Saturday, May 1, 2010

What if?

This post is a part of  National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24th–May 1st) and an awe inspiring joint venture between Melissa and Resolve.
Read about Infertility here.
It's called Project If  and there you will find the original What If's as well as the posts written in response to them here.

So I couldn't think of a What If, because to tell the truth I feel so lucky and surprised to be pregnant it's hard to go to the land of what if right now. Except when I wonder every day - what if my baby's heart has stopped beating? That's the biggest what if in my conscious mind.  And it happens over and over every day. I even rehearse the bad sad posts in my head because I am convinced  that one day this will all be over. So yeah, I am not so happy go lucky as I would like these days

After my 14 week unscheduled visit to my midwife ( because of a fall I had while walking my dogs - and spying gang bangers - ) and hearing the hearbeat at 148 BPM I am feeling a little reassured.

So I didn't know what to write my What If about. And then last night I had the weirdest dream.

It involved our sperm donor, our egg donor and our  remaining embryos. The What If was one of those greedy what if's that only people with one child are lucky enough to have. Yes, I'm ahead of the game. It was what if this baby that is growing inside me is the only one we ever have. Yes, I know that seems ungrateful to me and it certainly seems ungrateful if you are one of the hundreds of thousands ( and probably more) women struggling to have even one baby. But this is how my dreaming subconscious showed it to me:

(Insert funky dream music here)

The  Big Business Fertility Clinic told us that of the remaining  five embryos that we were hoping to use to conceive baby number two,  two had been thawed wrong ( and they mumbled something about not reading the instructions properly - WHAT?!!!!) And the three left didn't look promising. We could put them all back or try for another cycle with our donor.

The egg donor was in a room at the clinic and we were begging her to donate again because the remaining embryos didn't look good. She said she was scared to and that last time the people at the clinic had not treated her very well and been very blase about med doses and basically asked her what SHE thought was a good dose. 

The sperm donor had  gotten hold of our bank account number and had deposited twenty Euros into our account just to let us know that he could and to mess with our heads.

We were beside ourselves......

When I  woke up this morning and told Susan about my dream I had no idea what it meant.  And I am not one of those people who goes around interpreting my dreams. But then I looked at the three scenarios and realized what I thought it was all about.

In all three scenarios we were not in control -  yes, there was a semblance of control in that we could say we had five embryos ( which the clinic interfered with) we had an egg donor ( who the clinic had treated badly) and a sperm donor ( who was playing games with us). But how much control did we really have and how much do we have? Not a whole lot. And that, dear readers, is how the vast majority of us IFers live our lives. Bargaining with God, praying for good news, reaching out for that inevitable next plan and next addictive morsel of hope that comes with the plan. Not in a whole lot of control. The only control, I venture to say, is the kind of control that comes with letting go and knowing that our reaction  to disappointment, loss, heartbreak is the only thing we can control. Or that's what we like to believe.

The decision to use donor eggs came out of a wish for some kind of control. I wanted those embryos in my body, I didn't want to be at the mercy of the whims of first parents who might not pick us ( I mean, who would?) or social service departments nosing in our business and saying our house was too small or too untidy or too below ground! I wanted some say. Even if it was just in picking donors that we liked and felt some kinship with. Some people call this buying a baby. I do not.

By some fluke I had excellent insurance which would cover most of the procedures if not the eggs and sperm or freezing. It was the quickest, least costly way to our baby - and the one with the highest chance of success.  And so far it has worked. My fantasy of having some kind of control has almost born fruit. I have a baby inside me with  a beating heart and the usual number of limbs and organs. But my dream showed me how little control I really have, how many things can ( and have ) gone wrong and how fragile this life inside me is.

And because I don't know what else to do, I pray everyday that this little one inside me knows how to go on living and breathing despite my worry and despite the fact that I can't control much about this whole experience. I can eat, exercise, take deep breaths, stay off of high buildings and hope that the love I feel for this baby will keep her safe.

What if my baby is born well and she is  beautiful and we are the happiest parents alive? And what if, when the time is right, we have another one?


Fran said...

Oh sweetie, I can understand the fear that this super joy may be taken away. I'd feel the same I know. But like you say, there is very little in your control now, you have done all you could. I feel that everything will be just fine and that your remaining 5 embryos will in fact thaw perfectly and give you at least another baby. Much love, and do update more, I miss you! Fran

Anonymous said...

Those what-ifs never go away, even after your baby is born. I think that they are a side effect of undergoing infertility treatement in the first place.
I found it so hard to enjoy being pregnant because I just wanted to get thru it and hold my baby, to get him out of me before my screwed up, defective, evil body could hurt him.
You're not alone, that's for sure. Unfortunately, it's a big club.
Hang in there and try to set little goal milestones to make the time pass faster.

Best When Used By said...

Wow, what a dream. But lovely post - about letting go and only being able to control our own emotions. So true. I hope everything goes perfectly for you, both for this pregnancy, and your next!

tbean said...

It is so so hard to stop the what ifs. I know this will be an enormous challenge for me if I am lucky enough to conceive again. But it is true that life is full of what ifs and we are all on a quest to try and figure out how to live and embrace life fully, in spite of them.

Kir said...

here through the What IF project..

I loved your post, mostly because it shows that even in the out of control moments, it's NORMAL to feel the way you do.

of course you worry, as IFs we've read so many bad stories (good ones too!!!!! remember the good ones) that we are at the mercy of worry some days. I didn't spend one happy day during my pregnancy, I lived in fear..and HOPE. Always praying, hoping.

the thing is that once that baby girl of yours gets here, it doesn't worry, you ache, you wonder if another shoe will fall NOW , instead of before. Infertility gives and gives.

but she will bring you more joy than you ever imagined, and that is what I wish for you...Joy beyond your imagination.

Thanks for sharing :)

Kansas said...

When I first found out I was KU it was hard not to be one great big anxiety attack. In the beginning it was worrying that the heart would stop beating. Now in the middle, the worry is preterm labor, etc.

But I really want to be able to enjoy this pregnancy. So, I just take it one day at a time. And if I never get another day, then I'm thankful for what I had.

I want to say it gets easier, but I'm not exactly sure when that happens;) Wait until you feel your little bean moving around. That will help:)

As far as the dreams go, hang on honey, pregnancy dreams are f'd up! haha