Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Over

I woke up this morning to a tiny streak of red on the toilet paper and immediately felt an impending sense of doom that I couldn't shake. I rolled over for the PIO shot thinking this could be the last one for awhile. But that one streak was it, the rest of the morning was uneventful 'down there' so of course a little hope remained. We got to the clinic around 8:30, got blood drawn pretty quickly and then sat down with one of the nurses. I showed her the results of the patches where they were removed from my lower back yesterday: angry, puffy, splotchy, red skin under where each patch had been. She agreed that was not normal and suggested rubbing My.lanta or something similar on my skin prior to applying the next patches (tomorrow).

We left the clinic to grab some breakfast at a cafe and the nurse called me to let me know she had spoken with the doc on call about the patches. If I was pregnant today, they would switch me to another brand to see if it would help. We then wandered around a local furniture store to kill some time while waiting for the mall to open. And so ends the better half of my day.

We got the call earlier than expected and happened to be walking out of the mall. I've never been punched in the gut, but I imagine this is what it feels like. A mall parking lot is not the best place to get this kind of bad news-lots of people with kids, strollers, babies walking in and out of the mall. Salt in the wound.

I feel so fragile right now, like I could at any moment break into a thousand tiny pieces.



The only other time I can remember feeling this way is when my first dog, Pippen passed away. She the first pet that was all my own, she was my best friend, there through the good and the bad, through different boyfriends and apartments, always there wanting nothing but to curl up next to me on the couch. She had pancreatic cancer and the vet came to our house to put her down. I held her in my arms while the vet injected the lethal dose of poison. I felt her go limp, I felt her heart stop beating, and I sat there quietly with tears streaming down my face. The vet was crying, B was crying. The minute the vet left with her body, B and I held each other and sobbed together. And the house felt empty.

But there are differences between this grief and what I felt when Pippen died. At least I could take comfort in the fact that she was no longer suffering. I pictured her in a doggy heaven of uber-green grass chasing after squirrels. Lying in the sunshine for hours on end. There was no rain or snow, no cold weather in this doggy heaven. I knew she was happier and we had done the right thing. My embryos didn't have a chance to grow into anything that could even be seen by the naked eye. Where did they go? Did they just disintegrate into my body and absorb into the tissue, or leak out with the goop of the suppositories? Regardless of how small and insignificant those embryos may have been, the pain and grief is just as real. Just as deep and raw.

The other difference this time is that this feels like my loss-not our loss. Instead of holding each other and sobbing, B was the one holding me while I sobbed. No tears on his end, just trying to pick up the pieces. I think it's difficult for a guy to get attached to embryos like us women do. We try to nurture our bodies and are constantly aware that they are inside of us and hopefully latching on and growing. We endure all of the poking and prodding, the endless violations of privacy, the ugliness of the side effects, the constant reminders of what we don't have and are working so hard to achieve. Every bit of our mind, body and soul is invested in this process. And that is part of what makes this so hard. I know B feels bad, but I can't help but feel like I'm going through this alone. This is my problem, my defective body, my guilt, and my broken heart.

None of this makes sense. The fact that we can't get pregnant on our own. The fact that the IUI's didn't work. The OHSS, the crappy lining for FET #1, and now this. I wonder if maybe we don't have enough faith in G-d. Maybe this is payback for the crap I did as a teenager, the crap I did in college and my early twenties. For not being nice enough to other people. For not volunteering and contributing to a cause. Maybe I'm not fit to be a mother. Maybe I should have forced B to start trying earlier even though he wasn't ready to be a dad. Maybe those embryos never stood a shot with my anorexic lining and I should have let the doctor postpone the transfer. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I know in my head that none of this is true. This isn't my fault. I did everything I could. It's just the shit luck of the draw. My heart feels differently. I know I will eventually pick myself up and start all over. And the shit part of this process is that no matter what we've been through up to this point, we are starting over, from square one. There's not really such a thing as a lesson learned with IVF. Your body can react differently to the drugs every time you take them. There's no way to go back and pinpoint what we could have done better, what would have made the difference. And to top things off, there's no such thing as a second opinion when you're supposedly already seeing the best.

When we got home I removed the 4 patches from my belly one by one. I thought how appropriate the number 4 was. As I removed the patches one at a time, I thought of each of our lost embryos. The one that didn't survive the thaw, the one that didn't survive back to freeze, and the two that didn't survive my body. My fucked up, traitor of a body.

I will survive this. I just don't know how I'm supposed to go to work tomorrow and pretend everything is fine. That nothing happened. That my world hasn't just been shattered to pieces.

31 comments:

Jen said...

Oh sweetie. My heart is absolutely aching for you. No one deserves to go through this hell.

And I understand the feelings of self loathing over the past playing a part in your future and "deservingness" of a baby.

But you aren't alone. We are here for you. And B is too.

Many hugs and much love. I am soo very sorry.

Melanie said...

Oh Denise, holding your hand and crying with you. I am so profoundly sorry. Know that thoughts of strength and hope and support and healing are heading your way right now by so many.

Melanie

~Carrie said...

Oh Denise, my heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry. :(

It's a shame that you can't get some kind of answer in a situation like this - all you wind up with are more questions. I don't know what to say except I am so, so sorry, and this is just incredibly unfair.

I know nothing I can say here will take the pain away. I wish it could. I don't suppose you could not go to work tomorrow? You;re under enough stress as it is, without having to act like everthig is fine.

Kristina said...

I'm so, so sorry.

Meg said...

Ugh. I just came to check on you. I am so incredibly sorry. We are here for you, through the rawness of today to the new ideas and plans you may have. So so sorry.

Lori said...

Denise...I am so sorry about these losses. You articulated so well exactly what I have felt, too.

Pondering the "whys" about did me in.

A cyber hug now, and a real one next week. So sorry you're hurting.

Maria said...

The maybe's are the hardest thing I'm dealing with right now. And the why me's. The most frustrating thing is that there is no answer to any of it.

I am so very sorry that this happened. You deserve so much happiness. I will pray for you, your DH, and your four embabies.

Just remember that you are not alone. And that we all love you so much.

Io said...

Denise, I am so, so sorry. I know there is nothing to say, just that I am here and I hurt for you.

Rhonda said...

D - i am so sad for you (and B). i am here for you always and can meet up with you when you are ready. very unfair, i am so so so sorry. hugs and much love...

Angela said...

Oh, Denise. I am so very sorry. I know there are no words. I am so so sorry.

Please do not think about this being karma or about whether you are fit to be a mom - I do the same thing too and it is just our way of trying to find an answer. You will be the best mom in the world, when it happens. And I mean when, not if.

Please take care of yourself during this time and take time to heal. I am so very sorry.

- Angela

Jennifer said...

I am so sorry, Denise, sooo very sorry for your sadness right now. I want to take away your pain - I wish there were words to do that!

InfertileMyrtle said...

i am so so sorry. i feel so terrible for you.

Claire said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I wish I could reach out and hug you. Please don't blame yourself. Try to give yourself the compassion and space to take a day off from work. We do get attached to those embryos, we can't help it. There is nothing wrong with you.

Amy said...

Denise ~ I'm so sorry. I understand your feelings of "why me?"...I'm going through them now.

Much love and ((HUGS))

Makingpeace said...

Oh honey...I am so so sorry. Your post brought me to tears. I know how bad you want this and how much you deserve it. There's no explanation for these things (unfortunately). Never blame yourself...you are doing everything you can. Take some time for yourself. I'll be thinking of you...

M said...

Denise, I hope with each new day your heart mends a little. I have to think that in some way this makes us stronger, although it hurts like hell while you're in the thick of it. I'll be thinking of you.

Amanda said...

I'm so very sorry Denise. It is so unfair. I'm thinking of you. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

nancy said...

Okay - I'm going to do some cursing up in here, so watch it if your ears are sensitive to the fuck-word.

FUCK. Damn shit monkey asses. I was totally stalking you daily and then I missed yesterday (sick) and I suddenly sprang up to check on you. And unfortunately it was this.

LAME Denise. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry you are starting the "maybe this is payback" and "maybe I'm not worth it" crap. You are NOT getting paid back for being a horrible person. (Unless, of course, you used to burn down orphanages in your spare time) and you ARE worth it. Man, I've barely known you for a few weeks and already you have given me more support than some of my IRL friends. So shut up on that aspect!

I don't know if this will happen for you eventually. I know I want it to and you deserve it so much. I wish that "yes, it WILL happen" was the right thing to say to people, especially you, because I really really really think you would be wonderful at this. Well, this saturday, you and me can be the Jan/Feb failures and sip lots of caffeine together. Not that would make it any better, but at least we can. ~hugs~ a bajillion times over.

(sorry for my lame humor. No matter what, I like to get a smile out of someone, even when smiling is the last thing on their minds)

The Town Criers said...

I am so so sorry, sweetie.

Laura said...

I am so very sorry!

JJ said...

Im so sorry Denise...I felt this same shattering feeling only weeks ago. Please know that I am thinking of you and hoping for clarity and peace soon.

Mrs.X said...

Oh hon, I am so, so sorry. It just sucks. But, you are just as deserving of having a child as anyone else - look at the woman who use crack and get pregnant? There is no rhyme or reason but it still incredibly unfair. Take care of yourself.

Duck said...

I wish that saying I'm sorry would have any meaning, any point, I wish it could make it better.
Know that your not alone.
Having babies has nothing to do with your fitness of character, with your goodness, with your ability to be the amazing mother that we all know you will be.
You're right it's shit luck.
Hugs.

inconceivablejourney said...

oh my goodness, I'm sorry. Soooo sorry. Too sorry. I wish this was not the fate that you need suffer. It's so isolating and the quiet of the nothingness is deafening.

I'm thinking of you sweets. Kind words only.

chicklet said...

there are so many things you said here that are so dead on to how I felt with my negative beta. Punched in the gut, the grief being different, and the pretending it was all okay when all I wanted to do was crawl under a rock. It's shocking just how awful it can be, and I'm so sorry you get to know just how awful it can be. F*.

Rebecca said...

I am so sorry...it isn't your fault, but you're right...we bond quicker than our significant others. I'm just so sorry.

Keiko said...

Denise, I am very very sorry. I know that nothing that we say may not ease your pain, but we are here for you. Cry out all you can and take as much time as you need for grieving.

Vanessa said...

Denise, My heart is breaking for you right now. I was so shocked to hear about your BFN! But I know that your baby is still on the way.


XOXO

Optimistic said...

I am so sorry. I know there isn't much we can say to make you feel better right now. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, the bad news - being at the mall - and now, the unknowns. Sending hugs your way and thinking about you!

Ahuva Batya said...

For what it's worth from a complete stranger who has been following your story with hope, I reach out and give you all of my sympathy and strength to move past this crushing disappointment. I am so very sad for you. I wish I could make it better, but you are not alone. There are obviously many people here to help prop you up when you feel like you can't go on by yourself.

HeidiM said...

Hi Denise, I'm catching up on your blog backwards so just realized what you just went through. I am so so sorry. I am going to a therapist now and he says that going through IF is equal in stress to going through terminal cancer. My advice is to take excellent care of yourself in every way. You will have your babies some day.