Sorry about just dropping out like that. I'm not sure of what to say, of how much I even want to know about what I'm feeling and thinking at this point. This could turn out to be a long post, or a short post...
I am crushed. Yes, partially by the negative--even though I was ambivalent and scared of a positive, it would have also have been wonderful. I literally feel crushed. I think that the weight of what I've been doing for the last three years, and in the case of IVF, for the last year and half, finally came down on me. I think that my way of coping was to repress how hard it was (not completely, but enough), and to keep my eyes on the prize. As negative and as anxious as I was, I really believed that IVF could help us, and my faith was renewed when we found out about the translocation--maybe I really did have the same chance as a lot of other nearly 39 year olds. This last cycle seems to indicate that my eggs are kaput. Whatever it is that they need to have produce a healthy embryo/baby is just not there. Maybe in 20 years they'll know what that is, but for right now, it's unknowable. In some ways that is a relief--to have a knowable problem, and to not be able to solve it would be a different kind of hard.
Another way that this has all crashed down on me is financially. At the beginning of the cycle I kept having the idea that infertility treatment is like the Chicken Ranch, a movie that those of you who took Women's Studies classes in the '90's can probably remember. The scene that has always stuck with me was the girl Mandy who at one point in the movie, after a particularly lucrative session, is talking about how great it is to be a prostitute, and then later when she's pissed off the madam or the owner is forced to the an 'around the world' for the cost of a lesser act. She is crying, she is raging, she is humiliated, she is ultimately fired for her outburst. I think that scene has stuck with me all these years because it so clearly illustrated how when you are doing something hard, with the idea that you will get something good at the end (money in her case, a baby in mine), the humiliation, the hardships, the endurance that it takes to just get through the damn thing is tied to the end result. When you don't get it, the reality of what you've just put yourself though comes crashing down on you like a ton of bricks. In the past there was always the next cycle, the next idea, the next last thing. And now it is over, and it is sad, a relief, a huge loss, and more than I can even articulate.
I am exhausted. I am heartbroken. If the DE/DS cycle doesn't work, we will be broke and still without a child. I realize that may sound like catastrophizing, but just because we came out on the wrong side of the odds this time, doesn't guarantee we won't again. Someone has to make up that 40% who don't get a baby with DE--I really fucking hope that isn't us for once.
It is getting pretty hard to keep taking money out of the savings account and telling ourselves that it is going to get us anything--pretty soon there won't be anything to take out...ugh.
While I am grateful for what we do have (each other, our kitties, some version of healthy, a good job (husband) and a job that I love, I can't help but feel all that we don't have at the moment, and the dwindling resources we have to get a child. If we were to stop all this pregnancy stuff, and move to adoption, the cost would be about the same as a DE cycle, and the wait would be 2 to 3 years. I know that county adoptions move faster, but not always as fast as people think. It could still be 2 to 3 years.
I feel very isolated--not because people don't care, but because it feels so impossible to explain how profoundly and utterly lost I feel at the moment. And I don't want to hear that it isn't the cards I'm dealt, but how I play them. I want to hear "This hand sucks, and that's all there is to say." It isn't that I don't want to feel hopeful at some point, but right now this is just fucking awful, and there isn't a silver lining.
I know that eventually I will feel better, but I think at this point I am really feeling the damage this has done to me. And I think that is reasonable. It has kicked my ass, and no amount of endurance has changed the fact that no matter how much we spent, or how hard I tried, or how good I was, or how stoic I was in the face of failure after failure, this didn't work, and it's not going to work, and it was harder than most people can ever imagine. I have been through some very very hard times in my life, but the difference was that I could do something to change them. I could leave my ex-husband, I could go to college, I could go to therapy, I could find a better man. I can't do anything about this. This is what it is. It is just over, broken, fucked, unfixable. No child, no matter how they come to us, will change the facts of the last 3 years. They may soften the blow, fill us with more joy than we can imagine, but this is immutable.
This is the end of an era. This is the end of IVF. This is the end of the idea that I can be helped. This is the end of feeling like every penny is worth spending if it gets us our child.
Compared to most people, I don't have a lot of pregnant friends and baby showers to contend with. But a friend and his wife are having a baby in November, and their shower is in a month. I looked at their registry and thought "You two are missing so many really important things, and have way too many of the 'hyped but useless' stuff on here." I felt so...annoyed. Here I am, having collected and observed, and thought through all this stuff for YEARS, and I'm still on the fucking sidelines. In the end I bought them two things that I know have been lifesavers for my friend with twins, and left it at that. They'll figure it out, and I don't have to do a thing. But ya know, it just killed me to do it again, to buy a gift I'd like to have for myself, to have for my child. And here I am again on the sidelines. In this case, it was pretty painful, probably because of where I am (duh), but also because I feel so invisible. With my friend who has twins I don't feel invisible, and that makes it so much easier to really get in and enjoy the babies. With most people though, I'm just invisible. Of course I don't have to be but, what do you say? "I'm so happy for you, but I just got a negative pregnancy test for a cycle that cost 12K and buying you a baby gift is pretty much going to rip a little more of my heart up." No, I don't say that. I buy the gift, Husband and I lean on each other for support, and leave as early as possible.
Argh, I'm rambling.
We went to a bbq on labor day, all of the people there have kids. We didn't know 2 of the couples at all. The host and another couple were more of known quantity. Somehow the subject of 'snowflake babies' came up, and embryology, IVF and all sorts of other things were just being mangled. Husband and I both just sat there dumbstruck. I knew that If I said something it would come out somewhere between a strangled cry and bitchy, and I just couldn't do it. The host is a dear, and she has been nothing but a true friend through this whole awful ordeal, but it struck me just how hard it is to be in 'mixed company'--I have limited myself so much to people who are in the know, that I've forgotten how hard it is to be with regular people who don't have to know the intricacies of embryology, or cryopreservation or the difference between IVF and insemination.
When the hell with this stuff just be a bad memory? I'm exhausted.