When I started thinking about the topic of this blog, I didn’t realize I would be experiencing it again so soon. My husband and I were talking about ideas for what I could write about and we both agreed on the topic of how infertility and our previous miscarriage had robbed us of our ability to get excited about the future, a pregnancy, of having a baby, or finally being parents.
You see, when we started discussing it, it was during our IVF cycle. We discussed the notion that even if our fresh cycle worked, we wouldn’t feel as though it was real, or that we’d be able to allow ourselves to be happy about it. Then we were pregnant. Our beta test came back positive and while we both wanted to be excited, there wasn’t any excitement, only fear. Our conversations still consisted of “if this pregnancy goes well” or “if this baby is born”, no “whens” just “ifs.” We were both terrified, with some cautious optimism thrown in there.
I mean after one miscarriage and four years of infertility, it had to finally be our time to catch a break, right?
However, since we knew what could happen, we were stripped of our “ignorance is bliss” four years ago, when we lost our first pregnancy. So, we knew first hand just how much is taken from you when you have a loss or when you can’t get pregnant. Your heart can feel like it’s being ripped apart slowly, there’s a constant lump in your throat that doesn’t seem to want to go away and you’ve cried so many tears, there aren’t any left to cry for happiness.
The one thing you want, more than anything, is also what you are most afraid of.
The first couple weeks of the pregnancy were a constant emotional struggle of believing I was actually pregnant and that it would have a positive outcome. Every day that passed, I still struggled to feel some sort of attachment to the life that we (and science) had created. We booked our eight-week scan and to try and get ourselves attached to our baby we started taking bets on whether it was a boy or a girl or whether there would be multiples. We talked about names, we window-shopped for some of the big items, and we bought a couple things, all in an attempt to form an attachment.
Even though neither of us wanted to say it out loud, we were starting to feel a bit of excitement, especially when we passed our previous loss milestone and things seemed to be going well. But that’s the thing about fertility treatments, part of why things still seem like they’re going well, even if they aren’t, is that the medications they give you to help sustain the pregnancy can also contribute to mimicking pregnancy symptoms. Our eight-week scan was scheduled for a Wednesday morning, but that Sunday I just got that feeling that I know a lot of us get—the dreaded feeling of just knowing it wasn’t our time or that things weren’t okay.
For my husband’s sake I tried to pretend I was feeling okay. Sadly, my fears were confirmed July 25th at 11:30am. Our baby had stopped growing at six weeks and the medications kept me from miscarrying on our own. Our doctor was beyond sympathetic and my first response was “It’s okay, we’re used to being disappointed.” He talked next steps, plans to move things along, to help my body “let go”, and of doing a frozen transfer. I just remember looking at Aaron and saying, “I can’t do this again.”
No tears, just emptiness. I was utterly and completely numb.
But here we are, planning the next cycle, trying to hope for the best and to ignore the odds. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result,” but clearly Mr. Einstein didn’t deal with infertility.
Our family and friends continue to pray, send love, do a little dance, all in the hopes that something will give. I pride myself on trying to be positive about our journey and in my heart I know we will be parents, somehow, someway, but when you’re so used to disappointment, to heartache, it’s really hard to think positive all the time.
I miss being able to have blind faith in the process and in the outcome.
Maybe someday, when we’re surrounded by our kids and grandkids, Aaron and I will be able to look back on this time in our life and be excited and happy, about where we are and that we didn’t give up. Until then, we will do our best, taking it all one second, one minute, one hour, one day and one step at a time
By Brittenay Bell, journeytobabybell.com