Future Imperfect

I am burying it, as deep as it can go.

I am shying away from conversations with people who know, because I don’t want them to ask how I am doing. I don’t want to be reminded of what has happened.

It’s when I’m reminded that I start to cry again.

The only place I’ll allow myself to engage with what happened is here.

Here I feel safe.

Here I can work through my emotions without interruption, in my own time, when I am ready.

I know I should probably be trying to process what has happened. I know it is not healthy to bottle things up inside.

My jaw is already sore because I’ve started unconsciously clenching it again.

I am so quick to anger these days.

I have so little patience for E., my most beloved son, when he gets silly or defiant and pushes my buttons.

I should be letting myself grieve, letting myself cry, letting myself do what I need to accept it, and, in time, heal.

I’m not ready.

The problem is it’s not just about this baby.

If it were just about this baby, this loss, I could stand to think about it, to confront it rather than hide it down deep, as far as it can go.

I’m not ready to engage with what I’m afraid this loss means.

A friend who had a miscarriage before she had her second son sent me an email where she told me that she knew how awful it was to have to replan a year when you hadn’t wanted to change the plan at all.

I feel like I’m not just having to replan the next year, but replan my whole life.

I’m so afraid that this loss marks the end of any chance we had at becoming a family of four.

I know, I know- we have one frozen embryo- a blast- waiting for us at the clinic.

I don’t know what grade the embryo is, and it probably seems premature to discount it.

FETs don’t work for me though.

Fresh transfers?

Three out of four blasts implanted (the two Day 3 embryos we transferred with that very first IUI/IVF conversion cycle in May 2009 I’m discounting because my thyroid was too high. They never had a chance.), although, of course, only one of them ever turned into a baby.


Zero for six.

And two of them, in two separate transfers, were exactly like this frozen embryo: a blastocyst that hadn’t quite made it to blast status by the time of the transfer, and was frozen on Day 6.

Late bloomers.

Late bloomers that did nothing in my womb.

I can’t see how this one is going to be any different.

And so, while it’s true that this loss does not, in itself, mark the END of our attempts to expand our family, I am so very afraid it marks the end of our hopes that we might succeed.

We’ll transfer that last embryo.

Of course we will. We won’t leave it alone in the dark.

Probably in the summer. We’ve reverted to our original plan to go and visit Q.’s family in the middle of the year, so we won’t start anything at the clinic until after we’ve returned.

But after that? When it fails? (I can’t even bring myself to write ‘If’ because of course it will fail. FETs fail with me. It’s what they do.)

I don’t want to look at what comes next.

By the time we are through with that final FET, we will have spent as much of our own money (or possibly even a bit more- I’ve lost count) on failed efforts to bring home a 2.0 as we did trying to bring home our first baby.

In December, Q. and I agreed that this would be our LAST.RETRIEVAL.EVER.

When we found out that only one embryo was frozen, and we’d had another terrible attrition rate (70%), I freaked out.

All I could think about was: one more chance.

Everyone told me to let go of the anxiety about the future, to concentrate on the current cycle.

I did.

Yet here we are again.

One more chance.

And not even one I believe in.


Filed under 2.0 IVF, 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Grief, Loss, Money Matters, Second Thoughts, Thyroid

4 responses to “Future Imperfect

  1. I’m so sorry. About all of it. I know exactly what it’s like to wake up and realize you now need to find other things to look forward to. But the thing is, you will.

    And the thing about long shots is: sometimes they work.

    I don’t know that there’s a right way to deal with grief. I don’t know if I believe you need to process it in a certain way (or that it’s possible to truly process such a horrible, unfair, shitty thing that happened). I’m pretty sure I believe that sometimes, denial is in fact the best way to get through difficult days. Sometimes, you need to bottle it up so you can, in fact, move on and heal. So if not letting it in feels right to you, I think you should go with that.

    Please just know that even if there’s nothing anyone can say to make it truly better, there are so many people thinking of you and sending love.

  2. The only way I got through my loss a little over a year ago was to stop looking ahead, stop planning, to just take some time and focus on the here and now. For me, I needed a distraction – a marathon. I needed something else to focus on, something I COULD control.

    Because, hon, I was right with you: I was looking at the reality: there might not be a Mythical Child #2 for us. And it was too big, it made me panicky to even consider.

    But stepping back? It really afforded me was TIME. It gave me time to accept the reality that getting – and staying – pregnant, for me, is really incredibly hard. It gave me the space to accept the fact that I have ZERO control over whether or not we’d have another baby at all.

    And most of all, it gave me time to really live out our life with just the three of us. There are so many benefits to our life the way it is now; trips to take, marathons to run, experiences to have. We’re going to be okay, you know?

    It took time away for me to come to a place of acceptance. It DEFINITELY didn’t happen overnight, and it certainly wasn’t within a few days of my D&C.

    I suppose this is just a long way of telling you that you aren’t going to have the answers now, nor should you expect yourself to. Grief is non-linear. It’s okay to cry, okay to stay in denial, okay to work through the heartbreak and emotions on your own time. You are not alone.


  3. It’s like you got into my mind and recorded my thoughts.

    But I have to say time really does heal. It’s so cliche but as the months go by it does get easier.

    I know you’re pessimistic about an FET working, but there’s a definite chance it could! Your clinic wouldn’t have frozen the embryo if it didn’t have a chance.

  4. I am a full year in to trying to accept the end, and I am NO WHERE NEAR there yet. There’s a little part of me that is stuck in the denial stage- unwilling to accept that I can’t have something that seems like it should be my right- a second child. Acceptance takes a long, long time, and one hell of a lot of work. I agree with Serenity- the only way to be even slightly ok is to focus on now, and just not look too far down the road. Running, vacations, good books are all good escapes for me. And while you are focusing on the here and now, it is so important to keep believing that eventually, it won’t hurt so much. Sending lots of love, hun. Xoxo

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