This past weekend marked the end of the last week of summer at home, and what a gorgeous week it was–filled with all those lovely summer treats like cheese from Love Lane, local cabernet with friends over a sprawling vista of verdant grapevines, sand, ocean, shellfish, fresh vegetables, fire pits, family dinners, sunsets, boats, books devoured on breezy afternoons, grilling, music, kisses, wet bathing suits and tan-lines….”These are a few of my faaaavorite things.” The yin to this yang has been the reality of injections (5 per day, to be exact) and worry, one very upsetting baseline monitoring appointment and ambiguous screw-up at the (stupid) local clinic, Xanax-induced sleep, a weepy support group session, feelings of hopelessness and resignation. So in a strange way, the last week has really been a microcosm of the past couple of months of things going haywire beyond the grasp of my control, cooky emotions, and a desperate, no, tenacious effort to just savor what is here and wonderful. It’s a constant tussle between the two, so I have been, yeah, I’ll admit it: moody. And the hormones really double-down on that.
I go back to work in a few days for meetings, and that afternoon I’m getting on a plane for Denver, where I’ll spend Labor Day weekend as passenger on the thrill-a-minute ride of IVF#5. So it’s business time! There’s so much to accomplish between finishing projects around the house, writing my opening-day letter, setting up the classroom, making plans. Plus I go for monitoring on Wednesday, when they will measure my growing follicles for the first time this cycle (nervous!), and since Long Island IVF blew it with my AFC last week, I have to trek all the way into Manhattan to a different clinic to get a careful and competent person to do my scan. The proverbial train (or the literal plane) is pulling out of the station, and I wanted to take a minute to swim around in some gratitude for this summer because I feel like it saved me from myself with its beauty and sensual deliciousness.
What’s beginning, honestly, is terrifying. I can feel my heels digging into the stubborn earth because in some ways it’s more comforting to worry; it means there’s something to worry about, a chance, some wispy little current of hope that things could still work out, however unlikely, however hard I try to bat away thoughts like that because they leave me so vulnerable to crushing disappointment and the internal monologue of I-told-you-sos. I’m really scared that I really only have 4 antral follicles (like the nurse practitioner said at the baselines appointment) and not 8 (like she wrote in the report she sent to CCRM) and that my scan on Wednesday will confirm a doomed effort. I’m really scared that I will go through with retrieval and all my embryos will die in the lab, leaving nothing worth biopsying or transferring, and this will all be over–not just the cycle but my hope for my eggs. I’m really scared I will get this news on my first or second day in front of the kids, and I’ll have to just soldier on as if I haven’t just had my innards ripped out and stomped on because I won’t even be able to take a day off to pull myself together. I’m scared that we’ll get to biopsy and everything will be abnormal, and that’s when it will be over. As tormented as I am by the struggle of trying, I understand it; I know how to do this. The end is a big, black, terrifying abyss of I don’t know: the beginning of…something, but what? I suppose somewhere in the far reaches of the bell curve is a baby that is biologically mine, but that seems totally absurd to consider. The reality check voice inside my head just snickered a little (“Girl, stop kidding yourself.”) By the end of September, I’ll have an answer…holy shit. Cue chest constriction.
Where’s a crystal ball when you need one? Maybe then I could brace myself.