If you get enough practice at something the theory is you get good at it. Turns out, the same is not true for loss. Although I have been through MANY losses, they each hurt like hell.
Recently I realized loss is now all around me. I wear my Gramma Jane’s nighties and Grandpa David’s bandanas. I stir food with Gramma Billee’s wooden spoon and feed hummingbirds from her feeder. I have my mother’s nursing textbooks, notebooks, and stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. I’m still picking up poop with the fancy pink poo bags I bought for my tiny shitzu Birdie who passed at 8mos old. The brush I used on Lord Rabbit Mingus McDanger, the cat who adopted me for 15yrs, I use on my scruffy terrier Watson. There’s jewelry reminding me of lost love, old perfume bottles and party clothes reminding me of lost youth. Then there’s the baby clothes I bought, reminder of the baby I don’t have since the June transfer (#2) did not take.
It’s been more than two months since we lost our last set of embryos. In that month I’ve been to Spain, Germany, Florida and Cincinnati and had a lot of time to think about and process the situation. In Germany I was on a small organic farm in the middle of nowhere East Germany and had an interesting thing happen. One beautiful morning I woke to sunshine, bees buzzing and flowers bursting into bloom all around me. I sat outside as I drank my coffee and watched swallows dart through the sky and little baby ducks chase bugs. It was beautiful and peaceful. From somewhere deep inside myself I started to cry. Just silent tears of appreciation that I’m alive and in a beautiful place, however these cute little quiet tears must have knocked over a vase that crashed through the glass coffee table of my insides. Rather quickly I began to sob then this tsunami of grief hit me like a brick wall and I could not stop crying. I went into the room I was staying in and sobbed on the bed for the next five hours. Not just the tittering little tears of a Kleenex commercial, I’m talking down and dirty body wracking sobs. Almost to the day the previous year has been real hard. Lost our sweet puppy, my grandpa, my cat, and two sets of embryos within 12 months. This Crymageddon was a painful reminder that maybe I’d not fully processed all that. I cried for getting cancer, I cried for losing my mom, I cried for losing my first love in a river, I cried for losing both my gramma’s before I got married, I cried and cried and cried for all the hurts.
Five hours later with swollen eyes I went back outside where my dear friend greeted me with a thick German beer and a hug. All he said was, “Sometimes it feels good to just cry huh.” Perfect response by the way, if anyone ever wants to use it. I can’t say I feel like a changed person after a 5hr cryfest but I do feel like I needed it.
We only have two embryos left. No amount of preparation, going through it before and trusting the process could have prepared me for the last loss. That loss marks the beginning of the end of our dream of being parents. We have one maybe two more shots then we’re done.
Part of me, a rather large and vocal part of me, wants to not prolong the process any longer than we need to. Transfer two embryos, cross our fingers and deal with the outcome.
But after talking with the docs we are going to do two more transfers early winter and do a few things differently. I’ll tell you all the details AFTER things do or don’t work.
My sweet Magical Unicorn Mandy understandably took the last loss hard. She is so committed to Brett and I and this process. One very poignant thing she said after the loss was, “When we started this process we thought we were signing up for joy, to make someones dreams come true.” Not grief. Not loss and disappointment. Everyone tells us that she and her uterus are perfect and I agree. I feel this had nothing to do with her and the professionals agree. She is wonderful and amazing and tender hearted and oh so wanting to do this for us. I understand that one thing we may do differently is find another surrogate, but that choice seems wrong and awful. There are ZERO quantifiable logical reasons to change surrogates. Mandy is wonderful, organized, smart, calm and so sweet, I cannot imagine doing this with someone else. Not to mention it could take months and months to find another match. Not to mention we have exactly the same odds with someone else. Not to mention I’m not f*cking doing it so stop asking!! I’d change doctors before I’d try another surrogate.
Adoption. Have we thought about it? What do you think? We are still in it to WIN IT with surrogacy. Yes, I have heard of this “adoption” word I’m not dumb and again, it’s real personal and STOP ASKING!! You’d be surprised how many people say with all earnestness, “Have you thought about adoption?” Again, what do you think? Think we decided to sink 100+k into making a baby without considering other options? Next time someone asks I’m going to respond with, “Hmm… no, what does this word mean? Is it contagious?”
Seriously. I mean, seriously? I’m serious folks, I’ve seriously considered a lot of very serious things.
From now until the next transfer we will be doing our best to enjoy the summer by traveling with family, playing in the garden, loving our friends and family and each other.