I’m sure this is the post many have been waiting for. First, thank you for coming along on this journey with me. Your support has been overwhelmingly amazing. I wish I would have shared while we were going through it. I could have used the collective support and prayers from all of you.
We went home to Beaufort, SC, and Savannah, GA a few days after the embryo transfer. We only shared with a small group of people that we were going through this process. They were all so hopeful and that felt great. I felt amazing right after the embryo transfer. I cried when I saw my mom. I felt hopeful and emotional and excited. My body ached from all the hormones I’d been injecting for the previous two weeks. After the embryo transfer, I had to take progesterone suppositories to make sure my body was preparing properly for pregnancy. I was constantly on the clock because I had to take three doses a day. It didn’t matter though. I was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to have a baby.
My sister and her children were able to come down to Beaufort so that we could spend some much needed time together. The pandemic has made it hard for me to travel and I was missing all of them so much. My sister is my twin and she has four children. I love them like they’re my own. The oldest looks so much like me. My mom’s birthday was a couple of days after we arrived. I bought a cake and we all sang and had a little party. Just my mom, her children, and her grandchildren. She said she had all she needed right there with her.
Husband painted my mom’s front porch and cleaned out her garage. I love the haint blue ceiling he did. So southern. His parents live in Savannah, so I spent a couple of nights there. We went fishing and spent a day at the beach. We had a really great visit with both sides of the family and made some amazing memories. Things haven’t felt quite right at home ever sense my grandma and my dad passed away. This visit felt whole. It was nice.
The day of my blood test came by quickly but not quickly enough. The beta is a test to check my HCG level. This will let us know if the embryos implanted and if I was pregnant. I didn’t have to make an appointment. We were able to go to the naval hospital in my hometown. I had my blood drawn for the HCG beta early on the morning of August 27th. It’s the anniversary of my Aunt Diane’s death. She passed away several years ago from breast cancer. I knew that meant this was a sign that everything would work out. I was so excited to be in my hometown to have this done. Everyone was so nice and I felt so happy and excited. This day would confirm what we were hoping. After the blood test, we went back to my mom’s house for breakfast. She makes the best biscuits. Husband did some more work on the front porch and I just hung out with my nieces and nephew.
I got the call from the IVF nurse later that afternoon. It was Dana, the nurse that always checked me in for my appointments. She was very kind but I could tell by her tone that she didn’t have the news I wanted. The beta was negative. No pregnancy. No babies.
To say I was devastated is an understatement. I cried the entire day and some of the next. My body was full of hormones and managing my emotions was impossible. I isolated myself in my bedroom at my mom’s house. It’s hard to describe this feeling of loss. I felt like I lost a child. I felt like my babies left me. I think seeing the embryos made the babies so real. It made me feel like they already existed. I couldn’t understand why everything else would work out so miraculously only for it to not work. I could barely speak when I told my mom. She remains hopeful that our miracle will happen. Her support is unmatched.
One of the IVF doctors called me a couple of days later to go over our options for the future. He was nice and asked how I was doing. I kept it together as best as I could. He was encouraged by my response to the cycle and urged me to try again as soon as possible. He suggested I freeze my eggs since I’m getting older and egg quality diminishes with age. Honestly, I couldn’t really think straight. We have to do the entire cycle over including my husband’s surgery.
So, here I am today, weeks later. My body is still in recovery. I started bleeding shortly after the negative test. It was the worst cramping and pain I’ve ever experienced from a menstrual cycle. I definitely wasn’t prepared for that. Mentally, I’m better than I was. I still have some healing to do but I’m getting there. I’m glad we went through this though. I’m glad that my body cooperated. I’m glad that I have an entire ovary that we didn’t think was there. I’m glad I have a piece of a fallopian tube that we didn’t know existed. I’m glad that my husband has sperm that’s healthy and ready to meet an egg. I’m glad that we made embryos. I’m glad that I could give myself injections. I’m glad that I had people in my life who supported us. I’m glad that so many of you want this for us. I’m glad that we were able to have this opportunity. I’m glad that our journey is not over.
I thank you all for allowing me to share this story. It has been healing. I hope this helps someone. I know that I’m meant to be a mother. I’ve never felt so sure of anything in my life. To be honest, my age is a factor I think about. I feel like I’m on some timeline other than biology. The truth is, I’m not. I believe things happen, or don’t happen, for a reason. I don’t know why this cycle didn’t work out. It was only our first and many people go through many before they conceive. I’ll share our next cycle. Your support has inspired me. I didn’t realize how many of you would care so much for us. I should have known.
I also don’t want you to feel pity for me. We’ll be okay. We need your hope. I need you to love on your own babies and children. I need you to show them the love they deserve. Hold on tight to the moments you have with them. Make memories. Take pictures. Share your pregnancies and babies. Share when they do silly stuff or hit milestones. Share their graduations and talents.
And take care of yourself. Honor who you are and the life that you live. Share your stories. Life is hard right now, but it is so worth living.