Journalist Amy Klein has bravely shared her journey of loss and IVF heartbreak with thousands of readers in her New York Times Fertility Diary on their Motherlode Blog.
I am not being flippant about the word brave. Every time she posts an update of her latest heartbreak (she has trudged through nine rounds of fertility treatments, including two IVFs with donor eggs, and through four miscarriages) she opens herself up to the scathing comments of bystanders. The gist of which are, "what did you expect, you're in your forties and too old to have a baby. Hang it up"
Aside from a few clomid cycles with IUI, I have avoided the special heartaches reserved for people with failed assisted reproduction procedures. But I know all too well the PTSD she writes about connected to the miscarriages, and you all know from my own writings what a number these losses do to your psyche.
So here's the thing: Amy Klein (who is now 43 maybe? 44?) - who had basically been told after a bunch of failed IVF cycles in Israel that she reached the end of the road - is now pregnant. She's well into her 2nd trimester. It also sounds like she has a reproductive immunologist in her corner (likely Dr. Braverman). It's unclear whether this is a natural pregnancy, or the result of donor egg IVF.
It doesn't fucking matter.
For some of us, the drive to have a baby can be characterized as primal. I can't begin to explain how you pick yourself up after failure after failure, and yet, you do. You grit your teeth and prepare a new vision of life for yourself, but you hold on to slivers of hope. Amy is not filled with visions of rainbows, it's clear from her words. She writes "Yes, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, even now. Sadly,
that’s one of the things this fertility journey has taught me: to
prepare for the worst. Along with years of my life, money, and
relationships, I’ve been robbed of my optimism, my belief that
everything always works out for the best. A lot can go wrong."
Don't I know it. I lived that sickening moment when doctors have told you that you're in the clear, and you're having a healthy baby, and suddenly - so suddenly, as violent as a gunshot - the rug is pulled out from under you and you're free-falling into hopelessness and grief.
Amy, you don't know me from Adam. But as I stare down the face of a "medical miscarriage" this weekend - one that IF IT WORKS OUT WELL will include much pain and a fuck ton of blood - I am rooting for you. Thank you for sharing this latest development. Thank you for your bravery.