And just like that, more than half a year went by
Oh, hey, been a minute since I've been in here, huh? A LOT has gone on since the last time I wrote:
* The pandemic is still raging, though both R and I have now been fully vaccinated (Johnson and Johnson for me; Pfizer for him).
* We went through another IVF egg retrieval. This time, with acupuncture as part of my protocol, we got 25 eggs, which was pretty shocking given my age -- it was MORE than we'd gotten the last time, and you'd have expected we'd get way less. We ended up with the same amount of embryos that were able to be frozen and tested, and ultimately got three totally healthy embryos and one "mosaic" embryo with both normal and abnormal cells. They were all genetically female. *After dealing with an entire summer of nonstop fireworks and street cacophony, including a broad-daylight shooting on our block that resulted in a bullet hole in our car while R was out walking the dogs, we decided to sell our 1200 square foot D.C. rowhouse and move to what can only be described as a compound in Capitol Heights, Maryland. It's a turn-of-the-century farmhouse that, after falling into disrepair, being abandoned and suffering a massive fire, has been renovated with some pretty cool finishes. The house itself is 1900 square feet, and the property is over an acre and came with a whole second building that we're using as a gym, a bar, an office and an extra bedroom. The dogs LOVE the yard but hate the groundhogs that also live on the property.
*And... **drumroll please**... I'm pregnant! We transferred an embryo Jan. 5 -- a girl, and I should note that was the luck of the draw and not anything we specifically requested -- and I'm not sure if it's the adjustment of certain meds (I injected progesterone instead of taking suppositories), the addition of acupuncture (I go either once a week or every other week), or the addition of a blood thinner (another injectable I take every morning in my belly), but things are going well. I'm now 15 weeks, aka solidly in the second trimester, and my risk of miscarriage, while not zero, is pretty low, and the things that will make this a complicated pregnancy have been documented and are being monitored by doctors. I still find myself panicking a little bit -- after multiple miscarriages, who wouldn't? -- and to some extent I haven't let myself fully believe that this is real and that I am going to be a mom in September. But, I've been to a shit-ton of therapy since November 2019, and I have some coping strategies that I can rely on, so every time I start to go off the deep end I'm working on talking myself down. Sigh. It's a process, for sure.
I think the worst part of that last bullet is that people still don't get it, if that makes any sense. Like, this is not just any old pregnancy -- with this embryo transfer, we exhausted our IVF insurance, so if I lose this pregnancy and we decide to try again, everything will come out of pocket. (Not to mention the fact that I'm now 38, and every day that passes makes my chances of carrying a healthy child to term go down just a little bit further.) Also, while I am extremely happy about being pregnant, I think people to some extent are like, "oh, well, cool, now you don't have to be sad about miscarrying anymore!" No, no no no, that's not how it works. Children don't replace other children, folks. I should have had one born this past July, and this should be my second. I also think people in general just do not understand what grieving a miscarriage is like. Recently, I saw another friend who is in the IVF trenches, and we talked about how we had been acquaintances back when both of us were single and struggling with heartbreaks and dating. "This is way worse," I said. "WAY worse," she nodded. I've lost friends over the last year because of how I "acted" during all of that, and it makes me want to bang my head against a wall. How is it possible I've been cast as a villain in this situation? I suffered a loss and clawed my way through it... again, sigh. If you aren't willing to give me grace after that, then you're probably not worth my time.
Anyway, maintaining positivity -- as you can see, sometimes that's hard to do. But on a micro level, 2020 was a good year, and, fingers crossed, 2021 seems like it's going to be OK too. I'll take any prayers you might be willing to send me, though. Let's hedge our bets.