So much changes, seemingly rather quickly, over the course of time and treatment with infertility. At first it was just “taking a little longer” for us when we were trying naturally. Then we were onto IUIs and then ultimately IVF with ICSI. As we moved through the paths of treatment I formed different bonds with different people and felt connected with a certain tribe along each step. Obviously the overarching connection is infertility in general, but there were the sub categories too, of what stage of treatment I was in at the time.
Through this blog I’ve connected with some awesome women, one of which lives in my same city and became my IVF buddy, if you will. Her and I ended up going through IVF near simultaneously, with me doing the stimming and retrieval before her, and her doing the FET before me (though my FET protocol differed slightly). It was so nice having someone who not only understood what I was going through, on a general level but literally went to the same clinic at the same time as me. It was great, we closed down many a coffee shop chatting about infertility, and life.
Unfortunately our IVF cycles had pretty drastic differences in their success and her FET did not work, so when mine did I know it was a punch to the gut (for her, and for me because I wanted this for her as much as I wanted it for me). I emailed to let her know my transfer had worked, and how shitty it was that we were now seemingly on opposite sides of the fence. IVF may not be the solution for her, so it’s not just a matter of trying again. It was a bit like Sliding Doors, my cycle went one way, and took me down a path, and hers went the other, leading her on a different journey.
In response to my email, confirming my positive beta, I received a heartbreaking response from a woman clearly in the throes of agony. In light of the different directions we have ended up in, it seems our friendship may be discontinued for her own self preservation. And it sucks, but I get it. I don’t know how I would have handled it had the situation been the other way around. I have always been happy for other IF ladies when they finally succeed, but previous to my own positive beta, admittedly, I would unfollow a lot of people. It was too hard to see their happiness and read their updates without my green eyed monster making snarky comments in my ear.
So I’m heartbroken for my friend, and really sad that I won’t be able to walk beside her and help her through what is most likely going to be a continuation of a difficult journey, possibly about to get worse. I’ll send her all my love from a distance, and hope that there is something great on the horizon for her.
And just in the way that every turn around a corner in infertility holds so much unknown, so too does pregnancy hold those dark forbidding areas, lurking just out of sight. On Tuesday morning we were packing up at our hotel in Oahu, getting ready to head to Maui. I was in the shower when I saw red going down the drain. It startled me but upon further investigation it seemed to be just a little spurt. Concerning, but didn’t seem to be continuing. After I turned off the shower and started to dry myself I notice my red on the pristine white hotel towel (sorry to the Hyatt). I wiped and there was more blood, a lot more. I came out of the bathroom and said to J, “Don’t freak out, but I’m bleeding”.
I think I was trying to get myself not to freak out more than anything. I remained eerily calm, yet shaky as I kept checking, and more blood kept coming. I asked J to go down to the store in the lobby of our hotel and buy my some tampons (I know, in hindsight, bad choice but I wasn’t thinking). I called my clinic because I didn’t know what else to do, and left them a message to please call me back. When J came back upstairs and gave me the tampons, he hugged me and I burst into tears. I was convinced I was having a miscarriage and for all of the ambivalence I have tried to force on myself in regards to our little embryo, it clearly hadn’t worked.
We went to the airport and caught our flight over to Maui. Not long after leaving the airport in our rental car, I received a call from my clinic. I told the nurse I was bleeding, and that I was in Hawaii. She told me there wasn’t really much they could do (obviously, but who else was I going to call??). She asked how much bleeding there was and I told her more than spotting, and bright red. I hadn’t had a chance to go to the bathroom since we left Oahu so I hadn’t checked the status of the blood so I didn’t have many answers for her in that regard. She told me to take it easy and if I soaked through a pad in a couple of hours to seek medical attention.
By the time we got checked into our hotel here in Maui, I went to the bathroom to see what was happening. Some more red blood, but had turned to brown at some point. There was more red than brown but it wasn’t super heavy flow, and seemed to be tapering off. J had googled bleeding in early pregnancy and tried to ease my mind showing me how common it could be, and especially with IVF-ers but in my heart I just felt it was bad. Over the course of the next few days I mostly just had a brown discharge along with the progesterone suppositories. It has pretty much gone back to normal now, just the white of the suppositories.
I have zero symptoms at the moment, there are a few things that could potentially be attributed to pregnancy, but overall I feel no different, and rather un-pregnant. I have this awful feeling that there is nothing going on in my uterus and that the progesterone is just holding off the inevitable. I have a mentality to expect the worst and hope for the best. I think infertility has taught me that, because with so much going wrong, I’d rather just believe something isn’t going to happen, or work, than get my hopes up and be crushed every time. To be fair it’s all rather crushing but when I get used to the idea in advance it’s an easier pill to swallow.
But at this point there’s no way to know if there is a little pea sized thing growing, growing, growing until we can physically see it. So for now it is pretty hard to believe it is there. I just have to hold on until Friday… We’re almost there, but the wait is excruciating.