Friday night I had a dream. I dreamed that against all odds, we got pregnant naturally, on our own. Except for some reason I got a call with beta numbers, not a double-lined pee stick.
And the number was 3.
Which is really odd, because a HCG level of 3 wouldn't even be considered positive at most clinics.
And it wasn't good in the dreamworld either, because I realized that again I was being presented with a short time to be excited, and given the experience we had with the ectopic where we started at 12 and then rose but wonkily until it resulted in tragedy and surgery, I was filled with doom and sadness and realization that pregnancy was just not going to ever be something attainable or positive for me. Ever.
I woke up and felt...resigned. Bryce and I had hashed out discussion after discussion this week that ended in the one decision regarding our embryos that sticks -- we won't be transferring them to me. That is not an option for a slew of reasons:
1) We've never been successful before
2) We don't know if my uterus will be okay by then
3) We really don't want to go down that road again, the literal driving part but also the injections, the appointments, the calls, the disappointments
4) It was discovered in my blood workup YEARS ago that I am heterozygous for the prothrombin gene mutation, which puts me at significant risk for stroke and blood clot. With that combined with my tendency to have migraine with aura, my current OB/GYN refuses to put me on anything with estrogen in it. Which means progesterone-only birth control pill, or Depo Provera (which I start next week, because the progesterone-only pill was a nightmare of constant and unpredictable bleeding that left me feeling like a 14 year old again and also hampered my quality of life at home, ahem, a LOT). Which also means he doesn't recommend any additional estrogen, which would be utterly necessary for another transfer. (It also means menopause is probably going to be craptastic, because estrogen therapy falls under that umbrella, too, I bet.)
That last one is huge. That last one had my doctor saying, somewhat dramatically, "So, let me get this straight. You are planning to adopt a child, become a mother, and then purposely put yourself at risk for a life-threatening clot by doing a frozen transfer afterwards?" Yeah. I sound like the douchiest of douches when put that way. I have always been willing to put my own health second to a chance at becoming a mother, which drives Bryce crazy, but when you think about the fact that I would finally be a mother, finally have that caregiving responsibility, finally be parenting, and risk my health to do it again in a way that has pretty much proven to us how slim the chances of success are... it sounds awful. I can't do it.
I am left in a place that's strange, because there is a calming sense of closure that comes with realizing that I will never be pregnant, EVER. I have been able to hang on to this fantasy of having it all thanks to those frozens, and that's all it is, a fantasy. Which means in opposition to this closure is the death of a dream.
And I am sad, so, so desperately sad. Which is appropriate, I guess. I mourned it when we walked away from our embryos and opened the beautiful door to adoption. But I could hold on to that tiny sliver of hope that I wasn't REALLY walking away, because there was still this CHANCE that pregnancy could still be mine one day. Except it won't be.
That's okay, because that part of our journey was filled with pain and loss and a constant feeling of failure. Failure that made me question myself, question my body's usefulness, question how much I could put myself through. How much I could put OURSELVES through, really. It's incredibly hard to realize that my stubbornness pushed us away from our current pathway to parenthood initially, that we could have opened that door years ago if I wasn't so stuck on the fantasy of pregnancy.
I will move through this, I will heal and not be split, no matter how infinitesimally, between the hope for a pregnancy and the reality and beauty of adoption as our best choice for parenthood. I will let go of the fantasy, finally, and put it in the ground so that I can focus on the unfurling hopes and dreams that are waiting for us through adoption, on the other side of this wait, that have a definitiveness that pregnancy never did. It's kind of freeing, actually.
I love this quote from Helen Keller, one that used to irk me when I was being obstinate (or tenacious, depending on how you look at it) but that now expresses pretty perfectly how I feel about our journey up until this point:
When one door of happiness closes, another one opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us... -- Helen Keller
I'm ready to consider that door and see it for what it is -- closed and locked and perhaps even blocked on the other side with a bureau or a chair wedged up under the doorknob. I'm ready to walk through that open door unfettered by backwards glances at what will never be, to accept that that particular dream is gone, but that the new door offers a dream that is SO MUCH BETTER for so many reasons.
PS -- I will write about something happier next time, promise. Just muddling through at the moment.
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