This is the fourth post in my Dear IVF Diary series. If you’re just joining me, then I recommend that you start here. You’ll find all related entries at the end of this post. Thanks for reading! x
Seven days after the embryo transfer, I was sitting at my desk at work when I got this sensation in my thighs. It was barely noticeable but all too familiar, one that I’ve always associated with the start of my period. A trip to the bathroom provided some relief when a knicker check was clear.
The seed of doubt was sown though, and that’s when the begging started.
Please stay. Please don’t go. Don’t leave us. We want you to stay so badly.
The pain came the next morning, followed by big clumps of brown, dry, flaky blood. It wasn’t bright red though – and they always say that with a pregnancy, don’t they? – if the blood is fresh and heavy, then you panic. But it was too late not to panic.
I still kept hoping though. Kept pleading.
When I spoke to the nurse the next day, we were on day two of the brown clumps. I tried so hard to explain what was happening in a calm, rational way but I ended up sobbing down the phone. She told me to hang on in there because it wasn’t over yet and I wanted so badly to believe her. So I did.
Even when it continued for a few more days. Even when I went in the morning of my blood test. My head knew it was over but my heart and my uterus so desperately wanted to believe there was still hope. Because you always hear the stories of the underdog, don’t you? The things that on paper should never have worked out, but against the odds…
A phone call that afternoon confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant.
I had to take the call in a busy shared office and excuse myself to find somewhere private.
Is there anything harder than trying to hold it together when someone is being kind to you? I often wonder if it would be preferable if they were stoney cold in their delivery. But then of course, I’d hate them for that too. Lose, lose.
Then I had to gather myself and somehow return to my desk as if my world hadn’t just been turned upside down. I don’t recommend it.
That’s when the bubbling optimism and enthusiasm of the previous few weeks came back to bite us on the ass. Turns out that full “go big or go home” can do a painful 180 like flicking a switch. Whereas before we lived in the moment of positivity and hope, now we were fully present in the bitterness of disappointment and sadness. Such sadness. Mr Mind the Baby put his finger on it after a few days – we were grieving. Grieving for the birds in the bush. There was never anything in our hands. We were just so overwhelmed.
And so alone.
The daily contact with the clinic was gone. It was like breaking up with a boyfriend. This terrible thing had happened but also the support we had grown used to disappeared too. We had each other to hold, of course, but it felt like we needed to be minded, to be told it would be okay. Because we weren’t okay. It was totally shit, to be honest. But mostly sad.
So we were one embryo down, with two to go…
COMING NEXT: Pavlov’s Dog
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