There's that moment, that split second before anything comes up on the ultrasound screen when your heart arrests with the reality that what is about to be seen will be either one of the best things or the worst things. Yesterday turned out to be one of those worst things. I knew it many moments before the doctor began to explain, as she was beginning a search that ended on an empty sack. When they have to search--when the screen does not fill with the arcs and tones of a beating heart, when it is immediately silent and black and empty--you know.
I've been here before and then, I haven't. The first time we lost our baby, we had heard a heartbeat and were measuring on track. I got four weeks beyond that appointment before we discovered the truth. But as I mentioned before, that pregnancy also got off to a rocky start, a sign of things to come. In some sense, I'm less shocked this time. And call me a bitter, seasoned infertile, but I knew in my heart that the universe would not gift a second child to me this 'easily'. No, one must toil for years. This is my experience. It would be naive of me to think that only $5,000 and several weeks of ass shots would give me my heart's desire. However, I can say that five years and $40,000 was a small price to pay for the greatest gift that I already have.
That's how skewed my perspective is now. I view an FET as 'the easy road', when for most, this would be above and beyond what they might be willing to do. Actually, it would be above and beyond what they think they'd be willing to do, except that if they were infertile and it was one of their only choices to fulfill their dream of a child, then I bet that willingness would expand to greater lengths than ever anticipated, as it did with me. To which I would say, "welcome to the new normal."
I've been in this kind of shifted normal for years now. It's so, so strange to me that people actually just have sex, get pregnant and have babies. There are many who don't experience loss and heartache, many who do not need to journey to the ends of the earth and have their heart ripped out in the process. What a foreign concept. I promise I'm not comparing (maybe feeling sorry for myself a little, but I think that's allowed for now). But what this does make me realize is that at this point, building a family is about gambling and heartache to me. I'm tired of that path and one way or another, I want off it. I've had enough loss.
For now, I must concentrate on saying goodbye--goodbye to my last chance, to a child who would've started kindergarten as G began third grade, would've been a freshman when he was a senior. I need to say goodbye to a child who would've been born in spring just a few weeks before my 35th birthday, a child who would've had the room next to G's, a child who would've had the second round on all of G's baby stuff. I need to say goodbye to my second chance at breastfeeding. And I need to let go of another opportunity to fall in love with a perfect little soul again. I know very deeply what I am missing as I have it with my son and it is nothing less than crushing.
And for now I must figure out how I am to get through the holidays with my brother-in-law's newborn ever-present (who was an 'oops'-and yes, they rarely have time for their first). They're due this month and I am ready to run, book a flight away for every holiday, but I know that's not fair to G, who loves his cousin and grandparents. Under other circumstances (pre-G), you better believe I would've been gone. Oh well, I'll suck it in and plaster a smile on my face. We do what we must do. I just wish it were under more joyful circumstances.
If I haven't said this lately, let me say it again. F.uck IF.