Still a Mother

Today was hard. We’ve known for almost 3 weeks that our IVF transfer was unsuccessful, but today was the first time we have spoken to our doctor about it. I could tell my heart was starting to heal and out of nowhere the wound became dehisced.

We wanted to find out the gender of all three of our embryos so that is what we went to the doctor for today. Even though two of them were genetically “abnormal,” they were each still a life made from Carter and me. Of those two, both were girls.

Let me point out that I am a very scientifically minded person who looks for the “why” behind why things happened instead of looking at things from a solely emotional perspective. I never could understand why people who miscarried early in their pregnancy could be so distraught or consider themselves a “bereaved parent.” I think about how I used to feel that way and I am completely ashamed because I get it now. My IVF failed, but I still loved each of those embryos from the day I learned there were 3. In my heart and mind I had 3 babies. Though I knew we couldn’t transfer the 2, I didn’t think of them as any less my children than the one we transferred.

The day of our transfer we went in the room and they showed us our embryo on a live monitor. Now I have zero clue as to what an embryo is supposed to look like, but my doctor was pointing things out and said it still looked perfect. We did the transfer after my bladder almost exploded, and I had about a week of pure bliss where I had no doubt in my mind that it worked. Then a few days before my blood work everything changed. I no longer “felt” pregnant. I didn’t have any overt signs of miscarriage and nothing happened directly, but I knew. When I did my bloodwork it only confirmed what I already felt. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. I have been in the depths of depression before and so not only was I grief-stricken, but I also became very anxious about the thought of returning to that dark place that took years to pull myself out of before. At this point I shut down and avoided anything that was a reminder of what I had just lost. Thankfully I have Carter. He didn’t allow me to remain numb. He forced me to feel the pain and grief that I buried, and he is the one that insisted we find out the genders of our babies. I will never be able to explain how grateful I am for that.

This brings us to the embryo we transferred, as we also found out what the gender of that one was. I had my doctor write it on a piece of paper because I knew the second he told me it would be the end of any remaining conversation. We got to the car and we looked. “46, XX (female)” is all that was written. I thought that moment would cause me to feel the agony of losing my child all over again, but I actually felt excitement because I was a little girl’s mother. I will never know what her smile will look like, or what her laugh will sound like. I will never get to take her to the zoo, or teach her how to read. All of these things I will never know about her and it saddens me, but she will always be with me in my heart.

So for now I will embrace her memory. I will think of her with every workout when I do my warm-up and still feel the pain in my hips from my injections. I will think of her every time I paint my toenails pink (Carter still has his painted). She is my daughter and I will forever be grateful for her.

One thought on “Still a Mother

  1. My heart is hurting for you again. What you were feeling was real. It is heart wrenching to know that you made a “baby” and for some unknown reason it was not to be. You should grieve, be mad, be hurt and feel all of those emotions that women feel when the fruit of your labor and love disappears. I am so deeply sorry for you and Carter’s loss and I also grieve for myself that you had to go through this but I feel in the future it will have made you stronger. Empathy has always been one of your strong points but now you have experienced a terrible loss and Your feelings for others will be that much stronger. I love you both and I would have love all three girls.

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