Hours after receiving the disappointing news of our beta results, Husband and I sprawled on our sofas and started watching Real Time with Bill Maher. As per usual, we were both fast asleep before the end of the opening monologue. I felt a bit disoriented when I woke up in the living room, and as I made my way to my bed, I had a fleeting thought that my negative test might have been a dream. Except I knew that it wasn't. The magnitude of the failed transfer was really starting to settle. In someways, it was more disappointing than my recent miscarriage. I had such little faith that my first transfer would produce a viable pregnancy. This embryo was perceived to be superior. This transfer was supposed to work! Yet, it seems harder to mourn an embryo that never resulted in a pregnancy. In some ways, I feel relieved to have a decisive BFN rather than a chemical pregnancy or third miscarriage.
Thanks to all these heavy thoughts running through my head, I was now wide awake and felt I was due for a good cry. Not wanting to wake Husband, who was sleeping by my side, I returned to the living room. It felt as if I were giving myself permission to break down. I started to sob, but I couldn't produce any tears. I just couldn't bring myself to cry.
I was up early the next morning to make my way to the pool for our first meet of the season. As we were waiting for the warm-up pool to open, I overheard two men in their mid-forties talking about their children. I knew that one of these Dads had triplets, but of course, I never wanted to ask any of the nosy questions that we all are thinking. I had been considering sharing some of my experience with infertility and perhaps gain some insight as to how they resulted with triplets. Without needing any prompting, he told his teammate, "We needed a little help and we got a lot of help. There was a 1% risk for triplets and we hit it." Ah, it was probably Clomid... I thought to myself. Not quite the same process as going through IVF and making a decision about the number of embryos to transfer. Maybe our infertility experience wasn't such a common thread. Feeling more alone and sad about our unsuccessful conception to date, I felt the urge to cry. I quickly excused myself and headed to the women's locker room. Locked in the last stall, I leaned against the wall and put my hands over my face. Yet, no tears fell.
After only five weeks of training, I still feel very unfit for competition, but somehow I managed to swim rather fast. I heard my time after my 100 yd Free and asked, "how?" I saw what I had seeded myself for my 100 IM and thought, what the fuck was I thinking? Yet, I managed to beat that time. I'm not too far off from my best times, and with all things considered; I'm really happy with that. As our team gathered at a local microbrewery for a celebratory post meet drink, I spotted a woman with a very small baby at the next table. I guess others noticed the infant as well, as the conversation shifted to Amanda and her pregnancy. I left the table to use the restroom, but I acknowledged that it was more of a reflexive action. Somehow, I had managed to make myself so numb that I just can feel anything any more. Disappointment has become my norm and I just can't cry any more.
As I walked back to my car, I went through my all too familiar routine of embracing all the things I can enjoy in my non-pregnant state. Moments after I turned over the ignition in my car, I noticed that the 'check engine' light was illuminated; and I burst into tears.