At the time that everything was going down the tubes (or up...ha. ha. ha.), when people would tell me that "hey! there's a lot of positives here you can take from this!," I did not want to hear it. I knew there were a lot of good things to be grateful for and look forward to, but at the time when your world goes topsy-turvy and what could have been your greatest joy turns into your greatest sorrow, you just don't want to even entertain the good stuff. My choice was to acknowledge it and then turn right back to grieving all that was lost. I wasn't ready to look forward to what we had gained along the way.
But now, a bit over a month later, I am ready to think about and be thankful for everything GOOD that came out of this cycle, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious.
- We actually got pregnant. I was feeling snarky at first about this, like "yeah, I can get pregnant in my tube, but does that mean anything really?" Apparently it does. Getting pregnant in your tube does indicate that you can get pregnant in your uterus. (And not what I thought it might be, that my uterus was so inhospitable that my poor embryo clawed its way up my tube to escape it.)
- We got to experience being pregnant. I felt nauseous and was
happythrilled about it. I could feel a connection to that ill-fated being, even as early as it was. It was beautiful as much as it was sad, and I so look forward to having that feeling again. Hopefully relatively soon.
- We had a kick-ass cycle. Even though it ended poorly, everything leading up to that low positive was phenomenal. We had our best quality ever, our best fertilization ever, our most robust embryos yet. I wrote a thank-you note to my doctor about how awesome the cycle was, because even though there was a bad ending (or a lucky ending, if you think about it in terms that my tube was stretched incredibly taut and a day or two more and who knows what could have happened!), everything leading up to the end and the way the end was handled was just stellar. We couldn't be happier. (Actually, we could, but that just didn't happen this time.)
- We have frozens! I can't highlight this enough. In the beginning I was devastated when we didn't have frozens--I thought they were a given and felt cheated that we had none. The second time the fact that we had no frozens was not surprising. So to have frozens this third time is amazing. We get a second shot sooner than we could do a fresh cycle and for way less money. We got a bonus this time! (And, since we did get pregnant with the embryos from the fresh, we have a better chance of getting pregnant with the frozens, per some research I've read.)
- We have discovered that we can suffer a horrible turn of events, a traumatizing loss and physical setback, and still bounce back enough to want to do this again. We are resilient. Sometimes I don't feel so resilient and just want to hide under the covers all day and not face any of this. But then I buck up and realize if I want to be a mom, I can't hide away in the dark forever. We are fighters. We have our eyes on the prize, even if we're bloodied and broken and bruised all over.
- I now take my asthma medication very, very seriously. The funny thing about taking a medication that truly controls your asthma is that you get lulled into a false sense of security. You think you don't really need it. Your lungs are clear every time a doctor listens. So when you forget one day and your HCG numbers go up significantly, you have a very misguided hypothesis...you should totally go off your meds to sustain your pregnancy. You don't need 'em. Oops. That kind of thinking left me feeling like I was drowning after coming out of anesthesia, coughing and gasping for air and needing nebulizer treatments. Oh, and coughing right after three abdominal incisions are closed? Not such a hot idea. So I learned my lesson. If you have asthma and your doctor prescribes medicine and it works, for Pete's sake take it!!! I will never miss a dose again. It turns out babies need oxygen, and so do I.
- I have amazing friends and family. I was so, so touched by every single card, phone call, coffee run, text, email, flower delivery, special prize packet, visit, baked good, etc. etc. etc. that we received during our time of loss. I felt so loved and so supported and it was totally overwhelming. I cried a lot when I received kindness and sympathy, because it was just so beautiful to receive so much love from so many people. It made a tremendous difference. Thank you.
- My relationship got stronger. It is incredibly hard to go through this process and care for your relationship. The emotional swings are wicked and sometimes it is easy to lash out at the person closest to you when you are so filled with sorrow and anger that you just need to release something. And it is just so hard to feel so beaten down and unlucky all the time. But instead of fighting like crazy (which would be totally unsurprising), we have found new ways to talk through why we are angry, or sad, or just really bitchy (guess who that is?). We can be irritable with each other, but we remain a united front. We make plans. We talk about what was really sad, and what we didn't understand about the others' reactions. We are still a team, which is awesome. I don't know what I'd do if we weren't so solid. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a love that can sustain this kind of trauma and stay intact. I wish that we didn't have to go through all this, but since we do, I'm incredibly thankful that I have such an amazing husband to share the pain and the joy with.