I realized something after talking to a friend the other day. And it is actually something that I think I already knew, but it just became clearer for some reason. It’s about loss. When you lose a loved one, whether it is a grandparent, parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin or friend, it is a horrible loss, filled with such grief and sadness. In the “best” of circumstances, that person has lived a full life and you’ve been able to share that life and experiences with them. Let me clear, by no means am I trying to make light of a loss like this. It’s just when you lose a child — whether to miscarriage, stillbirth or older — there’s an added layer to it. There’s the loss of hope.
A hope that they’ll be a happy baby, child, adult.
A hope that they’ll explore and laugh and learn.
A hope they have your eyes and his lips.
A hope of what they’ll be when they grow up.
And then there’s the loss of hope for your quest of parenthood. Quest for family. With each loss you start to question it more and more. Can we do this? Are we going to have a family of our own? What the f*ck is going on?!? The RPL (that’s our Recurring Pregnancy Loss specialist for those not in the know) told us that I am not infertile. Yes, she made it a point to stop and look at Double A and me and say the words “You are not infertile. Fertility is not your problem. You need to know that.” And while that’s what we thought, it was reassuring to hear. Which is probably why Double A says to me all of the time, “Hey, at least we can get pregnant.” To which I usually say, “Sure, but what good is that if I can’t STAY pregnant?”
Now that we’re back on the trying circuit (of all the circuits to be on…), each month that passes without getting pregnant makes me question, do our doctor’s words still stand true? At what point does the switch flip to the other side? Could my fertility really change in a couple months? Oh right, I suppose that IS how it works. At the same time, I’m not truly convinced that this is the case. But until we get into the RPL next week, we don’t have any information to go off of. Except the information of our (read: mostly my) own wandering minds.
And then there’s the other big loss we face. Perhaps one of the biggest emotional losses of all: Loss of innocence. It’s hard to remember back to that first positive pregnancy test in May of 2008 and that initial blue sky, naive excitement that accompanied it. The time where you went from double pink line to maternity clothes, names and rearranging the house in a mere 30 second time frame. Not once did it enter our minds that *gasp* perhaps this wouldn’t work out. That we’d never get to meet this baby. With each subsequent pregnancy, we grew a little more jaded, a little more cautious. The second time, we were still excited, but unsure. By the third, gone was the feeling of sheer bliss in seeing the positive test. Instead, sheer terror. And the fourth? Plain panic. What if it happens again? How can we be sure this baby’s OK? What can/should we do/not do differently, or the same?
What we wouldn’t give to go back to a time where we were “dumb” again. To not know everything we know now. To a time when sex was fun and looked forward to and not a homework assignment. To not look at every pregnant woman out there first with anger, and then with fear of what she doesn’t know. Sure, there’s power in knowledge, and I’d recommend to anyone going through a miscarriage, or multiple miscarriages to dig, research, question, learn, question and ask some more. I think for me, it was a combination of fear and disbelief that there could be something wrong time and time again. And so I didn’t push. Truth be told, until we became a statistic, I didn’t really know we existed. Sure, I knew miscarriages happened. I even knew people who have had two. But I didn’t realize just how often it happens. That it could keep happening. And so now I know. And I ask. And then ask again. Even the stupid questions. Until I understand.
So now here I sit, knowing all too well the details, percentages and challenges. Tests, processes and waiting. Uncertainties, risks and heartbreak. And yet, is it stopping us? Hell no! Does it scare us? Hell yes! Maybe it’s blinders. Maybe stupidity. But on we go, and hopefully we won’t completely lose our minds along the way.