December 2009 - Cycle #13 (Memorial)
Professor's SA? Check.
Slackie's HSG? Check.
Clomid CD5-9? Check.
Weekly acupuncture? Check.
Gettin' our groove on whenever the mood strikes? CHECK!
Positive OPK? FAIL.
IUI? Missed the window.
So, best laid plans and all... ah well. We never quite figured out what went wrong. Maybe it was the generic brand OPKs, maybe it was just a coincidence of timing and a short LH surge. Whatever it was, I never got a positive OPK and when they brought me in for an ultrasound to see where things were at - we'd missed it. Now, we did at least have the comfort of knowing that we had been grooving throughout the window of opportunity, so maybe, just maybe...
And a few days after Christmas, maybe became YES. In spite of the failure of "the Plan", my period was late for the first time ever, so we picked up a home test, and lo and behold, it was positive. I called the clinic and they ordered the standard bloodwork, which also came back positive.
Once again, not sure why, but I was strangely wary of being excited. I knew I should be all Glowing and Joyful and Hallmark Moment, but I could only manage Cautiously Pleased. It seemed too good to be true that we had succeeded on our first full cycle with the RE. Already the doubt was creeping in.
When they called with the results of my third round of bloodwork, the nurse admitted that they were "concerned" that the numbers were not going up as they should, and they wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. I've done my homework on this infertility thing, and I could think of plenty of reasons for the low numbers (some of them scarier than others).
The ultrasound showed one small sac, hunkered down in just the right spot, but it was too small. So the verdict was wait and see, bloodwork every two days and another ultrasound one week out. Fast forward one week, bloodwork not improving and second ultrasound shows very little increase in size and no other development. Diagnosis: blighted ovum.
I was a freaking hot mess. I think I went the whole week without showering, but I'm not even sure. I was so sad and angry and scared of what this meant for the larger picture. I never once thought of it as losing a baby. It wasn't a baby to me yet. It was an empty sac, never was and never would be anything else. I was sad for me, and angry that my body still hadn't gotten it right. Angry that we were going to have to wait untold weeks for this to resolve before we could start again. Angry that it was turning out to be so much harder than we thought it would be. Angry that so many girls and women could get knocked up so easily when they didn't even want to, didn't even like the person that knocked them up. The Professor and I adore each other and we just want to create a child that would be part of each of us, a reflection of just how immense our love is.
In the midst of all this, my BFF called to tell me she was pregnant. Two weeks behind me, her due date is my birthday. They'd been trying for six months. And I felt nothing but pure joy. I cannot describe what a relief it was to feel nothing but happy for her. I've read so many blog posts and tweets and statuses and comments from infertile women who were devastated when their close friends announced pregnancies, who eventually shut themselves off from their own social circles because of this. And I was scared that I would feel the same anger, resentment or jealousy towards my friend. But I didn't, and I still don't. And I'm so grateful for that. I eventually told her about my infertility and miscarriage, and she has responded exactly the way I needed her to. She never pushes me for updates or offers assvice, she just sends me little notes to say she's thinking of me. Just like she always has. If I send her an IF update, she offers encouragement or ass-kicking as appropriate. She doesn't see me any differently than before.
I took the misoprostol first thing on the next Saturday morning. I had stockpiled my supplies of maxi-pads, heating pads, Vicodin, water and audiobooks and settled into bed to wait. The Professor kept tabs on me, keeping me fed and hydrated and generally comforted. The whole thing took about six hours, after which I relocated to the couch to watch videos and feel sorry for myself. I didn't take the Vicodin until late that night when I just wanted to sleep. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected.
I spent the following day on the couch, just resting and recovering. My uterus felt like it had run a marathon. I had no abdominal muscle tone, couldn't suck in my gut to save my life. To top it all off, turns out my plumbing doesn't take well to Vicodin. Monday, I went to work like nothing had happened. No one in my office knew we were TTC, and I hadn't bothered to tell anyone about the pregnancy. Before work Tuesday, I went in for the post-misoprostol ultrasound. All clear. By the time I got to the office, I had crashed. I could barely drag myself into the building, much less think straight enough to work. I walked right into my boss' office, shut the door, sat down and started crying. I told her I had had a miscarriage and needed to go home. She told me to take as much time as I needed, and I did. We haven't mentioned it since.
By the time the bleeding stopped, my heart was healed. Really. I was only impatient to get back in the game. We had a follow-up consultation with the RE, and he professed himself very pleased with my response to the treatment in spite of the outcome, and agreed that we could go again once I'd had another period.
Perhaps, if we had seen something in that sac, a heartbeat or even just a fetal pole... something... it might have felt more like a baby, it might have taken longer to heal. But we didn't see anything, and that made it so much easier to bear in the long run.