see baby beans and I hear the heartbeat it's a miracle. Because in between ultrasounds I have convinced myself that I've lost it and I just don't know it. I've convinced myself that this time isn't going to work either. And then, there it is on the monitor, a strong heartbeat.

At our first visit to the OB, just over 9 weeks, we got to hear the heartbeat again. AND, it didn't look like a blob anymore. There was a discernible head, body and little limb buds.

We've been putting the sonograms on our whiteboard and each time I pass by it I wonder if that's the last picture we'll have. I know many of you are yelling at me right now, telling me to enjoy this and stop being so morbid and negative. But, you see, when all you know is losing babies, that's what you expect to happen to you. When something magical finally does happen, it doesn't feel real. At least, not for awhile.

The horrible thing about being a patient of a regular OB office is that I don't get my weekly ultrasound. I don't get to see my baby every week. I have to wait a MONTH until my next visit. A month. Four weeks. If you thought I worried and freaked out waiting a week, can you imagine how I feel waiting a month???


So far, at almost 20 weeks, everything is going well. We found out we are having a baby BOY and I am anxious to get the nursery set up.

I never thought this would happen. I thought for the rest of my life we would keep losing. Some days it doesn't seem real and some days I have convinced myself that I am living in a fantasy world. I still convince myself that the baby is gone. The closer we get to appointments, the more anxious I am because in between I can pretend that everything is ok. That we are ok. That he is ok. How do I get through the next half of this pregnancy without having a panic attack every month? It's difficult, but we take one day at a time. Each day that nothing horrible happens, is one more day closer to when we get to meet our miracle baby.

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