Friday, August 24, 2012

Recovery: day 22

Last night I spoke to a friend of mine, the same one I talked about in this post. We don't communicate often, but she sent me an email the other day to see how things were going. Because she has endured 7 failed IVF cycles and 6 unsuccessful pregnancies, I told her about my miscarriage. She and her husband decided to stop trying a few years ago and live without children. However, as she said, that decision doesn't automatically eliminate the sting of each new pregnancy announcement or make not having a baby in her arms any less painful. It doesn't mean she's able to fill that void with something else. It was a conversation that was not without tears, but offered some healing.

From where she stands now, she has a lot of insight into her fertility journey. She's careful with what she says because she knows this process is my own and doesn't want to influence that. But what she did say, made so much sense. She listened compassionately, she validated my feelings, and more than anything, she understood.

One of the things we talked about was my struggle with the ultra sound images that keep me awake at night. How badly they hurt and how I feel like all the monitoring and watching my baby grow has made healing so much harder. She paused and confirmed that is how she had felt each time she miscarried too. But then went on to say that she feels differently about it now. That those images are the only things that she has to hang on to. They are the only tangible reminders of the babies she loved so much. And instead of trying to not remember, she embraces each pregnancy that she had. Because even though they were fleeting, those were her children.

I sat with this all night.

And my friend is right. I'm glad I have those images to return to. Whether they be the ones burned into my memory or the ones I have tucked into my desk drawer. It's true they cause me pain now, but they are the only things that I have. And after all of this, I am thankful for my baby. She taught me what it feels like to be pregnant. She showed me what it was to love someone I'd never even met. And that, yes, I want to continue fight to be a mother. She was worth the pain I'm feeling. Even if she can't be here with me now.

I also took the advice that many of you left me- that I find a way to honor this pregnancy. Something, in addition to the photos, to hold on to. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and finally settled on a necklace. It wasn't easy to find, but when I did- I immediately felt it. It's an egg shaped piece of sea glass wrapped in a tangle of wire. With her zodiac sign being Pisces, it reminds me of the ocean, the waters that I live by, and where the fish swim. It's unique, and beautiful, and will be a constant reminder of the little one I never got to hold in my arms, but that will forever be in my heart.


I am still raw. I still hurt every day. But I'm mending. And maybe gaining a little perspective along the way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recovery: day 20

In the week since I last posted, the moments where I feel ok are getting longer. I know that it takes time and it's normal to have so many ups and downs- but going through it, feeling every minute of it it, is harder than those words sound. Before infertility and loss I never met a roller coaster I didn't love. I want off this one.

Sass touched on something in her post today that I've been thinking about a lot lately. The link between memories and place. How just being somewhere or seeing something can turn you upside down. To have those old memories come smashing back seemingly out of nowhere.

Last week I had my post-op checkup. Sitting quietly in the waiting room of my RE's office I was overwhelmed with memories. I have experienced the highest moments of my life there. And the lowest. The disparity between the two is daunting. It's amazing that one place can hold so much. So much that it's hard to filter through those feelings logically.

Last weekend I found myself at the local pharmacy. I needed a new headband because my dog mistook my old one for something good to eat. The store was crowded so I walked along the parimeter trying to make my way over to where I needed to be. Without realizing it until I was there, the family planning section attacked me. A place I'd spent so much time and money in the past, but also where I bought my last HPT. I was in a good mood until then.

Yesterday my husband and I went swimming in the ocean. Summer is officially over and we had the beach to ourselves. It felt good to have the sun touch my skin again. To let the waves crash over me. To taste the salt on my lips. The water was cold but exhilarating. And then a shocking realization flooded over me; the last time we were there, I was pregnant.

Today I'm going out with an old friend after work. One that I'd lost track of for the last 13 years. Through chance and good luck, we found ourselves living in the same city again- thousands of miles from where we'd parted. When we reunited last month, I attempted to blame the hot weather and long car ride home for my inability to drink the wine she had so neatly set on the table. It didn't work and she quickly guessed the real reason. So later today as we are sitting out in the sun, chatting easily like we always do, the wine that I sip will be bitter.

We are rooted in our sense of place. It's where memories are stored. The events from last week to time that has not even happened yet, paralyze me. I know my wounds are still fresh, but will the emotions ever be less poignant?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Recovery: day 12

The bleeding has finally stopped, the fighting with my husband has (mostly) subsided, and I'm left in a strange place of needing to move forward yet unwilling to do so. The anger hasn't gone anywhere. Though now it's turned mostly inward. My self worth its latest victim.

I'm due for a perfunctory checkup on Thursday to see my battle scarred ute and stagnant ovaries. Oh joy.

I've been struggling with the miracles of technology lately. Without the images of our growing baby blasted from the ultrasound machine each week, I wouldn't see her so vividly every time I close my eyes. Without all that monitoring I don't think I'd be so bloody attached. Attached some, yes of course. But not as much as I am now. I saw her. I saw her alive and I saw her dead. And in a few days I'll see where she was supposed to be, all cuddled up and growing strong.

My mom suffered 3 miscarriages in her quest for my sister, me, and a sibling that never survived. All early before 8 weeks. However, she said that when she thinks back to those times she only remembers the physical pain of the babies passing. And then nothing else. Is that because time has healed her wounds or is it because she doesn't have any images to return to? I'm afraid to let go because that baby was more than a blip on the screen. She was my tiny 8-week old daughter.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Recovery: day 8

I had a talk with Zsa Zsa about my anger. I felt justified with it; she felt like it was very unhealthy. She had some valid points, but I'm so much more comfortable with it than any other emotion, that it is hard to control. But I'm trying. I'm trying not to be so mad. Trying not to be angry at others. Trying not to hate myself. Just... trying.

The last week has been filled with bouts of sadness. Times when I lay in bed full of rage. Flanked by times when I'm able to (ever so) briefly concentrate on work, lose myself in a movie, or cuddle with my husband at night. I'm attempting to return to some kind of normalcy. Whatever that means. I know it'll just take time, but I wish I could just fast forward three months. I want this part to be over with.

It took me a solid two weeks to talk to one of my closest friends about the miscarriage. Strange because she's a processor like me and typically very comforting with her words. When I originally texted her my bad news (I was in no shape for a phone call at that point) I got a return voicemail that just seemed a little off. She said all the right things and on the surface it all seemed valid, but something wasn't right. Was it the tone of sadness that was missing? I didn't know and decided that I needed to keep my distance. However, eventually I knew that phone call had to happen or the fallout of not doing so might permanently hurt our friendship. So I finally called.

She and her partner have been trying to get pregnant (starting a solid year+ after us) and since the IUI is one of the first options for a gay couple, she understands roughly what its like. She has also been privy to our struggle with infertility and our first miscarriage. So when I told her the details of what had happened, she was genuinely sympathetic. I talked as things entered my head and didn't use a filter, vomiting the events of the past two weeks. An hour into my diatribe, there was a lull. I knew I shouldn't have asked, but I also couldn't stop myself. Her partner had an IUI just two weeks prior and somehow, in my gut, I already knew the answer. I forced my friend into an impossible situation: if she told me the truth, it would send daggers into my heart and if she lied, our friendship would suffer a deep betrayal.

Hearing that one of my closest friends was newly pregnant after talking for over an hour about how mine was prematurely taken, was infuriating. I felt embarrassed that I'd let my guard down and spoke the gruesome truth. I felt angry that while she listened to my pain she held a secret so wonderful that involuntary smiles spread across her face throughout the day. I hate that the voicemail she left me may have been the same day she found out she was expecting- and was unable to hide the joy in her voice. The same day I lost mine.

I know my feelings are irrational. I know that she is just an innocent target for my anger. I know that my jealousy is only adding to this pool of muck. I know that she loves me and feels horrible about everything that has happened; that the timing is just cruel. I hate that she keeps trying to reach out and that all I can do is sting her with my silence. I feel so guilty for feeling like this. It's so hard to consciously know what you feel isn't real, yet at the same time it is so real that you can hold it in your hand. I'm ashamed of this, but I can't seem to let it go.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Recovery: day 4

I keep going back to when I was sitting in my Ob's office. While there, I remember thinking to myself about how much had changed in just a matter of months. The last time I was in that office was for an annual checkup. I had just tested (negative) and was not happy- and I didn't keep it to myself. When my Ob walked into the exam room and cheerfully asked how I was doing, I replied, "Shitty". It was clear I made her feel uncomfortable. I didn't care. I was sick of candy coating it. I was infertile and pissed off.

Fast forward six months, and there I was sitting in that same waiting room. This time next to a woman with a newborn. I was amazed at how at ease I felt. It was the first time I didn't feel like chewing on a new mother's nativity and spitting it out, hopefully leaving her to feel just some of my pain. No, this time I sat there not quite feeling like part of the club, but feeling that maybe they'd let me in soon. Feeling, more at peace than I had in a long time.

But how quickly it all came rushing back. Rooted in my belly and more ferocious than ever.

My default is anger. It is a powerful emotion and it puts me in control. I can direct it at specific people or things. I can cut deep with it and feel satisfied that I'm able to inflict pain at will. I don't like how it feels, but it feels better than sadness. Or helplessness. I need to break this habit. Relinquish some control. Put faith in the future. In my future. In my desire to be happy again. It's hard though.

I wasn't prepared for a the call I got today. It was Dr. D. It was her first day back at the clinic and she'd just heard what happened. She said all the right things- all of which I needed to hear from her. She also told me the results of my RPL panel came came back. It was supposed to take ten business days for the results, not two. How often does that happen?

Lots of biology mumbo-jumbo, but the long and short of it was there was an extra chromosome. Chromosome 11 to be exact. Just a twist of nature. Things didn't line up quite as they should. Not conducive to sustainable life. It came from the paternal side- a bad sperm they said. And it was a total fluke. The chances of this happening again are less than 1%.

And, it was a girl.

Friday, August 3, 2012


My wounds that had not even begun to heal have been made even bigger.

Trisha and I met through the infertility blog world. I was drawn in by both her wicked humor in the face of pain and her soft spots that were so vulnerable they made me feel more human. We experienced our first miscarriages within weeks of each other. We bonded through our anger and pain. Then we met in real life and a true friendship was forged.

And then we found ourselves both pregnant again. With the same due date. We whispered of hope and excitement despite our overwhelming fears. We supported each other when the other was weakened by bad dreams or angst for the future. There was an understanding. A link. A bond.

In a twist that only the darkest novels would dare to take, we find ourselves tangled in the worst of nightmares. Trisha just received news that her sweet MB's heart has stopped. There is no cap to the amount of cruel that this world has to offer.

Now I find the grief I had for myself has shifted to my sweet friend. Her pain is my pain. Please offer her the support and love that she needs so badly right now.

Recovery: day 1

The D&C was yesterday and it's done. But not before my body did half the work its own.

I am in quiet pain now. The violent sobs and lashing out has been replaced with a sadness and stillness that is deafening. I only hope that healing comes swiftly. That I can somehow manage to find hope again. That I can eventually find peace with today.

Comforting a friend in grief has never been something that I've been good at. I've often just hoped that through my silence and quiet prayers, the person just.. knew. That they innately understood that I was there. That they could just feel my love through it all. That's not how it works though. For the person grieving, sadness and pain come from less, not more. It is a lesson I'll not soon forget.

The support I've gotten here has been immense. Overwhelming. The words that you have written saved me. The understanding and compassion got me through to the next day. The acknowledgement that I deserve to feel this pain. This anger. This blackness. That the grief is real. It made me feel human when I felt like I was less than.

For each person that took the time to read and leave healing words. For each person that reached out to a perfect stranger in pain. For each person that had old wounds ripped open yet still offered strength. Thank you. It seems insufficient compared to what you have given me, but it is all I have. And it is important for me to acknowledge what it has meant.

My body is now mending. I just hope that my heart follows suit.