Another cycle of IVF and you are still a figment of my imagination, not a real baby or even what precedes a baby. You’re gone. Poof. Just like that.
Of course, I knew. Or, I thought I knew, before the blood was ever drawn from my arm. My body had already told me you were gone.
I had hoped and prayed, even pleaded with God, that this time, the two little embryos that were gently transferred into my womb would become you – the very real, screaming newborn in my dream. I willed my body to make a home for you. I thought over and over during the transfer, “welcome, Rowan. Welcome, babies. You are loved and wanted. We will take care of you and make a happy home for you.”
It feels different this time. Maybe I am getting used to the bad news. I cried, for a while, but crying doesn’t change anything. It hurts, of course, but maybe the fact that there are three frozen embryos waiting for a chance to become you is giving me a sense of hope that I haven’t had before.
I feel so tired -- emotionally, physically – I’m spent. I don’t know if I can go through this again.
Your father is so disappointed. He was hopeful over these last few days even though I was not. He was still hopeful this morning even after I started spotting. He and the nurse at our clinic tried to make me feel more positive about the pending test results.
“I’m hopeful in my heart,” Nurse Cindy said as we walked out the door. Greg is the eternal optimist. Yesterday, he told me we would spend today eating cake and pizza in celebration. Instead, we spent the day as I had feared, mourning another loss.
I think about the picture of our two blastocysts taken just before the transfer. We had so much hope for those two little orbs. For the first time, we could actually see a clump of cells on one side of each of the circles – the clump that would become a fetus. The fluid filled space on the other side would become the placenta. Our embryologist called it a pregnancy in minimum, and that this is what becomes pregnancy maximus. I thought you were beginning to take shape, Rowan, when I saw that picture. I thought to myself, “this is our time. It’s finally our time.”
Our doctor shook my hand and said “you have a very good chance,” and I emphatically thanked him for giving us this kind of opportunity, so much more promising than the previous two cycles.
“Your intuition was right and mine was wrong,” Cindy said when she called with the news, “Your test was negative and I’m so sorry. You let me know when you’re ready to do that frozen cycle.”
And, I am hopeful that a frozen cycle could work, but I know it’s not as likely to result in a pregnancy as a fresh cycle. And, a fresh cycle, at this point, is just so out of reach. I can’t imagine going through this again right now. Are you one of those three embryos, Rowan? Or are you just a dream?
There is grief, so much of it here in our home tonight. And, yet, there is relief. Relief in the knowing. We’ve spent so much time over these past month wondering if it would work this time, looking for signs either way, praying, begging and even bargaining with God. And, now, we know.
But it doesn’t mean we want you less, or love you any less. Each time we try and fail, we grow a deeper appreciation for the love we share for each other and a deeper appreciation for what we hope will come to be one day.
Are we any closer today to you than we were a month ago, Rowan? I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore. But I send my love to you, out there in the unknown.