It all started with one of those low level “out of sorts” days. Not a depressed day. Not an angry day. Not even a tearful day. Just one of those days with a nagging tiredness. Of “I just need an easy day. Then I’ll get a good night’s sleep. And I’ll be fine in the morning” sort of days. Of feeling, perhaps, a bit more whiny and thin-skinned than usual. Of, in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien feeling “like butter scraped over too much bread.”
The problem was, the next day was the same. And the next, and the next. I ignored it. I muttered that I hadn’t slept well, had a long day, blamed it on the weather, blamed it on the fact that I was still having pelvic pain and spotting.
I went for my saline infusion sonohysterogram (SIS). Dr. E noticed a fair amount of fluid around my ovaries, which quite possibly means that I’ve had cysts that are in the process of shrinking and could have been the cause of my pelvic pain. No sign that I was going to ovulate any time soon based on the images of my ovaries. He also noticed that I still had a blood clot in one part of my uterus and that this also could be part of what’s to blame for the pain and almost certainly what’s to blame for the spotting. The good news was I have no scar tissue and nothing that would prevent us from going forward with the FET when we were ready.
Then, of course, it was time to discuss options. Arthur and I had tentatively decided we wanted to go through with the transfer attempt sometime in March. Because my periods are entirely unpredictable and I was sick of having so much aching in my lower abdomen, I opted to go back on birth control for this month. If my ovaries are just going to produce painful cysts instead of eggs, then there’s no hope of my getting pregnant anyway.
On the one hand, I was quite glad that I chose the birth control as I finally had my first day free of spotting, pain, or both in over a month. On the other, it was another door closing, another reminder that I cannot seem to conceive normally. I had conflicted feelings about the FET, when we were doing the FET, whether we even had a realistic shot at the thing. So I was even slightly more out of sorts than usual, to the point where I was desperately annoying myself (and probably everyone else). It felt like my head was so far jammed up my rear end in a irritable, self-pitying mess that I less needed an RE than a gastrointestinal specialist to get it out.
I did what I usually do when I’m in a foul mood: I went for a run. It was actually a good one for where I am now, rebuilding after months of a medically mandated ban on strenuous exercise. I felt powerful, open, and then wonderfully tired at the end.
Then I got home, hopped into the shower, and it was as though something broke in me because before I knew it, I was crying.
I hadn’t cried since New Year’s. I hate it when I cry, the out-of-control-ness of it, the red eyes and the way people look at you when the tears start. I’d cried, of course, the day of the ultrasound, the day of the D and C, the day after, mostly because I almost couldn’t help it. After that, though, I’d found myself sad at times, but unable to cry more than an occasional involuntary tear slipping down my cheek. Unable to let go.
Perhaps crying wasn’t even the word for what I was doing at that moment. Keening, perhaps. Lamenting. Wailing. Screaming. Each sob felt as though it was ripped out of my body. I found myself sinking down, kneeling, water pouring over me. I cried out, unsure if I was in emotional or physical pain any longer, just knowing that I had never, ever felt anything like this. It felt as though it went on forever. When the water went cold, I managed to reach up and shut it off, crawling onto the bathmat, pulling a towel down over myself, still sobbing.
This, I knew, was how it felt to burn, to turn to ash.
When it finally ended, I was exhausted. I am not a pretty crier under even the best of circumstances, and these were not the best of circumstances. My face was red, my eyes puffy, and the texture of the bathmat was printed firmly across my cheek.
And yet somehow, I eventually stood up. I’m still not entirely sure how.
I told Arthur that evening that I wasn’t sure if I’d be ready to do the FET at the end of March. There was a good possibility that I would be ready, I said, but right now I wasn’t certain. My heart still needed time to mend, and I wasn’t sure how long that would take. Because I know, deep down, whatever prompted that breakdown is not over, will probably never be over, but eventually will come to a point where it’s not the primary focus of my thoughts and life. And I need the time to come to that point where there are more good days than bad ones. Arthur told me that we’d do the FET when I was ready, whenever that came. If that was March, so be it. But if we need to, we’ll put it off another month or two or however many it takes.
Because right now, I just need to be where I am. Not looking forward towards more treatments. Not staring longingly into the past. Just here, now, present.