I can’t believe I am writing one of these posts again. I really thought that this was going to be our time.
Two posts ago was supposed to be the 300th post of this blog. Instead of celebrating it with a fantastic beta number (which would have been the best timing for the 300th post), I had the worst day possible and had to update you all on the longest timeframe I had to wait for any beta in my life.
It was the most peculiar thing that my OB who had ordered my previous HCG labs STAT actually didn’t order STAT this time. I called the 24-hour line every single hour starting at 11am. It was the most disconcerting thing ever, speaking to a stranger who did not know how important this phone call could have been for me. Every time the answer was “Still processing”. My OB finally returned my email denying that she ever ordered STAT for my previous beta, although I have her previous emails as my proof. She wrote, “We cannot order them stat unless there is a medical reason as this would delay labs that were a true emergency. They were not ordered stat last time but I think they sent then stat in the lab for you. I totally understand that you want the results as fast as possible and we do not want to cause you extra anxiety but I have to practice according to hospital policy.” To me, this is all BS. All the the previous labs were ordered STAT. But there is no point of arguing with her.
Little did I know that maybe the delay was the best thing for that day. With the devastating results, I honestly don’t know how I could have survived without Bob being around me. I would have been in my office with others or alone at home had the results come back any earlier. Bob didn’t come home until 9pm. The results were still not back at 8:40pm, a whole 12 hours after my blood draw. When I called at 9:40, I still didn’t anticipate to hear the results. But the stranger on the phone delivered the news. I was in shock, but politely asked for a repeat of the number, then hung up. Immediately, I started wailing loudly and could not control my tears. The immediate heartache was too much to bear. I was angry, devastated, feeling like this was the end of the world. My head knowledge told me that this was not the end, but the devastation was still the same. Can you imagine not having my husband’s warm embrace while I got the heart wrenching news? I can’t imagine it. So maybe the whole purpose of this delay in beta was for me to be well taken care of by my husband on that day. I don’t know. I could not stop my tears from coming. It was utter disappointment, heart break, and anger. I was so angry at God this time. The unfairness of it all was really hard to swallow. But haven’t we already learned? Life is unfair, and we can’t control it when we are dealt the bad cards. I was supposed to get up at 6am to go to my bible study training. I was supposed to see a speech therapy client right after that. That night, I couldn’t even breathe. The thought of seeing someone other than my husband and acting normally was too much. Canceling all these prior arrangements, I curled myself up in bed and just cried and cried and cried some more. It really felt like the end of the world to me as the thought of starting all over again, looking for a donor, stressing over egg retrieval results, fertilization report, transfer, timing, and beta was just so overwhelming. I just could not believe our luck.
My sentiment that night was I was so sick and tired of being resilient, having perseverance, and always being the bearer of bad news. What else do we have to do to bring home a baby? Haven’t we done enough? I just couldn’t think anymore.
I am so grateful that I have a four-day weekend as we both took Tuesday off for Bob’s birthday. We just let ourselves be. We slept in the next morning. My heart still hurt but was getting better little by little. The thought of starting all over again was still very overwhelming. So I put that thought aside. I cried on and off during the day. Tears flowed down my cheeks whenever I thought about the loss of Lucy. Bob has been great. He reminded me that we should still try to celebrate Valentine’s day and his birthday on Tuesday the best we can. Yes. We continue to live life to the fullest despite this huge set back. We were being nice to ourselves so we could grieve and mourn, and begin the healing process. I know I am loved because so many of you commented on my blog, and many of my friends checked on me repeatedly to make sure that I was doing okay. I was still angry at God. With His might and power, why couldn’t He make it better for us and let us fulfill our dreams of conceiving and growing a child? My head knowledge told me to trust God’s perfect timing, my heart was just calling all of this BS. When I couldn’t pray for myself, I know my prayer warriors are lifting me up.
Since I couldn’t talk to my nurse coordinator Friday night, I called the nurses station at my clinic on Saturday. I knew that I had to do a second beta to confirm the results (which is the most meaningless thing ever), so I had to inquire if I should continue with my progesterone shot. After a discussion, the on-call nurse said it would be better for me to stay on the injection until the second beta. I lay there teary while Bob was jabbing that 1.5 inch needle on my behind, not understanding why history had to repeat itself.
On Sunday, we were both feeling better. Believe it or not, we had church greeting duty. On Saturday, I kept on thinking that there was no possible way for us to stand there, hand out bulletins, with a genuine smile on our face telling people that we were fine. But I guess in God, everything is possible. We were fine. I genuinely felt hospitable, chatted with guests and friends, and sat through the whole sermon whole-heartedly. During the quiet time right after sermon, I prayed to God, crying out to Him to comfort us, and not to allow us to steer away from Him. It was the first heart-felt prayer I had for myself since the news. Prior to service, I saw our friend’s pregnant wife got off in front of church. I tried to escape her entry by excusing myself to get a cup of coffee. After service, there was no escaping as they walked directly towards me. We chatted about the weather while I avoided glancing down at her six-month pregnant belly. Thank goodness for her extra long and large coat.
Serving at church did make us feel better. Bob and I were originally going to have lunch at home. But I wanted to cheer him up so we had an impromptu lunch at a South Indian restaurant close by. Parking was a beast but we didn’t mind it. We thoroughly enjoyed our food. Afterwards, I decided to get my second beta done instead of waiting until Monday like we had originally planned. If the results were to come back 12 hours later, I’d rather do it earlier so we could get it over with. Because it was Valentine’s day, the lab was practically empty. I asked the phlebotomist if I should get the results within 12 hours, I was shocked to learn that this lab was ordered STAT. Why this was STAT and the previous one wasn’t, I don’t have a clue. I just found it so ironic that for this second beta, I would find out the results within two hours. Of course the results were negative. I was relieved that my body did not have to endure another unnecessary needle and dose of progesterone when there was no life to support inside of me.
It’s amazing how much Bob and I have bounced back. I didn’t cry at all yesterday. We managed to make each other laugh most day. We actually started talking about our next plans. We will definitely test his sperm for DNA fragmentation. Since we didn’t test our embryos, we didn’t know if we should blame my uterus or the embryos for these failed cycles. So for our next cycle, we are going to test the embryos even though the recommendation is that embryos from DE don’t need testing. We will find a donor to do a fresh cycle. And the most shocking one for myself is, I may switch clinic and go somewhere else. I need a doctor who is friendlier with immune protocols and I don’t think Dr. No Nonsense is that doctor. If something is wrong with my uterus, I want someone that can support that. I have already looked at various donor databases, contacted a Southern California clinic that is famous for egg donation (many of our fellow bloggers and DE moms have gone there), and saw a few donors that have potentials. It surprised me that looking through donor profiles did not cause me negative emotions or stress. The most freaky thing was that the original agency that I used for the first donor that disappeared had not contacted me for six months. The first email she sent me was the day after this failed cycle telling me that there was a brand new Korean donor for us to check out. Anyhow, I don’t think we’ll work with that donor. We’ll most likely ask for our money back from this agency and move onto somewhere else. I will still have my WTF appointment with Dr. NN since I don’t have to pay extra. Plus I really want to hear what he’d have to say.
Bob and I had a great chat. We are now on the same page with our next steps. He agreed to all the testing, and told me not to worry about the money part. We have money saved up for more than one other fresh cycle. If the next two transfers don’t work, we are in the position to save up more money, and we’ll start thinking about gestation carrier. Speaking of which, I was both touched and surprised that one of my friends offered to carry our baby for us if we still don’t have a baby in 2.5 years. She is currently pregnant and would like to breast feed her child. I believe that I should be able to get pregnant and carry a child, but it is such a relief to know that someone would so selflessly offer to do this huge thing for me. I also appreciated my husband telling me that I don’t have to worry about my age so I can just focus on the process itself.
So this is where we are at, still sad about our failed cycle, still mourning the loss of Lucy, and still angry at God. But we are also bouncing back and looking forward to the next chance for us to become parents. I do not regret maintaining a positive and hopeful attitude with Lucy. I’d do the same next time. I truly believe that one day we will be parents. We need to take a deep breath, hold onto each other, and move forward. I believe we can do it.