Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Pain That Remains

Back again with so much to say and no idea where to begin.  I begin with the sadness that is eating me up.  I alternate between three things: wanting to die (don't really be alarmed) wanting to drive through the night to Seattle to anonymously smoke pot until I feel better, and pondering for hours on end what I am truly craving.  The vat of caramel corn I just made and killed wasn't it.  Why is it I must eat the whole thing before determining that wasn't it?

Here's the good news and why the food craziness is the only outlet I will use:  The Mule did indeed have a baby!  He is fifteen months old and does my soul so much crazy good it is dizzying.  I have to reluctantly declare that the peddled idea of a baby's healing magic (that I despised hearing) is indeed true.  I still maintain that it should be NO baby's responsibility to heal me, yet I have to admit that his magical little soul did just that.  Well sort of...

It was a shock to me that I really did take a live baby home.  I think so many years of bad trained me to not trust good.  It was hard to imagine a happy ending when I had no experience with things working out.  But they did (trumpets sounding) and holding our two week old in our bed, we both admitted how much we wanted another baby.  Right then.  So when my baby was 11 months old, I embarked on thawing his two embryo siblings.  I decided that since I now had banked one experience of fertility trials working out, why the heck not try the dangerous experiment of having joy, hope, faith, prayer, fasting, and more concerted positive thinking than I have ever before mustered?  I had it in me at the time, so I gave it all.  I even drew a poster of me with my two little embryos joining the family.  I hung it on the fridge. 

Only one survived the thaw.  One was implanted and (according to my HCG levels tested at nine and eleven days) sat around like stale bread on the counter until it was tossed out with my period.  Screw you positivity.  This loss was so hard to take because I had dangerously turned the embryos into my children.  They were from my baby's same batch!  They were his embryo twins.  Adding insult to injury was the incredible hope that we could pay the 5K or so for this procedure and poof!  - be the happy parents of three healthy kids, have a crazy few years and be done with the fertility induced state of stress and poverty that has gripped us for the last 9 years. 

We immediately jumped into another IVF.  This time my approach was that of a robot.  I had one exceptionally bad crying fit/meltdown when I went into the clinic to go over my plan of care, (it is just so freaking hard to even think of going through it all again) but after that, I was a lean, mean Arnold Schwarzenegger ala T3.  The compassionate robot.  Who knows why, but this time I stimulated really well, had great numbers at each stage, implanted two great looking five day blasts and had four good looking embryos to freeze.  All was well in the world.  And then I just didn't get pregnant.  It has been a week or two since this revelation.  I still maintain my robot composure on certain days, but Compassionate Robot is gone and Terminator the original lives in my body.  I want to drive into Target.  Right through the wall and past the Starbucks.  Sort of for the comic relief?  I don't want anyone to be hurt.  It just seems congruent with the circus inside me, so I dream that it would make me feel better. 

On to yet another embryo transfer.  Had yet another ugly cry meltdown when I went in for the plan of care yesterday.  I said to the nurse "I have had nine embryos put in me, and of those only one worked" and by the end of the sentence the emotional damn had broken.  It is so hard to think about and say, and it is so hard to describe to someone who hasn't been there why that is such a loaded sentence.  But those little embryos that hold so much hope for life die so quietly, taking so much of my money, so much of my heart, so much of my faith, and lately I fear, so much of my sanity and humanity.  I am the most scared when I wonder what of me remains.  

So about that healing I spoke is real.  It has allowed me to wander Costco and linger in the toy section without the acute pain that such things once caused... I enjoy buying baby shower gifts now... I find myself thinking of how fun it will be to go to Disneyland together someday.   I am no longer childless.  That is the wound that my baby healed, filling it in with the best joy I have experienced so far in life.  The infertility pain stays with me because I still am, and always will be a mule.


Jennifer said...

THAT IS SO EFFED UP! Sorry, I shouldn't yell, but it is NOT fair, and it REALLY sucks. You are SO the lady who should get the baby, every single time. All nine. Every one. Even if the only reason is that V is so damn adorable the world should be able to look at more tiny versions of you two. I know I don't understand your experience. I only have mine, which does not include infertility. It does include the feeling that every child grows within you a new heart to be 100% dedicated to loving that child. So I imagine that you have eight broken hearts to carry with you. There is no vat of caramel corn big enough, my friend, and even though you know that, I hope that saying it out loud (or typing it out loud or whatev) strengthens your already stronger-than-steel legs that keep carrying you forward against all laws of emotional physics. This is where I normally delete my comment because I feel inadequate and worry that I sound preachy or whatever. If I do, feel free to delete it yourself. I am more worried about not offering a little solidarity and support even if it is in the wrong way. Love to you and your sweet family.

Natalee H. said...

Wow Jennifer. thank you so much, that really was a kind shout of solidarity that made me feel great.

Em said...

First of all, I totally get what you mean about your baby healing you even though it isn't his job. I have thought about that very thing. I know that I was healed in part by (finally) having a child, but that does feel like a heavy weight for her to bear.

We were only able to freeze one embryo during the IVF that brought us our daughter. Unfortunately, some sort of mysterious mistake happened at our clinic that essentially killed our embryos (and all of the others in the freezer as well). We have been assured that our embryo is alive and may even survive the thaw, but will never turn into a viable pregnancy. We have grieved this, and continue to grieve it. It's just one embryo. It may not have worked anyways...but that's our kid.

All of this is to say that I think I get it...not exactly what you're going through, but something like it. I hope you have another child, and I hope that he or she comes soon.