In just two days we’ll be staring out an airplane window at all the clouds between California and Milan. The excitement has made me a little more upbeat these past few weeks, and I’m hoping that this trip marks a new era of positivity for me in which I can accept my geographical challenges more easily, love J with all my heart instead of always letting my head get in the way, and enjoy some much-needed financial and career improvements.

When I was a teenager and in college I went to Italy several times, visiting the little Piemontese village my grandparents grew up in, staying with a friend whose grandmother was a friend of my grandmother, integrating with her high school life for a couple of weeks and them returning to Connecticut where I would cry for a week straight because I wanted to go back. I turned 21 while I was studying abroad in Siena, where I’d already drunk a hundred bottles of Tuscan red and 21 just meant more of the same. My fear was that it would be difficult to return from this trip, after not having been there for fourteen years, but I’ve come to realize that it’s going to be fine. Upon return, I will simply start planning my next trip there, as J adores Europe and goes every couple of years, and my dad has devoted all of his free time to fixing up the house there in which my grandmother grew up; now that grad school is behind me, I don’t have to put off Italy anymore.

This was going to be a second-trimester trip. I would easily have forgone wine to have my little nugget becoming bigger inside me. I would have shown her a beloved country before she could even see. Due to our miscarriage I will be drinking lots of wine, a small consolation prize, and our next round of IVF upon our return will soften the blow of having to return to LA and to everyday… traffic.

We saw our doctor last week, finally, to discuss the miscarriage that happened two and a half months ago. There have been times I felt angry that we didn’t decide to see her sooner, and desperate for our little embryos to be safe inside me, but I’m glad we waited. The Italy trip placed a square, solid marker between our first attempt and our second, giving us reprieve we didn’t have to discuss or decide on. It’s been a good couple of months, settling into my new job, enjoying the summer and anticipating a trip we’ve been planning for two years.

Our doctor, who is a brilliant and understated Chinese-American IVF expert, explained again that she believes our embryo had a chromosomal abnormality, and that she attributes this in part to J’s age. At 37, miscarriage is pretty common and she assured us she’s not concerned at this point. It’s scary that we only have two embryos left but for now I’m in a state of perpetual hope that I’ll get pregnant and nugget will be sticky.

J is adamantly against transferring two embryos due to the chance of twins. I really do not want to carry and deliver twins, and I only want one child, but I can’t help feeling that twins would be magical. We decided in our meeting however that we will only be transferring one embryo at a time.

The FET cycle timeline start as soon as we return. The day after I get back from Italy, I go in for my Day 2 bloodwork and ultrasound. About a week later I have to have a hydrosonogram to be sure there’s no scaring from the Manual Vacuum Aspiration (D & C). If everything looks okay, they’ll schedule the embryo transfer around October 28.

Just thinking about it makes me feel warm and happy. I’ve been thinking about what it was like to be pregnant a lot lately just the few short weeks of the experience left a huge impression on me. Last night I was in the middle of a yoga class and remembered being in yoga while pregnant and being short of breath. At the time, I felt so labored, but now I look back wistfully. The morning sickness was unmistakably awful, but even that I think of fondly, remembering getting up at 3am to eat dry toast with jam, being overtaken in a wave of nausea while listening to a client. I hope this time I get pregnant and stay pregnant. I hope this time I appreciate it even more, revel in it.

J and I feel more ready now, too. We’ve had a lot of time to talk more about becoming parents together, about our relationship, what we want in the next few years, and prepare together. This time around feels really good.

Right now what I’m really thinking about is pizza – small mis-shapen circles of perfection with real sauce and melting fresh cheese, accompanied by glass after glass of wine from a nearby vineyard, and waking up seeing the Italian countryside out the window, venturing out in pursuit of a cappuccino and flaky pastry.

I won’t have Internet in Italy and if I do, I’ll pretend I don’t! In two weeks I’ll shower you all with pictures though, and I’ll be thinking of you all while I’m away! Good luck to those actively TTC, those recovering from miscarriage, those processing RPL, and to the pregnant ladies and new moms. I can’t wait to see you all soon!

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