Candace: 6 years ... which is a very long time to be chasing a dream that seems to always be out of reach. When you were a wee lil' one and you said to your mom and dad with sanguine eyes "When I grow up I want to be a doctor," typically the response you would have gotten was something along the lines of "Well, if you work really hard at it and face every obstacle head on, you will achieve your dream." This was my misconception. I truly thought that if I put myself through years of countless surgeries,. IUIs, IVFs, drugs, tests, shots, crazy diets, IVs, use up all my vacation days on doctor's appointments, push my body and mind and heart to the breaking limits, I would have my dream of becoming a mom. Where were you Back to the Future Delorean? Where was the flux capacitor to help my past me slap me on the back of the head to say "This is not your path! Turn right, not left!"
We got the call that broke us, and as I laid on the bathroom floor, Chris and I wept. We felt robbed. We were robbed of our dreams, hopes, and life we had planned. Coming to terms with not being able to carry your own child is a loss I feared and prayed every day I would never have to face. I mean you hear about women who physically can't carry their child but those days when your mind escapes you and you day dream, I dreamt of being pregnant. Hearing the heart beat for the first time at the ultrasound appointment and of course the sound of your baby crying for the first time as he/she is put in your arms after birth. I am angry. I AM LIVID! I see nothing fair about the Duggar family who has been blessed with 19 children. Why does the 16 year old teenager pregnant who cannot afford or mentally be mature enough to parent have a chance at motherhood while I can't? How come when I turn on the news there is another mother who has deprived her baby of a life because she couldn't go out that night or was frustrated at hearing her child's cry? How can this happen? Why?
We will mourn our loss, we will get back on our feet and we will fight another day to have a family.
Chris: Shit! That is all I could think. My stomach twisted and I automatically looked at Candace. OH shit, how is she going to react? Will I be able to comfort her? How can I feel the devastation that this call from the doctor's office about our latest transfer not working when I know the atomic bomb of emotion that is getting ready to drop from Candace? Crazy right? I just found out that we will effectively not be able to have a biological child and the first thing I think of is, am I going to be able to handle this and how it affects Candace. Truthfully, I think it was cowardice. Somehow, it is easier for me to think of how to deal with Candace than dealing with how the latest negative result makes me feel. You know what though, I cried this time. It took 6 transfers and the ultimate realization that this is probably it for us for me to finally break down in front of Candace. She was curled up on the floor, in a pile of emotion, ironically right next to a trashcan full of empty pregnancy test boxes and used pregnancy tests, and I sat on the toilet seat and cried with her. What else could I do? I couldn't think a straight thought, I couldn't think of something to say, I couldn't think of anything else to do. The floor was gone and I felt like I was in an eternal free fall. It was worse than that though - at least with a free fall you have a direction - down. In that moment, I had no direction. I was falling nowhere and in no particular direction.
I think one of the worst things about the whole situation is that, even before we did the beta test (the blood test to confirm the success or failure of an IVF transfer), we knew that it was not successful. We waited until day 10 to test at home this time. It was negative. That was heart wrenching because we knew that it was super possible to test positive at home if the transfer was successful by then, even more so if it is twins. Our was negative though. Our home pregnancy test was negative on the morning of day 11, the evening of day 11, and the evening of day 12. Why the hell should we even think that our beta test would be positive on the morning of day 13? It's because fertility treatments are maddening. I think we are slightly insane from the hoping, the dreaming, the desperation to have our family. Why else would we put stock in a beta test being positive? We even found a statistic that indicated something like 1 in 50 IVF patients have negative home pregnancy tests and positive betas. 2% and we were excited about the possibility! Ridiculous, but that is the beauty of hope I suppose.
As Candace said, we ain't done. We are going to crumble, cry, and probably temporarily be slightly irresponsible - eat out too often, stay up too late, eat too many slices of pizza. But don't count us out. We will have our family! At this point, we don't know what that picture looks like how it will happen, or how we will afford any of the remaining family realizing alternatives, but we will get there. Those of you in the throes of family starting can appreciate that we will use our emotional bruises to inspire us to keep moving.