Grief. It’s a crazy thing. It’ll make you try things you never imagined.
It’ll lead to hours of research.
Emails to doctors, agencies, and even video consults with concierge services.
It’ll make you beg your spouse just to read the article about x, y, z.
It will let you give up pride and dignity to be poked, prodded, and barely draped.
It’ll have you balancing your budget and looking for money you don’t *really* have.
It will let you hold on to hope. Let you fall for the weird fertility world mix of genuine medical care and sales pitch. It’ll make you believe it WILL be worth it.
It will tell you the bills are worth it because how do you place a price on the hope of a baby?
It will let you, a barely recovered sufferer of needle phobia, inject yourself dozens and dozens of times knowing that if it works, it will be more than worth it.
Even the pre-shot panic attacks, worth it.
Grief lets you be cautiously optimistic when you’re the lucky ones with a perfect first transfer, strong heartbeat, and growth.
And then it revisits you when she goes too. That strong heartbeat? It was too strong.
Grief lets you go back to the robotic motions of not asking questions, taking the referral from a referral, from another referral until you find yourself some doc’s third patient of the day with surgical complications, still not asking a single question.
Grief leads to trying pseudoscience in hopes it’ll magically work. Then it leads you to three more surgeries to fix the complications just in case you can give it another shot.
Once again, fortunate with statistics on your side. With grief still whispering surely, this is worth it.
But it isn’t. Yet again.
Finally, grief tells you to listen to the docs. They say it doesn’t have to be the end if you don’t want it to be, they say your odds are excellent.
More meds. More shots. More prodding.
Hope. Confirmation it’s worth it.
And yet again, statistics on your side meant nothing. Another bad phone call.
Another she, gone.
Grief. It had me knock, push, slam down every door, hoping it wasn’t the end.
But in the end, it was, it is. A stubborn hard-fought end to realize he was our last.
Grief reminds me daily that performing CPR would be the last chance I had at holding a baby I got to care for and love as my own.
Grief pushed to dozens of shots, five surgeries, three more losses added to the four that were already mixed between my living kids.
But in the end, though the journey sucked, grief still taught me a lot.
He will be my last. But if ever one was worthy of such a significant spot…
This is not shared for sympathy.
It’s not shared to be depressing.
It’s merely that this is something so many do. Indeed, not identical journeys. But the grief, the loss, the doing things and living like a year-long science experiment, well, so many others know this road.
I’ve done it a bit backward, I suppose, at the end of trying to grow my family.
I do not like the outcome, something many others face too.
But I do not regret the journey. Being witness to the strength of other women.
And I’ll simply leave this with the words of a friend,
“I know you know this, but each life matters.”