Cycle 19 has come and gone, and I am again not pregnant. But I was. For a minute (or more likely two to three weeks). At the end of my two week wait I took a pregnancy test and was greeted by a very faint positive on my pregnancy test. So faint that I wasn’t even sure if I should call the clinic. So I waited until lunch time and took another test in the bathroom stall at work – where a less faint, but still faint line awaited me.
So I called the clinic.
I was told to come in for some blood work, so I went. Although I expected the worst, there was a shimmer of hope that MAYBE this was finally my month. Of course, that was shattered just a few hours later when the nurse emailed me to let me know that my beta HCG numbers, while positive, were very low (8.5) and while it was unlikely this would be a successful pregnancy, biology is weird and we would continue to monitor everything. I was to go back in 48 hours for additional blood work.
I didn’t need the blood test to know that, just like the last time, this wasn’t going to stick. But as instructed I went back 48 hours later, and my blood results came back with a slight drop (now 8.0) in my beta numbers – and that it was likely a biochemical pregnancy (early loss), but come back in another 48 hours for more testing. So I went about my day – not REALLY feeling the grief that I knew would, at some point, happen. And 48 hours later I went back in for testing – only I started spotting that morning, so I knew what the tests would show. And now by Beta numbers were down to 3.5 – but there was some worry about an ectopic pregnancy, so please come back in another 48 hours for another test.
By this time, my period had started in full force and I was trying just to move on with my week. But I went back in for the bloodwork, and my beta numbers had finally reached zero. Please meet with the doctor at your scheduled appointment to discuss next steps. We will see you after your August 7th period.
I was told over the weekend that I wouldn’t be doing any treatment for cycle 20, and we should not try at home, because it is “generally recommended that you do not become pregnant the cycle after a biochemical pregnancy” – which, okay, I get. It upsets me, but I understand. But my period started July 5th – and it is reasonable that my next cycle will start prior to August 7th. So does that mean that my July cycle doesn’t count because my beta numbers didn’t zero out until two days after my period started? Do I also have to skip August’s cycle too?
This really distressed me.
So I emailed the nurse back, and after some discussion, the doctor indicated he was comfortable with beginning treatment in August. But what treatment? We are meeting with him to discuss “next steps”, because this is my second early loss. Are they going to want to move forward into IVF? I have concerns about this if they haven’t isolated WHY I’m not able to stay pregnant. Are they going to do more IUI treatments with some additional medication? I completed some advanced loss panels last month – did they show anything that will be helpful? I mean, what is the point of the extensive IVF treatment if I’m just going to miscarry?
While all of this was going on, my mother was in town visiting. I did tell her what was happening – but I really didn’t want to break down in front of her. Even though I knew that she would comfort me and hug me, I just needed to hold it together. For myself. After she left back home, I continued to occupy my time trying not to think about it. We went on hikes, made fondue, caught up on some TV. And I was mostly okay.
One of my co-workers is pregnant. And she looks pregnant – as pregnant ladies are wont to do. And I had to do meeting with her. And I was in the process of having discussions with the nurse about the fate of my August cycle. And it just hit me. All of the sadness that I’d been sheltering away for the past week just came at like a tidal wave. And in one of my lowest points yet, I ended up sobbing in the stall of the bathroom at work – hoping that no one else walked in. All of that bottled up emotion that I’d been trying not to feel just unleashed.
It’s just so fucking unfair.
I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do. I’ve lost weight. I’ve gotten more active. I’ve changed my diet. I’m getting more sleep. I’m taking a small pharmacy of drugs. And I still can’t manage to hold onto a pregnancy? And it took six months just to GET pregnant again? And in that time not one, but TWO of my co-workers have gotten pregnant/had a baby – who weren’t even TRYING when I first started trying to get pregnant. Fuck you world. Just fuck you.
I know that getting angry doesn’t really HELP anything. But right now anger just feels so much better than being sad. Because I am angry. And I am frustrated. And I’m tired of being hopeful, only to have that hope obliterated by sadness month after month. So this month I’m letting my anger and frustration fuel me. At least for now. Maybe by the time we meet with the doctor (in two weeks), I’ll have moved on from anger to resignation. And maybe the doctor will be able to tell me something that makes me hopeful again.
And now, here are some pictures from my hike this weekend. Because even though it was hard – I controlled the outcome. I decided that I could push my body to get to the bottom of the trail, and subsequently back up the trail. And at the end of the process there was something beautiful to see. And, unlike my infertility, pushing myself here was a process I was in control of and enjoyed. And because they are pretty pictures that make me happy instead of pissed off. And, well, I guess I felt this post needed something other than my anger.
Stay tuned until next time. Where maybe something different happens. Or I’ll just start posting more pictures from hikes – and this blog about the shittiness of infertility will somehow become an exciting hiking blog where pictures of wildflowers and mountains will abound and you won’t help yourself but to be happy instead of angry. Who knows!