These are my babies.
They don't look like yours.
They lived and died in a lab.
The gravity of reality is undeserving of words.
Because how can I articulate the reality of what it's like to bring home a tube that once held a tremendous amount of hope? How can I express my thoughts about losing the one thing I want more than anything?
During this journey, I've miscarried five embryos (all early in pregnancy). And these two little tubes are the only tangible things we have to show for the incredible grief and depression we've endured.
They may not look like much to you, but to me, they're everything.
They are my dream.
A memory of excitement during a cycle.
A symbol of hope.
A representation of grit.
A reminder of pain.
I couldn't just leave them in the lab to be discarded. I need them with me.
To be honest, I was kind of embarrassed. How do I tell my husband that I need my dead embryos? How do I help him make sense of what my heart was telling me? Is he going to think I'm losing my marbles?
"Babe, I need our embryos. Can you figure out how we can get them?"
And Brian is a fixer. A problem solver. Tell him exactly what you need done and he will figure it out. The next day, he called our nurse. The nurse got a hold of the lab in Iowa City and set up a time for us to go get them.
On January 27, we drove to Iowa City. An incredibly kind nurse (I wish I could remember her name) took us back to a room and handed me our embryos privately. The nurse so nice and empathic. She asked if we needed some time alone and I asked her if it was weird that we came for our embryos. She said no. It happens a lot.
Brian and I walked back out to the truck, put our embryos in an eyeglasses case, and sobbed.
We'll be moving into our new home soon, and while I envisioned turning one of those rooms into a nursery and walking through those doors with a pregnant belly, my hope now is that the ground thaws enough so we can bury our embryos on our acreage.
Life After Loss
Every area around our infertility journey is gray.
And if you know me even a little bit, you know I am a very black and white thinker.
I don't do gray well.
Life has been weird since our last cycle failure. I feel like I am in a perpetual state of grief but I also feel very detached from the entire situation. My therapist says that is how my brain tries to protect me.
That makes sense to me.
And probably why I haven't been writing much on the blog lately. There are more questions than answers, and I don't like not knowing. There are more triggers than non-triggers and that is one of the worst feelings.
I can't bring myself to close any of the Google tabs I have open on my phone from that last cycle. Maybe closing them makes the situation more real.
I don't know if I'm ready to face what is real.
"Your Pregnancy Timeline": If I had stayed pregnant, my baby would be the size of a pear and my baby would be moving its arms and legs and we'd be preparing for a September 5 due date
Has anyone had HCG levels drop and not miscarry?
My HCG dropped from 21 to 17 - does this mean I'll miscarry?
HCG level is 17. When will I miscarry?
Decreasing HCG level success stories
11 Ways to Honor Lost Pregnancies
Why are both my eyes twitching and will they ever stop?
I got my test results back last week.
Both the Lupus Anticoagulant Blood Clotting disease and the karyotype chromosome abnormality test came back negative. This is good news.
But it also does not answer the question we all want to know: Why can't I stay pregnant?
Nothing prepared me for the hate I feel toward my own body because it won't do what it was meant to do.
What's next for us? I don't know. But I do know we're not giving up. Some day, someone will call us Mom and Dad.