letting go, again

I’ve been trying to find some way to address this issue, to deal with it in real life and to write about it. But I haven’t.

Back in December 2008, nine months ago, we got (yet another) bill from our (in)fertility clinic for frozen storage. After our IVF failed despite a great response, we tried an FET in March 2008 that represented our “last hope” for a biological child. We doubted whether it would work, given my history, but there was reason to try.

After it failed we still had embryos remaining, though we were not convinced they would ever = real live baby. My RE (aka Dr. Reassuring) later convinced me not to view the remaining frosties as the “bottom of the barrel” since they can’t yet predict how each embryo will respond in the human body. She encouraged us to try again, at some point down the road.

Of course we never went down that road and chose a different path instead. We know we chose the right path for us; it led us to our child, the baby I truly believe we were meant to parent.

The truth is, with my wounded womb, I was unlikely to ever carry a baby to term, even with amazing new scientific advances. I know this now. It took me years to believe it, to know it in my heart. But I know this to be true.

I will never be pregnant again. I will never carry a baby to term. That door, if it ever was open, is closed now.

It was this realization that allowed me to finally face the irrefutable fact of my infertility and ultimately learn to accept it. This realization, painful as it was, enabled me to find a way to keep moving forward instead of continuing to spin in my tracks forever.

Yet these microscopic cells — created in December 2007 and now stored in a tiny tray tucked away somewhere in a seven story building downtown — still represent the lost hope of our biological children. Frozen in time, these little clusters captured a part of a 38 year old Luna and 41 year old M desperately trying our luck at what was, for us, an impossible gamble.

Those frozen clusters are the only thing we have conceived in four years, since I became pregnant with the son we lost. In reality, they are the last thing we will ever conceive, as I near the end of my supposedly “fertile” years.

They are a part of us — our past and our lost future. And it’s time to let them go.

Piled on my desk are several pages of official looking forms that we need to review and sign after informed consent and a visit to the notary, and return to our official sounding institution. We did this all once before. But these documents have been sitting here for months, and the pestering calls keep coming. Seems they need to know whether we would like to donate our frosties to research or have them destroyed. Great.

I wish I could view these little clusters as “life,” but I can’t. They represent a mere chance at life. In my body, they have no chance of becoming a real living, breathing baby. How is that life? (This is a rhetorical question; no need to answer it from a scientific or religious perspective, especially since I might not publish your comment. Hey, it’s my blog.)

Had we any faith that they were decent enough quality — along with a bank account that could withstand another huge gamble — I might still be fantasizing about finding a surrogate to try again and complete our family. I may have “resolved” my infertility but I still want Baby J to have a sibling.  But that’s not going to happen any time soon.

No, these cells represent the hopes and dreams we once had that have since faded away. A final loss, perhaps.

Yet it’s still hard to sign on that dotted line.

I didn’t even want to write about this. I just wanted to avoid the whole situation. In fact, I refused to even discuss it for about a year. But a recent heartbreaking post by Lost in Space brought to the surface all the emotions this loss raises. (Thanks also to  Mel for highlighting this post in the Friday Roundup. It was just what I needed to read in a very cathartic sense.)

~ by luna on August 25, 2009.

18 Responses to “letting go, again”

  1. You know you won’t get any arguments from me. Just a huge I am sorry. About the whole road here, and about you needing to face this decision at all. And of course it is a loss. Of course. Among the very many other things, this is also a loss of a chance to ever catch a glimpse of your son’s features in another child. To get a fleeting idea what his smile might’ve looked like. That is not always a comforting thing, but to have your chance at it taken away is a loss. And I am sorry.

    (Oh, and I think there’s a sentence that got inverted in the last paragraph. You may or may not want to fix that. :))

  2. Luna, infertility sadly leaves us with a whole ton of other shit to grieve. And here you have actual physical stuff that needs dealt with, which brings up all of the ephemeral. You need to do what you think is right, what sits well with you, what will help you move forward. Thinking of you and remembering while you make these tough decisions.

  3. It’s such a process of coming to terms mentally, emotionally, and (in this case) physically with the finality of certain infertility. When you realize and accept a fate without any future chance of a pregnancy it’s very sobering. A process, I’m finding, takes time and patience with oneself. So many things to sort out. And I imagine having Baby J as your daughter both eases and complicates the process, too. Both because you are finally parenting after all you’ve been through and also because you so desire a sibling for her, etc etc etc. I can only imagine. But you are strong and wise. This is a very real and significant loss, Luna. I’m so sorry. Wishing you peace and as few bumps along this path as possible. (((hugs)))

  4. How sad – I’m sorry you have to go through all this. It must be so hard. I’ll be thinking of you.

  5. I’m listening, Luna, and abiding with you. And wishing you peace, always.

  6. I’m so sorry.

  7. Brenda’s post really moved me as well, just as this post did. If anyone can understand the real loss that goes with this, it’s this community. I can only begin to imagine how big that dotted line has become. Thinking of you…

  8. Ooh, that last post was form me…Shelby!

  9. I’m so sorry for these difficult decisions. Infertility treatments force us to make decisions no one should ever have to make.

  10. What a hard decision to make. There are no easy answers. Sending you some (((hugs))).

  11. Man that is a hard decision. I loved that Letting Go post by Brenda too, moving man. While I have nothing at the time to let go of (embryo wise), maybe my sick hope is a prospect… no not yet. xoxoxo

  12. Just the other day I opened my bedside drawer to take out a needle and some thread – and I “noticed” a vial – estrace. Why had I kept it. It read 2007, not so long ago. 2 years ago I had started trying again. I threw them away knowing full well I still also kept some needles and a IVF CD under my sink. Souvenirs I guess. I read that post by Brenda too. I never really looked at my embryos as actual life. I didn’t name them when they were inside of me. I never had a picture of a bunch of cells. I never considered them actual babies. Just chances. Dreams. Hopes. And when I used the last of them in an unmedicated cycle, they stayed that way. If I had to pay another year to keep them on ice, I was going to use them damn it! Mine to dispose of in the Deathstar – or a last shot at a miracle.

    It sounds like you have already say goodbye to those dreams. Now it’s just a question of letting go the balloons.

  13. How hard to have to deal with all of this too…I hope the deciding and the acting on the decision goes easy on your mind and heart. You don’t need me to say it but I will, do what is right for you and it will be the right thing.
    I can’t believe it has already been 12 weeks. Wow!

  14. This must be a very hard decision to make, Luna. I’m thinking of you as you mull over all that it means.

  15. Luna, this brings me to tears. I’m sorry and wish I knew how to make this any easier. What a difficult position you are put in to make this decision. I’m so sorry for all you have lost and for “stirring the pot” so to speak and bringing so many emotions to the surface. Our embies and yours held hopes and dreams which are so hard to let go. Huge hugs.

  16. Good bye little frosties.

    Goodbye beautiful and sad dream. It’s hard to see you go.

    May you continue to receive new things.

  17. I am sorry. It is hard to really, really let go. I thought, before this FET worked (so far), that I would get one more “one last chance” with my eggs. I have been doing what I have never done before – I am not thinking about it. I know there is nothing left to figure out so that is what I tell myself. “What is there to think about?” I don’t think it is probably a long term solution, but maybe it is.

    My thoughts are with you.

  18. […] internal struggle, and with M too, about how much would be too much. In fact, we still have several frosties on ice waiting to be donated to research that in theory could have provided a chance for a sibling for our […]

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