Before we started this last cycle, Jeff and I tentatively agreed that we would give it two more tries and then call it a day. We had (or thought we had) the coverage, so why not give it a go? After three, we would start to look seriously at adoption. But that was miles away, miles and miles.
After the first week of stims, in that hyped-up, ripening state, I thought the plan feasible. Three seemed like a good cutoff.
After that first follicle count showed just six, and I had gotten over my first meltdown, I thought, it's hard, really hard, but I can do this at least one more time. Maybe not twice, but once, for sure.
After they retrieved just four eggs, I wondered, can I really handle this disappointment again? Maybe. Probably. I think so.
After the call came yesterday, I thought, very simply, I am not pregnant. I didn't say to myself, I will never be pregnant. I thought, devastated as I am, I might be able to do it again.
After the meeting with Dr. Katz this morning, when the words "poor responder" were officially added to my file, and after he said I could try a microdose protocol next time, and not to give up on my own eggs yet, something snapped. Pregnancy, no matter how many cycles I do, is now just a chance, not a probability.
I don't know if I can do it again. The physical part is certainly uncomfortable, but so easily forgotten. I could handle that over and over and over, as often as needed. Seeing my body's failings unfold, and living with the arc of those pendulous, swollen disappointments, though--these I cannot take in stride. I am battered, I am torn up, I am filled with pain. The best I can do may be a grudging, eventual acceptance that does not contain any hope. Will that will be enough to propel me through another cycle?
I don't know. I just don't know. Perhaps it's too soon to know.
For now, I cry, and try to care about something in the world that isn't the one thing I can't have. I'm not succeeding, but I'm trying.
We are deeply indebted to you for your beautiful comments and unfailing support. I read some of them to Jeff, who promised forever ago never to look at my blog and has kept his word. We were both moved to tears by your thoughtfulness and compassion.
Tomorrow morning, we will drive to Yosemite to recuperate for a couple of days. We realized today that it's our anniversary; we spent our brief honeymoon there, five years ago, and I am afraid of tainting the memory with our current misery. But perhaps it will help us remember life's grandeur and scale, and not its small, condensed sadnesses.