A story of a Harvard student going through IVF

# Month: February 2016

Our society and system taught us to think logically.

We went to to school, we followed the syllabus, we tested the equation. We got points (credits) if our answer was right.

We live in a science based world (at least it’s what I believe). So when something happened unexpectedly, our first reaction is ‘Why?’, ‘What went wrong?’ or ‘How did we fix it?’ as if we know everything is 1+1 = 2.

And when life throws us a curve ball, it devastates us even more as we (sometimes) are left with no trace of evidence or what caused it. Our emotion are completely messed up by our habit of reasoning. The urge of knowing the ‘why’ puts us in deep frustration.

As I am writing this, I too am reasoning why I lost my child…why this happened to me.

As much as I love business valuation in my field, I started wondering why we need all these equations as we might have no control over the macro system at the end. Life is so unexpected that no matter how precise we calculate, we are still the bystander.

The real questions are…are you brave enough to face another or unlimited curve balls in life? And can you ignore the voice of ‘why’ / ‘Why me?’

Dear baby,

Mommy needs to recover. But that doesn’t mean you will be forgotten. It’s funny that the maternity clothes have just arrived yesterday. Aside from the XL pant, others fit perfectly. I think I will wear the navy blue dress to my graduation. It’s so soft and comfortable. I am not going to return it.

Mommy needs to be back on the studying schedule tonight.  As much as I want to sleep, I have to catch up with my cases. Mommy’s classmates were kind enough to meet me tomorrow so that I won’t have to do the homework alone. And after tomorrow, I also need to review all the materials I missed last week. It’s a bit nerve wracking just to think about it… But I want to have a little vacation with your daddy after graduation so I better keep all things on schedule. The summer this year should be very nice. I can’t wait to feel the Summer breeze in this blue dress and walk along the beach with your daddy.

This might become my favorite dress of all time. Thanks for giving me an excuse to go shopping.

What do you want Mommy to do after graduation? For now, I just want to power through till May. A vacation with your daddy is overdue.

Love you very much.

M

I had my DC surgery yesterday to remove the fetus. It was an emotional scene before I was wheeled to the Op room.

We met my surgeon (also my OBGYN) at the Pre-Op unit to go through a few Qs before the procedure. My husband wanted to get a final confirmation from my doctor if the ‘baby’ is really showing no sign of life. Some might call it the ‘stage of denial’ but for a split sec (or mins), I too hope that may be there were 2 babies there that one has been hiding without being noticed. I even hoped that someone would rush into my room saying it has all been a mistake and the surgery is needed to be cancelled….

Yet, we have to accept the reality that our baby has gone long before we know it.

My husband kissed my belly and said goodbye to our child. It was heartbreaking.

I saw the word “abortion” on the medical chart as the official procedure name. Although I understand it is just the sake of a medical term, my tears started running as it isn’t an intended termination that I wish to perform on my body. Everything was perfect. Timing was perfect. I could have delivered this baby soon after my graduation. We could celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with this little pea. I praised God for such fantastic schedule.

Now, it becomes the schedule for our recovery.

I cried my way to the Operation Room. The anesthesiologist pad my shoulder as he seemed to understand what’s going on…I took a final look at the room to remember it is my last day and location where I have to farewell my child.

I woke up at exactly 11:45am in the Post-op room. The immediate feeling was relief. I knew not only I made it through the surgery, but I also left behind my past in the other room. I am officially entering into a new stage of grieving.

My uterus is now an empty castle.

At least my husband and I experienced of being parents for the past 10 weeks…

Sitting by the phone all morning and waiting for the clinic to confirm a date/time for a DC surgery.

The feeling of carrying a dead fetus in my body sucks. I want to move on (both emotionally and physically) but knowing it is still in my body, making the whole grieving process so difficult. There’s nothing you can control.

I just want to put on my sneakers and run off my pain. But I can’t do it. My body is still functioning as a 10 weeks + old pregnancy woman…I can’t run with this gravity.

I can’t put my mind together for the things I need to do today: study, prep for case study, replying professor’s Qs. Nonetheless, I have a group meeting this Sun. What if my surgery is being held Fri? Will I still have the strength to make the call? Or should I ditch it? But no! I need something to keep me occupied. I can’t control the life of a fetus. At least, I have a say in my education, my grade.

My dog seems to know something is up. She has been following me all morning but didn’t harass me for foods or anything. I think animal’s instinct is pretty remarkable. Her companion is priceless, esp in this stage.

I just want to run. Have my head up and run as long as I can…

I found out I was pregnant just a few days before J-term started.

I was so worry that I would lose this child, given the intensity and nerve wrecking schedule in only 3-4 weeks.

Surprisingly, my child survived in my womb, even through the snow storm and traveling.

I carried the 6 weeks old baby back to my hometown California right before Spring semester started. I thought that it would be a happy ending as my baby would finally see daddy. I could finally enjoy the pregnancy with my partner. That was the happiest day. My loneliness has finally ended.

It was miracle to hear its heart beat the very first time in the clinic. I never wanted children before. But carrying a child with the love of your life was such a loving and beautiful experience. You dream about raising this child with your partner. You fantasize the conversation you would have with him/her one day. For every single step you take since you heard the heart beat, you want to make sure that little pea in the womb is getting the best comfort and safety ever.

For the past 10 weeks, I went from size 0 to XL. The feeling of bloating and muscle pain made me feel all worth it. I was anticipating the very next ultrasound so that I would get to see his/her heartbeat again. I counted every hour, every day. Nothing is more important than the little soul.

Just when I thought I could see its movement on the black and white screen this morning, I saw a lifeless baby in an enlarge sac instead. There was no heartbeat. It dated 7 weeks and 4 days, the max days the fetus had survived.

I was supposed to be in my 10 weeks 3 days pregnancy today. As it turned out, my baby has already left us almost 3 weeks ago. Doctor said my body has yet to detect the miscarriage and therefore, I am still experiencing pregnancy symptoms.

I never cried that hard before. But I didn’t know what to do except hugging my husband and cried my lung out. I think the folks in the next exam room could hear me sobbing. It was not about the disappointment. It is more about mourning the death of your child, even you have never met in person.

You fell in love with someone whom you only knew for a couple month. And now, you realize that this person had quietly slipped away from you life. I have been cheering for a dead body in my womb for 3 weeks.

From a medical point of view, I am literally carrying a dead tissue.

I still want to name this article as “My 10-week gift”. It is because the existence of this little baby did give me the joy of being a mother, the center of love for 10 whole weeks. I see the world differently. I begin taking good care of myself, my body. It was a beautiful and grateful 10 weeks journey.

But for now, I have to move on… Mommy needs to do what is best for her body.

I need to schedule a DC surgery to remove the tissue within the few days. Or else, the chances of getting an internal infection is big.

I am still trying to find the enlightenment and meaning from this event. I might never will.

But at least, I am grateful for these 10 weeks journey.

I love you baby. Wherever you are, you’ll always be in daddy and mommy’s heart.