Today is the fifth day of my Christmas break. I am glad that I am not in the office.
Things were interesting in the office the last couple of weeks. After the most recent loss, some days felt worse off than others. When that happened, I often stayed in my office and avoided social interactions. Even one of my male coworkers noticed. One day he saw me in the kitchen heating up my lunch and asked me how I was doing. I told him, “I am not doing too well, but it’s okay.” He had a concerned look on his face, not at all awkward that I gave him an answer that went outside of the usual pleasantries. I told him that it was just life. Then I walked back to my office with my hot lunch.
And then there was my supervisor’s baby shower. The day before the baby shower, my no-longer-pregnant coworker (the one who always talked about her pregnancy) came by my office and asked if I was going to the baby shower. I told her I wasn’t, just like what I did for her shower. I told her that I’d give my supervisor a separate gift afterward, but I wasn’t planning on being there. No-longer-pregnant coworker then said, “I have a favor to ask you.” She handed me a piece of paper titled “Wishes for Baby”, one of those baby shower games for people to fill out their wishes for the baby. She said no pressure. I could fill it out or I could just toss it in the recycling bin. I was honest with her. I told her that I most likely wouldn’t fill it out. I took it and left it on my desk. I just wonder if no-longer-pregnant coworker really thought about my feelings. If I wasn’t going to attend the baby shower, would I actually want to participate in a game? The piece of paper ended in the recycling bin.
The day of the baby shower, my friend Q, who was supposed to be my lunch date, totally forgot that she was supposed to have lunch with me. So at noon, I walked over to Pane.ra Bread and had lunch by myself. I did make it back at 1pm just in case we had a department meeting. Well the shower was still going on. Being so close to the conference room, I could hear all the laughing inside. The baby shower continued on until 2pm, a total of two hours. I had prepared a gift for my supervisor. I gave it to her right after my last client of the day. I didn’t want to do it in her office since it’s very close to other people’s offices. When she came out of the bathroom, I waved her my way. She was babbling about some work stuff while she entered in my room. All I wanted to do was to get this part over with. While she was still talking shop, I handed her my gift. She was surprised and happy. I didn’t do much of an explanation like the last time with my other pregnant coworker. I simply just said, “I don’t go to baby showers but I wanted to give you this.” It was a gift that she had on her registry. She gave me a big hug so that was nice.
My last day of work was last Friday. It was also my supervisor’s last day of work before her maternity leave. Our work holiday party was that night. A few weeks prior, before my beta, my Dear Colleague and I joked about me going to the party being the designated driver for Bob because I would be pregnant and would be forbidden to drink. Well, for somebody who had gone to every single work holiday party in the last 12 years, I just did not feel like going to our work party, socializing, and talking about things that don’t matter to me when deep down my heart just died a little after the last cycle. But I knew I wanted to say my good-byes to my supervisor. Right before I left work, I looked for her and found her in the copy room. I went in and said my good-byes. She was surprised that I wasn’t going to attend the party. I told her that I didn’t feel like socializing. We chatted a little about how she was doing and what she’d do before the baby comes. We hugged each other and that was it. Yesterday when I chatted with my Dear Colleague, she told me that my supervisor wondered aloud to a small group of people at the holiday party about me. She said something like, “I am worried about Isabelle… I wonder how she’s doing.” My Dear Colleague just pretended that she didn’t hear it. But I think that maybe my looks and my demeanor recently did show that I wasn’t doing too well in the last few weeks.
Yesterday, Dr. Gentle, the OB/GYN surgeon who did my last hysteroscopy, squeezed me in for a saline sonogram. Dr No Nonsense had told me to get a hysteroscopy again to check the cavity. I emailed my own OB/GYN who said that she doesn’t do it in her practice. She referred me to the surgical team. I knew that it would take forever before I could get an appointment if I went through the scheduling people. So I emailed Dr. Gentle directly. She is really the nicest doctor ever. She wrote me back saying that she didn’t have availability for a hysteroscopy this week, but she could see me for a saline sonogram, which to her is a better way to look at the whole system right before a transfer. I got the Okay from Dr. NN’s nurse. Dr. Gentle wanted to see me this week because it is best to look at the uterus right after menses for the lining is usually thin. This time I had to wait 30 minutes as Dr. Gentle was running behind. She came in with another doctor probably in training. They were funny. They talked shop while getting me ready. Apparently my cervix was wide and they couldn’t distend my cavity without clipping my cervix and placing a balloon inside. It was uncomfortable but nothing intolerable. Originally they thought that they saw scar tissue that turned out to be the balloon. Dr. Gentle showed me how the whole cavity and the lining looked nice and smooth. I got the ultrasound picture as a souvenir.
Staring at the ultrasound photo, I couldn’t help but think that yesterday or the day before would have been our first ultrasound to check the heartbeat. I would have been 6 weeks 4 days, right when people check their heartbeats in an IVF cycle. Instead of a little blob inside my uterus with a heartbeat flickering away, my uterus looked sadly empty. Yes I know it is good news to have a smooth lining. But it’s still sad to know what could have been.
Emotionally, I had been doing well until yesterday. All of a sudden, I panicked. My clinic’s fees will go up in 2016. I wanted to pay for the frozen embryo transfer before the end of the year for tax return purposes. The fee schedule I received from my billing person shocked me. It went up at least $600. I checked with her. She said that all the fees are going up beginning January 1st. I don’t know. I just panicked. It’s not very rational. But, I started searching for a new donor to prepare for the possibility that our FET doesn’t work. There aren’t too many choices out there. My mind went really far: the FET not working, another fresh DE transfer not working, we are out of money to try, we will be childless. Then I came across California Con.ceptions, a clinic that specializes in offering embryos that are made with donor eggs and donor sperms. The cost is a fraction of what it is with a DE cycle, and the success rate is super high because of double donors. But is this really what we want to do if all else fails? I literally sat there for three hours googl.ing, thinking about things, and panicking all by myself. It was just not healthy, but I couldn’t help myself.
When Bob got home, I was trying to see how I could break the news to him that the fees are going up at our clinic. I somehow brought that up along with California Con.ceptions. The talk about double donors made him really upset. I don’t have to go into details but the sheer panic of not knowing if we would ever have a child we could call our own is really tough on a marriage. We didn’t have a good evening. But you know, I think it is necessary to talk about these things, our fears, our concerns, our frustrations. I am glad we had a chance to do that.
This morning, Bob’s car died when he exited the freeway to get to work. He just couldn’t accelerate but he was able to pull over the shoulder off the exit. He said that he lost all power including the steering wheel and the brakes. My heart about jumped when I got his call because it is never good news when he calls me on his way to work. He had it towed to our mechanic’s shop. I am just glad that it happened in the morning and he was safely away from the freeway. We have been talking about buying a new car but because of the cost of all of our cycles, we have been pushing off purchasing a new car. Both of our cars are old, so driving the car on our road trip could be a bit dicey. *sigh* When we worry about money, there are always more expenses. However, I am just so thankful that the Lord protected him from any danger on the freeway. The more I think about it, the more thankful I am. Also thankfully, Bob is in good spirit. He is not too down about the car. He is now working from home and it is good to have him around.
This is my vacation so far. I will be meeting with one of my best friends for lunch tomorrow, Christmas eve. Christmas day I will be making steak for dinner. We leave for our little get away on Saturday. It’s nice to be able to wake up in the morning not worrying about going to work. It’s also nice to be able to clean up whenever I want to, do nothing if I want, and basically do whatever I feel like. I really love this kind of vacation. I hope that the rest of my time off will be as peaceful and uneventful as possible.