I had my pregnancy blood test yesterday morning at my fertility center. Turns out, I am not pregnant even though I was certain that I was.
I’m pretty sure that’s called a phantom pregnancy. And I’m pretty sure it’s classified somewhere as a disorder of sorts, either mental or otherwise. But I’m not that terribly concerned for my mental health. From the day of my frozen embryo transfer to yesterday 10 whole days I convinced myself that I was pregnant because it’s what I want so badly.
My wife had told me that I should probably stop telling people I “know” I’m pregnant until after we had the test to confirm it because people might begin to think I’m a little off my rocker.
And maybe I am.
Maybe this fertility journey is starting to grate on me more than I ever realized. And it’s all made worse knowing that I was pregnant. And not just for a few weeks. I carried my twins to 17 weeks and 1 day. I would have been due next month. And sometimes, I can’t help but think that 17 weeks pregnant is as close as I’ll ever get to becoming a mother.
I have three frozen embryos left from nine eggs that were retrieved from me. Three didn’t fertilize, two were put in me and grew into my twins, and one this last one didn’t attach. That leaves three.
If I decide to try again and right now, I honestly don’t know if I will it will be my fourth IVF cycle. My insurance covers five cycles. Naturally, knowing that places some extra stress on the situation. Two more shots to get this right. And it’s failed three times already.
My wife and I went for a drive yesterday after we got the news. It was one of the first somewhat decent Spring days here in the Northeast after a too-long Winter. I kept thinking about the whole in my life. I kept thinking about all the great things she and I have going on, all the things we have to be thankful for. And, still, I can’t help but feel that something is missing that motherhood would complete my life. (Update: A dear friend of mine emailed me after this post went live, “I must point out that you inadvertently used the word ‘whole’ instead of ‘hole’. Maybe a Freudian slip of hope that still resides in you, knowing your life is whole, and will be full one day in the way you dream.” Thank God for good friends.)
I worry that I’ll somehow have to learn to be okay with “enough,” to be okay with what we have, to be okay without children.
I don’t want to learn that. I don’t want to try to fill this void with another dog, a new job, travel.
But maybe I’ll have to.
Maybe Sara and I will never lose our 8-hour nights, maybe we’ll rescue a dozen dogs, maybe we’ll always be the guests without kids, maybe we’ll move someplace warm, maybe I won’t ever need a minivan.
Maybe my life won’t ever be complete. Maybe that’s just how my story goes.
Original photo: iStockphoto