I made a pact with myself to keep mum about my transfer in real life as well as my online support system. Some of my more intimate confidants knew we would inevitably make another attempt with our frozen embryos, but the summer played out like a comedy of errors with a pair of star-crossed ovaries at center stage as the plot twisted its sinuous path through a static postpartum month in which the trifecta of pregnancy hormones had long-since bottomed out, yet the lining was inexplicably fattened, foiling the June plan for an operative scope. I went on Provera to induce a period, but, instead, it brought on a trio of functional cysts that needed to be ruptured by a trigger shot followed by another luteal phase. I went on birth control ahead of the scope in early July in hopes of quieting down these hormonal hijinks, and I started medication for the FET the day we returned from Oregon. I spent those tranquil summer weeks walking the beach and generally inhabiting my zen place until my penultimate pre-transfer monitoring bloods revealed that I had somehow ovulated through the medication some time around the first week of August. (This happens in .61% of my clinic’s FET cycles using this protocol, should anyone beg the question; please carefully note the decimal point.) This comical series of misadventures afforded a host of legitimate distractors to bob and weave through conversations with well-meaning friends who wanted to pin down dates when we would be vulnerable.
As far as the blog, I cringed at the idea of posting forum-style updates on hormone levels, lining measurements, embryo grades, and symptoms. Those old habits sink me back into that repugnant self-loathing of a desperado, like Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day, wooing a snarling Andie McDowell over breakfast pastries for the 567th time until he prefers to throw himself off a bridge. Some of you asked, and most often I dodged, in part, because I wanted to abate the crescendo of anticipation that builds around the process, to side-step the well-worn routines that inflame my post-traumatic stress and all the images it conjures of blank pregnancy test windows and crying in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.
But those old demons found me anyway.
I am currently 6dp5dt. We opted to transfer two because my doctor said it would give the cycle an 80% chance of success, and both B and I were feeling especially fragile after The Loss. The reassurance of the double-transfer data mollified the demons for many weeks, but there are few proactive strategies capable of quelling the kind of panic that takes hold in the days just prior to Beta, which is, this round, made substantially more high-stakes than any preceding it since it is the reckoning on exactly half of all the biologically-ours embryos we’ll ever have. I am squeezing my breasts obsessively, wishing with my whole heart for a tender nipple or a wave of crampy ligament-stretching. When I got pregnant with Dakota, I wrote a similar post at 5dp5dt, and was subsequently overcome by nausea at work about 3 hours later, which made me feel so adorably silly for counting myself out prematurely. Two days after that I thought I was going to lose my breakfast in a tire store because of a heightened sensitivity to the stink of rubber, which fortified my courage to face my pregnancy test with composure. This time I feel stone-cold normal, and that reality is hatching a white-hot electric terror in my bones. I cried today for the first time, a gasping, grievous please no please no please no entreaty to the universe to spare me another round of soul-shredding failure. I am fully in the clutches of this thing, and the feelings are not governed by data or reason.
I just hope one of these is still alive in there. I don’t know how I can muster the resilience to face the alternative.