a surprising regret

I think one of the aspects that make me want to tell people about this new pregnancy earlier is that I feel I missed out on this with A & C. I was worried something would go wrong, and I thought I had time…

The contrast between how people avoid talking about them now, and how I’m sure they would have happily asked about living babies, is striking and painful. I sort of regret not having shared the happy times I had with them. I think for many around us, the experience with A & C stands out only as a dark spot in our lives. But that isn’t true. There was so much love and happiness.

And perhaps another aspect is that I now know that not telling won’t protect me from anything. (Rationally, of course I knew that before, but infertility comes with far too much wishful thinking…)

I may be overinterpreting this

Thanks for all your sweet comments! We are back home and H is doing better, and off to the doctor for longer-term plans for that blood pressure.

On New Year’s Eve, my dad pulled me into a tight hug and said he hopes that my biggest dream comes true. And that’s what I wish for you, too.

Too few hours later, I was waiting in the security line at the airport, caught sight of a young woman with a stroller in the family lane and remembered that I had been over there, only a few months ago, happily pregnant with A & C. And now I was here, a little sad, and feeling sick and hungry. But why was I sick and hungry anyway? I’d had some sort of breakfast (half a grapefruit, leftover pieces of gingerbread and some nuts and raisins… sort of, as I said) and I hadn’t had that many drinks. And there was really only one time when I’d been feeling nauseous and hungry simultaneously: in the first 3-4 months of my pregnancy last year.

The timeline for the FET was expecting my period to start in late December. However, I’m now thinking the bleeding after the saline sonogram sort of reset my cycle – I started producing cervical mucus around Christmas, and two days later EWCM was literally dripping out of me. And the in-laws were out* so we had the whole morning to ourselves… The next day I woke up with considerable pain low in my pelvis, which subsided as the day went on. I’ve had this before and think it is associated with ovulation. Which would put me to around 6dpo on the 1st. Rather early for feeling any symptoms, isn’t it?

Well, they’re still here. I took a test on Saturday – negative. I immediately dismissed it as too early, wondering why I took it to begin with. Not keen on seeing another negative, I decided to wait a bit… I was going for Tuesday, H thinks we should wait until Thursday, which should be 14dpo. Of course I have my nurse waiting for me to let her know about my period so that she can adapt the FET timeline… In the past when I was charting, my luteal phase was usually short, 9 to 10 days. I even have some progesterone left that I briefly considered using, just in case – but, as our IVF contract only covers the FET until February, if I’m not pregnant I’d want that period to arrive sooner rather than later. Another strange limbo.

Should I not miraculously have become pregnant on my own (and how I hope I have!), the plan for the FET is to transfer one embryo. Both my MFM and my RE were adamant about this. We still don’t know what went wrong in the twin pregnancy, but there is at least the possibility of cervical insufficiency and/or that my body didn’t handle the “uterine distension” from carrying twins well. Apparently there are a number of possible treatments for cervix issues with singletons (progesterone, cerclage or a pessary to keep the cervix closed) that – for unknown reasons – don’t seem to work in twin pregnancies. So even if my cervix got short again, there’d be more possibilities that would hopefully let me carry a baby to term, or at least much longer than 20 weeks. And there would be much closer monitoring, too. And as we have previously transferred two and I got pregnant with twins, single embryo transfer seems a reasonable approach. I can only imagine how much harder this must be for those of you who have had failed transfers.

* There is no door separating the part of the house where we stay, which drastically reduces occasions for intimacy. Sigh. The in-laws do not seem to grasp the concept of privacy.

it’s complicated

Glow in the Woods had a post about trust in our bodies after babyloss. Like so many others, I’ve had ups and downs. Infertility is a major down – it’s hard to accept not being able to get pregnant “naturally”, even though given my history it wasn’t all that surprising.

But for some reason I thought I’d be good at pregnancy. I even thought, after completing our family, I could be a surrogate for friends in case they turned out to need this. That’s how convinced I was my body could do this.

We transferred two embryos, and both implanted. I’m so thankful for this. It gave me some confidence in my body back. Then there were the bleeding episodes – scary, but fortunately the babies were always fine. We made it into the second trimester, the supposedly safe zone.

I had this weird pelvic pressure, for weeks. The first doctor thought it wasn’t a concern. And then it was almost too late. I’m trying not to dwell on the what-ifs, but sometimes it is hard to resist… what if I had insisted on being checked earlier? Would there have been any way to keep the babies inside, C’s amniotic sac intact for longer?

The extra post-partum bleeding didn’t help, though I don’t think it hurt my relationship with my body much, either. The thing is, I think my body fairly reliably tells me when something is wrong. The pain I had before my endometriosis was discovered, the pelvic pressure that may have had to do with the shortening cervix… It knows, my body. It may not be able to perform all those tasks I’d want it to, but it tells me when things are off. And I am amazed that it can produce eggs that make such beautiful babies together with H’s sperm. And carry them for quite a while. I hope I’ll learn to listen to it even more, and I hope that my doctors will listen, and that they will actually be able to do something in case things start to slide.

But of course we first need to get there. I was so proud when it started making cervical mucus again (yes, proud may seem an odd feeling, but it is what it is), and glad when my period returned. On Monday I had a saline sonogram to check my uterine cavity for anything from scars to polyps that might be detrimental to implantation. They found a tiny thing, in fact, they’re not sure it’s anything at all – we’re still waiting for my main RE’s verdict. And while I didn’t have the painful cramps I had after my last saline sonogram, I started bleeding yesterday. More today, like a period. Of course I don’t even know if this has anything to do with the procedure, or if my body is simply still trying to get back on track. It’s just not exactly helping my confidence. And yet, after reading Suzanne’s post, I feel like I should be grateful that everything is most-likely-okay. And I am. I’d just have it rather all be great, for all of us.

PS: WordPress says this was my 100th post. The title seems fitting.