I’m pregnant. I’m almost four months along now and starting to believe it. By starting to I mean that I don’t check the toilet paper for blood every time I go, just every other time. Also, I’m becoming huge. Surprisingly none of this has been a problem for Wonderboy. You should see him. He’s so happy all the time it’s impossible to remember what he used to be like. And he can’t go more than a couple of minutes without groping my huge boobs. I’ve already upgraded a cup and I fear I’ll have to upgrade my winter coat and every clothing I have in no more than a month.
I am happy. It’s been so much easier to negotiate sexual things even though I’ve barely been able to share any with Wonderboy in these passed months. There’s such a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only in my body, although it most definitely is in my body, it’s also in our relationship and in my relationship with the world at large. I’ve fulfilled this potential I had, this demand I faced within myself. Sex can finally be lifted out of the hole of having anything to do with infertility and it can start to be itself again. It has surprised me how much happiness the news brings to people close to me, even people I don’t know that well. Especially women. They don’t know about our struggles but yet they tear up, want to hug me and make sure I’m okay. This makes me believe even more that there’s something deeply engraved in us, that it wasn’t just me with the pain, that it’s in us (most of us anyway). The desire to be fulfilled and fulfill the potential like this as a miracle worker.
It’s quite disillusioning, being pregnant. Seeing that little critter spasm inside my uterus didn’t exactly bond me with it. Nor did the fact that I learned that it doesn’t have brains yet and that’s why it moves like that or that it’s entrails aren’t even inside its body. Still, everything is like it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy, it’s growing, it’s going to be our child. And seeing it was important. It made the fact real that it’s a another person, not just my ever changing body.
I’m guessing you’d like to know what happened? How did we conceive finally after almost four years?
Our money was running out. We’d had to move onto a private clinic because of the treatments I needed. This was the third IVF at the clinic, our fifth all together. I’d had to stop taking the hormones that helped me produce more and more viable eggs, because they gave me pretty severe cardiac dysrhythmia. In the end I also started to suffer from breathing problems during the treatments. My throat kept closing up and sometimes I would wake up startled and try to catch my breath sitting down. It was pretty clear that my body wasn’t handling the treatments well anymore and it was endangering my health.
After the first try after the help of the hormones, with the starting pregnancy with the twins that twindled so early on, on fourth to sixth week like all the eight other pregnancies, we decided that it wasn’t worth putting my health at risk. What was wrong even the doctor couldn’t guess. The embryos were perfect. My uterus, the hormones, everything was perfect. Except the result. We decided that we would make one last attempt and then settle in on the donor program to get eggs from someone else.
To my doctors (positive) dismay I already had three donors lined up, because my little sister and my friends love me to death and I will never forget what they promised me and how they changed my life when they did. Everyone just wanted for us to have a child. Everyone wanted us to be happy.
But we still had that last chance. And since it was the last chance I begged the doctor, like I’d asked a number of times before, if we could try the cortisone treatment. I’ve had a lot of time to read in these 3,5 years and I’ve read a lot of research. If I had an immunological decease, like the celiac decease, my body could be attacking the embryo thinking it was a virus. And the only thing that would help with that is cortisone. They didn’t find any antibodies in my blood to suggest I had celiac decease, but our first doctor had put me on gluten free diet anyway. And it had helped. It changed my body shape because I lost so much weight. It changed my bodily functions, my activity levels, pretty much everything for better. But they couldn’t find the antibodies in my blood, so they wouldn’t put me on cortisone with the IVF treatment. The doctor finally caved. Since this is the last try, she said.
I started the cortisone straight away since the treatment was right around the corner. When we started with the injections I already felt the difference. It didn’t hurt. My ovaries didn’t burn, I couldn’t really feel anything while the eggs were growing but some mild discomfort. I knew straight away that this was it. I knew that we had found the answer and that this was what I was supposed to feel all those other times. Even the doctor was intrigued when I told her about the pains not being there this time.
We got fewer eggs than the last time and like last time none of them were considered ripe. The doctor had noticed that all our viable embryos had sprung from the raw eggs and from the ones they didn’t use ICSI for. So it turns out that Wonderboy’s sperm was actually doing its job best when it was left to fend for itself like it’s supposed to. So we chose to put them all on the petri dish and hope for the best since there weren’t many eggs to begin with. There were six when we left the clinic.
And when I went to see the doctor a couple of days later there was only one that had developed normally to eight cells. Only eight little cells put together! How could that ever grow into a child? Its inner workings weren’t perfect so they couldn’t do assisted hatching like we had talked, but they had added this embryo glue to help it attach. And in it went.
The excruciating pains started four days later when it was supposed to attach and I knew of course what was happening. But it was like all those eight other times. I was just more in pain than before and the pains didn’t subside. I spent the weekend under a duvet with a painkiller and a hot water bottle. After that I got used to waking up every night at 0.30 am and 3-4 am to pains that the painkillers I was allowed to take weren’t really combating very well. And I became pretty hopeful. Since the pains were continuous, they weren’t fading like before, they were getting more strength.
And then one thursday morning I did the pregnancy test. It was the fourteenth day after conceiving in the lab and I was due to take a blood test the 18th in the clinic. I had barely had time to put the stick down when it brightened with two crossing lines. No doubt, I was pregnant. But doubt there was… so much doubt and fear. Wonderboy wouldn’t believe it until we saw what the blood works would say. On monday I went to the clinic and later that day I called for the results. With the twins my hcg levels had tipped a bit to 6-8 hcg. I knew that it was supposed to be 280 by now and I was scared. But there was no need. It was over 800. I was most definitely pregnant.
I went to the first ultrasound on week 5 and we already saw the heartbeat. Then we went together at the end of 6th week and it had grown to twice its size. Everything was good. Everything was normal.
And every night I woke up twice to the excruciating pain that even my doctor was a bit concerned about. But I wasn’t. If I had felt pains the eight times we conceived before, it was only natural that this would hurt even more. Because this time it had worked.
I haven’t had a lot time to process this. I haven’t had a lot of time to be happy. I’ve been so sick, the pains have been at times unbelievable and I have suffered from near continuous migraine for the first time in my life. This is the first time I am able to write anything this long without puking or having to go into a dark room to lie down. This is the second week there has been some normal days. Yesterday was the start of the week 15 of the pregnancy, and it was the first day I didn’t suffer from anything until late at night.
It must be self-evident that I don’t care. I don’t care. We will probably only ever have this one child. And it will be so loved, it is so loved already. We have fought this battle together and we have conquered. Everything is better now. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. Everything is easier, well, except moving and maybe sex. And even that doesn’t matter so much anymore. We have had to learn to wait, to be patient, to tread lightly with sexy things. But we have had ample time to learn the skills to do that: negotiate, be frank and unassuming when it comes to sexual acts.
Last time I said I didn’t want him to hit me or strangle me at all. There was a pause, he was scared and uneasy, because he had noticed that my responses were different and didn’t know what he could do now. We cuddled and talked and then started again. And when his hand went gently on my throat when we were getting close it wasn’t enough for me. I pushed his hand to grip more tightly. Because he had listened to me and I had spoken to him, I could do that. I could ask for it.
There were some droplets of blood, and even though our nurse had said after the first ultrasound and my freaking out on some blood that it was perfectly normal, I asked that we’d not have intercourse again. The blood was too scary. It’s not worth it. I don’t know if we will or won’t, if I change my mind. But I know it will be different. It will all be different. And it will all be the same, too.