Although it wasn't a critical detail, part of my strategery for wanting to do a freeze-all cycle and a transfer on a later date (perhaps in the new year) was to avoid the potential for pregnancy on the anniversary of our ill-fated spontaneous conception. As it turned out, my transfer was only a few days before that one year mark. Obviously, I'm relieved that the transfer succeeded in producing a BFP (I finally had a true positive pregnancy test on 17dp3dt) as I'm sure it would have been much more painful to reflect on those memories while nursing a BFN. At the same time, I feel like I'm merely reliving my experience from last year. If (American) Thanksgiving were later this year, I would be squinting over my pee sticks during the long Thanksgiving weekend again. Random fact: last year Thanksgiving was on the 22nd -the earliest day it can ever be. This year it's on the 28th -the latest day it can ever be.
I ran the same 10K race on Thanksgiving day (with a m-u-c-h slower time). I found a place to stretch so I could avoid watching the Little Turkey's 100 yard dash, but I was still wiping away tears. I feel a little more confident that we'll eventually have our own little turkey competing in that race, but I acknowledge that I might not yet be holding my little turkey by this time next year. I went to my aunt's house for dinner and evaded my cousin's husband's questions about our plans for children. Last year, it was ironic that I was secretly pregnant while I was denying my intentions to procreate. This year, I was let in on the secret. I decided I could play the 'most other women don't know they are pregnant at this time' card and allowed myself a half glass of wine with dinner.
There are other events this time of year that conjure memories. Last year during our field hockey league play-offs, I informed my captain that I was 5 minutes pregnant and asked her to run penalty corners for me. Even though I knew it was okay to play, I was distracted the entire game and played really poorly. I started spotting the next day, which I know has nothing to do with the fact that I played. Yet, I just couldn't sign up to play at this time around. Pregnancy aside, I've only played in a few games this season, I've had conflicts with some swimming and running events as well as being excused for infertility treatments. I don't feel like I've been enough of the team to represent us in the play-offs.
My swim team is planning our annual holiday party. Leading up to the event last year, I was contemplating how I would hide the fact that I wasn't drinking. Cranberry juice and Sprite as a mocktail or secretly empty a bottle of Rolling Rock and refill it with something else? By the end of the week I was able to drink what ever I wanted. We've started training for our kicking time trials , which was a helpful distraction after my miscarriage last year. Myrtle called me on a Saturday morning while I was at the farmer's market. My mind flashed back a year ago when I received a call from Myrtle while I was at the farmer's market; "Is everything all right?" she asked "I was starting to worry when I hadn't heard from you in a few days." "As far as I know everything is fine, but we'll know more after our ultrasound on Wednesday." I replied, unaware that we've never make it to that ultrasound appointment. I decided it was best to let her call go to voicemail this time.
I had a dentist appointment to get a filling replaced, and as I sat in the waiting room, I wondered if I should inform them that I'm five minutes pregnant. Part of me felt it was just due diligence, but I also knew it wasn't exactly germane for them. The procedure is safe during pregnancy, and I knew they wouldn't do anything differently based on that information. Last year, as a woman fresh off her first ever BFP, I couldn't resist sharing the news with my hair dresser when she asked if I had kids. Although I doubted that she'd remember me at all, I couldn't go back to her. I decided against telling my dentist and his assistant. I didn't want to hear any coos of 'Congratulations!' over my protests that it's still so early and most women don't even know that they are pregnant at this time. I have another appointment in two weeks and I wouldn't want to have any additional people to inform if this pregnancy is non-viable. I'm not prepared to answer any questions such as, 'when's your due date?' and although I want to explain that we did IVF, I want to know if we're dealing with twins before I make that announcement.
I suppose that is the one variable that makes our present situation different from last year. Knowing that I barely could muster one mature follicle and with Husband's anemic sperm count, I felt completely confident that we would not be having twins. Yet, the thought crossed my mind when I started spotting, as sometimes that can be a sign. When I went in to be scanned, I had an initial sigh of relief when I only saw one sac. That was before I noticed that it was rather small, empty, irregularly shaped and in the lower segment of my uterus... Still, there was only one... My beta on Wednesday came back at 440. Okay, slightly more than double from Monday, but I did go to the lab a little later, so this was at 51 hours.
"I know you can't always tell from this;" I asked New Girl, "does this seem more consistent with a rise for a singleton?" I sensed that it was, but I needed someone else to confirm. She replied that in her years of working in REI, "when it's twins, the numbers are crazy high." I didn't ask how she defines 'crazy high'. New Girl just has such an articulate way of describing things. When she first reviewed my protocol with me she noted, "you are on a ton of meds..." A ton of meds. Awesome. It seemed like a typical regimen to me. I was wondering if she were brand new to this field, and thus perceived it to be a lot of medications, but apparently she has worked in other infertility clinics for a number of years and is just new to this office. I asked if I could have one more done, just for my own piece of mind. "Sure" she answered "But we're closed on Friday and won't be able to give you your results." Not a problem. I had the lab tech fax a copy to our office. So, while everyone else was trying not to get mauled at the mall on Black Friday, I was alone in my office catching up on charting and waiting by the fax machine. This is how everyone should received her beta results. 970. Just a little higher than doubling, but once again the draw was done at 50 hours after the previous one. Still, it's not 'crazy high'. Starting to release a slight sigh of relief...
Yet, I can't imagine how difficult this is for anyone who has had more than one miscarriage, or for anyone who progressed beyond six weeks. These milestones that are supposed to be reassuring have previously betrayed you. How can you trust them again? It feels so eerie to be going through going through this process again at the same time as last year. It echos the notion that we've been down this road before...and serves as a reminder that yeah...things didn't work out. I know it doesn't mean that history is bound to repeat itself, but is also doesn't mean we're guaranteed an alternative ending either.
It was also last year during the long Thanksgiving weekend that I debuted my blog. I often wonder how we functioned before the internet, but I especially can't fathom how infertile women navigated through their treatments without Google. I merely wanted an outlet to express my thoughts, which has been cathartic in itself, but I never imagined that anyone would be interested in following my story. I've often commented that I feel that many of us would be friends in real life; infertility and blogging are simply the vectors that brought us together, but I now appreciate that many legitimate friendships have developed. Thank you all for your interest, your comments and all the support you've given me. I've not only survived the past year of dealing with infertility, thanks to you -I've thrived.