This morning, first thing, the phone rang. I answered with optimism, my usual state, only to hear..."Hi Kate. I'm afraid I have some bad news. The embryos haven't progressed."
Instantly, I felt like I was in a tunnel. I tried hard to concentrate so I could hear everything else he was saying. Basically, the embryos should have reached what's called the Morula stage by today (day five). Actually, they would have hoped that they would have reached that yesterday (but yesterday was the day they left them untouched and alone) - and today they were hoping to see them in a Blastocyst stage. We have neither. The embryologist and the fertility doctor suggested that we wait one more day to see if they can at least reach the Morula stage by tomorrow.
If they do, then we will go ahead with the transfer at 12:15. The embryologist told me that the chances are slim that they will progress overnight - but stranger things have happened. And even if we go ahead with a transfer of embryos at the Morula stage on Day six, the pregnancy success rate is very low. Great.
If they don't reach the Morula stage by tomorrow? The whole cycle will have been a bust. Everything will be canceled. And the embryos? They will not be viable to anyone. They will be discarded. Great.
So...let me break this down for everyone. You might want to sit down - this could get ugly.
We all know that all I've ever wanted was to have children - to be a Mom. And I'm so grateful that I was blessed with Gavin and Brian and ever so briefly with Darcy. This personal quest to have one more - a sibling for the boys - another child with our DNA and Gavin and Brian's impossibly good looks - has been so hard. So hard.
A little known fact? I decided, going into this IVF cycle after my Dad died, that this was it. I'd go through the process...the injections...the nausea...the doctor visits...the acupuncture....the egg retrieval...the recovery...the waiting on the embryos...the transfer...the bedrest...the anxious wait to take a pregnancy test...all of it.
If, following the embryo transfer, I got pregnant - great!
If I had yet another miscarriage - okay.
If I didn't get pregnant - that would be it. I would be done.
I went into this cycle feeling "at peace" with my decision. I'd move on and continue our life with two wonderful children. I had to come to that place on my own. I was never swayed by comments or pressure or well intentioned advice. It was between me and Ed. He was supportive of me saying "enough" - when I was ready.
Right. That was before this morning. I at least wanted a shot! It changes everything now that I may not even get the CHANCE!!!!! To be led all the way to a centimeter before the finish line - after a very grueling, emotional, expensive, time consuming, roller coaster of a race - only to hear you may not even finish? It's too much.
Today I have literally felt sick. All day. I don't mean with a cold - although this ever lingering cold...not being able to hear out of one ear...and a sinus headache that have all lasted over a week is getting OLD. And I don't mean exhausted - even though I was up with Brian again last night - five different times - because HE is still not feeling well. I mean a sick that makes me want to crawl into my bed and hide and cry my eyes out and punch the sky and scream "CABS ARE HERE!!!" out my window (private joke that if you were in on it I promise you would find funny. Really funny). I think the formal term for my sickness is "Heartbroken."
Could things change overnight? Sure! Maybe! Who knows? It would likely take a miracle, though. And - I'm feeling uncharacteristically cynical and pessimistic and downright pissed off.
It is possible that we'll get a miracle and tomorrow at this time I will be on bedrest visualizing an embryo implanting into my uterine wall. I have a thin thread of hope that I'm holding onto. And if that happens - are you wondering if I'll regret writing this whiny, angry post? Nope. This is the real life face of infertility. This is the rider on the IVF roller coaster that is screaming her head off in the most unflattering way. This is me...today.
And if it all gets scrapped and I have to choose whether to try one last time or give up entirely? Well, I have no comment about that at this time, thank you.
The thought of things ending this way makes me want to vomit. Truly. I poured myself into this cycle emotionally and physically. And we poured our wallets and most of what was left of our insurance coverage into this cycle, too. I feel cheated and sad. It's moments like this (and let's face it...there have been plenty of moments like this for me) that make me wonder if there is someone up there that doesn't think I deserve another child. It's crossed my mind. Which then makes me realize...clearly I don't take hints very well.
A very good friend of mine went through IVF many years ago. She knows the emotional torture...the canceled cycles...the disappointments. She told me that, unlike me, there was no way she would have shared all the details with anyone. Clearly we are polar opposites. I have shared everything...and you have been on this ride with me all along. I post an embryo report on Facebook and upwards of seventy people click "Like". It's like we're going through this together. And whatever the outcome, we will go through that together, too. I can't imagine going through this alone. I just can't. Thank you for supporting me. Especially now.