I hate to stop the train before we’ve reached our destination, but this positivity train I’m on is taking a route I didn’t want to travel and I’m not sure I feel like riding it to the end of the tracks…I’m starting to think this train is traveling somewhere I do not want to visit.
Translation: things are not going the way I had hoped for.
See, yesterday I was at work chatting happily with a co-worker who goes to the same fertility center as me. She is currently pregnant after her second attempt with IUI and though our roads to fertility treatments have been very different she’s been a real ally through this process. When she told me she was pregnant there wasn’t even an ounce of jealousy on my end (you know that little green monster who pops up every time you find out someone is pregnant when you’re still not…) I was just genuinely happy for her. So yesterday, she was basically keeping me entertained (and my mind occupied) as I waited for the phone call from our center telling me how many samples would be sent for PGS/PGD testing. My phone was on the computer in front of me when I realized I had a missed call from our center “shit!” I yelled and we both hurried into the back room to listen to the voicemail. I listened once and then looked at her and said “this can’t be right…let me listen again…” but I had heard correctly…embryo count: three. Three samples being sent for PGD/PGS testing… if you’re keeping track that’s 3 out of 19…that’s 16 lost…16 that failed to develop. I looked at my kind, thoughtful, pregnant friend with tears in my eyes (and hers too) and just felt this overwhelming sense that my positivity train had been hijacked.
Ever since the miscarriage I’ve taken to describing myself as an optimistic realist. The miscarriage did not take away my hope, but it forced me to recognize that nothing is guaranteed. I still trusted in the science of IVF and PGD, I still respected the medical expertise of our physician, I still believed Dan and I would be parents, I still hoped that child would be genetically ours…but I understood science and medical expertise and beliefs…they don’t give you a baby. So I’ve been cautious. I’ve imagined life with a baby, but haven’t allowed myself to become fully invested in planning for that life. I built a safety net around myself. Optimistic…but realistic. It’s worked for me.
But then last week we heard 19…19 was more than we could have imagined. 19 was a phenomenal number. First cycle we had 13 and 9 failed to develop (which they said was a pretty high number) so naively Dan and I assumed if this cycle we had 19, worst case scenario is 9 fail to develop…that’s TEN for PGD/PGS testing. 10 is an amazing number. 10, well, 10 basically promised healthy embryos.
So I allowed myself to not just dream…I allowed myself to plan. I went back to my ever optimistic old habits. Dan and I discussed names…plural. I started looking at strollers and cribs again. I planned a pregnancy announcement. I even came up with a way to surprise Dan with the number of healthy embryos I imagined they would call with after PGD/PGS…I actually was telling my kind work friend said plan yesterday…probably while our center was leaving the message about 3. I discussed with my sister how to ensure our children we’re best friends even though we live states apart. I saw our future…a future with babies…and I believed in it. I trusted in it. I felt, for the first time in a long time, this happy, child filled future was promised.
And I really wish someone had reminded me to be realistic. I really wish someone had reminded me I’m not the conductor of this train. I really wish I had remembered that nothing is ever promised.
So now we wait. The nurse told me yesterday our physician had written a note in my chart that he planned on calling me today to discuss how we should proceed. I’m not sure what that means. I do not know if he has a scientific explanation for why so many failed to develop. I do not know if he is concerned about the quality of these remaining 3 embryos. I do not know if he also remembers that last time we had 4 embryos and 3 were not healthy. I don’t know why he’s calling…but I’ll find out soon enough.
And then we’ll wait some more. We’ll wait for PGD/PGS to be completed. We’ll wait to see if any of these 3 embryos are healthy. We’ll wait to see if in a month we can attempt a transfer.
But I won’t dream or plan while we wait. I won’t think about babies…or being pregnant…or even having an embryo to transfer. I won’t be hopeful or optimistic or positive. I’ll just wait. I think the safest thing I can do for my heart and my mind is to just stop the train. We don’t know where we’re going anymore. And I think instead of packing and planning for a place we might never get to…we’ll just wait in the place we’re in right now. We’re safe here…so I think it’s best if we don’t move.