Last month I wrote about the importance of a strong support system on the journey of trying to conceive after loss. I spoke about my light keepers, those who have proven their loyalty in walking this journey with me and those who proved the opposite. What I didn’t write about was that I was actually pregnant last month.
Our third IUI after our 8 month hiatus following our last loss, I received my two lines. And just 10 days later, I woke up in a pool of blood. This was my fifth loss. Five losses, zero live births. This growing number has shaken me to the core and pulled us back to the drawing board.
All of the answers we thought we had seem to mean nothing. An entire year’s worth of physical, emotional and spiritual warfare and awakening felt like a complete wash in an instant. Because the plan failed. The plan my team felt so confident in, failed. And quickly. Very quickly this time. Before I could even muster the strength to say the words “pregnant” aloud, it was taken from me. I didn’t have the time or space to consider bonding yet. I never even used the word baby.
Between appointments, blood tests, injections, supplements and prayers, I was merely living on auto-pilot, just hoping to keep this pregnancy afloat. I never had the chance to break out of machine mode. I was just doing. Because it’s all I could do to preserve any ounce of hope. And then, even when the controller followed every single direction perfectly, the machine still failed. And the hopes for a baby diminished, again.
We’ve learned even more since then. Besides having MTHFR and Thrombophilia, I also have Hashimoto’s, an auto-immune thyroid disease. So my team is re-calibrating. I have a few new specialists on board since two of my old ones no longer make the cut. I’m rather picky these days. I feel like a genetic disaster with perfect eggs. What a tease.
A rather large part of me wants to throw in the towel, for good this time.
I am much more tired and much less ambitious than the recent past. I assume this boils down to the loss of hope but I am fighting to regain it. I am praying for the fuel it takes to get back up keep on going. I am begging people to hope for us, even when we feel knocked to the ground with little strength to get back up.
I have a few appointments coming up as my team gets a new game plan together. This doesn’t mean we will try again, it doesn’t mean that we won’t. It just means we are in discussion mode. Pause. Hold. Basically, sit back and hope our future is half as important to our medical team as it is to us. There are moments that the breather feels pretty good. Sit back and let go. Let someone else decide my fate. And then this exact thought can throw me into sheer panic in a matter of moments. Let them decide? Who am I kidding?
Nobody, and I mean nobody, will ever want this for us as much as we do.
So I try to resume control again. I begin to crunch numbers. Maternal Age. Husband’s upcoming deployments. Finances. More Fertility Treatments? Adoption? Surrogacy? An assortment of the above? And the numbers begin to drop and fade and before I know it, I am back in a place of defeat. Low on options, low on strength, low on time, low on funds and low on faith that any of the options will work out without a hiccup. That’s the thing with recurrent pregnancy loss, I am recurrently reminded of how things don’t always work out.
And on the inside I am a ball of nerves, trying to anticipate who the next pregnancy announcement will come from. Because as much as I want everyone to experience parenthood, it still feels like a knife to the chest watching everyone experience it but me. This will be my sixth year honoring Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month as a bereaved mother. Somehow the years and losses have multiplied before my eyes.
But I am here.
Honoring. Standing. Screaming. Crying. Smiling. Fighting. Loving.
Because even when I am afraid to accept it, there is still hope.
Each pregnancy offers me another glimpse of what can be.
Always a risk, but always a chance.
Always a risk, but always a chance.
Always a risk,
but always a chance.