Thursday, November 12, 2009

BFN: the aftermath

“It’s okay. We always have our three beautiful frozen embryos. It’s okay,” Mr. Jem said when hearing the news, trying to make me feel better.

“No, it’s NOT okay.” I respond with passion. “It’s distinctly not okay. Today it has to be okay for it not to be okay. Right now it just sucks. Period.”

This is/was our first IVF cycle. I kept secretly hoping we’d be the lucky few that made it on the first try. It was bad enough going though two years of TTC before this. I had NO idea of the pain of a negative beta. I follow and comment on a lot of other blogs and have read other people’s anguish at a negative beta. I felt sympathy and compassion but nothing prepared me for how I would feel today. Nothing. I can’t believe I actually told myself, that I said to Mr. Jem, “I won’t be devastated if it’s negative.” Ha! Big, fucking ha!

All week I didn’t think I was pregnant. Of course, this doesn’t make the sorrow any less. Boy, do I wish it did. Instead, all I want to do is curl up in a little ball and cry. Drown my sorrow in a BFN diet. Let me tell you about it.

After hearing the news I went to McDonald’s and ordered a Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries and chocolate milkshake. Much to my chagrin I cried all the way to McDonalds. I placed my order, sunglasses on to hide my bloodshot eyes. Then I cried my way back to the office.

Back at my desk and wolfed the fast food down, barely tasted anything.

I then chugged half a coke in the kitchenette. “So there! I’m drinking caffeine! Ha! So there, fertility gods! I defy you! I drink caffeine! And I’m going to drink a butt-load of wine on Saturday night when I go out with my friend to a free dinner event at Chez Panisse, one of the best restaurants in America. Take that!”

I tried to stay at work, but I had to leave because I couldn’t stop crying. I tried to hide it, to avoid others. No luck. At one point one of my closest colleagues asked, “Jem, are you okay? Are you mad at me?”

I mumbled, “Of course I’m not mad. I’ll be okay. I’m not feeling well and am going home.” Zero eye contact. Not exactly the swift, low impact exit I wanted to make.

Shit. Am I going to have explain? What can I say? “I got some bad news.” Lie and say, “I had a really bad headache”? Fuck. I don’t want to talk to people about this. During the whole IVF cycle I simply explained that I was having “female issues” while making vague gestures in the vicinity of my tummy. I work with all men and this was enough. I don’t want to be the subject of office gossip, or discussion, no matter how well-meaning.

OMG, I just looked down and there are strings of snot on my sweater ask I’m typing this. I’ve been crying THAT hard and wiping my nose with a napkin I stole on my way down to my train. I’m on my back to my little suburb, to curl up on the couch with my sweet kitties Sharkey and Fluffy and of course with Mr. Jem. Maybe I’ll be up to watching something light and humorous on TV to get me out of this funk, but right now I’m just being sad.

Sad, but also mad, angry as all get-out and with more sad under that.


Noelle said...

I am SO sorry that you have to go through this! It is not fair! You have every right to eat whatever you want. I say that you go home and top your day off with a wonderful dessert, and maybe even start the wine drinking tonight.

You don't have to explain anything to your colleagues. Just tell them you didn't feel good.

I am sorry that you have to feel this heartache.

Stacie said...

ugh. I am so, so sorry. It is so unfair. Hugs to you.

Lin said...

You're it sucks! I'm so very sorry. (((HUGS)))

Fertility Chick said...

I'm so very sorry. Today totally sucks. I'm thinking about you.

mekate said...

Sweet Jem, gosh darn lady, I am so sorry. And about the pain, Oh, I hear you. it sucks more than you can imagine it can-- why is that? I am so so sorry. I wanted this for you, we all did. We all DO.
The 8 is enticing only in that it indicates a beginning which is (I SWEAR) a really good sign for the future when you are ready for whatever comes next..
I will be thinking of you. But seriously now, let yourself cry and feel like crap, this Does suck, it is not your imagination, and you are allowed to feel this way. Don't let anyone rush you even though it sucks to feel crappy.

Shit and damn and fuck and all of that.
warm wishes to you and your darlin',

Anonymous said...

fuck fuck fuck. I'm so sorry and sad for your sadness. The up and down cycles of hope and disappointment are devastating and they really hurt. But it's healthy to cry it all out and get it out of your system. And then you'll find the strength to move past this and get to the next step. I promise.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry :(.

Do what you have to do to - wine, chocolate, coffee, whatever will take the edge off. Be good to yourself - you need it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, gosh you have almost have me in tears just reading your post. I am thinking good thoughts for you and your next cycle.

irrationalexuberance said...

Oh fuck. Shit. Goddammit. I'm so sorry. Eat what you want, drink what you want -- do whatever makes you feel better. And be angry and sad and whatever else you feel, because it does suck. But most of all, be nice to yourself. Take care.

Nicole said...

Sounds so familiar, oh how I wish it didn't. My "advice" would be to completely let yourself feel just as crappy as you want to for now. There will come a time to pick yourself back up, but it's not now. GRIEVE. Everyone responds differently; do whatever you need to. Don't get even more down on yourself if you don't get happy soon. There really is no way to prepare for, or explain to someone else who it feels to experience, an IVF failure. So sorry :(

jenicini said...

I wish you had never felt the pain of an IVF BFN. Give yourself time and indulge as you need to in mindless TV, caffeine and chocolate. {hugs}

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear your news. I hope the down time ont he couch with hubby and the kitties helped a little. Take time to mourn this BFN and there's nothing wrong with a BFN diet for a few days.

C said...


I wish there were something I could do or say to take the pain away. Do whatever you need to right now. Kick, yell, swear, punch pillows, throw a fit on the floor, seriously, whatever you need to do. Failed cycles are so hard, so painful. My heart is breaking for you. Please know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Nicole... allow yourself all of it. It's a terrible, terrible thing...

Poppet said...

Of course you feel like shit. No need to apologize or explain. At work - LIE! I'm sure you can think of some calamity to explain the tears.

Drink every glass of wine at the swanky place on Saturday!! One coke and one glass of wine will NOT ruin months of careful ingesting!

Pie said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry, and I totally get it. My first BFN was by far the worst. It took me several days to stop crying, and frankly, I delved into weeks of depression. It is so hard, no question. The hormones don't help either. Do what you need to do, mourn the loss, be sad.

((((((BIG HUGS))))))

Jill said...

There is no reason you shouldn't wallow in your sadness and anger for a while. You have no obligation to anyone to put on a happy face. And I totally understand your BFN diet. On the way home from the ER after my m/c I bought a cheese pizza and a diet coke that was bigger than my head.

I hope that when you emerge you will feel a renewed sense of hope and readiness and that you will get that BFP.

Illanare said...

I'm so sorry, this just sucks so much. Take the time to mourn and scream at the universe and then, gently, start to mend.