My husband gave a speech today at Toastmasters. He talked about his wife convincing the family to do surrogacy, and how he was against it at first, but then he came around. He came around because my generosity inspired him, and his love for his kids challenged him to make that possible for someone else. He gave a speech today about how awesome this has been for our family, and how amazing I am.
Today, amazing me, worried and fretted, and pleaded with God and second guessed and basically just freaked out. Today generous me, wondered why the hell I decided to do this in the first place. Today I thought maybe God was punishing me.
I thought all those things as I waited for the blood to start flowing, like it did last Saturday, in a sudden, scary gush. It was nothing like the bleeding I experienced with both of my own children. That was alarming, this was terrifying. Thankfully within a couple of hours it stopped. Those hours were awful. When you call the reproductive specialists and report bleeding, they basically tell you to get off your feet and wait. You wait, and wait to see if this is just a something, or if this is the worst.
Wednesday we found out it was just a something, but a something that could turn into the worst. It’s a hemorrhage common with IVF, in fact as many as half of all IVF patients run into this complication to various degrees. They kind of gloss over these kinds of things when you sign on for this. “You could have complications as IVF has a higher complication rate, but everything looks really good on your end, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about” they say after physically evaluating you. With the first Hitchhiker, I had one of these hemorrhages, but it was small and resolved before it ever showed up anywhere but the ultrasound, it really was no big deal. This one though is big, bigger than the baby’s entire life containing sac, and it sits right next to him. It’s blood vessels trying to bring more blood to the uterus, but too much or it’s part of the lining tearing away. Whichever it is, it’s a growing clot of blood,and if it grows too much it will kill the baby. “It’s a pretty sizeable one” the doctor said in a sober voice. Then he went on to tell me not to have sex or exercise until we saw improvement, but “that’s really just so you don’t feel like you have caused anything bad to happen”. In reality, there is nothing I can do to stop it, or make it worse. Nothing.
No, I just have to wait. I have to wait for more bleeding. A) a sign that it is emptying out and shrinking B) a sign it’s gotten worse and my body wants to keep bleeding or C) the beginning of a miscarriage because the clot has gotten the best of the baby. That is crap. Such crap. The percentages are in our favor, but still, seriously, I am waiting to bleed and then waiting to see if the bleeding is too much.
Next week if the worst hasn’t happened I will walk into another ultrasound appointment, with two desperate parents by my side, and we will wait to see. Will there still be a heartbeat, or just one giant clot of blood?
Seeing the heartbeat this week was supposed to be a big sigh of relief, the numbers were stronger, the symptoms stronger this pregnancy. We weren’t going to have to say that dreadful word miscarriage. But here we are saying it again, and talking about blood and how much is too much.
And in the midst of this, photos are all over Facebook of a woman’s “beautiful" 8 week old miscarried fetus. Those pictures aren’t beautiful to me. They are my nightmare. After another 3 months of medications, my hips so swollen with injected oil they burn and are covered in stretch marks, after losing one hitchhiker, I don’t want to see a beautiful 8 week old fetus anywhere but on an ultrasound with a flashing heartbeat. Because damn it, I have worked hard for this.
And there you go, awesome, generous me, is worried about all the work I have put in, and I want the experience I signed my family up for. I want to hand over a full term baby to a happy couple. I’m pretty selfish at this point and I am anything but awesome. I am frustrated, I am angry, I am a nervous wreck.
I know it could be worse, so much worse. Women far more awesome than me have experienced far worse. I have two amazing kids tucked into their beds right now, in my home, far from danger. My life is pretty great actually. Which makes this worry, and anger, and frustration so much harder to bare.