Here’s the post that I wish I had never written. This is the end of this pregnancy. And, it’s the end of the road for us. It’s finally over.
We went to the doctor today for our third ultrasound. Today we hit the 7 weeks and 6 days mark, which is the farthest we have ever made it with IVF. But, the fledgling heartbeat from last week was gone. My doctor was pointing out the yolk sac and different things, but said, “Well, I can’t find the heartbeat.” and then turned the monitor around to look closer. I knew immediately. It wasn’t that he couldn’t find it; it was no longer there. I lay there staring at the ceiling with tears streaming down my cheeks as he tried desperately and wordlessly for what seemed like forever to find it. Also the fetus was smaller this week. Not just no growth…smaller. Most people cry tears of joy in the ultrasound room, but for us there’s only tears of gut-wrenching despair.
I am not surprised with this outcome, but I am completely devastated. This was our most promising pregnancy ever. My beta was huge and I didn’t have the spotting like before. But, then, there was no heartbeat on the first ultrasound and then we measured behind on the second one. Both could be explained away, but as someone who has only known loss, you just know it’s not good. I was terrified about this pregnancy from day one. It doesn’t matter how good things looked at times. If you haven’t been through this, then you just can’t even possibly imagine the sheer terror of every moment being pregnant, knowing it could be ripped away in a heartbeat, quite literally. Because it has happened before, repeatedly. You don’t get to have a happy moment. Every time you go the bathroom, you say a prayer. You are afraid to do anything. You feel like you are made of glass. You are afraid to eat anything other than bread and water, for fear of indigestion that might be confused with cramps. You are afraid to walk. You are afraid to lift anything heavier than a tissue. You are just afraid. And, you’re afraid because you have reason to be.
And, it’s weird, these last few weeks being pregnant (I can hardly write that), I felt like a poser. Feeling sick, not eating certain foods, resting more, not lifting anything, etc . Going through all of these motions like real pregnant women made me feel like an imposter. Because in my heart, I’m never really, truly pregnant. Or I’m always too afraid to feel that I am. A part of me, would think, “Whitney, who are you kidding?”
I came home from the doctor and sadly took down the photo of our embryos and the last ultrasound photo from my bulletin board. They will get packed away into a file with all of the others.
My heart bleeds for this baby that we will never meet. It absolutely does not get any easier…only worse.
Also, the awful truth is that we are pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with our babies — it’s me. I somehow feel guilty for creating these little beings and repeatedly setting them up for failure with my body. There’s no way to know for sure…but I just know. There is something wrong with me that modern medicine isn’t even aware of.
How can this be happening? I am stunned. Why should any one person have to bear the awful devastation of FIVE miscarriages? Why me? Am I really this person? I feel like I just woke up in a twisted alternate universe.
I also just realized today’s date has the awful numbers “7″ and “2″ that have been haunting me. I can’t even believe it. My second miscarriage was on 2/7/10, my third miscarriage on 7/2/10, my fourth on 2/7/11 and now my fifth on 7/20/11. I don’t even know what to make of that or how it’s possible. Just another way the universe is mocking me I guess.
This time, there is no question of “Where do we go from here? What can we be tested for? When can we start again?”. It’s. just. over. There’s something extra-devastatingly heartbreaking about that, but also some relief that I won’t have to go through this again. Even though I won’t have to endure another difficult IVF or yet another miscarriage, I know that I will deal with infertility every day for the rest of my life. I feel like I’m locked inside of an emotional prison that I can’t escape from. But, I do know that we fought this bitch that is infertility with every ounce of our being. We fell down over and over, but we kept getting back up. We went to extremes and endured physical pain and emotional torture. We can at least be proud that we went toe to toe in this battle, even though we ultimately lost.
I know absolutely in my heart right now that discontinuing treatment is the right decision. We have tried everything and I mean everything. It’s just not going to happen for us and we have faced the cold, hard facts. Continuing on would just be pointless. Before this cycle, we had given up and were dealing with our grief and were seriously thinking about adoption. Now, it’s like none of that took place and I’m thrown right back into the heartache of grieving this baby we just lost and the biological child that will never be. I hope that we will be able to cross that bridge again and be open and excited about adoption, but that time is not now.
I have been through hell and I’m pretty damn angry that I have nothing to show for it. My hips are so sore, swollen, bruised and knotted that at times it’s been hard to sit, walk and sleep. Since the beginning of May starting this cycle, I have done 97 injections total. My stomach is bruised an my heart is broken. And, I have NOTHING to show for it.
I just spoke to my primary RE and he wants us to repeat the ultrasound on Monday or Tuesday just to be sure. Even though he said, it’s not likely at all that things would change, he said we need to be 100% sure. I wanted to disagreee with him, but didn’t. This is an awful predicament for me because I just want to be done with all us. To have to get up tomorrow and the next day and so on and keep doing these shots for nothing at this point just adds insult to injury. I want a stiff drink, to go for a jog, to take Advil and eat what I want. Oh, and a vacation. That’s on the top of my to do list…to plan an immediate vacation so Erick and I can get away and clear our heads.
It’s sad and relieving that this awful journey is finally over. What a crazy trip it’s been. While I’m glad this part is over, I do realize that it will never truly be over.
Thanks to all of you out there, whether friends in real life or online, for taking this journey with us.