It might just be because I’m having a good day and things could come crashing down again soon but I feel like I might have turned a corner in the healing process. A couple of days ago it was our first “would have been due date” and I was worried that I might become an emotional wreck, but I didn’t. To be honest it didn’t feature particularly heavily in my thoughts that day, and it hasn’t since. The boy and I are having a lovely day today, we’ve been for a cycle in the sunshine and lunch with wine at the local farmers market. Tonight we’re out with friends of a curry and on the way we’re going to stop by some friends to meet their new born. And I’m actually quite excited. For months I’ve had to steal myself to see pregnant friends and babies but I’m starting to feel joy again at the prospect of seeing them, hearing their pregnancy stories and having baby cuddles. It might be because our long awaited holiday is now in touching distance but whatever the reason, I’m actually starting to feel like my old self again. I haven’t lost sight of our goal but I feel like I’m moving out of the grey post miscarriage fog that I’ve been stuck in for the last six months. I’m not going to get ahead of myself as my moods can be a little unpredictable. I really hope that this is a sign of things to come but even if it isn’t today at least is a good day!
Well I got through “would have been due date” yesterday. It was a sucky day but not what I expected. I thought I would spend the day dwelling on our miscarriages and what might have been but instead I ended up having such a hugely busy day at work (one of those days when you start to feel hungry and wonder if its nearly lunchtime to discover its already 3.45pm!). I didn’t end up leaving the office until 9pm, missing my evening running club and a social drink with my husband but my best friend had just got back from a week away with her boyfriend and they decided to pop round with a bottle of wine when i got back from work. This should have been a lovely end to a hard day. Unfortunately it transpired that she had an announcement to make (no don’t worry she isn’t pregnant!) but she is moving in the other end of the country from next July and it doesn’t sound like its going to be a short-term move. So after hoping that I would get through yesterday tear free, after they had left and my husband had gone to bed, I found myself sitting on the sofa having a little sob. But it wasn’t about the miscarriages or yesterday’s “should have been” date, so I’m taking that as a positive!
I’m afraid this post might be a bit rambling. Inspired by Recurrently Lost I’m exploring thoughts which I’ve been having for a while but I don’t think I’ve reached a coherent conclusion yet.
Today is my first “should have been” due date. So far I’m not feeling too emotional but I’ll see how the day goes. Around the time of our first miscarriage the boy and I agreed that we would be able to cope with today provided we were pregnant again by the time today came around. I remember when we were saying this that I was confident that we would definitely be pregnant by now. I wasn’t just hopeful, I was confident. Pretty certain of my ability to get pregnant again and encouraged by statistics which said that one miscarriage was exceeding common and was rarely followed by subsequent losses.
Well we did manage to get pregnant again pretty quickly only to have a second missed miscarriage which was discovered at 9 weeks. This I was not prepared for. Although I was a worrier during my second pregnancy, I refused to calculate my due date (not wanting another “it should have been today” day) and saying a little “please no bleeding” prayer each time I used the bathroom, I didn’t actually think it would happen a second time. But despite all of the well intentioned (but utterly annoying) platitudes I’ve received about “just staying relaxed” and “it will happen if you stop trying”, it seems that my mental state has no bearing on my ability to carry to term.
At the end of her post today, Recurrently Lost said that she didn’t feel as if she’d ever be in “the mommies” group. My first thought when I read that was, I feel like that. But when I thought about it more, I realised that I’m just trying to fool myself. When I say to my husband that I don’t think attempt number three will be successful, I’m not being entirely truthful. I think I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t believe it will work because it will be less of a shock/less painful if I’m mentally prepared for a third loss. The problem is I know I’m not, I know that deep down I think that number three will stick, I’m obviously completely aware that it might not and I know I’ll still be a nervous wreck if we get pregnant again but I can’t get myself into a mindset where I accept that we could fail in our quest to be parents. Every time I think about it, I’m frustrated that we’re having to go through this process to get our baby but I never doubt that we will. It’s not even hope, it’s actually delusion! I’ve completely blocked out the possibility that I might never carry a baby to term. It’s always “when we have a baby” not “if”. Occasionally I correct myself or correct the boy if he’s talking about it. “We’ve got to be realistic, it’s not when, it’s if” and I feel pleased with myself for maintaining a healthy attitude but there’s an annoying voice in my head which says “yeah, yeah “if”, very good for not getting ahead of yourself, but you know secretly its a “when””. I can’t even use reverse psychology on myself to convince myself that I’m prepared for a failure.
I know this isn’t healthy. It’s good to have hope and to not feel like I’m falling into a pit of despair but if I can’t even contemplate to possibility that I’ll never carry a baby to term, how will I ever cope if that becomes a reality? And as I write this that annoying voice in my head said “it doesn’t matter, you won’t have to cope as that won’t be your reality!” Aghh *contemplates how to silence inner voice* All suggestions welcomed!
Time is a funny thing. All at once it can fly by and yet go so so slowly. Im now two days away from my first due date [on a separate note I really hate that I have more than one intended due date. How do you refer to it/them? It feels so awkward. “The day my first baby would have been born”?? I don’t know what’s the right way to describe it without sounding either too dramatic or too nonchalant]. Anyway, 2 days from due date one. Almost 6 months since miscarriage one. It feels like a lifetime ago and it feels like yesterday. Some days I have come such a long way and others I am still completely raw with emotion.
I was out with a friend on Sunday and her new baby (seven weeks and one day) and I was remembering what a dark place she was in this time last year. After a number of stalled IVF cycles she was feeling horribly down. Her emotions were all over the place and she spent a lot of time alone just trying to get through the weeks. Then in November last year they finally had a successful egg retrieval. The egg was fertilised (no small feat) and the embryo successfully implanted. I remember December last year and how she was so apprehensive about whether the pregnancy would progress properly that she hardly even noticed Christmas (and she is a Christmas obsessive like me). This year is going to be so different for them. After years of trying and waiting and heartache, their baby is finally here and he was definitely worth the wait. He is fantastic, she is a wonderful mummy and their Christmas this year is going to be like something out of a Disney film.
I’m constantly putting timescales on things (this is probably something to do with me being a planner). After miscarriage one I wanted to be pregnant again by my intended due date. I did achieve this but suffered a second miscarriage. Now I’d really like to be pregnant again by Christmas (well actually by the end of October but I’m trying to be more realistic). I really don’t want to start 2014 being no further along than when we left 2012 (or even behind where we were as i was pregnant (unknowingly) on 31st Dec 2012). But spending time with my friend and her baby and remembering this time last year has made me realise that however slowly life feels like its going and however much TTC can make weeks feel like they’re dragging. When I finally have a successful pregnancy (and I really hope that I do), all of this will feel like the 5 minute prelude, the opening title sequence, a tiny clip in a much bigger film. I would just really like it if time would hurry up a bit so I can get past the opening credits to the main feature!
Ok sorry if I got you excited with the title. Despite AF being two days late I’m definitely not pregnant. Just to remind me that I can’t forget about TTC even on our self declared month off, usually clockwork Aunt Flo decided to hold off just long enough for me to give in and waste yet more money POAS. A resolutely negative result followed 6 hours(!) later by the arrival of AF. Bloody typical!
So why, you might be thinking, the positive title? Well the whole point of having a month off was so that we could truly relax and have a fantastic holiday (which is now less than 2 weeks away, eeek) and the delayed arrival of AF means that it’s looking like ovulation will now occur a few days after we arrive at our super luxurious holiday hotel, rather than coming when we are rushing to get packed for holiday and than on a long flight which is when she would have been scheduled to arrive.
Maybe this is a sign that we’re meant to chill out, have lots of relaxed holiday sex rather than the usual routine timed intercourse and who knows maybe we’ll make a holiday baby (fingers crossed!!) and even if we don’t, I’m sure we’ll make some fantastic holiday memories to show that 2013 hasn’t been all bad.
And that is something to feel positive about!
I’m late. I haven’t really thought about the TWW this month as we’re taking a break so we only actually had sex one day this month went I was even borderline fertile (it was a good five days pre my calculated ovulation). But just to make me sit up and take notice, mother nature has decided this is the month to delay AF! I’m convinced it is just a blip as I have no pregnancy symptoms and didn’t even have sex at ovulation but its just typical that I can’t even fully relax on my break month as AF decides to choose this month to become fickle! Grrr!
I have been wavering on whether or not to write this post as the miscarriage and infertility community is a small one and I think it’s important that we stick together and don’t get into a scenario of comparing grief. There is nothing to be gained from a “my loss is worse than your loss” battle. We have all lost and the strength of our grief is something which is personal to us. However, yesterday’s news that Sue Radford, the mother of Britain’s largest family (currently 16 children), had suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks, has got me thinking about the question I have asked myself since my first miscarriage; Would this be easier if I already had a child?
This is a difficult question for me to answer as plainly I don’t already have a child. I’m sure the only people who can really know the answer are those who have suffered a loss both before and after a successful pregnancy. But I can’t help feeling that my current anxiety for the future as a result of my miscarriages would be greatly diminished if I already had a child. This is because I feel as if my husband and I are trying to achieve a family. We want to be parents and that will be achieved the moment we hold our newborn baby in our arms.
I have always thought that I would have two or three children. My husband is an only child and he would have liked a sibling so he’s always wanted multiple children too. But since our last miscarriage we have both agreed that one is the goal. One is the difference between a couple and a family. The difference between being a wife/daughter and a mother. Despite being an only child, husband’s family is no less a family and Sue Radford’s brood of 16 children.
Whenever I think of having a child I think of all the things that I would like to do. Taking my newborn home for the first time. Lying on the sofa with my baby on my chest. Walks to the park to feed the ducks. Unwrapping stocking presents on Christmas morning. The first day of school. All of these things can happen if I can just get one embryo to go full term. One is like the milestone, all or nothing! I’m sure that I would still feel tremendous grief, sadness and the pain of loss if I were to have a successful pregnancy and go on to have further miscarriages in the future. But I can’t help but feel that the anxiety would be less. At the moment it feels like my entire future is dependent on getting one baby to term. Whilst I feel very sorry for Sue Radford having to go through something as awful as a miscarriage. I can’t help but feel that in a year’s time her life as a mother of 16 will be very much the same as it would have been as a mother of 17. For my husband and I, each miscarriage is the difference between being a family and just being a couple. With one baby everything is different. One is the goal, any more is a bonus!