The week after our 2nd beta HCG result that showed our embabies were not growing, I had to go to the clinic for a 3rd beta test. I had started bleeding that week. It was just a normal period. There was nothing exceptional about it. Nothing that suggested I was having an early miscarriage. It was just a period. I realised that if I hadn't been having fertility treatment, I really wouldn't have known I was pregnant. I would have just been a bit late, maybe felt a bit run down. I wanted something more significant. Something to show for the couple of weeks I knew I was pregnant. Something physical to signify my loss. That's crazy, cos I wouldn't wish the pain of miscarriage on anyone. But I just can't believe that something that meant so much to me just went away like any other period.
Mentally, it's like any other grieving process. I imagine it's hard for some people to wrap their heads around why it's affecting me so. It was technically a chemical pregnancy. I hate that term so much it makes me feel sick just looking at it, writing it makes me want to run away and hide. I can still feel the joy that we felt when we got that positive result. I can take myself back there and feel just how ecstatic we were, how stupidly, unimaginably, love sick, drunk on the success we were. I can summon that joy back into my body, almost becoming possessed by it, wanting to feel it again and again. And then I know I will never feel like that again. I will never feel that pure joy at a positive result, even if I do get to see another one.
So my 3rd beta HCG came back at 10. Down from 110 the first couple of times. It meant I was still clinically pregnant and had to go back for a 4th test the following Thursday. At this point I hated the clinic. I didn't want to see the happy faces of others getting positive results, or the determined faces of those going back for more treatment, or the naive faces of those just starting out. I didn't want to share my misery with anyone but Ben. I didn't want to see anyone else's misery. I didn't want to see the looks from the staff, the head tilts, the sorry faces. I hated them all, and I was angry as hell.
That's the week I destroyed my lounge. Well, destroyed is a bit strong. I mean, I live there, that would be idiotic. I did take a crowbar to the damn horrible blue skirting boards and throw them out into the front garden. I did paint the ceiling in anger. The stupid oppressive, black beams got 5 coats of white emulsion.
Thursday 17th November, a month (less a day) after my frozen embryo transfer, my beta result was finally back to zero. I was not pregnant, chemically or otherwise, any more. This is the point I lost momentum for the redecorating. I didn't really fancy doing much of anything at all.
Thankfully we had made plans with friends so I had to keep the house and myself tidy. Now it's nearly Christmas. I do love this time of year. I am not totally back to myself but I am moving forward as best I can. I've been through the 5 stages of grief, there and back again. It's a ride I think I'll be on for a while. I don't think I will ever fully accept what has happened to us, although I can accept that it's not our fault.
Thinking about the future is very hard. I am stuck in Christmas mode at the minute. If I move beyond, into the New Year, I start to panic. We have 2 embryos left in the freezer. We have always said we would do one full round of IVF including all frozen embryos. Our next try will be our second frozen embryo transfer and our last go. Part of me thinks about doing more IVF, but I actually believe that is just my fear leaking out. We have been through so much, emotionally and physically. This is a hard process. It's an emotional and physical burden and I don't really want it to become a financial burden as well.
I worry for our last two embryos. I worry that they will not survive the thaw, or that only one will survive, and that will reduce our chances of success. I worry that perhaps all our embryos have chromosomal abnormalities, and maybe that's the reason we haven't been getting pregnant all along. That would mean our last two won't take either. I worry that I will have another early loss, or even a 'later' miscarriage. I worry that if I get that far, I will spend my whole pregnancy worrying! I worry about what we will do next. As you can probably tell, my head starts to spin if I think about it too much.
It's all out of my control. I can't do anything about it now. It is now down to science and luck.
We have a follow up appointment in January. I will go with questions that I already know most of the answers to. Sorry for being facetious, I just already know what the consultant is going to say.
"we're as disappointed as you"
"at least we know you can get pregnant"
"no, I wouldn't recommend an endometrial scratch"
It's like fertility clinic bingo!
My main question will be "are we going to do anything differently?" including some suggestions (endo scratch, low dose aspirin) but I imagine I will get a resounding "no".
And if I was the clinician making the recommendations I would probably say the same thing.
Unexplained infertility is just so frustrating!