I am a pin cushion. At least that is how the last few weeks have left me feeling. I contemplated putting up a pictorial post of my many needle sticks for this week's Show and Tell, but thought, nah, who really wants to see that right? Bruise tracked arms are gross. Agreed.
I have had infectious disease tests. Every imaginable hormone tested. My thyroid tested. Glucose fasting tests. Tests for diabetes, cholesterol, PCOS. To be honest there were vials taken whose purposes escape me. After about the 20th tube of blood, I stopped keeping track.
Friday Hubs and I met with the RE to talk about our game plan, as well as to get the results of his sperm count. All good on that front, though none of that came as a great surprise since he was able to get me pregnant twice before without trouble. Here comes that roll of anger at the injustice of having lost my fertility to birth a dying child. Will that ever pass? It is so frustrating to know just how fertile I used to be, that I got pregnant so easily twice. Sometimes I get so stuck on that. On the why in why don't I have any living children to show for it? What makes me so damn undeserving?
If you are someone who finds comfort in hearing that "God chose us to mother sick children because we are such special parents" you might want to skip ahead a few paragraphs. I don't want my rant to take away from anything that brings you comfort.
I have been thinking about that alot lately, and I think it is crap. God didn't choose me because I would be such an amazing mother. Obviously the choices I made, though well intentioned and based on what was the best of our knowledge at the time, were the wrong ones. She is dead. My daughter is dead. Nothing about this loss has made me a better person, wife, family member or friend. I am nothing extraordinary. If God chose me specifically because he thought I was the right, strong person for the job, he was wrong. End of rant.
Our appointment with the IVF doctor Friday was a review mostly of what we already knew, an opportunity to ask questions and sign consent forms, and a meeting with a financial planner. The meeting ended, and I am paraphrasing here of course, with "now you owe us $3000 down and you will be put on the waiting list."
The waiting list!? What waiting list? Haven't we waited long enough? Sometimes I feel like my whole life has become hurry up and wait.
At the end of my next cycle, a trial run will be performed sans eggs. Once that happens, another round of waiting begins, this time for a slot in the injections class.
I asked the RE how long of a wait until we could actually get started on injectable medications and he said, "Maybe, I dunno, April?"
His words left me feeling so defeated, my hopes for this year crushed. We are only, what, 5-6 weeks into 2010 and I already know that a rainbow baby is not possible for me this year. I got pregnant at 27. 27! How did I go to sleep one night waiting for the birth of my child, and wake up in a reality where I would have to wait four years from that first test for a chance to bring home a baby? God please let us bring one home. Please. I can't lose another child. I can't.
Have you ever felt like EVERYONE is pregnant but you? When we were pregnant, only one other friend was at the same time. Now, only a few years later, everyone has reached a point where they are starting their families, and hubs and I are stuck in frustrated bystander mode.
Three of my best friends are expecting, two within a week of my due date with Peyton. Walking the line between my joy for them, and my internal heartbreak is so difficult. I want to be there for them. I want to be a good friend, to shower them with all that this moment deserves, and yet I can't. Not to the extent that I would have been able to.
Last night was a perfect example of that. At a Superbowl gathering of maybe 12 people, two of the women (my best friend being one of them) were expecting. There was a lot of talk about due dates, godparents, ultrasounds, kicking. I hate no longer living in that world. I hate that while "normal" women can offer congratulations without heartbreak, and coo over ultrasounds and due dates, my child's death plays on an angry repeat in my mind. I want to be in that world. I want to, but I can't. When you have seen what we have seen, there is no going back.
Instead of joining the conversation, I found a seat in front of the TV (I hate football by the way) and fought back tears, pretending to focus on the game. I wish I could put my sorrow aside, move past it and be the bigger person. I wish I was stronger, that I could overcome my heartache and interact like a "normal" woman, but I can't. That part of me is broken.
Do you ever feel like you no longer have a place to fit in? That's how I feel all the time. I don't fit in with friends who have children, or with those who don't. Honestly I don't know where I belong anymore. Is there a place for people like us?
Last night hubs and I were talking about it. How we had a daughter once. We did. We had a living, breathing, pink and beautiful child. We were parents. He a father. I a mother. She was here. She shared our oxygen. Does that matter? Does that still qualify us as parents, or are we somehow "less than"? That is how I feel alot. "Less than."
It happened. She existed. I swear she did. Does anyone else know that, can they see that? Do I look like a mother, sound like a mother?
When people talk about pregnancy or parenting, unless I am asked directly, I stay out of it. Who wants advice from a woman who couldn't make a healthy baby? Who wants advice from a woman who couldn't keep her alive? Is it even okay for me to consider myself a mother, when my only child is dead?
I carried Peyton. Loved Peyton. Nursed Peyton. But then came the next chapter. The ugly chapter. The one no pregnancy book talks about. I made end of life decisions. I held Peyton as the color drained from her perfect little being. Did I lose my mom card with that chapter? I feel like I did.
Everything leading up to Peyton's birth felt so right. I remember beaming. I remember the excitement. I remember the joy, and naive anticipation. Since her birth nothing has ever felt right again.
I know people want us to move on. I hear their comments all the time.
"Have another baby."
"Adopt a baby."
"Why don't you look into getting one of those kids from Haiti."
If only things were that simple.
How can we move on, when things outside of our control leave us indefinitely paused, stuck on the most painful chapter of our lives?