“shawna” he said, ever so gently, “how far along did you think you were?”
& that is when I knew something was wrong.
He spent a little more time studying the screen & then turned it around to face me. Everything else is a blur. I could feel my eyes welling with tears as I stared at the screen. I knew what I should have seen & it is not what I saw. I saw a white circle. With nothing in it. I was 7.5 weeks along & there should have been a nice little gummy bear & a beautiful little flicker. But there wasn’t.
I went to get dressed & we talked a little bit. He wanted me to come back in a week.
So I waited. I was too symptomatic to ignore it. Nausea. Hunger. Fatigue. Weight gain. I kept telling myself it was in my head, but I knew it wasn’t. I felt 100% pregnant. My body felt pregnant. But in my heart I knew I wasn’t. It was a tortuous week. I had a bad feeling right from the start, but as much as I hoped for a miracle, I knew & prepared myself for the worst.
We went back a week later & though my amniotic sac was continuing to grow, there was little fetal development. I was given three options: a d&c, cytotec or just wait until my body miscarried on its own. I originally chose option three, but soon changed my mind. Mentally, I just had to move on. But moving on while experiencing all of the symptoms of a normal pregnancy was something that I just could not do. Choosing to use the cytotec was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. The decision was the hardest part of all. The rest felt like closure. & now, I can put it behind me. & move forward.
I am not ashamed. I am not angry. I am just sad. Sad and a little empty. But I am hopeful, because I GOT pregnant. With no medical intervention. Even after all the shitty things I recently learned about my infertility.
Two months ago I went into my Reproductive Endocrinology appointment expecting nothing more than a prescription for clomid & left feeling absolutely sick. Words like premature ovarian failure…low ovarian reserve…signs of endometriosis…elevated FSH…three times the risk of miscarriage…that is a pretty impressive septum…I recommend an elective c-section…all sat very heavy on my heart. I didn’t just have one obstacle, I had a bunch–and not just when it came to getting pregnant but also with carrying a pregnancy, too. My RE just kept telling me “it only takes one, even if there aren’t very many.” He told me that caroline is proof that all the tests in the world sometimes don’t matter, because her existence trumps anything they would seek to find. And he was right. Ironically, I was pregnant all along. I just didn’t know it yet. But that was just part 1 of the ‘actually having a baby’ equation.
There are two things that give me a sense of peace right now. The first, obviously, is the fact that I got pregnant on my own & this appears to be chromosomal which may or may not have something to do with my issues. But regardless, I got pregnant & I think that is what I needed to know right now. Even if it took another year this time, it happened. & that is awesome. But more than that, I know this happened for a reason. I don’t yet know what it is. Maybe I never will, but I learned so much from this experience. I have amazing people in my life. People who know just what to say & do. Maybe this happened to me so I can be one of those people to someone else someday. Because I could not have come out of this feeling the way I do right now if it weren’t for them. I am so grateful.
Miscarriage is a fuzzy topic. Do you talk about it? Not talk about it? One in FIVE women experience it. Of the women struggling with infertility that statistic jumps to one in THREE. It is so common, but so hush, hush. I suppose the decision to be open or closed depends on your personality. I am not one to stay closed forever. I need space at first, but once I deal with my shit (for lack of a better term) I am an open book. I learned that once I started talking about it I found this amazing community of women emerge & they knew just exactly what to say to help me heal.
Nothing makes me feel better than finding hope, and meeting someone else that has gone through what I have, yet came out ok, gives me hope. I think that rings true for infertility, too. The most positive I felt (or feel) is when I hear stories of success. Not just any success (like my brother in law’s cousin’s sister got pregnant after using clomid ONCE–yeah not helpful), but stories of struggles from women who were faced with my same physical challenges & overcame them help me find hope. Or stories of any woman who beat her odds–terrible, terrible odds. Because it reminds me that I cannot control everything & so much of pregnancy involves faith. Faith in whatever you believe–but I just don’t think we’re on our own. I have heard of one too many miracles to believe that we are on our own. I love those stories. & they always make me cry. So now…I hope for another miracle. & I do believe it can happen. :)
This magnet is in front of me at my desk. I have always loved this blessing. I stare at it often & still do believe that we choose to make each day a good one. This is something I owe to my dad & all those years he yelled “make it a great day” out the door as I left the house. I will make it a great day. I’ve had enough terrible days to last me the next year. I choose to believe that there is plenty to smile about.
& if you sent me a FB message or email–I am working through them. I am so behind, but I will reply. I so appreciate all of you.