Monday, February 18, 2008

Sadness, Love, Joy

I am feeling better than I thought I would. Maybe this is because it is too exhausting to be sad. Beyond the physical toll of crying (which I do easily anyway), being sad takes on a physical form, like a heavy coat you can't take off. Thankfully, this weekend's sunny weather was matched by my mood; the coat was left crumpled in the corner by our pile of shoes.

I thought I would need to give the sadness more room before I could shrug it off, that it would demand my attention for longer. This time, what I feel is more like a shadow, a small companion that pokes up at unknown intervals. I was braced for a crushing loss, but happily this feels quieter and frankly more gentle than I'd feared. Even more so than this fall, the disappointment about not being pregnant quickly gave way to a feeling that this is not the end of the road.

Don't get me wrong; I hate traveling this road. But as much as I hate it, I am not ready to get off yet. I have frozen embryos, and despite the low probability that even one of them will one day become a fetus, I can't walk away from them.

I may be able to have another full fresh cycle, too. Hours after hearing from Jill, I called my parents to tell them the news. After expressing sadnesses for the outcome and my feelings, my father asked what we might do next. I told him that I could not stop trying while we still had frozen embryos. He remembered that a fresh cycle was more likely to have a positive outcome than a frozen, and asked if we would do that again. Chris and I do not have the money to explore this option, but before I could say that, my father offered to help. He explained that he and my mother have the money, and if we wanted to use it for another try, that they would want that to happen.

In my moments of need, my father is unfailingly and so graciously generous. In offering his help, he never suggested that he expects anything in return, that we owe him in any way. I am so lucky to have family support, both emotional and financial.

We will talk to the doctor in a couple of weeks, and see what he thinks about our options. On Thursday Jill told me that if we wanted to start a frozen cycle, we could go ahead now. I doubt that the doctor will try to dissuade us from a fresh cycle, which is a better chance overall. If the quality of my eggs is consistent with last time, I imagine he'll endorse this course.

The trick now is to both plan for a fresh cycle, and for one or two frozen cycles if the fresh one doesn't pan out, while simultaneously recognizing the strong likelihood that none of these attempts will work. I am not now at a place where I believe in that my future does not include a second biological child. I am still hopeful that this child will show up. To get through the attempts to make this happen, I need to believe that there is a chance this will happen, but also be ready to fully embrace life without that other child.

Last night Chris told me that over the past few days he has more strongly appreciated Ada than he did before Thursday's news. Coming off a rough new year with Ada, both Chris and I have been in survival mode. We have held on while she has been a screaming, whining whirlwind of tantrums and experiments in increased control over her life. Thankfully, those week have flowed into a new period that mostly features sweetness and interest in others. The return to an easier time, right as we learn that we did not get the second pregnancy for which we'd hoped, that was a gift.

Even if Ada had not returned to her "normal" self, I think Chris would still have an increased appreciation for her qualities. He is better at loving what he has than I am. Luckily I have a lot to love in him and Ada.

What I love

I wish I could say that if we can not have another child that I will never feel sad about it. Even the most practiced Polyanna would probably agree that this is unlikely. But if we never had another child, and I felt as I do today - thankful for and thrilled with what I have now, with only moments of sadness or jealousy for what I did not get - that would be a good life.


  1. I am not very appreciative of the good &c. Ask Mo. But I really feel what you wrote. Thank you. Now, to learn grammar.

  2. Sometimes it is just an honour to read your words. You express yourself so beautifully that I feel your intense struggle and I am left speechless. I keep hoping that your dreams come true.

  3. I agree with the others - it's a wonderfully expressed post, though I am also sad that us internet peeps aren't reading that things have gone the other way. I'm really happy that you have a wonderful family to support you and you seem to have one of the best dads in the whole wide world :)

    Fingers crossed again ...

  4. Happy to see your post - you're doing really well. I'm glad.

    Family support of the monetary kind (and the other kind) is how we got through three IVFs. It wasn't happening otherwise. And my father was tickled to help - it was so out there for him - cutting edge medical technology, no exposure through other people - he was totally amused to participate by writing a big check.

  5. I can't help but think, looking at Ada and that cute family picture, that it's worked before. Maybe not this last time, but clearly, it can be done and dad gets a big round of applause from me. Your strength and determination are inspiring. When you are ready I'll definately be cheering you on.

  6. I am glad that your family is rallying around you and that Ada is in a stage that is not making this harder. I think of you often with warm & loving thoughts and I hope that you are surprised by joy in this and in other things.

    Love to you & Ada & Chris.

  7. (un)relaxeddad2/20/2008 2:14 PM

    The most appropriate thing seems to be to look forward with you towards the next cycle and to hope for the best. And admire your capacity to accept what's gone on so far and keep doing the next thing.

  8. I was sad for you and am cheered by your wonderful attitude. Thanks.

    We all have to live through disappointment daily, some small some not so small. Seeing that we don't have to let it take over everthing is good to remember.