The biggest news is that we made viability. Yay! I am 24 weeks and 4 days today. We had a growth scan on the day we hit 24 weeks and baby girl is 1 lb 14 oz already and curled up facing my spine, hiding her face. I find myself being infinitely patient with not feeling her behind my now anterior placenta, and not seeing her face during scans. I will have her soon enough. I waited years for this.
Last week my infertility support group invited all of the expectant members to come for one last meeting. I went and felt guilty telling my nonsensical story of recurrent loss, growing zero follicles through three ART cycles, and then falling pregnant naturally with, finally, a healthy baby. I always hated stories like mine, because although they were fascinating at times, did not give me hope. Someone else’s random miracle is not my miracle. But those were also the stories that made me tell my husband last September, “Let’s try on our own this month. We could be that miracle couple. What if we made our daughter this way?” (Yes, we always thought it’d be our daughter.) And against his better judgement he went along when I said I was ovulating, and we tried on our own one more time.
I had spent months visualizing and imagining getting pregnant with a good egg in between IVF cycles. I thought it might happen right before we switched to donor eggs. I imagined, daily, telling everyone, “This is my fifth pregnancy.” Even when I lost my third pregnancy, I thought to myself, My fifth pregnancy will be the one that sticks. I don’t know why I skipped the fourth in my mind.
So I don’t have an inspiring story of the right cocktail of protocol and supplements and I can’t recommend a clinic, and I feel guilty sometimes about that and like I don’t have a real infertility story. But also I still feel, emotionally, infertile. Pregnancy announcements still trigger me into anger. Women with perfectly healthy pregnancies who are worried over nothing irritate me irrationally. The PTSD of recurrent loss has made my pregnancy after loss support groups online a minefield, as half the women treat it as a miscarriage support group rather than a PREGNANCY after loss group, completely freaking me out daily with miscarriage/loss stories when that’s not the purpose of the group at all. (I really should leave that group.)
And now for the worst of it. I hate pregnant women who complain about their swollen feet and sore backs and night time urination. I mean seriously. I love that stuff. It means I’m PREGNANT! But I’m suffering terribly.
The fibroids continue to grow. My stomach is enormous and deformed. I can barely walk at times. One of the fibroids may have partially degenerated and I spent days shrieking in pain and curled up in bed. I was sent to the labor floor of my hospital where I was told it was “typical ligament pain” by a man who doesn’t have a uterus. He also insisted I must be wearing my support belt improperly (False.) One of my fibroids is wreaking havoc on my bladder and intestines. I get it that pregnant women have to pee a lot, but try having to pee literally every 30-60 minutes even if it’s only a trickle because your bladder has no room. I could handle that if it didn’t cause me great pain to actually get up and go to the toilet. And get off the toilet. Yup that’s fun in the work bathroom when everyone can hear me groan. My intestines go through bouts of severe cramping because that fibroid is… doing something. No one can tell.
As for the deformity, I have a fibroid that has come through my stomach muscle wall above my belly button and when I lie down, it very much appears to be an alien trying to break free after growing in my abdomen. I spent 2 days patting that lump telling it I loved it before I realized it wasn’t my baby. After all, it moves all on it’s own when the baby moves, which is horrifying, so how could I have known?
I finally got my OB to agree to remove these horrible things after I give birth, though. I cannot wait for that. No, it’s not going to get better until then. I wish everyone would stop asking if I feel better. Unless my stomach muscles come back together around my alien growth, then that’s not possible for the next four months. I hate being that pregnant woman who complains, but I never thought I’d be walking bent over at a 90 degree angle after standing up until my inner organs move back around.