Infertility and miscarriage are cruel. You can spend years trying to get pregnant, seeking invasive treatments to finally conceive and then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. So naturally you start again. You try and you try and spend thousands of dollars at the chance of conceiving once again. Early morning appointments, tests, blood work, scans and then by some miracle you fall pregnant again and you live in constant fear of another loss. You literally work so hard at the chance to become pregnant and are then riddled with crippling fear when it finally works. Like I said, cruel.
Today, October 15th, is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness day.
It’s a day you wish didn’t have to exist, but are so glad it does. A day where we remember the tiny lives gone too soon. When my first miscarriage happened five years ago, I felt so isolated and alone. I had no outlet, no support system and no idea how to work through all the emotions that came from that loss. I didn’t know how painfully common loss was or that there were resources and groups of people who could have helped me navigate those tough waters. I definitely didn’t know there was a day dedicated to our lost babies.
This time last year I took on the task of writing a blog post about this incredibly important day.
I took it on again this year because it just felt right, like I needed to write about our journey and our losses, to keep the memory of our babies alive. When I wrote last year I was still reeling from my second miscarriage following our first IVF transfer that June and I remember thinking that two miscarriages were IT. I refused to have any more. I said it as if I had a choice, but we were gearing up to do a frozen transfer and I was doing everything in my power to live those positive vibes. You know, positive mind = positive results.
On October 23rd, 2018 we transferred a beautifully hatching embryo. We had so much hope in that tiny ball of cells. It was the one. It was going to be our take home baby. It just had to be. It was the only frozen embryo we had and we needed it to work.
Unfortunately, the universe had other plans.
Four days after our transfer I gave in to the urge to test. I will admit now that I have no willpower when it comes to testing. I was completely floored to see a positive test staring back at me. I mean it was so incredibly early, but over the next few days it continued to progress and to a normal person all would seem fine, but I remember thinking that something just wasn’t right.
However, even though the nurses were happy with my beta results, I pushed for a repeat because I just knew. It took almost a week of repeats, with numbers barely rising before we were finally given the okay to stop all meds and start managing a loss. Our third. It was the longest week of continuing progesterone injections. I remember crying almost every night while Aaron would give me the needle. It seemed so unfair to keep subjecting myself to such physical pain when we KNEW that things were over before they ever really even had a chance to start.
So quickly hope turned to heartache.
For the following few weeks I was a mess. I was off work because I could barely hold myself together. I couldn’t believe that once again we were picking up the pieces of our broken dreams. I felt guilty. I felt at fault and no matter how much Aaron would try and reassure me that it was in no way my fault, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling of guilt. Even now, a year later, rationally I know it was just a crappy thing that happened but I still can’t help to feel sometimes like maybe if I had done something differently we would have had a different outcome.
The biggest difference with our two latest losses is that I have that support system.
I have the groups, the people, the resources, and the ability to reach out to on those dark days. I have people I can talk to about my lost babies and I have learned that sharing our journey is not only an outlet for myself personally but it helps those who are just beginning to try and come to grips with their own losses or battle with infertility.
So tonight at 7pm, in honour of infant and pregnancy loss awareness Aaron and I will be taking part in a wave of light. We will be lighting candles in memory of our lost babies, showing the world that they mattered and that no matter how long they were a part of us, they were wanted and they were loved. One in four pregnancies end in loss, and tonight I will be sending all my love to the parents of angel babies, whether it’s miscarriage, stillbirth or loss after birth. I will be sending my love to you and your babies. You are not alone.
By Brittenay Bell, https://journeytobabybell.wordpress.com