On Monday I started spotting. I called the clinic and they moved up my pregnancy test day but it didn't look good, it was already 13 days in, I'd been testing at home and all negative, so I knew it was a failure. As soon as it was official, my first stop was Starbucks for a Gingerbread latte and big chocolate muffin. I hadn't had caffeine in nearly a month. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon Christmas shopping, which was a great distraction except for the mall full of babies. Worse, this was the mall in the South end of town, which is lower-rent, so the mall is full of teen moms with their babies. I try to avoid this mall for a few reasons, but teen moms everywhere is really painful when you're dealing with infertility. Last night I fixed myself a really really strong cocktail. Also, first in a month.
I went into this cycle very optimistically. I was enthusiastic that this would be it because the timing was so perfect, not just to take time off to do the cycle, but also it would have given me a late August due date and I cannot begin to explain how incredibly perfect that would have been with various elements in our life. I was so excited when, on day 3, I was told that I still had 7 really great embryos and I was scheduled for a day 5 transfer. Day 5! If your embryos are good enough to make it to day 5, then you've got about a 50/50 shot! Age no longer matters! I thought 3 would make it, transfer 1, two more frozen chances if the first doesn't work. It was sure to work. But no. I arrive on day 5, they get me ready, I'm in the stirrups, and the embryologist comes in to inform me that none have made it to Blastocyst stage. Given how well they were doing two days before, I know now that means they all started to fail the day before. It's not totally hopeless. According to the lab director, about 25% of day 5 morulas were successful last year in my clinic. The problem is that on the day of my transfer, no one in the room was able to share that information with me. I did feel mislead. And it's not the first time on this journey. If I'd had the information, I might have chosen to transfer more than one, but no one had ever discussed this possibility with us, and the doctor performing the transfer seemed to think single transfer was still best. The lab director would have advised me otherwise, but he wasn't there in the room. No one in the room suggested a change in plans. These are all issues to discuss with my doctor when we meet next to review the cycle.
I cry a lot. The promise of doing the cycle in the first place filled me with such hope. Now I am back to where I was when I first got the diagnosis. I don't know if I'm going to try again. If I try again, it won't be for four months (at least I know that much, which is better than when I first got the diagnosis and didn't know if, when, or ever). I'm back to feeling broken, damaged, and there is nothing I can do. No amount of relaxing, lifestyle changes, visualizing or praying is going to unblock my tubes. I can't go back and transfer more on day 3 (clearly in hindsight, that is going to be the best plan for me for any future attempts). So there is nothing to be gained from being angry about what went wrong. Which just leaves me with the deep sadness and patience.
I still look at adoption as an option. But there is still the complicating factor of having to wait until after we move. But at least the moving plans are beginning to firm up. 2013 was a bad year, my other half had a brain tumour, but it was treated successfully, he's recovering very well, and after a long hard search for his dream job, he finally landed it and in 6 months we will move half-way around the world! So adoption of a child in need of a loving stable family is still a possibility. It just means more waiting, and then navigating a new system. 2013 started so bad, and ended so good for him, I'm disappointed it couldn't end on a happy note for me too.
And that is where we leave things at the end of 2013, officially the worst year of my life. Pass me another bottle of Pinot Grigio.