When I walked into Saint Clair's Hospital at 6am on November 17th 2011, I was not in a good place.
As I sat there being registered for my Out Patient surgery, I was not in a good place.
Each question the staff member asked I answered without thought, without emotion, without truly being present. I was not there. I was somewhere else and it was not a good place.
And then he asked me "Religion?".
I think for the first time I looked up. I looked at him. I really didn't want to look at anyone. I thought if I looked at someone, if I caught their eye, then they would know. They would know that I lost my baby and I was there for a D&C.
When my sister drove me there and dropped me off, I know for the whole car ride I didn't look at her.
I walked the halls with my head down and I didn't look up as sat there answering this man's questions:
Until...until he said: "Religion?"
Then I looked up. I looked at him and I said: "What?"
He said: "Religion?"
Pause... as if I was really thinking about it. Or as if he asked me that question in a foreign language and I was still somehow trying to translate it.
Looking away. Looking down again. Then looking up.
I said as almost an afterthought: "None."
Even though I knew it was a lie. Even though I knew that just a week and a half ago I sat in church beaming, smiling from ear to ear and thanking God for the wonderful gift growing inside of me. Even though only 4 days ago I sat in church praying to God to be able to keep my baby. And even though I knew I would be back in church the following Sunday trying to come to terms with this.
At that moment, in that place, I didn't feel any of it. I felt strangely numb. I felt nothing so I said:
And I watched him type it in.
I walked down the hall to the elevator. Went to the 2nd floor, proceeded left towards the nurse's station for Out Patient surgery the whole time clinging to my piece of paper that declared "Religion: None".
I even stopped and took a picture of it on my phone. I don't know why. As a reminder? In case I forgot or in case I wanted proof that at that moment, in that place, in that bad place, I declared "None".
Because I had nothing left inside. My baby had stopped growing and I was walking down the hall to be admitted for a surgery that was going to remove what was left.
I was in a bad place and I wanted God to know that in this bad place I said: "None".
The rest of the day was as if I was in a dream.
I was in some faraway place when they put my IV in. Some far off place when they wheeled me to the "holding area" where I waited for Dr. O to come in and take me to the OR.
I was trying not to look at anyone. Trying not to cry and trying to pretend I wasn't in that place.
And then Dr. O came in and walked up to me.
That's when I looked at him. I looked at him with the tears starting to fill my eyes and I begged him to perform every test he could think of because I never wanted to be in that place again.
He took his thumb and wiped away that one tear that somehow got away and rolled down my cheek as he promised to do the tests.
Then everything went back into this dream like state as Dr. O wheeled me into the OR...as they moved me to the operating table and started "plugging me in"...as they placed my legs in the stirrups and strapped them down...as the anesthesiologist was getting ready to put me to sleep and as one overly sympathetic and somewhat annoying nurse kept rubbing my arm and trying to look directly into my eyes.
I kept trying to look away from her and all I kept thinking was "Okay, I get it. Your compassionate!"
"Damn I wish this anesthesia would kick in!"
And it did. And I was off to another place. A place of forgetting. Even if it was only for a little while.
The very next day I went back to work. I had to be in a place where I wasn't thinking about it. Where things were I guess you could say "normal". I need to be in a normal place.
But as the day progressed I could feel the pain of the surgery I had less than 24 hours ago. It was a constant reminder of the place I was really in.
I went through the holidays in a very emotional place but trying to show the world I was in a strong place.
And I tried to avoid any place where there was talk of babies or pregnancy.
I couldn't take it. It hurt too much.
But it didn't matter because the news of babies and pregnancies followed me everywhere like a ghost.
A ghost of my pregnancies past that never ended with a baby where everyone else's did.
And I wasn't even in a place to say "Congratulations" or support friends who were finally in the place I so longed to be.
I was angry and hurt and shocked. I was in disbelief and in constant emotional and spiritual pain.
I was not in a good place and I knew it.
But I didn't care.
I pushed forward in an attempt to move on.
I pushed forward in an attempt to ignore the pain.
I pushed forward because I didn't know what else to do.
And I just so desperately wanted to get back to a better place. Back to the place where I was beaming in church.
So I pushed to do my FET right away.
I had 3 frozen embryos from my IVF cycle.
I also have 5 frozen donor embryos which became available just days after my miscarriage. I was so afraid (and so certain) that my FET with my 3 frozen embryos wasn't going to work that I panicked and grabbed the 5 right away. I had to make sure I was in a place to cycle again when my FET would inevitably fail.
I put myself in a place of contempt for my FET.
I was so down that I had convinced myself there was no way my FET could work.
I am a numbers gal and sided on the law of averages and statistics. I figured there was no way I could "hit it out of the park" after just getting pregnant on my last cycle. I figured I was bound to strike out.
I kept telling myself that when the FET doesn't work I can always try again with the 5 frozen donor embryos.
I was just going through the motions. I wanted to get it over with.
I wasn't in a place of excitement and possibility as I had been just 3 months earlier.
But what I really wanted more than anything was for it work and put me back in the place where I was going to be mom.
But just like I predicted my FET did not work. I transferred 3 beautiful embryos and I am not pregnant.
And then I found myself in a place I never thought I would be in...a place of giving up. A place where I can't imagine cycling again and putting myself through it all again.
It could be because I'm not ready. It could be because I am still in a place of mourning.
I need to be in a better place in order to move forward. I know that. But I'm not sure how to get there.
And then out of a place where friendships and camaraderie are born from struggle something amazing happened...
Some absolutely, beyond incredible women contacted me offering to donate their remaining embryos to me.
Their offer has touched a very deep place in my heart and in my soul.
Knowing that there are people in this world that are so willing to open themselves up to help another already puts me in a better place.
It puts me in their world and I am honored.
And suddenly, I'm feeling my fight coming back. I slowly feel myself moving into a place a hope.
I feel myself finding a better place.