I have been an absentee blogger. I’m terrible. But while I was away I thought of all kinds things I want to share, and I am starting now.
Today is my birthday. I have been dreading it for months. If you know me, you will know that’s very unlike me. I like to think I’m pretty special, so a day to celebrate me is pretty much the best. So how did I get to this sad state? Well, it’s a few reasons and they all center on baby. First, I was supposed to have a baby this week. At the beginning of the year I transferred one of my last two precious embryos. A few days later I learned it had worked and I was pregnant. My due date was this coming Friday. I thought it was a very likely possibility that I would give birth today. I joked with my husband that the baby better not try to steal my birthday thunder. But at our viability ultrasound with the fertility clinic just a few weeks later, it was clear that the baby was not developing. I waited about another week and we checked again, just to be sure. Still not developing. My doctor asked me if I wanted to wait awhile to see if I would miscarry or schedule a D&C. That was an incredibly busy week for me, I was planning to be a speaker at a fundraiser for the nonprofit that I serve on the board of and we had my Dad’s surprise birthday party. Two events I couldn’t miss, even if I was miscarrying. Plus, there was no control there. And after all the infertility crap and yet another failed cycle, I wanted to choose something. So I opted for the D&C. It was the right choice for me, but heartbreaking nonetheless. I won’t walk through the whole event, I will just say that signing the paperwork giving permission to remove the cells and tissue that made up the baby I wanted and loved was one of the hardest and saddest things I’ve ever done.
That whole thing is enough to make this day a bummer. Add to that that I happen to be turning 35 today, which, according to the medical community is basically the day that you turn into an old lady. Any pregnancy after this point would be considered a geriatric pregnancy. All the time in the fertility clinic has also taught me that this is the point in time when egg quality really starts to take a nose dive, too. To me, it is roughly translating into something like “Not only did you not get to have your baby, you are now officially old and are running out of time for a good chance at another.” I still have another embryo, and I recognize that there is still time for more IVF if that is what we decide we want to do to grow our family, but it just feels like a milestone.
By this point, you are probably wondering what the point of my rambling on this topic is. It is not to make you pity me. I have a great family and good life, and my birthday is going to be mostly good because of that, I’m sure. The reason is that in addition to being my birthday, October 15th is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remebrance Day. I wanted to share my story so that someone else who might be going through this can feel less alone. I know that talking to some of my friends that had been through something similar really helped me. If you are sad, that’s ok, even if its been a long time. It’s been almost eight months for me, and I am still sad. If pregnancy or infant loss doesn’t apply to you (and I hope it doesn’t), I just want to ask you to be really super gentle with anyone in your life that shares they are going through this. I wasn’t always as compassionate about miscarriage as I should have been, and after learning firsthand how sad and hard it is, I look back at some occasions in the past, I wish I had been kinder.
There aren’t a lot of good pictures to share with a post like this, but because of the miracle that is IVF, I am fortunate to have a picture of my embryo baby. It’s a pic of a pic, but I still think he/she is pretty beautiful.