A few weeks ago we decided to use our last remaining embryo. Our one, genetically untested, six-day-old frozen embryo, the only embryo from our last IVF stim cycle.
Honestly we were just using it as a matter of course, we didn't have high hopes for this tiny little life, when all others had tested abnormal or hadn't survived. This was the one that hadn't grown enough to be tested. The unknown one.
We had it transferred and tried to get on with things while we waited for the results of our pregnancy test. Of course by the time this day came two weeks later we hoped, you can never not hope, but we were realistic, the chances of it working were slim, especially after all this time, and all these cycles.
Light at the end of the tunnel
The results came back... POSITIVE how was this possible? It must have been a mistake. How could it have been positive? How was I finally pregnant? We tried to be realistic. The only other time I had fallen pregnant from IVF our followup blood tests didn't rise like they should have, and I miscarried within a short time - that might happen again this time. We were cautiously optimistic. Don't tell people just in case, don't get too excited, we told ourselves.
Our second blood test a week later was great, things were looking better. Perhaps we could share our news? Our third bloods a week after that were right on track, perfect. Then the pregnancy symptoms started to kick in. Do you know how good it feels to finally actually feel pregnant? The tiredness, sickness and constant peeing meant it felt real. It wasn't just a number on a scale.
We started booking in appointments and scans. Making plans. Bringing out the baby things. I ordered some things on the internet. I wrote lists of what I had, what we needed. Where did we put that list of baby names we had selected last time? I downloaded the pregnancy app. Six weeks gestation, our baby was the size of a lentil. Amazing. We allowed ourselves to relax a little and talk about our future. Our future as parents. Finally, after all this time, our dreams had come true. Everyone was right, it did finally happen. Why did I ever think we wouldn't eventually fall pregnant? It was all worth it.
I even prepared the following for our pregnancy announcement paired with a pic of this cute little onesie I bought on the internet.
The announcement would read:
Days trying for a baby: 2999 (over 8 years)
Doctors consultations: 62
Blood tests: 64
IVF cycles: 11
Amount spent: $66,000
"After all this time waiting, our dreams have come true, we are beyond excited to announce that our baby is due in February."
The end of hope
Then suddenly, our hopes were over in seconds. One moment all our dreams had come true, the next the feeling of tearing followed by gushes of blood, pain, warmth, more blood. Not slow leaking blood - bleeding, flowing, so much blood, clots, tissue, so much pain. All our dreams and hopes... gone. Shattered. Over. Everything covered in blood.
How was this possible? After all this time, heartache, pain and money, to get this far, to finally get a pregnancy and it's over within a few short weeks. For the second time in our lives. How could the universe be so cruel?
My body had failed us again.
We were in absolute shock. It didn't seem real.
Do you know what it's like to hear you husband cry for the loss of your baby? A child that he will never get back? And to know you've caused all this pain and grief to him, to everyone else.
The heartache is... I can't begin to describe it. I'm lost for words, no one word describes my feelings.
I cry myself to sleep, I cry before I open my eyes when I think about the reality of what waits for me upon waking.
Our lives have turned from bright to black in an instant.
Too painful to go on
Why did I believe it would finally be our time? After eight years I was actually coming to the realisation that we would never have children. I shouldn't have so easily believed that our dreams had come true, that I was actually pregnant - of course it was always going to end, that's just what happens to us.
Nothing happens the way we want it to. Was I ever actually pregnant? Perhaps that was the dream or the nightmare. How can we possibly pick ourselves up and try again when this journey has brought nothing but unhappiness and despair above all else?
I can't imagine adding any more numbers to our list; no more blood tests, appointment, needles, procedures, scans, money, no more drugs, no more IVF cycles and please no more miscarriages. No more. It's over. We can't do this anymore.