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Nothing like a good business trip to snap you out of a blue funk.

A few of us had to travel to a smaller, more remote village earlier this week for work. The only hotel in town has shared washrooms, and during the busy season, you can expect to share your room. Yes, you may just end up sharing a room with a visiting contractor if you arrive during a busy time. Despite the rougher conditions, I was excited to meet our new regional staff and visit another seldom seen part of the world.

After a full day of meetings, we returned to the hotel for dinner. After eating, maybe it was the mountain air but the conversation turned to ghost stories, local superstitions and haunted houses. These didn’t bother me though: when I returned to my room I was so tired that I still fell asleep right away.

I got up really early the next morning to beat the rush to the shared shower and to steal some time before the next set of meetings to wander and take a few photos. I tried to avoid making too much noise since the hotel was still silent. While I was showering, the lights suddenly went out! I mean, completely out. It was pitch black because there were no windows anywhere, and the doors were completely sealed. The ghost stories from the night before came back and I began to freak out… Who turned out the lights? Should I scream? Should I chance it and run out of the shower stall naked to turn on the lights, or would I be playing into the hands of some nefarious character?

It seemed silly to stay in the dark, and more than a bit scary, so I figured I would take a chance and dash to the light switch. Turns out the hotel staff sets the lights on a motion sensor at night, which doesn’t read anything from the shower stall.

I am such a goof.

The next day, I showered right after dinner, while there were still lots of people around.

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A year ago today, they transferred two beautiful embryos into me. As we move through the month of June, I’m surprised by the emotions still attached to certain dates associated with my first IVF: the date we flew into the city, the day I began the needles, my retrieval, and transfer… I was naively positive that it would work. To an extent, it did; it resulted in a BFP, but not a baby I would ever hold.

We had our follow-up with my RE (via conference call). I appreciated his honesty; he recognizes the added effort and expense we have from flying out from the middle of nowhere, taking a month leave from work, and finding a short-term rental suite etc… He advised not pursuing IVF, as it’s too difficult logistically and given the chances with my ovarian reserves…? It would be a different situation if we lived closer, and had access to labs to better monitor me prior to a treatment. Anyways, I didn’t hear anything I didn’t expect.

It’s been a bit of a hard week. I heard from my co-worker … she had to terminate her pregnancy. She still sounded positive in her email and was looking to the future (she’s still so young).  But it’s so easy to seem positive online, doesn’t it? I hope she’s well and they’re taking good care of her.

Oh wow, I really don’t have much to say anymore. The failure of IVF#2 marks the end of the road for ever bearing my own biological child. Though I know I will love any child that we welcome into our family (I hope and pray we have this opportunity someday), there’s still a sadness to this realization when it hits. I guess any ending is difficult. It’s especially hard when fertility seems to surround me.

My relationship with one co-worker is better, despite the fact that our workstations are appallingly close. When she chats on the phone about her pregnancy, I simply turn up the volume to my music (don’t worry, my alternative 90s rock only fills my workspace). My other coworker is in the city, but when she left, she was extremely positive. She confided in me that her brother has heart issues but is perfectly fine. I’m hoping all goes well for her and that she returns soon. My boss returns shortly for a few weeks before leaving again to meet up with his wife and new baby. All this happiness and new life around me is enough to make me want to set my hair on fire.

But, I can’t let it get me down. Sometimes I do, and I allow myself to wallow in misery. But sometimes, I try to look to the future and focus on other things… like our adoption. And my post-grad studies which are nearing completion ( I’ve got to buckle down and finish my final research project ASAP!)

FredoAnd today my new fish died! Before we left the city, I bought one of those fighting fish. I got him through airport security successfully in 90 ml of water. He survived the flight in my purse in a water bottle. Unfortunately, the aquarium kit I bought was incomplete and did not have the water-treating dechlorinating stuff that you need, as was promised on the packaging. They don’t have any pet stores where I live. I tried to use bottled water that had sat out for a few days and had arranged to have some dechlorinator sent up this week. Well, my poor fighting fish fought the good fight, but this afternoon, I found him quite dead. I took the dogs for a walk along the bay, and set him free there (I can’t bear to think of him going into our sewage). I hope he’s got lots of fresh water wherever he is. ☹

My colleague, the one who so quietly admitted her pregnancy to me on Thursday, called me at work, yesterday afternoon. She told me in a very flat tone that she had just come from a doctor’s appointment and wasn’t coming back to the office today. I recognized that tone in her voice and my eyes welled up with tears as I whispered into the phone “Are you okay?” She began to cry and admitted that the baby’s heart wasn’t developing like it should and she might have to fly out to the city next week.

In a rush, this brought back so many memories from my miscarriage. The fear of not knowing, and the anger at our ridiculous health care system bubbled to the surface. Our hospital is great at delivering babies because they deliver so many of them. But I feel like when there is a problem, they’re not as concerned about saving the pregnancy because it’s just doesn’t seem like an issue with so many babies around. When I began to miscarry, I was given no advice or information about what was about to happen. They did give me a lot of useless gobbledy-gook on their policies. I was told that it was the hospital’s policy not to administer an unscheduled ultrasound unless it was an emergency (a miscarriage isn’t an emergency?!).  I was told that while I could have a D&C, they would prefer to have this progress naturally (so, I miscarried my baby slowly and painfully over 3 weeks or more). I didn’t know what to expect, or when it would end. I was asked to return to the hospital for some bloodwork in a few days so they could close their files. That’s right, my baby and I were a file to be closed. And that was the extent of my support from our sucky health system.

I was mad. I was mad for my gentle colleague and for what she has to endure this weekend while the doctors decide what to do. Why can’t they send her to the city hospital right away?! I told her if there was anything she needed from me, I’d be there for her. I didn’t tell her that this included raging against the screwed up health system here. I’m hoping that Monday will bring better news for her. Maybe she had a bad u/s tech, which is not unusual at our facility. This sucks and it’s not fair. I’ll be thinking of her and praying for a good outcome.

To top it all off, the work week ended with my oblivious colleague talking about how she will continue to work after she delivers because she’s JUST THAT DEDICATED to her job (and driving the rest of us crazy). I thought about all the women who would sacrifice EVERYTHING to deliver a baby… I thought about my other coworker who has kept her pregnancy a secret and is spending a weekend in absolute misery. I shouldn’t judge the Oblivious One for her commitment to her career and her ‘accidental’ pregnancy, but it took all I had not to throw something at her.

I was sad to leave the city. It felt like we were leaving hopes and dreams that were attached to the last cycle. Though it ended with a BFN, it felt good to be doing something. And, it felt great to see our family and friends. I was not overjoyed to be flying home.

So, I’ve been back for a few days now. Have I mentioned that I live in possibly the most fertile region in the country? I think the fertility rate isn’t just double, but triple. I’ve been dreading the return to the office and seeing the very pregnant co-worker. You remember the one… she can reduce a staff meeting agenda into a discussion about placenta in less than 7 minutes. At first, it wasn’t all bad. However, by the end of today, I was looking through the want-ads. It’s tough enough that my workstation faces the breeder…and that my boss is away on paternity leave. There was only one other co-worker who works with us in our building… and this morning, she quietly mentioned taking her leave a month before her due date this fall…

(insert screeching car crash noises in my head…) What?! You have GOT to be kidding me.

Was I horrible in a previous life? Have I been so terrible in this life? Is this some sort of karmic curse where the fates have decided to leave me as the one infertile in a population of breeders?

Wonderful. Just frickin’ great.

After the initial shock wore off, I squelched the rage against the universe bubbling inside of me and congratulated her. She’s young and she’s actually quite nice. I find it weird that while one co-worker has been so vocal about her Earth Mother status, this woman has quietly stood on the sidelines. They’re both at the same stage of pregnancy, but I’m not sure that anyone else knows about the 2nd one. I wonder if she finds our co-worker as annoying as I do? Everyone has heard all about the gory details of their philosophy on natural delivery and upcoming baby shower. But this other young woman has been doing her work, not really drawing any attention at all to herself. I sort’ve respect her for that. She’ll never know, but I’m so thankful to her for being as discreet as she was.

But, I gotta get outta this job, or at least get myself in a different building. I’m not sure I’ll be able to deal with all of this over the next few months as glibly as I have today. Maybe it’s time I returned to the city…