No one tells you that the two week wait, could actually be a four week wait. No one tells you that the joy of a positive pregnancy test can still slip through your fingers like sand.
No one tells you that the elation that comes with seeing that second pink line – however faint it may be – could be tempered by the flatness of a voice telling you that your HCG level is only so high, that it only rose so much, that they can only find an empty uterus on that blasted internal ultrasound, then only an empty sack.
They don’t tell you the sadness and rage you will feel when they say, “It’s only a bad embryo. You can probably still get pregnant without any major issues.”
They don’t tell you the strength and grace you will have to muster to keep from punching people you usually like and care about when they tell you, “It’s only your first try. There will be others.” They don’t tell you that you will quietly wonder, “will there be others?” They don’t tell you how quickly people will want you to rally and move on.
They don’t tell you the fear that you will experience when your doctor offers you options such as methotrexate, or misoprostal to end the pregnancy. They don’t tell you that those options could make you fear your own body, and what blood and tissue may come out of it. They definitely don’t tell you that you could fear pain commencing so quickly – after all: that was supposed to come nine months later. They don’t tell you that if you elect not to take those options, you are sitting on a slowly ticking time bomb – waiting for your body to eject the contents of the pregnancy that was not to be: on its own time, at its own pace.
They don’t tell you that you can’t start again right away. They don’t tell you that you have to wait another 2-3 agonizing months before you have to try the procedure again – before you can spend another few thousand dollars transferring another one of your precious embryos. They don’t tell you that you will be TERRIFIED that this could all happen again.
They don’t tell you that the words of your family or friends – or at times your own partner – won’t be comforting. They don’t tell you how alone you may feel.
They don’t tell you that even on the brightest and sunniest days, you could receive news that makes you feel like you are experiencing the blackest, most starless night of your life.
They don’t tell you that hearing others’ stories about their own losses and rainbow babies will be immensely comforting. They don’t tell you that those stories – whether they come in the form of Facebook posts from friends and acquaintances, or forums from six years ago on random websites – will feel like a golden rope that’s been tossed down to you, while you’re sitting at the bottom of your well of sadness. They don’t tell you how each story can help you feel like you’re being lifted out of that pit – slowly but surely.
They don’t tell you that sometimes you don’t feel like taking the rope: that sometimes you feel like wallowing in your sadness a little bit longer. They don’t tell you, but eventually you take the rope.
They don’t tell you that hope is like a drug. Is is what propels you forward, even when you aren’t sure in which direction forward is. They don’t tell you how much that scares you, because it is the same vacuous hope that told you to keep holding on for one more visit when the bad news first started. It’s that same foolhardy hope that told you to “trust your gut” and that “everything will be okay,” when your brain told you it wouldn’t.
But it’s that same resolute hope that soothes you when nothing else can, and reminds you that tomorrow is a new day: full of possibility.