So heres the truth. I didn’t get out of bed today. Until 2:30 when I had to go do the school pick up thing. I barely brushed my teeth. Then because I must not have been feeling enough self-loathing, I drove through McDonalds and got a Quarter Pounder. With fries. And ok if I’m going to be completely honest here, I had a couple McNuggets too, just for good measure. I don’t feel bad about it.
See, right now I am pregnant with a phantom fetus. 6 weeks 6 days pregnant with a little ghost fetus. There is a sack. A fantastic looking sac, measuring right on schedule. Growing grandly. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t contain a perfectly sized, perfectly growing baby. Phantom Fetus is making me sick. Phanton Fetus has given me disgustingly veiny and painfully sore boobs. These things I could take, would willingly endure, were Phanton Fetus not, well, a phantom. Were I actually growing something, it’d be easier to deal with the fact that I’ve spent the last week and a half on Zofran and vomiting 8 to 10 times a day. Who vomits that much without baby? Without alcohol at least?
So here I am. Sitting. Feeling a bit crampy. Not oh goody my ligaments must be stretching crampy, but holy shit this is gonna hurt crampy. I just want it to start. It could be a few days, the nurse said, or it could be weeks. The only thing that I have going for me, she said, is that the pregnancy was being supported by an outside source of hormones. With that hormone source gone, I may get lucky and have my body realize that it is no longer pregnant sooner rather than later.
There is so much hope that comes with an IVF or an FET cycle. That hopeful month, month and a half where you allow yourself to think, “This is it”. This is the cycle thats gonna make my baby. Then you get the positive pregnancy test. You know, cus you cheat and pee before beta day. And then when beta day comes you agonize over the result. You are pregnant, but now you must agonize over whether or not it is going to double. Is it a viable pregnancy? Because hey, in the world of infertility, we all know that 8 pee sticks and one positive beta mean nothing. So you wait your four days (at my clinic) and you go back for beta two. Your numbers have risen appropriately. You are feeling sick almost all the time. Your boobs hurt like hell and they are getting little purplish veins webbing out from your nipples and across your pale white skin. You are actually feeling hopeful. This might be it. Two weeks you have to wait until the confirmation ultrasound. You are nervous but try not to think about it. You are becoming increasingly sick, throwing up even. You can’t stand the sight of certain foods. You are far sicker than with the last pregnancy that ended in miscarriage.
Ultrasound day comes and you answer all of the nurses questions. You are 6 weeks 5 days pregnant. Nope, no spotting. Yes, horribly constipated. Nope, no cramps. You lay back with your feet in the stirrups and she inserts the vag-cam. Immediately a sac can be seen. A large gestational sac…that is empty. She scans a little bit longer, but you already know. Finally without a word she pulls the vag-cam out and sighs. She immediately begins discussing a d&c versus a natural miscarriage. You can’t stop thinking about how much she looks like Kyle Richards of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. When did Kyle Richards become a nurse? When did she start working for your RE? And when was the last time you went to Vegas? You are thinking about how much you’d really love to go to Vegas. Maybe stay somewhere fancy. Splurge a bit more than you normally would. The nurse leaves the room and you put on your pants (elastic waist because even though you aren’t showing you are so damn bloated you cant button your jeans). You don’t say anything to husband. You grab your purse and walk out. He has met you there and has to go to work. You tell him you are fine. That everything is fine. You will see him later. No big deal.
…So yeah, here I am. It feels different than last time. Yes, I am grieving this loss, but it almost feels “better” that there is no fetus. With my first miscarriage I couldn’t handle the though of carrying “a dead baby”. I demanded, insisted that it be taken out of me. With Phantom Fetus? Well I guess I’m not as demanding of its removal because there really is nothing there. Just a sac, signifying only what could have been. A hope that almost became a reality. A phantom dream.