Thank you. Thank you to everyone who has shown sympathy, said comforting words, called or texted or facebook-messaged me and Bryce during this really difficult week and a half. It has meant so much to see how many people come out of the woodwork to support you during a difficult time--I feel very lucky. I have had people I haven't seen or spoken to since high school send me wonderful notes of encouragement. I have had cards and goodies sent through the mail or personally delivered. I have had daily phone calls from friends and family to make sure I'm not sinking into a no-baby blues pit of despair. And thank you to those who specifically asked how Bryce was doing--he is as frustrated and upset and angry about our failure as I am and can be forgotten in the physical drama of everything that happens to me. We are a team! (A bit of a sad team at the moment, but still a team through everything.) Thank you to everyone who risked saying the wrong thing (don't worry, didn't happen) so that they could express their support, concern, and encouragement for a difficult and uncomfortable situation. Saying the wrong thing is infinitely better than saying nothing at all.
Every email, every text, every message, every in-person "I'm so sorry" has just been this tremendous wave of kindness. And at first, all the love hurt a little bit--every time I checked an electronic device there was another reminder that I wasn't pregnant, again. I cried a little every time my phone alerted me that there was a new message of any kind. But I can tell you--I feel so loved and supported for all the encouragement and sympathy and offers to take me out drinking (now that I can for a short while). Even the doctors, nurses, and staff at our clinic have just surprised the daylights out of me by the personal messages, emails, and hugs I've gotten since going back this week for both the free counseling they offer (huge bonus) and the followup appointment with our doctor. I would love to get those hugs for congratulatory purposes, but was overwhelmed by how caring my medical team was when I saw them recently.
I am feeling much better--still angry and sad, but much more functional. I can hear children in the background of telephone conversations again and not be so sad I have to get off the phone. I can be in the same room with the "Babies of 2010" special newspaper insert that is, no joke, about 40 pages of baby pictures and sits on the lunch table in my department office. I do still have a flight response when I see a hugely pregnant teacher coming down the hall or into the library when I'm there and if I can, I go the other way (and, working in a school, there is a neverending supply of hugely pregnant teachers). But I am not on the verge of tears every moment of every day, and for that I am grateful. It comes and goes, but I am mostly okay now. I think a lot of the reason behind being okay is that we have a new plan.
Yes, yes, I am not supposed to plan anything because infertility usually finds some way to screw over your plans. But, I feel so much hope when I have a plan to cling to--an approximate date and timing for our next cycle, an idea of what that cycle might look like, and possible procedures that might improve my response in the meantime. It's February, so the summer is not too far away. It will be here before we know it. I am also feeling hopeful because when we went to make our plan we weren't told this was an impossible quest. We definitely have some embryo quality issues going on. We definitely have an issue with the difference in my initial response to the drugs (buttloads of follicles!) versus my mature egg haul (still very respectable, but a fraction of the number of follicles I start with). We thought maybe there would be less enthusiasm for our case, but that didn't happen. It just might take us 3 or 4 IVF attempts instead of the 1 or 2 we were hoping for. We have other discussions to have in the event that we outright fail the next two attempts, but we are not there yet. We don't have to have the alternate route conversation, yet. Everyone is still rooting for us, rooting for our possibilities, and feeling positive that a next attempt could be the one for us. I am shoring up my hope and resiliency stores and getting ready for the next round. I am thinking I will approach this next cycle differently. The battle has been scheduled, we just have to adjust our strategies this time. I am still feeling good about 2011--but now I am calling it "The Year of the Pregnancy" and not "The Year of the Baby." An adjustment that felt huge and desolate last week but now is just feeling like a little detour on this twisty turny journey that will result in a baby (or two!) in our household. We are already a family, but we will expand and grow, physically and emotionally. We will hold a tiny human in our arms and marvel at everything it took to get to that amazing moment.