Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

I cannot shake the (sinking) feeling that no matter what I or we (the LP and I) do at this point to try to bring home living child number two, it will all be for nought. Window dressing at the beach on the eve of a hurricane’s landing.

Or rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, which helpfully but with questionable grammar and an unnecessary comma (ever the critic, eh?) defines as “[t]o do something pointless or insignificant that will soon be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing to the solution of a current problem.”

This, I feel, is my fate.  I do not like being in this dark place of doom and gloom.  I do not so much mind having lost hope, for I see that as a natural if sad casualty of my circumstances.  Anyone in my shoes might feel hopeless about the prospects of having a living child after losing 6 pregnancies in a row (and 8 in total). That much is normal.

I think. (On the Titanic theme I’m inclined to add “therefore I am”, though somewhat regrettably of late. Life for me might be better without all of this thinking business at the moment.)

What feels less “normal” is what to do about it and how to know what on earth that is.  I feel as though there is no hope and a sane person would give up at this point (I find myself often reminded of Just Another Infertility Blog’s recent reference to Einstein’s definition of insanity being to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome).  A growing part of me wants – longs – to give up.  I am so weary, so very very weary.  My heart is heavy and my spirit broken.  Recurrent pregnancy loss has won.  I want to call it quits.

And yet, there are two frozen, imperfect embryos sitting in some sort of medium in some sort of device in a lab in the southwestern United States of America whispering “what about me?” in unison.  Yes, what about them?  Individually or collectively, they are our last chance(s).  They cost me a great deal of money and both me and the LP substantial heartache and hope.

What about them?

Those embryos (let’s call them Bert and Ernie, shall we? I imagine them in striped sweaters to beat the cryopreservation chills) are not deck chairs. They are not window dressing at the beach.  They are all we have left by way of hope.  And it is taking everything I have not to give up on and abandon them.

Every single thing I have.  Every day.

Maybe by personifying or anthropomorphizing them as Bert and Ernie I may begin to bond with them and forge a connection (can you anthropomorphize a human embryo, I mean it’s already technically anthropomorpic, albeit created in a petri dish, right?  See the trouble thinking gets me into?).

I cannot imagine abandoning a child.  But these are not children.  They could be – in someone else’s womb. In mine they are the embryotic equivalent of death row inmates.  Or that appears to be their most probable fate.  How does one hold onto hope or even want to try in the face of that?  I don’t even know if I can keep myself – at work, as a mother, as a woman, as a living being – together should I have to go through more loss.  I kept drawing the Wolverine card a while ago that said I am tougher than I think.  I’m not so sure.  Not anymore.

See what I mean about the window dressing in a hurricane or the Titanic chair arrangements?

This is the seed that sprouted the dark forest in which I’ve spent the last several weeks.  Has it been months?  I feel as though I have lost track of time.  It’s been particularly pronounced since before we went to New York to see the reproductive immunologist and even more so since we’ve been back and the old brain and heart have been doing their bidding instead of mine.

In short, I feel stuck.  I know our little spirit baby, my beloved Azulito, has things to teach us.  I wish I knew if giving up – abandoning Bert and Ernie so I can get on with recreating a lived life as opposed to the one in limbo we are surviving now – was part of what I need to learn.  I do not know that.  That is the million dollar question (I hope not because I can’t afford much more at this point and certainly not a million clams!).

And so I wait. I wait to find out what it is I am meant to learn from all of this.  In the meantime, may I interest any of you in a seat on the less windy side of this majestic vessel?



21 thoughts on “Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

  1. I named my 2 BB grade embryos Bert and Ernie. Picturing them as muppets really helped my psyche. I imagined them as self sustaining characters that tended to their bottle cap collections and sang songs about rubber duckies and then I actually let them go instead of holding onto them so tightly as I had done in the past.

    I have not suffered through 8 losses and couldn’t possibly know how you are feeling – but I can imagine that it is incredibly soul draining. I hope that whatever decision you make – you find comfort and solace in it and that it feels right. Sending you lots of love and positive energy.

    • You have no idea how much this comment means to me today. Thank you.

      P.S. I love your stick figure family under missile attack. I love the one that says “I ate your stick figure family” with the T-Rex, too. I hate car stickers but I’d put that one on mine if I ever found it.

  2. I “liked” this post not because I’m somehow happy about what you are feeling, but in appreciation for the way you expressed yourself here. It’s beautifully written and conceptualized. Each of us has a different story and different journey, but I think we can all relate to that feeling of being stuck that you describe. I know I have been there, with that feeling of being at a fork in the road and not knowing which path to take. It can be agonizing. I will be thinking of you and hope you will keep us posted.

  3. Honey, you’ve lost your mojo 😦 It’s normal, it happens, but what can we do to revive you a bit? There’ll be no “fixing” your broken heart at this point, but what can we do to help you *begin* to reclaim (even a piece of) your lost joie de vivre? Prior to this last loss, you had it in spades. Counseling? Rituals? Other…?? Not saying it’s not ok to just be sad. Of course it’s ok. But are you needing something more besides a shoulder to get you through this? XOXO

    • Thanks. If I knew the answer to the what I need question I’d be in a better position. I’ve tried to get that answer but it seems elusive. I’m not about to do myself harm. I know the answer is around. Somewhere. I keep hoping it will make itself known one of these days. I need the limbo to end, really. And until we hear about our test results I think it is limbo land for us.

  4. Time your time to heal and worry about the future babies later. I know it is easy said than done. I am telling myself everyday to focus on present and not to worry about my ticking bio-clock.

  5. Such a powerful analogy hon. I wish I knew the right advice to give you on this. Just know we will all be here for you no matter what you decide to do. Sending you strength and peace my friend. Hugs.

  6. So well written. I sobbed a little for you. Limbo is a living hell many of us are surviving in one way or another. A seat on that less windy side would be wonderful! Oh to sit and feel the sunny warmth of contentment and completeness. I have to believe it will come for us, but in the meantime … Hugs xx

    • That is the rub – how to feel contented and complete when one is still pining, yearning, hoping, waiting. That is exactly the cure I need for what ails me – an end to this cycle, one way or another. I want it to end. Preferably with one more successful pregnancy but if that is not in the cards, then without.

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