Let me apologize in advance for the length of this and the 'adult' language I plan on using. If language offends you - skip this post. (And inevitably others...)
I definitely knew I would write about this, but originally I thought I should wait until it was a little less fresh. I was thinking about it today, however, and knowing me if I wait for it to be a little stale I'll be a bit too rational about it. I'm an emotion-bottler (as many of us are - either originally or because infertility creates it). I can already feel myself, when talking to the few people I've told about it, putting an "I'm okay", "here are the positives about this" spin on it when in reality I'm not quite there yet. Laying my guts out there has never been my strong suit...
That's an understatement. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable, always has. Since birth, basically, I've wanted to be "strong" and so I have been. And honestly, in the horrible/dark/awful moments of infertility I have no fucking interest in being strong anymore. None. But my natural instinct still kicks in, like there's something physically stopping me from losing my shit in front of people, even in front of the people who would probably love me to (because it'd be good for me, not because they're sadists). Even if I'm telling myself "just let it GO" my tears dry up if there's another human being in the room.
Anyway. My point is I'm going to write about this while I'm still raw about it, in case tomorrow or a year from now someone is googling the words "chemical pregnancy" because they've just gone through one, and are sick to death of reading about it in a nice, tidy, "no big deal" delivery.
In short: It fucking sucks.
Not in the way that a miscarriage does, or a stillbirth does, obviously. Nowhere near, oh lawdy do I completely understand that. In being the 'strong' woman, and in responding the way that I'm responding to a chemical pregnancy, I cannot fathom a further along miscarriage. Cannot. Fathom.
But again, in short, chemical pregnancy fucking sucks.
I just finished my first round of IVF (I've added my lovely TTC resume as it's own page if you care to venture). The jist is that I haven't used a condom with my husband in 8 years, we've been actively trying to get pregnant for 3, and prior to this month I had never had one pregnancy that I'm aware of.
In a later entry I'll go into all the ups & downs of IVF (and try to do some entries just on the meds) but let's just stick with the chemical, for this.
My Chemical Pregnancy Story:
Last Saturday (June 23) would've been considered 12dpo or in IVF lingo, 9dp3dt (meaning 9 days past my 3 day transfer). I woke up, took a pregnancy test, and it was negative. I was devastated, convinced it hadn't worked. I felt stupid for having any hope at all. Tears were shed, Bubba comforted - said "it's too early to test - this is why they say wait until the bloodtest, or at least the day before".
I spent the afternoon trying to cheer myself up, trying to repeat what my husband said - that we won't know until Monday. And in the afternoon, I caved and took another one after holding my pee for 4 hours.
And there it was. Faint, but there it was. The line I have gone blind looking for for the last three years. I took pictures of it (of course) . Sent it to my three best friends through my iphone, and they didn't see anything. (I think because unless you're like us, pee stick experts, you expect 2 solid pink lines to mean pregnancy because that's how it is in the movies. What they don't realize is that a faint line means that yes indeed you are pregnant, because the only way you get that line is if you have the pregnancy hormone in your body). So then I took it to the big guns - TWW.
YES, they saw it, yes it was faint, yes it was probably a BFP. By nighttime, my depressed mood transformed into excitement. We fell asleep on the couch - me, excited, Bub, cautious.
I woke up at 5 in the morning, peed on a FRER. 10 minutes later we looked. Positive, definite positive. I know what this means (though I can't rap my head around it, really) and Bub starts to get excited. The thing we've been wanting for years, the thing that I've been torturing my body over, the thing I've wanted my entire life, was happening. Happening to us.
The congratulations are rolling in on my TWW post. I run out, get my husband & I some breakfast (vow that now that I'm pregnant, this will be my last McDonalds breakfast). I see an outdoor fleamarket is opening near my house on the way home, so I decide to go to that, because I need something to do before I pee again.
I just looked around the flea market, holding my belly. Total disbelief that inside, there was a tiny cluster of cells that in a few months would become my baby. Our baby. My baby. It was a little hot, so I decided to venture into Macy's.
I bought a onesie that said "Daddy's little Monster". I bought a onesie that said "Grandma is the best". I knew I wasn't going to tell anyone else until later in the week, but I could tell them. I went home, hid my purchases, and went to pee on a FRER, and the big guns, a DIGITAL. The digital made me a little nervous because I know you have to have a lot of HCG in your system for it to say "pregnant". I dipped everybody in a cup, and watched. The FRER showed a pink line right away, and then on the digital, the word. Pregnant. And it was talking about ME. Pregnant. I've been wanting anyone or anything to say that to me for 3+ years. And there it was.
I went screaming out of the bathroom to where my husband was, and showed it to him. He was excited - but less excited than he probably should've been because he had just realized he had lost a lot of work he had been doing on the computer the last few days. I thought "well damn, we're going to remember it being like this for the rest of our lives".
I drove down to where my Mom lives, an hour away, and brought the onesie I got for her. She thought I was coming down for some comforting -she knew how I was feeling Saturday morning, depressed as though it didn't work. When I got there, I showed her the onesie, she said "is this because we're being optimistic?" and I said "no, I've taken about a dozen tests in the last 24 hours - and they all say pregnant". And she said "Let's see what the Doctor says". And again, I thought "Damn, this is how we're going to remember it for the rest of our lives".
When I got back, Bub was officially excited. We got dressed, we went out to eat. We listened to my ipod in the car, playing the songs I'd played 1,000 times during IVF that made me think about the baby. We talked about when it would be due (March 4th), when we'd tell people, we wondered when I would start feeling sick. (My symptoms were just crazy heightened sense of smell, sore boobs, weird poo, and as weird as it sounds my uterus felt different). We went to bed talking about our little family, pure bliss.
Monday I got up super early to get my Beta. On my way out Bub said "Good luck" and I said "please, I'm going to rock this test". I did not bother taking a test that morning.
I got home, and he tried to stay long enough to be a bit late for work... I thought it'd be good for him to be in the room and hear that I was pregnant from a medical Doctor or at least the RN. When he couldn't wait anymore he said "I know you're pregnant, it'll be good news" and walked out the door.
About an hour later the RN called, and I could tell from her voice, instantly, that something was wrong. There was no "I have some good news for you" or "congratulations", just "well, we got your beta results". It was 10. Which means I was pregnant, and that this is not going to be a viable pregnancy, but that I have to 'behave' pregnant and come back in 2 days later just to make sure the numbers are dropping. This will be an early miscarriage.
Bub had gone to work, my Mom was on her way up. I was alone. I hung up, and instantly had a panic attack. I ran around the house making gutteral, animal noises, and hurling everything that would remind me of the baby not to be - the pregnancy tests, the baby books, the onesie I had gotten for Bub, into a bag and in a part of my closet where I would never see it. Then I put my face in a pillow and shouted 'why' for I don't even know how long. Then I took the pregnancy tests again - the lines were lighter, and the digital said "not pregnant". My Mom arrived, and the day I envisioned consisting of us celebrating turned into me staring like a zombie, unable to speak and my Mom breaking down because she didn't know how to help me.
The two days of waiting for that, you know, 1% chance of hope was agony. Then on Wednesday, it was confirmed - my number had dropped to 8. Baby not to be will be leaving my body.
They said it's a positive sign that I got pregnant. Even with one, imperfect embryo, my body wanted to be pregnant. It had implanted. Next time we can change things. Get more eggs, hopefully more will fertilize, hopefully hopefully. I got pregnant, it's just this time my body didn't stay pregnant. Something was wrong with the embryo, it happens all the time, it has nothing to do with the infertility factor. And at least my body recognized something was wrong early on.
Those are all the things that have been said that I've been repeating to myself. At first they weren't comforting at all, and now slowly but surely I'm able to hold on to the little positives.
I've spent the last week on the TWW boards (with a closer look at the 'loss' forums even though I realize I only slightly belong there) and playing video games (they sneak way too many babies into television and movies). When the horrendous cramps started my Doctor was kind enough to call in some vicodin, so I've also been spending the last several days in a delightful drug haze. Eventually I let my two best friends come over once I was numb enough. "Kali" watched some stupid TV with me. After a few days my house was a disaster because I was afraid if I started picking things up I would find a baby thing I had forgotten to banish - so when "T" arrived he said "I don't know what to do for you, so I'm going to clean your house".
I feel better, I do. The more days I put between me and that one, happy day the better I am. Today it's been a week. I'll never go back to that flea market. I can't listen to my Ipod because all the baby songs are now my most popular. The idea of going through another holiday season childless is enough to make me stop breathing.
But, we'll try again. We have our follow up appointment on Tuesday, and we're thinking IVF #2 will be late August, early September.
I just thought I'd add this to the interwebs while I was still a little raw about it in case anyone was searching. At the very least just to re-affirm that yes, fellow infertile, chemical pregnancies fucking suck.