I am not alone. So many have walked much more difficult paths, have endured far more significant losses. Is it possible to quantify loss, to distinguish the pain threshold associated with differing types of loss? I do not know. All I know is that I am feeling it…the death of so much more than just a fetus. The death of dreams, the loss of hope for this pregnancy, the death of a potential sibling, the dying of prayers prayed in ernest for this sweet, loved embryo. How do you move forward? How do you just leave it in God’s hands, relinquish control and say YES, Lord, I know you are so much bigger than me and my dreams…your plans beyond anything I could comprehend. You must have something GREATER, BIGGER, BETTER in store. I will get there. I have walked long enough with my Lord, endured suffering associated with being an outcast in my family, difficult seasons of heartache due to break-ups, years of waiting for my true love, and infertility. I know that each and every one of these has led to a deeper sense of self, a greater love for my Lord, and always, at the end of each season, when the light finally pierces the dark depths of each tunnel, I have been able to tell myself that I would surely have suffered through each again. It is always worth it.
Today I learned that my pregnancy is ill-fated. We transferred 1 embryo on May 2. It was a perfect transfer. Everything was textbook perfect. The lining was perfect, my hormone levels lovely, even the embryo was graded the best it could possibly be. I had complete faith that it would work in our favor…and sure enough, 6 days later, we got our first positive pregnancy test at home. Each successive day it became darker and darker. It wasn’t really a surprise. I just knew it was going to work out. Our situation just seemed to favor this scenario. At 10 days post 5 day transfer (10dp5dt), we had our first offical bHcg. It was a beautiful number at 125, higher even than our first baby’s number. Joy upon JOY. We would be having a baby around mid-January! What a gift!
But then, within hours, the trouble began. That night I developed severe abdominal pain and nausea. The nausea turned into severe vomiting and soon the pain and vomiting was just too much to bear. I have never experience a pain more fierce, more unrelenting. It felt worse to me than child birth. I had no idea what the source was. Deep into the night, laying upon the cold tile floor of my bathroom, I told my husband I could no longer endure the pain and dry heaving. I felt like I just wanted to die and knew that I needed pain relief and resuscitation fluids and so to the emergency room we went. It was discovered that I needed an emergent appendectomy. I was devastated. What would be become of this sweet, vulnerable embryo…just a few days implanted, not yet differentiated into organ or limb. We stuck with a minimal anesthetic plan and I avoided any and all medications post surgery. My serial betas continued to double, but in my mind the damage had already been done. What embryo could endure such stress, such heaving of its newly established home, such exposure to potentially toxic medications….
Today I had my first ultrasound. The gestational sack looked perfect but as we zoomed in on the embryo, we all realized there was no heartbeat. I immediately saw the look of concern upon the face of the nurse in the room, jaw half dropped as they probed the embryo from different angles and called in the attending to take a second look. But there was NOTHING. The fetus was measuring small. There were murmurings that they had never seen a pregnancy like this turn the corner. It was over. They say I did everything I could. They say that I can’t blame the surgery. They say it was probably chromosomal. They say many things, but in my heart…well, I guess I have to just let go because I will never know for sure. It certainly is a lot to endure in the early weeks. All I know is that I now have to decide HOW I want to MISCARRY, how I want to proceed. These are questions I hoped to never be faced with. Questions I never hoped to seek answers to. But I am here, and I will continue to walk, I will continue to trust in my Lord, to look to him for strength, to recognize that His plan is perfect, that His timing is BEST and that His GRACE is sufficient for me, His power PERFECTED in my weakness. Whatever that means RIGHT now, RIGHT here. I will keep walking.
For now, I wait…wait for this baby to leave my body and return to dust. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes. One day we will meet again and everything will be made right.