The phone rang at 3:00 p.m. and my gut just knew it was going to be disappointing. And it was. The nurse almost immediately said she was not calling with good news and I appreciated her getting right to the point. “None of the embryos were compatible with life,” she said. She suggested we schedule a consultation with our fertility doctor and told me I could go ahead and stop taking the birth control I had started to get my body ready for an embryo transfer. She also said to make a consultation with our genetics counselor to review the results, so we can understand what happened. I was kind, but brief in my replies, feeling just ready to get off the phone. Ever been there?
Thankfully, my husband was home to help ease the blow. My tears flowed and he was wonderful to me in every way. His words of encouragement were perfect and sincere. Despite this being a very difficult experience, I’m grateful for the new level of emotional intimacy that we have risen to together. Pain has a funny way of bonding people I suppose.
On another note, I confess that I deactivated my Facebook almost immediately after the call. While I enjoy seeing what is going on in the lives of my “friends,” I can’t help but also feel a bit down after perusing. The pictures of children and baby announcements are almost more than I can take lately. Selfish of me isn’t it? I’m ashamed, but being totally honest. While social media can be a great way to stay connected, I also think it creates an atmosphere of illusion, resulting in constant comparison. A person can be blessed beyond measure (as am I), but still somehow fall into the trap of comparing our everyday life with someone else’s highlight reel. Taking a step back for a while, feels like a wise decision and is on the agenda.
Apologies for the sidebar about Facebook. Now back to our PGS results! There are good things to consider, which I want to focus on with gratitude:
- The IVF process itself wasn’t that bad. I actually even enjoyed giving myself the shots! Strange, I know.
- We had 3 eggs fertilize. The number is small, but a good indicator of our potential for positive egg retrievals.
- Our 3 embryos made it to blastocyst, which in itself was a victory!
- I would much rather find out through genetic screening that our embryos aren’t viable instead of implanting and having a miscarriage.
- We are able to afford IVF, which I’m enormously grateful for. I know this is not the case for so many.
- IVF is an option! While this is an arduous process, it really is a First World Problem. The thought of it would be unheard of in many parts of the world.
Over the next few days, I’m certain I will obsess over this, which I dread. I wish I could be like a man and try my hand at compartmentalizing. I kid of course! Most women are just not dialed up that way and worrying is simply par for the course. I know my husband is hurting, which crushes me, but he has a way of consistently staying positive. I admire him immensely for this trait.
Despite our disappointments, there are so many things to be thankful for. I never want to lose sight of the blessings I have already been given (none of which I’m owed) and I have confidence in knowing that I serve a God who is sovereign and in complete control.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. -Habakkuk 3:17-18