i haven’t been totally honest with you. not on purpose, more like awkward accident. so many times this summer i have sat down in front of this screen, placed my fingers on the keys, and begged the words to flow freely. they sit there at attention, barely resting on the cool plastic, and the blank screen mocks me. nothing comes. i used to sit down and immediately pour the contents of my heart into the keyboard, hurt and anger and envy and sadness rushing into the keys like a tidal wave. and here i sit tonight, last week, a month ago even… in a perpetual drought. nothing flows right now. so i pull my fingers away, close the screen, and tell myself i’ll try again later. it’s not that i am done walking this journey, or done sharing it with you. that couldn’t be further from the truth. this is an unending journey. it’s actually because things are happening in the background but i have struggled to find a way to share it with you because, well, it sucks.
i’ve not been totally honest with you. i’ve been seeing someone. a new reproductive endocrinologist. we’ll call him mr. personality. and not because he is personable, or charming or friendly, even. quite the opposite, so far. the first time i sat in his office he spent 40 minutes listening to our agonizing story of loss after loss with the blankest of all stares. i don’t even think he blinked. occasionally he would twirl his pen in his hand, unknowingly scribbling on the desk beneath his hand. and then he’d stare at it, but his mind was elsewhere. when he did actually make eye contact with me or amazing husband we were met with empty, tired eyes, who were looking at our faces but clearly not seeing us. and then he spoke. a flat, fatigued droning on and on, full of scary words like “dangerous” and “poor responder”. and even more depressing phrases like “i am shocked you are even getting pregnant.” and he executed the most hurtful of all without batting an eye… but i needed to hear it:
“your chances of having another ectopic are at least 50%.”
let me let that sink in for a bit. hell, i’m still letting it sink in for me, and it’s been months since those words hit me, right to the core. we will come back to it, i promise. let’s get back to mr. personality.
you may be wondering why do i continue to see this man? well, it’s a funny story. thank god. i could use some funny shit these days. at the end of our initial visit, blank stares, droning on, scribbling blah blah blah… i actually felt so irritated with him that he didn’t have the decency to *pretend* to be interested in helping us or hell, showing any expression on that face other than fatigue. so i called him out. what is going on with you, you look beat. and for the first time his eyes brightened a smidgen and he proceeded to tell us he was battling the stomach flu all day, hadn’t eaten a damn thing without barfing, and so on. and we all laughed at him. amazing husband and i looked at each other with relief on our faces that this guy may actually be a human being, not the robot he portrayed for the last hour. followed immediately by showering ourselves in the hand sanitizer sitting on his desk. you shook my hand you jerk. i paid you $350 so you can tell me stop trying to have kids and then you give me the stomach flu?? ass.
“your chances of having another ectopic are 50%.”
i needed to hear it. i have told my therapist i have no line in the sand, the point where i say enough is enough. and i had yet to be told there is a need to have a stopping point. magician always encouraged us to try naturally since we had “proven fertility” (as evidenced by amazing son). i had no line in the sand, and now i have to draw it. think about it. i have just as much a chance of ending up bleeding out in an ER lobby as having a baby make it to my uterus. i cannot take those odds anymore. as irrational my desire to have another baby, thankfully i have a stronger will to live. i cannot allow myself to end up in a place where my son grows up without a mother. where my husband becomes a single dad in an instant. all because my heart yearns for a baby. my bones ache for my lost children. i am not complete without them, and this desire to fill the void is all-consuming.
but limits are now imposed, and strangely i am okay with that. because the control was taken away from me. i didn’t get to make that decision, but i have to respect it. i have to choose the life i have right now rather than the one i’ve been dreaming of for years. i’m a clinician and i have seen firsthand how dangerous this can get. and i want no part of that again. mr. personality’s words were exactly what i needed to hear and the game is forever changed. the monthly rollercoaster of ovulation predictor sticks, scheduled intimacy, and the devastation of negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test is gone. not doing that anymore. three years of these ups and downs, elation and devastation. done. an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders in accepting what i have been fearing for quite some time now: the only way we will have another child is through fertility treatments.
and so it began, our new relationship. me and mr. personality. i was starting from scratch again, getting fresh eyes on everything. after all, it’s been 2 years since starting IVF treatments. things change, i’m older, my eggs are older, and we needed to reevaluate if we had new challenges to face. as the weight of incessantly “trying naturally” was lifted, an equally heavy one wrapped its arms around my shoulders. my lab work revealed that my eggs are aging faster than ever before, and i’m making even less follicles than previously. awesome. thanks universe. i had to undergo another painful uterine diagnostic test, a hysteroscopy, to evaluate the lining of my uterus to determine if it could allow for implantation of an embryo. (read: does my uterus work). this procedure was a new level of hell. they really should knock you out for this. instead, they loaded me up with valium and aleve and mr. personality used a camera to check out my uterine landscape, if you will. i *might* have cursed at him while i squeezed the blood out of the nurses’ hand in what some may call the vulcan death grip. “try to relax” he said. you’re right, this feels amazing, i can totally relax. ass. and yet by some stroke of luck this was the only test that gave me good results: the landscape is lush and healthy.
and with that, my friends, we have a lot to think about. my eggs are serious crap, my plumbing is broken and somehow the landscape is perfect. lots of hard conversations coming up. difficult, painful questions to ask and an incredible amount of soul-searching on the horizon. and hopefully amazing husband and i can come to an agreement and move forward. i’m not sure what forward looks like yet, hence the sporadic blogging i’ve done these past few months. but i’m relieved my fingers are typing today because it means i’m processing this stuff. and though i’m tiptoeing into the unknown, where it’s dark and scary, i am learning there is light in the darkness. all i can do is try to grasp it before it goes out.
photo cred: papa turk ❤