The Long and Winding Road

When I was a child, one of our yearly family vacations was to my grandparents' cabin in northern Minnesota off a dirt road.  We'd take walks here, kicking up dirt, eating raspberries right off the bush, and picking wildflowers.  We hardly ever saw cars pass by.  I didn't appreciate it for what it was when I was younger.  That seemingly endless road that eventually came to T, forcing you to go left or right and on to oblivion.

Hey, I was five.  All I knew was when we hit the T, I'd wave to the turkeys that seemed to always frequent the land there, cry when my dad said I couldn't bring one home, and we'd walk back the way we came.  I've been thinking about those walks lately.  The winding road with the wild raspberries.

It didn't work.

I ate pineapple core.  I walked a lot to bring blood flow to my uterus.  I (kind of) gave up coffee.  I felt positive about this cycle.  I felt twinges in my pelvic area that I was confident, along with others, was the result of a pregnancy.  Four was behind, but I had done plenty of internet reading that said four-celled embryos on a 3-day transfer worked.

But it seems to be over.

Saturday morning, when we were in Iowa visiting family, I took a home pregnancy test.  I had woken up remembering two separate dreams that I had a positive pregnancy test.  That had to be telling me something. 

But the pee stick was negative.  Very, completely, whole-heartedly negative.  And then Monday came, and the call came while we were outside planting the garden.  Chris left to go get us lunch, and I saw I had a voicemail.  The beta was negative.

Chris came back and we started eating, talking about the work we had to finish outside.

"They called already," I said, taking a bite of macaroni, "It was like we thought."

"Oh... really." He sat back, staring out the window.

And then we started talking about yard work again.  Because what else is there to talk about?

Back when timed sex and pills weren't cutting it, we thought, Well there's always IUIs.

Back when IUIs weren't cutting it, we thought, Shit, well I guess we're doing IVF.

And with each failed IVF, we knew we'd try again.

But it's the end of the road.  I have had the past 6 months to come to terms with the fact that if this last IVF didn't work, then it meant my eggs weren't good enough, that I will not have a child who will share my genes.  I won't have a child with my traits.  I have had 6 months to come to terms with that.

And now that moment is here.  The most well-intentioned people have told me it doesn't matter.  That a baby, any baby, will be mine.  I get that.  I accept that.

But it doesn't make it any easier to face.  It doesn't make the grief go away.

We always had another plan to fall back on.  There was always a next step in mind.  And now there isn't.  There are options.  Egg donation, embryo donation, embryo adoption, foster-to-adopt, domestic adoption, international adoption.  It makes my head spin.

We have a decision to make.  Not right away.  But eventually we will need to research, decide on the next steps.  Because the scariest thing of all, the thing that I fear most, is that if we do nothing, there will be no baby.  Maybe I will be one of those and magically get pregnant when I am not even thinking about it <gasp!>. But realistically, if we do nothing, if we don't move forward with a decision, there will be no child.  And I can't even believe I am writing this.  A year ago, when I thought science was a damn near guarantee, I never thought I would see myself in this situation.

How did I get here?  What the hell happened, that m--f-- IVF, state of the art technology, literally injecting sperm into my eggs, couldn't bring me a baby?  How could I be one of those women that IVF didn't work for? 

But that's what I am.  12 rounds of Clomid, 3 back-to-back IUIs, 3 IVFs... None of it worked for me.  I can't even believe that.

So before you ask, we don't know what we're going to do.  I have no idea.  There are no next steps right now.

Right now I am just feeling bitter.  And to combat that, I am trying not to feel anything. 

Please promise you will still love me.

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