Reflection is like purging the soul. It wrings the spirit clean from the emotions that plague you, especially pain. So today, I decided to purge a bit more of my infertility journey. These blogs are emotionally taxing for me, the raw hurt never stops. Writing about it, feels like picking a scab off a fresh wound, but sometimes to heal we have to let them bleed. I hope this post finds someone facing the struggle I did, because perhaps, all the pain I experienced will offer up hope to someone who feels hopeless.
It was shortly after our wedding that I found myself once again pregnant. If you read the first blog about my miscarriage, you will know this was my second pregnancy. I was 24, and after discussing the miscarriage with my physician, she saw no reason it should happen again. She explained all the statistics, one in four pregnancies end in miscarriages, usually the pregnancy is lost before knowing it existed, and that the sensitive tests offered now just detected them very early on. She also told me that once they heard a heartbeat the chances of miscarriages dropped drastically, and then almost went to single digits after hitting the second trimester.
The day I found out I was expecting, I quickly called and scheduled an appointment. From my calculations I was only 6 weeks along, so she scheduled me for 2 weeks later in hopes we could hear the heartbeat. I took it easy, I didn’t lift, I didn’t do strenuous activity……and I worried myself sick. I kept this pregnancy to myself besides a few very close friends and immediate family. I am glad I did, because I didn’t make it to my two week appointment…..eight days after discovering I was expecting I began the spotting. Off to the doctor I went. The ultrasound showed a small sac with nothing in it…..again I heard all the words, “missed miscarriage” “chemical pregnancy” “these things happen, keep trying” etc…..I remember feeling a desperation. The first time could’ve been a blip, a tragic one time thing……but a second time, surely that wasn’t coincidence.
I felt it deep in my soul, something was wrong. My body had turned against me, something in me was broken, and it wasn’t just my heart. “Shouldn’t we do some sort of testing, to see what is causing this to happen?” I heard a meek voice ask, a voice that didn’t even sound like my own. Only to be assured this was no reason for concern, and the testing only began after three recurrent miscarriages. I left the doctor’s office, I felt Scotty’s hand in mine, and I sent a prayer to the heavens that this was the last loss I would experience.
I am not one to be an observer, I am proactive. I don’t take anyone’s word for anything. So, my obsession with research began. I read every book on infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy, conception, birth, and complications that cause miscarriage; you name it, I READ IT! I decided if no one would listen to me, I would learn what was happening to my body. I would learn the terminology the doctors tossed around like a young boy tosses a football through the air on a warm, summer day. I refused to be a football, my losses were real to me, these pregnancies weren’t some fleeting daily event, they were a part of me, a part of my love for my husband. How dare anyone with a medical degree discuss them like one might conversate about the weather.
I became studied, it was the only thing I knew to do. I didn’t know how to deal with this grief. How could I share the pain with someone/anyone? To everyone but me these were just pregnancies, but to me they were babies. They were lost hope, lost dreams, lullabies that I would never sing, books I would never read, and tiny hands I would never hold. I was so utterly alone in my mourning. I could talk all day to whoever would listen, but the fact still stood, to the world these losses weren’t theirs to bare. I had to carry the loss alone, just as I had carried each pregnancy, tucked right inside my heart.
I found myself in one of the darkest places I have ever discovered. So, I dove into books, educating myself on how to advocate for myself, the babies I lost and the future babies that I would carry. I would not be a victim, I would not be a bystander, I would not allow my losses to fade into oblivion, not when their existence was a scar I would be branded with for eternity. No one else had to feel it, but I would be sure that they didn’t deny my right to.
Silently, I hoped I would never have to pull from these resources of knowledge I had gathered. I prayed the next time I became pregnant, it would be uneventful……and the end result would be a baby in my arms. I would find that not only would that knowledge be vital to my future, but I would learn more than I ever hoped to know about the subject. For this loss, and the one before it, were only the first of many.