I am afraid.
I’m afraid that we won’t ever get pregnant again.
I’m afraid that we will get pregnant, but we will lose the baby again.
After a twin stillbirth and a molar pregnancy, my only experience with pregnancy is, well… not good.
And so, I am afraid.
As October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month, I thought I would share some of our story with you. We got pregnant after our first IUI with twins. We were over the moon when we got the positive news. However, the pregnancy was tough and very scary right from the beginning. It seemed like after each challenge that we got through, another hurdle presented itself. Both babies’ heartbeats were alarmingly high from weeks 8-12, and at 12 weeks I had a sub chorionic hemorrhage. Things settled for a few weeks but then at four months I found myself in premature labour, caused by a rare infection. We lost our twin babies that day. They would have been two years old this month.
After our loss, we expected to get pregnant again fairly quickly. Unfortunately, such was not the case. We tried five IUIs after that with no luck.
Then we tried an IVF cycle, and nothing.
We switched doctors and on our second IUI with the new doctor, we were pregnant again. We were excited, but scared. We went for our six-week scan, and we should have seen a heartbeat, but we didn’t. We tried another scan at seven and then eight weeks, and when there still wasn’t a heartbeat, I was diagnosed with a partial molar pregnancy and sent for an emergency D & C.
We did six more IUIs and another IVF cycle after that with no pregnancy, and then decided to switch gears all together. We are now in the midst of an IVF cycle with donor eggs.
And I’m terrified.
When the clinic called to let me know that we had been approved for the donor egg program and that our eggs had shipped and were on their way to us, I should have been thrilled. And I was—but I also had an overwhelming sense of anxiety that kind of just took over. Like, I’m talking total panic. I knew that we had a really good chance of pregnancy using these donor eggs (which is amazing), but my brain immediately went to “but if we get pregnant, there is also the possibility of losing the pregnancy again.” I’m worried that our next pregnancy will be fraught with complications like the first two and we will live in a state of constant fear, again. To be honest, I don’t know how I got through the first two losses, and I don’t know if I can survive a third time.
Then there’s the flip side.
I’m also completely freaked out that we won’t get pregnant with the donor eggs, and we will be left back at the “beginning” with no baby. I’m nervous about the two-week waits that are in my future, each beta test and each potential disappointment. I’m nervous that we are running out of options.
So basically, I am terrified of each and every possibility that lies ahead.
Why am I sharing this? Because although I feel like a crazy person, I think it’s normal. I think that anyone who has experienced pregnancy and/or infant loss would feel similar. I feel like we just know too much, and the fear is so intense it can consume you. To add the infertility variable into the mix is just the cherry on top. We try for months, years, to get pregnant. We make sure we’re doing everything right, we put our bodies through the wringer and pour thousands of dollars into our treatments. To have the baby we’ve tried so hard for be taken away, is a disappointment and a hurt so deep that I can’t really put it into words. Then, add the uncertainty of whether we may ever get pregnant again and it’s like repeatedly being kicked in the gut.
Here’s my challenge (well, one of many)—I’m aware that I will likely only be able to have one baby (if I’m lucky) and when that time comes, I want to be able to enjoy every second of it. I want to enjoy my pregnancy as much as I possibly can. I’ve earned that. I want to be happy, and “glow” like a normal pregnant lady. I just don’t want to be paranoid each and every second. I’m trying to figure out how to stay calm throughout this treatment, and REALLY trying to figure out what the best way to deal with my anxiety will be when/if I do get pregnant.
I’m in this and hoping that at some point I will find my calm. But for now… well, I’m just doing the best I can. To all the infant and pregnancy loss mamas out there, I’m sending my love and strength your way. To all the TTC mamas who have experienced loss, I’m in it with you. Let’s try to glean strength and support each other as best we can. Lord knows we can all use a little extra help now and then.
By Brooke Caruk, ithinkaboutyouallthetimeblog.wordpress.com