Prepare for a long read ahead….
This is an extremely tough place to revisit in my mind, but I wanted to share as part of my commitment to myself and others be raw, real, and vulnerable, all while being myself. Most importantly to have these memories, whether wanted or not, to reflect upon in the months and years to come. Luckily parts of it feel like a blur.
Let’s rewind a bit…
Thursday February 4th – I was heading to Chicago for a girl’s weekend/wedding dress shopping for my beautiful bride-to-be sister! Although we didn’t expect the genetic report for a couple more days, I contemplated calling Dr. F to let her know I was getting on a plane and wouldn’t be available, as I had this weird feeling she would try to call while I was in the air. I didn’t end up calling. During the previous few days, I had thoughts of her calling Chris to deliver the news. I don’t know what it was that made me think this way, but frankly, it kind of freaks me out how my thoughts turned into reality.
I was in vaca mode and had a drink (or two…it was bumpy) on the plane while watching NFL Network’s Superbowl coverage (yes, I am officially a big time Broncos fan). My mom and I arrived to Midway within minutes of each other, and Meggie picked us up. It is seriously one of the best feelings in the world seeing their faces. However, Meg didn’t seem herself, but I assumed she was stressed due to work meetings, visitors, etc. We had an awesome meal at Big Star, and went back to Meggie and Brent’s.
While enjoying a much needed glass of Cab Sav, Meggie called me to the counter where there was a beautiful arrangement of hydrangeas with a card and two gift boxes. I was FAR too emotional to read the card, and to be honest – I still haven’t read it. But, as the card states, I was formally asked to be her Matron of Honor, and I could NOT be more excited to return the favor!
The boxes held two gorgeous bracelets. She said one was for me (I will wear it for the first time on September 23, 2016), and the other symbolized our “snowflakes” (embryos). Tears. I have worn it every day since. Each morning when I put it on, not only am I reminded of my sister, but our little five frozen embryos just waiting to make me a mom!!
[As I write, I realize…this whole process is completely NUTS to me, but to think that we have embryos frozen in a tank, in a lab, down the street, is CRAZY. Those microscopic cells are our future children?!?!?! WEIRD, yet AMAZING. Thank God for IVF.]
Friday February 5th – It should have been a BEAUTIFUL and glorious, yet freezing, day. I surely had NO idea what was to come. Meg and Brent were off to work. I slept in and then laid in bed just thinking, completely overthinking/analyzing/worrying about life, per usual. I kid you not, I was thinking of the number zero and the word none. I was picturing in my mind what I would post to Facebook and Instagram to deliver the terrible news. I just knew it. I often convince myself the worst is going to happen, so when it does, I will be prepared. I am insane, I know.
Tina, my Bernese Mtn. Dog niece, got me out of bed as she had to potty. I saw I had a missed call from Chris, yet assumed nothing out of the ordinary, as he was probably on his way to the gym or the office.
I was going to call him back after I suited up to battle the 15 degree temps. My blood is so thin now due to living out West for the last 3 (yes THREE!) years and the daily baby aspirin I take (kidding)! I headed out with Tina, Chris calls again. We talked about our previous evenings, plans for the day, etc. After a few minutes, I told Chris I needed to get off the phone so I could pick up after Tina. However, the conversation didn’t end. It was weird, and I knew something was wrong.
He said “I need to talk to you about something.”
My heart went through the ground. “Yeah?” [I assume something to do with Reese.]
“Honey, Brooke (Dr. F) called me yesterday. It isn’t good news.”
I don’t know my exact response, but think it was something like, “What? None???? I knew it. I f-ing knew it. Are you kidding me? WTF!” and a lot more choice words.
I asked some questions about what Brooke said, her advice, etc.
[A few weeks back, I recall saying to my dear neighbor/friend that if none of our embryos came back normal, I would need to be checked into an institution. She offered an IV drip of Xanex. I seriously could have used it at that moment.]
Am I dreaming, having a nightmare? I knew he wasn’t kidding. I could tell by the trembling in his voice.
I couldn’t cry. I was in pure shock. Even though I thought I had prepared myself for this, it was crushing, a completely devastating blow to say the least. So much felt SO right during and after cycle. I thought we were going to dominate with success.
I immediately have a million thoughts running through my brain. Why? What is next? What does this mean for us? How can I fix this? Was their equipment broken? They must be wrong. Did they not get the right set of cells? How can this be happening? Are we going to do another cycle? Do we move to transfer? Will we ever have our own biological child? Why did we waste two plus months, $15,000, and put my body through this all for LITERALLY nothing? All the stress, anxiety, emotions, appointments, blood work, ultrasounds, injections for NOTHING. Not one good thing came from this. Nope.
You know when you go through tough times in life, you come out a better person?
You know when you mess up in life, you chalk it up to learning a lesson the hard way?
You know when something goes wrong, you try and fix it?
Well none of those apply here.
I am NOT a better person for this waste.
There is NO lesson to be learned here.
And there is absolutely NO fixing this.
Chris shared how this all played out. Brooke accidentally called his phone Thursday afternoon. When he answered, she said “Oh, hi Chris. I meant to call Kacey. Sorry about that.” He let her know I was on a plane and wouldn’t be available. She delivered the news to him, and it hit him hard, real hard.
He called my dad almost immediately to ask how to appropriately handle the situation.
Although Chris and I were texting while in flight, of course he would never share the news with me flying alone, 40,000 feet in the air. He didn’t want to tell me as soon as I landed, so he wanted advice on when/how to share nightmare.
He then called Meggie to see our plans for the evening and if there would be an ideal time to tell me. Hence Meggie not being herself.
It was an extremely rough night for Chris. He was in total disbelief. Purely devastated.
I know my dad cried. I am sure Meggie did too. Everyone was crushed, not just because of the news, but partially because of how excited I was for such a special weekend. Life was (temporarily) about to come crashing down in front of me, and I had NO idea.
Collectively, it was determined Friday morning would be best for Chris to share the update. I would be with my mom…able to cry, grieve, curse, yet hold on to a tiny bit of excitement for our fun weekend ahead.
After hanging up with Chris, I had NO clue how to tell my mom. That alone was enough to make me want to throw up, again. I walked back inside, and pretty much just laid out there for her. She couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t cry. Shock.
I think I was trying to be strong on the phone with Chris. Then I was trying to be strong in front of my mom. She was trying to be strong for me. I will know one day what it is like to see your child hurting, but until then, I can only imagine the feelings my parents have seeing us through this process. Moments later, I completely lost it.
My mom held me as I sobbed in the kitchen. She sobbed. I needed to let it out.
I get back to making our green smoothies while looking through a fog of tears.
My mom gets in the shower, and I lost it again.
And then again while brushing my teeth.
I was going to wear comfy/workout type clothes, but dressed myself better, hoping it would make me feel better.
I didn’t speak to our Uber driver.
I wore my sunglasses in Macy’s and nearly bought an unnecessary, ridiculously expensive purse just because I thought I deserved it.
I talked to Chris while sitting next to my mom in the shoe department, and felt bad I wasn’t with him.
Despite it all, my mom and I had a fabulous lunch at the Walnut Room. Even though my appetite was nonexistent, the French onion soup and 2 glasses of Prosecco were lovely.
We were on our way to the Nordstrom Bridal Suite with the bride-to-be in tow. I broke down again and was so mad at myself for being like this, as this was Meggie’s time. It was supposed to be such a joyous, celebratory event. I tried to be discreet in a dressing room, so she wouldn’t see me. The LAST thing I wanted to do was take any moment away from her. She didn’t deserve that. Sunglasses back on.
My mom made me put phone away, as tears filled my eyes with every message/call.
Lillie, our nurse, called. Tears.
My brother sent a message, “Maybe a little pick me up” with a screenshot of his Southwest Airlines flight confirmation for a trip to San Diego just after my birthday. I couldn’t stop crying.
Things seemed a bit better with Meg trying on gowns, and I am doing my best to focus on her. We get a tasty Americano, and went to two other bridal boutiques. I had some laughs and was definitely feeling the best I had all day. Yes, we found THE DRESS, and holy smokes, it is stunning! That is a story for a different day, but I will take partial credit 😉 We were FINALLY on our way back to Lincoln Park.
That evening our adorable cousin (my goddaughter), Paige, arrives, gives me a huge hug and said, “This is from my mom (our Auntie, my Godmother). She said she loves you.” I lost it.
My dad called to check on me. Que the waterworks.
I lost it again and again and again.
I asked to talk to Meggie privately. I apologized profusely to her, as I felt terrible for being such a distraction to HER weekend.
I was/am SO thankful I was with my family; it was seriously the best medicine.
The initial plan was to go out to dinner tonight and flatbreads (If you know my mom, it will NOT surprise you that she brought the ingredients from STL) in tomorrow night. I suggested a change in plans. Getting ready and being in public wasn’t happening for me. I was lethargic, and we were all emotionally drained. So we opted for flatbreads in on Friday night. Tasty, tasty.
I was drinking vodka. Heavily. I was determined to put this nightmare as far out of my mind as possible. Huge mistake, but we had fun, or at least I think we did?! Many of you may have gotten messages, FaceTime calls, or snapchats from us. We laughed a lot, and went to bed way too late. And I completed regretted my vodka consumption the second I woke up.
This novel is To Be Continued…
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best. – Robert Tew