I’m going to go backwards.
I will write about what I am feeling right now before I write about my retrieval. I need to talk about what I feel right now because it’s consuming me and I hope that expressing it might help give me some relief.
It was a good retrieval and a good fertilization report. Much better than what we had initially expected. God has been incredibly kind and despite immense physical discomfort that has lasted a whole month, I responded very well to the modified protocol and so far the results have been very encouraging.
Yet, with the exultation has come an incredible amount of fear. A ginormous, free-wheeling, snowballing fear that threatens at times to swallow me whole. My mind is caught up in an acerbic altercation with itself. The past keeps casting shadows of gloom over my relief even as the future tantalizingly beckons me forward. So what if you got a great response? What’s to say that these embryos are good quality? How many of them will make blasts? How many will be normal? Isn’t that what this whole thing boils down to?
I feel utterly light and peaceful one moment and mired in swampy doubt the very next. What the heck will I do if after all this we end up in the same place we were last June? With no chromosomally normal embryos. At least at that time we had the luxury of comforting ourselves with the fact that it was our very first cycle, we had a pretty low response and it could just be chance that things did not turn out right. Now, with the weight of America’s most successful IVF clinic riding behind us, thousands more dollars spent, all insurance coverage exhausted, another 7 months past… how will we console ourselves? With what will we look forward to the future? How will we breathe again?
I know K is scared too. Hope has really come knocking this time, forcing her way in even before we had a chance to decide whether or not we could have her stay as an extended guest. Fear, the houseguest who never leaves, skulks around inspiring dread. How will we handle these two hanging out together with us every day, every waking moment?
I relax when I am asleep. That’s not to say that I’m a sodding mess the whole day. I manage to keep myself busy. I am on a dedicated mission to de-clutter and organize my home. It keeps me sane. As long as there is order, I rationalize, there is life. Today I attacked the kitchen. I scrubbed the countertops and the sink till they could double up as mirrors, I mopped the floors, I washed dishes, I wiped down the cabinets. The more it shone, the better I felt. At night when I am waiting to fall asleep I plot my moves. I need to organize the closets. They are a mess. I need to sort and order. Give away what I don’t need. Throw out what is not usable. Sort, order, give, throw, clean. Even as I am contemplating a visit to the Container Store, I wonder briefly… is this the edge of sanity?
My life hangs in balance as every second, every minute, now becomes then. I feel like someone convicted of a crime, waiting on a judgement to hear her sentence. I feel like my ability to be a mother is being judged and the jury is out right now deliberating on whether or not I should be given this opportunity. I feel their arguments as my own apprehensions. My heart races. My mind wanders over to the dark side. I look at K sitting next to me, engrossed in his laptop. I want to hide in him. Sometimes, when we are lying down in bed and he holds me real tight, our limbs entwined, my face snuggling his chest, I whisper to him let’s stay like this forever, let’s be each other. I don’t know if he hears me. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I listen to him breathe. I see him blissful in sleep. My heart wells up in crazy, mad love and I believe right then that we will be very happy.
I talk to God a lot. I offer copious thanks and I plead incessantly. Often, my eyes fill up as I wordlessly, bare my anguish and present my hope, my dream as a silent, fervent prayer. I feel he is listening, I feel he is telling me my time is coming. But I am also frozen with fear. I acknowledge my fear. I no longer try to quell it. This is happening, this is real. All of it. The good and the bad. I need to stay calm and live this one day at a time. Remember the right now. Right now all is well with the world. My husband sits next to me. He’s putting on a movie on Netflix. He is drinking wine. He looks so happy. I long to see that happiness on his face forever. Right now, I am going to stop typing, go snuggle up next to him and eat some cake. Because today is perfect and tomorrow will do its thing regardless of how I feel.