So I feel like I've always been very honest and... up to date here on this blog, and I want to hold true to that. Noah and I had something happen at the beginning of the year that I held back on sharing immediately for work/life reasons and for the fact that my news isn't always just mine but his too and we needed a hot minute before I could share.
That hot minute has come, so here goes.
On new years eve I realized aunt flow was late to town. Just a few days but I know my cycle pretty well and thought, "wouldn't it be ___________ (fill in the blank here) funny amazing ridiculous insane... if after ALL OF THIS, all the years of trying and finally having an INCREDIBLE child through embryo donation, if I got knocked up? Naturally. Accidentally. ?????? (And NO we haven't been trying. I let go of the idea of it, I don't chart ovulation and in all honesty, sleep is more of a priority than you know what). But anyway. I pulled out my stash of expired pregnancy tests and peed. And then I had that moment. That moment I always dreamed of but never imagined I'd get to have. That shock and excitement and pure disbelief in seeing a solid second line. I peed again. Same. And again (did I mention I have a LOT of expired pregnancy tests?)
I was one of THOSE people. The stories of people who finally found a resolution to their fertility crisis and then got P. The stories of people who adopted a child and the next day found out they were P. I felt shock more than anything, but also some guilt, and excitement...all of it-- and yet was too distracted with Momo to have even a minute to fully process it. We knew we'd have to move. We thought about the sibling match to Momo, the last embryo from her batch, sitting in a freezer in Seattle, and I wondered what would happen with it. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief to not have to do shots and meds and put all my hopes and fears into that one embryo-- but I also started thinking about having three kids--I don't know, my mind was all over the place. We went in for the six week check and there it was, the little nugget inside me, with a strong solid heartbeat. Momo was with us. Sitting on my chest with her face squished against mine as we watched and listened to the thump of her brother or sister to be. "We have a heartbeat," I whispered to her. "Mama. baby," she said. And the room was silent.
We made a fucking baby.
Noah and I only talked about logistics of our lives. I think we were too in shock. We didn't have much time to revel in the miracle that it was that I got P. I ordered some maternity leggings against all my superstitions because fuck it. THIS WAS HAPPENING. How could it not? I also ordered a dress. Because it was on sale and I would be giant by summer. I would get a pregnancy do-over. No bed rest. No fear. Just bliss.
Valentine's Day was our 10 week appointment. Noah agreed that I could share after that. So here I am. Sharing that on Tuesday, the heartbeat was gone. The doctor rolled the ultrasound wand over my belly and there it was, our baby, like round balls of clay haphazardly stuck together. But there was no energy to it. It was the shadow of an old school wind-up circus monkey whose brassy clanging cymbals were stuck. Paused. Frozen. Broken. A lifeless blob of almost body parts floated on the screen. Floated in my belly. The doctor's eyebrow said "fuck" and then my mouth said it too. Fuck. FUCK. Why did it have to be Valentine's Day? Not that it mattered but FUCK. Dangling pink 'be mine' hearts hanging from window sills. Be mine, baby.
I cried and Noah's expression looked all to familiar. Beat down. We've been here before in this space of sad-- not this particular road but ones that look just like it. We thought we got lucky. We thought we would stop circling the Levittown of IF Island, but I guess this one was last lap for shits and giggles.
After we got the news on Tuesday, we went home. Momo was asleep and when she woke up we both went in to get her. She took one look at Noah, who usually isn't around in the middle of the day on a weekday, and she yelled, "Dada," and gave him the longest biggest hug. And I watched him squeeze and love her more than anything he's ever loved in the world. Me included and that's ok. We both felt an overwhelming gratitude that we have her. Then we went to the beach, and I took this photo, without really knowing what I was taking:
Miracle Baby-to-be sailing away into the sunset.
I had a D & C on Wednesday and today I'm trying to make sense of it all. Of all my experiences on IF Island I'd never had a miscarriage. Or a natural pregnancy. Now I can check both off the list. Did I need these experiences? Do I feel grateful for the moment of pure shock and joy in seeing two solid lines on a pee test or does that make me more resentful to the whole experience? Do I tell myself it wasn't meant to be and try to find lessons learned? Or do I just add a short chapter to my narrative?
I'm sad. We're sad, but I'm also ok. Feeling things happen for a reason is a personal choice. Knowing things happen and we can find reason is also an option. Understanding that things sometimes happen for no good reason is a truth, and we can sit in the sadness of it and then store it in our hearts and move forward. I think I've gotten good at that by now.
The doctor asked me if I wanted to genetically test the...tissue. I opted not to. What good would that information do me? If I find out it was a girl with trisomy 13 would that help me move forward? Could it happen again if I miraculously was able to get pregnant again? Sure. Could I still have a diamond in the coal mine of my ovaries? Perhaps. If I found out there was nothing wrong would I then blame myself? For being so depleted and tired that I couldn't give life to this little miracle that was trying to be a person deep inside me? I don't see how the information could help me, so I let it go. As the anesthesia set in before the operation I said bye to what could have been, should have been our baby. And I thanked it for trying and I told it I loved it and that was it.
What the past few days has made us realize is that we really want another child, a sibling for Momo. It also made me realize I need to take care of myself because I am really really running on empty. So we will do both things. I'll get my ass into shape-- physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally. And we will start preparing to go back for the last embryo-- Momo's genetic sibling. Hopefully by the summer. No pressure little guy.
So that's where I am. A little wounded, a lot grateful, and decently hopeful that our second child is waiting for us in a freezer in Seattle. I think I'll likely keep processing and writing about this a few more times, and then I'll get back to the book.
Thanks to everyone for all your love and understanding always. Sending love this weekend. M