(DPTS stands for Days Past Trigger Shot)
The two week wait is what the TTC (Trying To Conceive) community uses to refer to the time between ovulation and the time when it’s okay to test to see if you have a BFP (Big Fat Positive) or a BFN (Big F***ing Negative). It’s the longest two weeks of life.
For us, it starts with a trip to a doctor so I can get probed (ultrasound to see if the fertility drugs they have me on are indeed causing my body to develop follicles for any baby to attach to properly) and a big OK from my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) to, as she so awkwardly puts it, “bring the love” for the next three days. That is, after I inject myself with a hormone that will ensure that I ovulate, and ovulate immediately.
The two week wait is a horrible, awful mind game.
After the “love” has been brought, I have to take an additional hormone medication to ensure that if I am pregnant I stay that way. Those two medications cause pregnancy symptoms all by themselves, mainly because if I had a “normal” body and/or pregnancy, these hormones would be created in the correct amount all on their own. I know what it feels like to be pregnant, I’ve been pregnant before THREE times. Those three times were without any medical help though, so I try to convince myself as my breasts swell, my moods bounce around, I get that uneasy feeling that makes me almost feel like I could yack, amongst other things… I try to convince myself that it’s all because this round worked. This round we got pregnant, I’m so sure.
I trick myself into thinking I’m pregnant. I realize I’m using the restroom more, but I do not take into account that I really have been drinking a lot more water than usual. Or I’ll find myself craving pickles and giggling as I eat one after the other, but really, I’ve always loved pickles. I’ll think “Wow! I really am so tired so early these days!” not thinking about how I’ve actually been staying up way later at night just to get through chapter after chapter in whatever book I’m reading. I trick myself into thinking I’m pregnant.
The day before test day I am a wreck. I get really emotional, and I try to think that it’s pregnancy hormones doing their dance… When deep down, I know that it’s just the good ol’ lady time trying to fight it’s way through. I know what it feels like to be pregnant, and again, this cycle just was not quite right. I get depressed, I get angry, I’m not pregnant, I know it, but I will test the next day just to be sure.
Then test day is finally here. I have to test on a particular time frame for two reasons. I cannot test before the two week mark because I could get a false positive (remember that injection I mentioned? Well, that causes an influx of HCG, the pregnancy hormone, to be in my system – and cause a false positive up to ten days after the injection). I have to test then to ensure that if I’m not pregnant, I stop taking the additional hormone medication they have me on because otherwise, said medication will prevent me from starting my next “lady time”. (SIDE NOTE: THIS cycle I tested throughout, trying to track when the shot was actually out of my system. AND boy, if day 12 after my trigger shot wasn’t a tease. – photo above)
I take the test and place it on the counter. Wait three minutes to look at it, I always tell myself. Sometimes I’ll distract myself, do whatever quick chore needs to be done. Other times I just stare at the test, watch as it processes. I imagine that second line appearing, and when just one is there, I feed myself a bunch of “it’s okay” statements when really, to me, it’s not at all okay.
I avoid telling my husband out loud. He knows it’s test day and he knows if it had been positive I would not be on the couch sulking. I want to send out a text “Still not pregnant! Happy?” to a few friends who I’ve felt have turned my infertility into a form of competition, one that they’re obviously winning against. I want to scream, put every annoyed parent in their place when their kid is simply being a kid, and punching every parent who would rather pretend their child does not crave their love and support and chooses to ignore them anyway, I want throw a chair at every woman who complains about how awful it is to be pregnant. I do not do any of that, but sometimes it can be extremely difficult not to. I throw a dirty look their way, that’s about as far as it gets.
Now begins a grieving process. I throw myself into misery and self loathing. You’re not pregnant, but if you were, who’s to say you would not miscarry it too?! I remind myself of all the things I’m not good at. I remind myself of all the things I cannot do. I try to fight through it, I swear I do.
I’ve been pregnant three times, all three ended in miscarriage. Monitor my cycles, give me fertility drugs proven to work, have the RE tell me how good they feel about this cycle (even though they said that four cycles ago), I will not get pregnant.
The two week wait is over, my home pregnancy test is negative. I’m grieving a pregnancy I never had, as well as the three that I lost. I still hang on to hope for a few more days. I stop taking the additional hormone medication, but hope that my “lady time” will not come. I hope that my HCG levels were simply not enough for the test to detect yet. IT WAS TOO SOON I tell myself, THERE’S STILL HOPE FOR THIS CYCLE! Those cramps must be my uterus stretching, not the inevitable approach of CYCLE DAY ONE!
Yet, Cycle Day One bears it’s ugly head. For women like me, who have miscarried, I think it’s traumatic on it’s own for many reasons. Fight through it, there are calls to be made. I have to call a mail pharmacy because the injection drug is not carried anywhere local and has to be shipped to me. I have to call my RE to report I am, indeed, not pregnant in the slightest. The nurse at the RE sends in a refill for the prescription of the other drug that is suppose to make those follicles mature quickly, and then refers me back to the probe lady so I can go on Cycle Day 3, and again on Cycle Day 10 (the usual start day of the Two Week Wait).
It’s a vicious, heartbreaking cycle.
I have a medical condition that makes this cycle REQUIRED, just to clarify. A pituitary tumor, a micro edema, that they (those medical studying folks) know so little about. I do have to worry. I do not have a lot of time to satisfy the 1.5 children quota of the typical American family. Because of my pituitary tumor, I could hit early menopause, and I could hit it SOON. Any hope and chance of having the word “mother” be an adjective for me; GONE. DON’T WORRY, they say. Easier said than done.
Today 125,000 abortions will be done, 360,000 births will be delivered, and somewhere maybe 360,000 women (or probably more, because some of them will have abortions) will discover that they are pregnant. (P.S. Don’t take this as a pro choice or pro life argument, because it’s not. I’m just regurgitating actual facts for the sake of it)
Today, for me, the two week wait ended.
I’m still not pregnant.
This photo was taken a little over six years ago (February 2009). I was starting to really get into photography and I had just discovered clone photos (more than one of the same subject in a single frame). At the time I was in between living at home with my parents and with Steven. I was going full time to school, working almost full time, and I was really happy. I took this photo to represent all the people I was while still being a blank canvas (having the ability to be whoever I wanted to be).
When I attempted to go through photographs yesterday for a different post, I came across this one. That girl, a blank canvas able to become whoever she wanted to be has became those things she wanted to be. I proudly hold a bachelor’s in English, I am a wife to an amazing man, I’m usually quite silly and happy. Somehow I got stuck becoming a few things I did not want to become along the way, having medical conditions that bring me down, and becoming a mother to a child I will never be able to hold. I’m those things and I cannot change them. I’m an ever changing canvas just the same, but there’s some cuts and dents in the canvas that will always be there. Bad metaphor; my apologies.
I got the proof that my body is as back to normal as it can be. I’m not going to go into detail about all that. I cried. I did not understand why.
I have always been very self aware. I have always been able to take a step back and understand what I was feeling and why. I know why I’m feeling this way, but this time I cannot control my emotions. I’ve had the worst anxiety I have ever experienced the last few days. My heart beats fast, I get a knot in my throat, I feel like I cannot breathe. It all started after said proof was given.
It’s real now. It really happened. There’s no going back, only forward.
Yesterday I got over my pride and called to make an appointment for counseling.
I understand that this is my personal business that I’m sharing for the world to see. To some, that may be strange. The fact of the matter is, I do not share my experience for you to feel sorry for me or even for those who have not been through it to try to understand. I share my experience for those who have been through it too, to know that they are not alone, to know what they feel is normal. The amount of support that has been shown to me (and by people I’ve never even met in person even!) blows me away. That is why I’m sharing my experience. Thank you to those people.
Grief is normal. It is a different process for everyone and it may take some longer than others. It is NOT okay to tell someone to just be happy. It is NOT okay to tell someone to not talk about it either. When you go through something that is traumatic to any measure, you need to go through a healing process. It is not okay to linger in sadness, I’m not saying that. For me, I’m choosing to get help. I’m not ashamed. This is what I need to do for me. This is what I need to do to heal.