Summer of 2018 has otherwise been known as the summer of IUI’s in this household.
My husband started a new job, with new benefits that cover a portion of IUI’s and I was working early shifts with my afternoons open. My husband graduated from his MBA program, and I had the summer off from my teacher certification program. We put the pedal the metal with our infertility journey, while the rest of our life was feeling calm for the first time in years.
Our house wasn’t full of visitors the way it has been the past few summers, nobody was in school, our master bathroom remodel was completed and there were no house projects going on. It just felt good to be able to focus on growing our family with minimal chaos around us.
We went for it, and packed our summer full of fertility treatments. We upped the dosage on one of my medications, we added in DIY injections (meaning we bought them from a reliable pharmacy and did them at home, I did not cook them up like Walter White in a run down RV) to spice things up and hoped and prayed that there would be a Spring baby to come.
And then June’s cycle failed and July’s cycle was cancelled to follow.
My test day was supposed to be Saturday, August 18th, 14 days post IUI number 4 (attempt 6). Friday morning I woke up to what appeared to be a period. With the medications and progesterone, my body still doesn’t typically make it to test day before a new cycle arrives. I don’t usually test because that feels like salt in the wound and why would I do that when my body is very clearly showing me that it is another month not pregnant. For some reason, on Friday, I tested. I still don’t know why. I was in disbelief when I went to go throw the test away after three minutes, when I noticed a second line as I let go of it to drop into the trash.
Wait… What?! How is that possible?
I felt very confused. I talked to my nurse and took off in morning traffic and made it to my doctors office in record time. I was an absolute ball of nerves, literally shaking as I stepped into the office and sat in the chair to have my blood drawn.
I broke down afterwards, failing to be able to look at things in an optimistic manner and just felt vacant and confused until the call came in that afternoon. My hCG came back positive but very low (like an 8.6). I was advised to be cautiously optimistic as it was a day early and numbers rise rapidly and it could be ok and it could not be. I scheduled a follow up blood test for Monday (3 days later) to see if the numbers would go up or drop off.
So, I was pregnant, but maybe barely and I was bleeding, so maybe not for long but no way to really know until a second blood test is done. More waiting. So much confusion.
When I went in for my blood test on Monday, I knew in my gut what was coming, as I bled through the weekend and was very crampy. It felt just like my early miscarriage last summer, the last time I saw a positive pregnancy test. My blood test was early morning, Monday, and I spent the rest of the day preparing myself to have to start making the phone calls regarding IVF. The next step. The next GIANT step.
I knew the results when I heard my nurses voice. The numbers all dropped off – chemical pregnancy confirmed.
Kind of pregnant for a minute but… Still not pregnant. And even though I knew what was coming because my body was trying to tell me what was happening, it still broke my heart for it to be confirmed.
Because even though infertility after stillbirth has hardened me and even though I’ve somewhat become numb to bad news, emotion still happens. While numb, my heart is also crushed. It’s not something that is easy to describe to someone that hasn’t been here and experienced this emotional rollercoaster. It’s hard to explain how hope and disappointment are roomates in my brain. They exist together, all the time.
So now, I have two almost pregnancies (early miscarriages/chemical pregnancies) to mourn, one last summer and one this summer on top of the colossal heartbreak of stillbirth.
Infertility snuck its way into my life after losing my daughter.
In two and half years, I’ve only almost been pregnant. Kind of pregnant. Not pregnant enough.