Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Falling

When Pandora and her playmates find a box and are told not to look inside, they’re naturally very curious. They live in Paradise, things are beautiful and amiable and benign and probably a tad boring and more than anything they want to look in the damn box.

When Pandora finally opens the lid, all the evils of our world are released into the air: war, hate, violence, disaster, pestilence, anger, comment spam...

Pandora manages to slam the lid shut, trapping the last occupant who begs to be let free. Pandora is scared but when she does open the lid again, she lets out Hope. Hope was originally imprisoned with the other beasties as a sort of divine insurance policy. Without Hope, the human race could not survive the despair that comes from living in this world.

The spotting started on Tuesday night. Very faint, very pink, very gentle.

A sort of apology from my uterus for what was to come.

Within a couple of hours it was definitely over.

C and I curled up together on the carpet and hugged each other and wept and hugged some more. I cried into C’s hair and snot ran down his neck. We made ourselves into a little two person space pod and closed the hatch on the rest of the world and whispered secret things that made us sigh and nod and squeeze ourselves even tighter.

We were so ridiculously proud of this embryo. Our embryo. Eleven years after our bodies first met, our genetic signatures had finally come together. It was the closest we had ever come to being pregnant. For a few days it had made us Pretend Parents. We wore cheesy grins. We played spot the Bugaboo.

I was almost numb with despair. With the unfairness. With the why-does-it-have-to-be-so-difficult? And with the waste. Along with everything else, I suddenly felt that I had spent all this year working and focusing and yes, obsessing, on trying to fall pregnant. The IVF cycle had wound this thread still tighter and tighter with each injection, each unit of Lucrin or Puregon, each day post transfer until finally it came crashing down with that first drop of blood on a cotton pad.

It was as if this was all I was, a woman trying to fall pregnant, and I had failed. I had lost not just a pregnancy but a year of my life and part of all the years of my life where I had wondered will this be the year?

Did it hurt more, I wondered, than all the other cycles where we didn’t use IVF, where we simply used temperature charts or Yoda’s split ejaculation method or the Chinese Fertility Goddess’s Horrid Teas?

I picked at the thought, like a scab. Yes, the answer flowed.
Because we saw the embryo. Because we were told how well it was all going.
Because we knew people who fell pregnant first IVF cycle. Because we thought we were special and we deserved it. Because we were closer, we felt the possibility before us; we believed we simply had to reach out and grab it. Because we heard the voice of Hope, and we chose to release her from our personal Pandora’s Box. And yes, it hurt more than the rest.

Today I spoke to a Fertility Sister. It wasn’t you, she said.
I had asked her if there was something wrong with my uterus.
You had the scans, we would have picked something up, she said. It’s more likely there was something genetically wrong with the embryo.

But it was a good embryo, I said. They told us it was…hatching.

I know. She was sympathetic. But they only go on how the embryo looks. How pretty it is. They don’t test the embryo genetically. It might look like a great embryo but not be able to sustain. Whereas an embryo that doesn’t look as good might go onto become a successful pregnancy.

All being well, and tomorrow’s test will help determine that, we can start another cycle at my next period. One, or maybe two, of the frozen embryos.

But that’s twenty eight days away so we’re putting Hope back in her box for now.

We could all do with a rest.

81 comments:

Lisa P. said...

Delurking to say I'm so sorry.

laura said...

Oh, O.G...I am so sorry. My eyes well up with tears as I read about your sad and horrible news. I can almost feel it. This is such a game of chance, and you are so brave to play it. Love C, be good to yourself, and try again. Thinking of you.

Calliope said...

damn damn damn damn shit damn. I have no words that could take away your pain. I have no advice. I just have virtual hugs & love for you. I am so sorry. xxoo

Jenn said...

I am so sorry!

fisher queen said...

Crying for you. I am so so sorry.

baby said...

I'm sorry. that hope, it's a hard thing. but you need it to keep going.
wishing you well,

bb

b said...

I'm so sorry.

Susie said...

OG, I am so sorry.

surly girl said...

what they said ^^. sorry sorry sorry......i have no idea how bad this must feel for you both but it's not over til you decide to give up and i'm sure your wishes will come true before you even consider that.

PJ said...

I'm so sorry OG. My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

Sweetheart, I'm so so sorry. You and C don't deserve this (who does? but it never seems to happen to the drink drugs and fag-riddled...) wish I understood.

xxx

elle said...

So very very sorry. But I do think it was good to let hope out of the box. Every once & a while - it keeps us human. Next time, I hope she's right.

Jenn said...

Damn. I'm so so sorry. *hugs*

mm said...

My heart breaks for you. So sorry.

Susan/holdingpattern said...

I'm so sorry OvaGirl. I know how disappointing this is. I so wish I could change it for you.

Anonymous said...

Ovagirl,

I've been lurking for a while now and look forward to reading you every day. I'm heartbroken---actually sobbing in my office with the door closed. Just called my husband, who's also been reading you. He said, "I know why you're calling. I can't believe how sad I am."

I'm on the third day of birth-control pills for my first IVF cycle. You've already let Hope out of the box for me and countless others, because you've underscored the importance of---the downright necessity for----humor in slogging through the shit life hurls at you.

Cry and mourn and rage, but I know that the sun will shine for you eventually because you'll let it---one way or another.

Thoughts, prayers, and groovy love vibes wafting down from another hemispehere now!

Molly said...

Oh, shit. So sorry, OG. I've been thinking of you -- will continue to do so.

T said...

Lovey girl - I'm so very sorry.

I must say I'm impressed with your fertility sisters - so many clinics wouldn't admit that the beauty of the embryo is the be all and end all. Very good. That said - have you had a hysteroscopy? Sorry if this is too soon. I hate to see you in pain.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so, so sorry. I understand completely what you're going through right now. I think I hid in my closet for a week curled in a ball after my first IVF loss. Let yourself grieve. Know you're not alone. I'm thinking of you...
Jen/Chew

deborah said...

I'm so very, very sorry you have to go through this. I had the EXACT same outcome with my first IVF (right down to the 8 beta), and my reaction was pretty similar to your own. Stay strong, be good to each other, and know that you have a whole world of support behind you here in the computer.

Rivka said...

So sorry for your loss.

cat said...

Deepest sympathies to you both. My thoughts are with you for some peace, some space to mourn and heal. There will be a candle burning bright on the altar of hope for you when the time comes she will be there.

Nico said...

Oh, no. No, no, no! This wasn't supposed to happen.

I am so incredibly sorry that you have to endure yet another heartache.

Lindy said...

Rivka said it well. It really is a loss to be grieved. I'm so, so sorry, OG. How I wish that it could have all gone as happily as I had convinced myself it would for you.

thalia said...

Lindy has pointed out something I hadn't realised - I, too, believed this would work for you. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because, as you say, you deserve it. I think also because of your humour and your eloquence about what was going on for you. Clearly it's illogical, but it was there, nonetheless.

Dear, sweet ovagirl I am incredibly sorry for your loss. Please let yourself grieve. I'm sure that snot is great shampoo. We are all grieving along with you. When you're ready we'll be here to hope again with you.

persephone said...

I'm so sorry, Ova Girl. I wish there was a way for words to really comfort you for this loss.

I'm glad at least that you have each other to get through this - that was a lovely description of grief shared.

We'll hold onto hope for you until you're ready to have her back.

zhl said...

I'm so sorry, Ova Girl. You have to have hope to go through any of this, but it's a bitch when hope bails out at the end. I'm just so sorry.

DD said...

My heart is heavy. I'm speechless with sorrow.

aj said...

Oh, Ova Girl. I'm so sorry. I wish I was there to cry with you and give you hugs and boxes of turkish delight.

heleen said...

I'm so sorry for you and C that you have to go through more pain, more of the same.

Manuela said...

Oh, sweet Ovagirl... my heart and soul are so heavy as I read this horribly sad bit of news... I had SO hoped and believed this would just be 'it' for you...

Wiping away the tears and continuing to think of you both...

Pamplemousse said...

Sorry, sweetie. The ability to do a FET soon will buck you up though it seems impossible right now. Take care.

S said...

OvaGirl-

Just delurking to say how sorry I am. I'm tubally infertile, as well, and my first IVF also failed with "perfect" embryos, and I totally understand the devastation that you and C must feel. Nothing that anyone can say will make you feel any better, but please know that I'm thinking of you and praying that you have time to heal your heart and gather strength.

S

Spanglish said...

Take as much time as you need to mourn the dreams you had for this pregnancy. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

You're in my thoughts.

granny p said...

Noone who hasn't been through this can truly understand. But all of us can feel for you - I do; Oh Ovagirl - I don't quite dare say keep that Pandora hope alive. But 'hope' you can. Take care,

javajive said...

I can't even begin to understand what you and C are going through. I'm so terribly sorry.

xxx

Larisa said...

I am so so so sorry OG. We all wanted and willed this for you. I am still thinking of you.

Wavery said...

Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.

Emily

Sunny said...

::HUGS:: You brought tears to my eyes. I will be praying for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts.
Danae

ms pickled eggs said...

I'm so sorry.

Mony said...

This truly is dismal news Lovely OG. Like the others, I dared to hope. I was so convinved.. it seemed perfectly possible that this IVF cycle would be a success. 3 in 1 chance....it's someone else's turn for good news. Yours will come & we will all be here to shriek! And look, Danae commented, see how special you are!

Anonymous said...

i'm a recent lurker who wanted to add to the posts of support. i just started to read only 2 weeks ago and all day i was thinking about how things had worked out. i am also ttc and i feel your pain.

Sparkle said...

I'm so sorry OG.
I'm shocked because I had you pegged for a first time winner, especially with the quality of your embryos. Take heart that you can do a FET next time, and that they only freeze best quality blastocysts. I think it's natural to wonder about implantation failure, but I think it's almost better to look at it as a numbers game, and that you might need a couple of rolls of the dice.

Sheryl said...

{{HUGS}} I'm so sorry...

Anita said...

The 1st is ALWAYS the hardest. I mean no one wants to go onto a 2nd IVF cycle as all your hope was put on the 1st (glad he is back in the box). I too had no success on my first and I was an emotional wreck so I can understand somewhat.

Take you time in coming around. My thoughts are with you.

Kim said...

Oh fuck.
I'm so sorry you're going through this.
*hugs*
Hang in there.

Lori said...

I'm so terribly sorry.

Kimmer said...

I'm so sorry Ovagirl. It is so tuff. Your post brought me to tears. Please do something special for yourself and take time to grieve as others stated. I don't know what else to say. Good luck with your FET., it will help you jump back in the saddle again.

korin said...

Delurking to say I'm sorry. :( So very sorry.

LabiaLady said...

I am so sorry, it's so fucked up!
But know this Ova Girl
*You are not alone.
*You did deserve for this too work.
*IF bloggers are here for you.

Julianna said...

I am so very sorry.......I know too, I also had a beta of 8 after a beta of 5 and it just hurts....deep.

My thoughts are with you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

Dear OG. My thoughts are with you and C. Please know that you are very loved. You are inspirational! Keep that hope on standby, even if you have to strap that damn box to your back!

llama said...

My heart aches for you and C.
I am so sorry...

Mel said...

There are not many who get that lucky on their first try. I remember skipping to my blood test in April 2004 ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED it had worked for me. To say the phone call that afternoon was devastating doesn't do justice to the desolation I felt. I had even told my husband not to come home from work because I had fantasies of surprising him with the amazing news that evening. I look back on that girl now and want to hug her and tell her it is only a matter of time...as Ace said, it is a numbers game.

That terrible afternoon, after my husband rushed home from work, reeling from the phone call where I could not speak, just sobbed into the handset, we lay on the bed and held each other and mourned the loss of both that baby and our wonderful, innocent hope. Then we went out for ice cream and sat in the glorious sunshine and watched other people getting on with their lives oblivious to our tragedy.

I see that day now as one of the best and worst of my life.

We tried all through 2004 to conceive with IVF and now, as I sit and write to you in October 2005, I am counting down the days till my little girl is born via c-section next Thursday 20 October.

When the nurse called in February to tell me I was pregnant, I think I believed her even less than that terrible phone call in April 2004. This time, we were together, and this time we lay on the bed and hugged each and could hardly speak for sheer terror at our incredible luck.

This will be you too OvaGirl. It is hard to believe now and it seems like a terribly long way away, but keep a little warm corner in your heart for the day you find out that what you have hoped for all these months and years is actually happening.

It will be you too.

WonderMama said...

I am so sorry. Tears are streaming down my face, and my heart is so heavy and sore.
This is really, really not fair. I wanted SO much for this to work for you.
Sending you love, peace and warm, healing light...

Kell said...

I feel teary too, I feel your pain and I am so very sorry.

Burnt Karma said...

I haven't been over in a while and was wondering how you were doing.

Oh shit.

I am so impressed with how coherent and articulate you can be about all of this. You took me back to our first cycle. I was so sure it would work because everything was so bloody good. The embryo was "perfect" they said.

And it is more than cycling at home, because you see the embryo, so you know something is in there.

I am so sorry this cycle didn't work. (((((hugs)))))

MC said...

I'm so sorry Ova girl. Hang in there. I think it is worse than when you are trying with no medical intervention as You get to see the embryos on the screen and you have to go through so much just to get to that point.

Urban Chick said...

oh god, OG, i am so sorry

i have been thinking of you all this week and hoping

daring to hope makes you vulnerable but you have to hope, at least on the inside

take care of each other

UC
x

Kath said...

So sad for you, Ova Girl. This is so unutterably sad.

Chee Chee said...

I am so very sorry.

Anonymous said...

I too am just a fan who got here from somewhere else. Sorry does not convey the pain we all feel for you. Mel posted some true words of wisdom. Please do what you gotta do and know it will change. Change is the only thing I live for. Change always creates the "opportunity" for growth. Without growth, nothing changes. Hang in there strong, wonderful woman.

B. Mare said...

Oh honey, this took me right back to where I was a couple months ago- and I recall so well how it felt like the worst feeling in the whole world, in my whole life. I am so sorry. I still sometimes think about my embryos and wonder wonder wonder.

Please be good to yourself, and remember you are loved.

Millie said...

I'm so very, very sorry. I wish there was something I could say or do but I'm thinking of you and sending love your way. I had a week or so lost to a haze in the hammock after my last cycle. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

wow OG. you have indeed conceived something unique and special - and judging by the comments, support and delurked lurkers like myself, you have created alchemy of an even more miraculous sort than childbearing. and unquestionably just as beautiful. Since yc - a mutual friend - led me to your site - I've been trawling through your archives. i discovered you on my two year mark. (which I later discovered, is - according to research done by Dr A Domar - the peak time of depression for women diagnosed as infertile - depression which was found to be indistinguishable from those of women with cancer, heart disease or HIV - a slightly sobering fact.)It would not be an understatement to say that I was hanging by a follicle when I met legsup. And you have managed to do something that no-one else has - with your magical words and hysterical humour you have turned this awful, miserable, down-right pathetic, fucked up experience into something beautiful and special. And in some wierd way I feel almost (i did say almost)lucky to be going through this and being able to share the depths of sorrow that we go through periodically and at the same time - the intense and extreme height of hope. astonishing! And this is not to say that your sadness and loss is imbued with a special sense of meaning. that can't and shouldn't help. but just to say, as deeply as i can muster. thank you.

("And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." -KG)

Sparkle said...

Hi OG,
I love that you are breaking all de-lurker comment records!

April said...

I am so incredibly sorry.

My thoughts are with you right now.

Kyahgirl said...

Don't even know what to say. I just wish I could wrap you and C in my arms and make the pain go away.
Huge, warm hugs,
Laura

liz said...

All my sympathies. I am so sorry.

liz said...

All my sympathies. I am so sorry.

Em said...

Your words are always so eloquent. I wish I had some for you right now.

DeadBug said...

So, so sorry. The unfairness of it all just never gets set straight.

Wishing you strength and luck.

--Bugs

Sandy said...

I'm so so sorry.

MsPrufrock said...

Nothing original here, but just like everyone else I hate that this happened to you. As usual, your eloquence defies the place you are in, and I cannot believe you can write so beautifully when you are so upset.

I'm pleased that you have so much support here and I hope it is of some comfort to you.

Drew said...

Mate - my thoughts are with you and look after yourself in the mean time.

A little something that works for me everytime - a failed cycle only makes me stronger for the next - which will be the one.

Patry Francis said...

Another long distance visitor who feels the loss of your little embryo. So sorry.
Take good care of yourself and your love and your little box of hope.

Juni said...

"Because we thought we were special and we deserved it." You are special and you do deserve it hon. Its more a roll of the dice though, unfortunately..

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry...I have been away for a few days so I missed this. damn. My heart goes out to you both. So so sorry.

Mandy said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to read this, and so sorry for your loss and pain. Peace to you.