Well, another cycle has come and gone and left us empty handed. Empty-womb-ded. I found out earlier this week that our frozen bonus cycle, our last-ditch 2011 attempt, our supposed Christmas miracle cycle, was not to be. Negative, negative, negative.
Let's do some math. That's 4 transfers without a viable pregnancy. That's 10 embryos that have gone into my lovely plush-lined uterus and not stayed to become babies. Well, to be fair, we did have one embryo that stayed in the wrong place for a few weeks and left not via the septic system but via laparoscopic surgery. So 9 embryos that have completely rejected me and one little lost one. And now I am definitely not convinced that little nugget didn't crawl up my tube to escape what seems like my completely unwelcoming uterus.
Do I sound like I'm taking this personally? I am. How could I not? How could I not feel like it is a very personal rejection when the last two embryo transfers have been absolutely textbook-perfect in quality, and my lining has looked perfectly good on the ultrasound, but still they run screaming away? Still they don't burrow? Why do they just wither up and drift away instead of doing what they are genetically programmed to do?
There is no good reason. I wish there was. In a sick way I wish there could be an aha! moment, something easy and fixable that could be the reason. But there's not. It appears we are just colossally, horribly unlucky. There is no other explanation, at least not that I know about.
And so I am left with a horrible feeling. This time when I got the call, and I heard the hesitation and the downward tone to the nurse's voice, I was totally calm. Oh. It didn't work? I had two beautiful blasts in my well-prepared uterus and they didn't take? Awesome. Literally, verbatim, that is what I said. Two cycles ago I was incoherent with sobs and snot. I couldn't even breathe, let alone have an intelligent conversation regarding my failure. Sorry, failed cycle. Hard not to refer to it as my failure. Old habits are hard to break. I was devastated that it hadn't worked as second time in a row. But now, with our fourth disappointment, I am sadly getting used to rejection. I can just absorb it and thank the nurse and then slowly leak tears less of abject sorrow and more of frustration and anger.
Because I am pissed. More than being very sad this time, I am just pissed at the unfairness. I am pissed that people have unplanned pregnancies all the time and I could not plan this more. I am pissed that I have to buy more feminine supplies. I am pissed that we have to stay in a holding pattern, saving up the money to throw at another chance when we know full well we could come up tails again. I am pissed that I have to take time off later this school year for the procedures I was so hoping I was finished with. I am pissed I have to reorder medications for my Injection Closet for another fresh round of IVF. I am pissed that 2012 could come and go and I could very likely still NOT have a baby in my arms. Likely it will be 2013 before we have a chance to welcome a new life into this world. Yet again we will have a Christmas card with no baby, with just self-indulgent pictures of us because we have no one else to be into (and I refuse to go the way of the cats in Santa hats card). It makes me want to throw something that shatters against the wall.
How many times will this take? We don't know. Because there is no good reason for our repeated failure, because we are still being told that this is absolutely possible and probable for us, we will keep on going. I will pick up the pieces, the angry, angry detritus scattered on the ground, and throw my energy into my next cycle. I will figure out how to approach this next cycle so that I don't lose my mind in the process. We will mourn the loss of this dream and look forward to the promise of another. It just gets harder and harder to do it without an increasing bitterness in our mouths. I can still hope, I haven't lost that yet. But my ability to hope indiscriminately has been damaged. My ability to believe that this will actually happen sooner than later is damaged. My faith in my body is irreparably damaged. But not totally destroyed, as I trust it enough to attempt this again. Fifth time's the charm? Let's hope so.