A 327 day journey ended in 49 seconds. I could see his face in my daydreams. Chubby cheeks and jet black hair. I imagined his weight, I could feel him. Nursing him. His smell. Bathing him. He existed. In our hearts and in a Petri dish. Two of them. Boys.
The entire process was a struggle. An administrative nightmare. We had paperwork lost, misplaced, or never sent. I felt like I had to babysit the Clinic. Following up to find out nothing was done. Test orders never sent. Phone calls not returned. The lack of genuine care and concern for our emotional state was shocking. I felt like I talked to a different nurse every single time. Explained situations over and over. Exhausting.
Labs. Drug orders. More labs. Tests. Exams. More tests. Long drives. Long waits. Waiting rooms. Injections. Genetic tests. Pills. Ultrasounds.
It took five months before we made it to our egg retrieval. We had 23 eggs. Thirteen fertilized. Three made it to day 5. Genetic testing said all three had Hyperekplexia. Chromosomal testing said two were healthy. Two. Two out of 23.
July 27th was our first transfer day. We were so excited. It’s quick. Ten minutes they said. After an hour trying they gave up. My cesarean scar was obstructing the path. They said they could refreeze him, that he looked ok. I couldn’t hear them through my heavy sobs. They didn’t know if they would be able to try again. They would have to confer, come up with a plan, and call us. We were devastated. They should have known about the scar, we had a hysteroscopy in January. We arrived ready to get our little guy and left heavy hearted and empty handed.
We waited and waited for the call. Of course it took longer to call than promised. Par for the course, really.
August 7th they did a practice run with me fully sedated. It worked. They were able to bypass my scar tissue. Hope was regained! But the sting of that failed attempt was still there. Fresh wound.
On August 25th we started meds again. Then tweaking meds. And lining checks. Blood work.
September 20th was our second transfer day. We were so excited. It worked! They got him in there. All I had to do was keep him safe. We had to wait two weeks until our first Beta. And on October 4th we found out he didn’t make it.
It was heartbreaking. It was. But we still had one more embryo. One more baby waiting for us. We cried but we still had hope. We started meds again. Tweaking meds. Lining checks. Blood work.
October 25th was our third transfer day. We were excited but also a little scared. There is something about knowing it’s the last shot that makes it a little hard to be super pumped. It’s more of a cautiously optimistic feeling.
November 7th was a hard day. Lots of tears. I had a feeling it didn’t work. The waiting is so hard. My husband was optimistic. As he put me to bed he said “there is a baby in there until there isn’t”. I love him.
And that brings us to November 8th. Ugly tears. Gasping for breath. Curled into each other on the floor as we say goodbye to those hopes and dreams. All that work. Over in 49 seconds. It’s so confusing. Why didn’t it work?
It sucks. And sure, I can list off a ton of silver linings. But you know what, I don’t really care about that right now. I’m sad. That deep sadness that fills you up. I’m sad for myself. For my husband. For our families.
I will never smell his head. Bathe him. Feed him. Teach him. Hold him. That just hurts. My husband won’t teach him how to play football. Teach him how to drive. Have someone to carry forth his eyes and his name.
Hope is a beautiful thing. It can also be deceiving. It’s hard not to feel jaded.