So it all comes down to this: an HCG test a few days early to determine the presence of estrogen and possible pregnancy. Anthony is away on business so a nurse gave me the progesterone injection he usually gives me each morning. Rebecca, the wonderful embryologist with the lovely accent, offered an early blood draw. “If it were me,” she said with a voice I could listen to all day, “I’d want to know, but we want to do what’s psychologically best for you.” I thought about it. If negative I can cease injections and return to orgasms at once. If positive I’d have some amazing news for Anthony when he returns tonight. So it all comes down to this. It is not what I expected for today. The blood draw was scheduled for Friday. If my body is changed I’ll keep the appointment to confirm results. If not, closure. The embryos were frozen six months before Daisy was born.
It’s a fine line, this daze between melancholy and bliss. I’ve no sense of what’s what. I thought I’d know, but it’s utterly undetectable. The only noticeable difference is that my abdomen is obscenely bloated (as if I’m about to get a monster period). My breasts are tender (as if I’m about to get my period or as though I’ve been dosed with estrogen and progesterone). As of today my skin is breaking out (period). I’m happier than usual (unexplained mystery). Wisdom is bestowed upon me this time. It ranks up there with knowing that my love and compassion for Heather allowed me to be graceful and selfless, the same way I was strong enough to help Alissa through her son’s birth. This time I’ve learned what it feels like to truly be in the moment. I thought I lived with at least an awareness of being present, but I know differently now. The day is made up of thousands and thousands of moments. So I guess I am changed after all. I feared not, relied on my breath and the sky, turned outward not inward for higher power. This may seem small, but in this lifetime of mine, to be able to experience this without obsessing over an outcome – huge. It doesn’t mean its significance is lost on me. It will certainly cry or rejoice. But it is what it is. A series of moments, now gone.
Anthony was holding my hand when our four little blastocysts came home to me in a single drop of water. I was listening to Kite by U2, a gorgeous song I replay in my mind right now. It chokes me up.
“Did I waste it? Not so much I couldn’t taste it…”
The first thing I did when I heard the message was strap Zoe to my back (after two weeks it was good to feel her weight again) and head straight to Stumptown for an extra caffeinated latte. Andrew asked if I was ok, but he knew not to pursue when I could only shrug. I stood in the rain and took a giant swig. I knew it’d be the perfect sip if only I could swallow it. Three blocks later I finally choked it down. Zoe kept chorus in my ears while I went over all that I must let go of now.
“Tree. Tree? Tree? Tree, Mummy?” Yes, tree. “Bird? Bird? Bird?” Yes, bird, Zoe. “Doggie! Look, doggie! Mummy!” Doggie. I see. “Flooower. Flower. Flower. See flower?” I see it. I walked until my legs hurt as much as my heart then I walked some more. Until my legs were numb and the drizzle convinced me that all would be restored in time. It’s just a matter of letting go. We chose to bring this chapter to a close by thawing all ten embryos and transferring the strongest survivors. While the embryos were alive there was always hope, possibility. Now that they’re dead it is time to move on.
I must learn to let go of…
my embryos (so generously created with the help of a dear friend)
dreaming of telling Daisy and Zoe, my parents, and friends we’re pregnant
the idea of Zoe as a big sister
boxes of newborn clothes
I suppose now there’s no exuse for me to not be in the best shape of my life. With my new ipod I could seriously jog myself into oblivion. Also, I’ll be able to drink Angela’s homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream this Christmas. And parts of me will remain in tact instead of being stretched, torn and stiched. My abdomen stands a chance of staying firm. I will never get National Geographic breasts from extended breast feeding (as MS describes). Though I’d gladly trade it all to know what it’s like to grow a baby with my body.