Monday, April 1, 2019
Waiting to Exhale
It's been seven days since my most recent, and final, IUI and I'm hardly breathing. I'm not filled with the gut-wrenching anxiety that I usually have during the two-week wait. Hours don't feel like days this time around. I'm not combing fertility threads analyzing my symptoms which usually turns into my full-time job during the two-week wait. I'm relatively calm this time around, which is a new and foreign feeling for me. Maybe it's because after a year and a half of losses and failures I've finally accepted the option of donor egg, and have begun to see it as a gift. Maybe it's because my heart and soul are exhausted and I don't have the energy or strength for the hoping and longing. Regardless of why, I still imagined that this last two-week wait would be filled with more angst and grief. Instead, I feel frozen -unable to move. I am waiting to breathe, waiting for the answer that is on the other side of this pregnancy test so that I can know how to move forward.
This two-week wait is always a place of limbo, but this one has been even more intense because the door with my own egg baby behind it may shut for good this time around. In one version of this story my test is positive. I am overjoyed, but worried. Will this baby be ok? Will I lose anrtother pregnancy to my translocation? In this world I am fearful of loss, but filled with hope and possibility that this pregnancy could be a miracle. I make plans to travel to see my family a during the summer since I won't be doing donor egg treatments. I sign up for a wellness retreat with my best friend that we have been talking about. We buy the car we have been holding off on since we no longer have to pay for more IVF. I dream of how my child will look, what parts of my genes he or she will inherit. I am lost in reverie imagining it all. In the other version of my story I am heartbroken. I ride the wave of grief that was unexpected knowing this would probably fail. I select a donor and pay the deposit to begin this process. I plan a trip to the clinic overseas. I tell family and friends that I am busy, but I don't say why (I don't want to talk about it with anyone who hasn't been through it- it's exhausting to explain, and devastating to answer questions if it fails). I book my flights. This version of my story is much harder to imagine than the first since I have never lived through it before. I don't know how my heart will respond or what joys and challenges will await me on my donor egg journey.
Right now though, I don't know how the story ends, and I am caught in the middle. I can't process. I can't grieve. I can't plan. I can't move forward. In the middle, I am cautious. I tiptoe around my feelings. I avoid talking to friends. I am afraid that my longing will be obvious. I am afraid that people will ask about my fertility journey, but I don't know where I stand right now, and talking about the two endings to this story would make them feel too real. The middle is such a frustrating place, but it's also a magical place where anything is possible. Life hasn't said "yes" yet, but it hasn't said "no" either and I want to hold on to that as long as I can. I take so much comfort in those slightly cracked open doors. I am not ready to think or talk about them shutting right now. Just a few more days to hope. So I put off my mother when she asks about my summer plans. I avoid my sister's phone calls. I talk vaguely with friends about meeting up for a vacation, but I don't offer any real dates or places. I check out car loan rates, but I never visit a dealership. I drink one glass of wine, but not too much. Everything is on hold. I am waiting for the news, good or bad. I am waiting to exhale.