The Sighting of Number Seven

We opted for a private scan today ahead of our NHS appointment on Wednesday. The thinking was that neither of us could handle going back to work after the appointment if we got bad news. So we thought at least if we preempted it today then we’d be able to grieve wholeheartedly on the weekend. I’m glad we did. Our recurrent miscarriage clinic’s sonogram room just brings up too many bad memories.

The past two weeks have been hard. I’ve been avoiding this pregnancy since we found out. GK from My MMC Story called me on it: Keep quiet and the universe might not notice you.

She’s right, that’s EXACTLY how I feel. If I don’t talk about it maybe it’s not really happening. If it’s not happening then nothing can go wrong.

I have been hovering this weird in-between space. The numbness of anxiety and desperation, between hope and fear, between longing and dread. Speechless.

I tried so hard not to think these past few weeks, to put this pregnancy out of my mind as best I could. Tried to completely ignore it. Easier said than done. There were moments where I was able to do that during the holidays, to be mindful, to soak up the moment.

The best of those days was on Sunday when the Hubs and I walked along our local canals 6 miles all the way down to the Thames. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful crisp glorious day, with so few people out. We walked slowly, arm in arm, soaking up the rays, chatting, laughing, enjoying each other’s company so much. We got a perfect table in the perfect sunlight in a perfect little pub where we ate the perfect lunch. We both miss being close to large bodies of water, so being on the river was like going home. The day was so blissfully ideal it still takes my breath away. We didn’t talk or think about how freaked out we are once.

But many of those days were hard, scary, worrying. For days I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that this is over. I already started grieving. As horrible as that sounds, I’d already started giving up on this little sweet pea. I admit it is taking the easy way out. Self protection once again at its finest.

The other reason for anticipating the worst is that for over a week I’ve been suffering what I can only describe as debilitating excruciating uterine contractions. So severe they cause me to drop to the floor, writhe in pain, triggering the shakes, nausea and the immediate and complete evacuation of my bowels (totally TMI, apologies). They come in quickly and at night, lasting for five minutes, completely debilitating. It feels like a hand is ripping my uterus from the inside out.

No one knows what’s causing it. Some docs think it’s gastro related, which makes sense because of the end result (no pun intended) but it starts with horrific cramping in the womb, just like PMS but ten bajillion times worse. Others think it’s a new food intolerance developed since the BFP. I just can’t see how anything could survive that. The pain has shaken me to my very core, filling my eyes with tears. How can a precarious little embryo survive that storm?

Yet somehow against the odds at exactly 6 weeks today they were able to see everything is in the right place, measuring right on time. And then we saw it. A tiny quivering little pulsating heartbeat. Still so new, so early. There’s a tiny little heart beating in there guys. I cannot believe it.

Cue the sobs. Both of us, sobbing blubbering fools. Hugging, uncontrollable giggles, sighs of relief. The sonographer thought we were completely mad but she was still very nice. Don’t think they see many recurrent loss patients at this place.

And breathe.

One long deep breath to last me another two weeks as I continue to live my life in agonising two week intervals. Two weeks until The 8 Week Scan. So much can and has happened in that time but getting over this first hurdle has helped me to begin to focus. Maybe now in the meantime I can try to connect with this Sweet Pea #7 as scary as that sounds. DH has already nicknamed it Nacho (don’t ask). I learn so much about hope from him and you all every single day.

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Autopilot

The only thing my husband and I have problems discussing is how my negativity and anxiety directly contributes to our inability to have a child. He feels it does. I know he’s right and I can do nothing about it. It’s clear I’m doing nothing intentional to sabotage our chances. But we also both know that although I’m doing everything I can physically, I’m doing nothing psychologically to help things.

I don’t know how to fix this. I can’t feel any less horrified and tormented when we lose a baby each time and he would never ask me to. The grief and sadness takes its toll. I can’t feel confident we will end up with a child in the future either. We have lost five babies, four of which the cause is unknown. I am terrified.

And although he’s convinced it will work next time, if it doesn’t where does that leave us? How many do we have to lose before it’s enough? He says we will never know unless we try. But the risks and consequences of trying are so overwhelming and debilitating that I don’t want to try. How could I survive another loss?

He has no concerns about trying again. His positivity is astounding. But what he can’t handle is how these losses and the constant set-backs are destroying me.

The hopes for our most recent pregnancy were destroyed by a random chromosomal abnormality that had nothing to do with our RPL, our age, our health. How can I feel confident or positive trying again when nature throws us a curveball like that? Another obstacle in an already unfair playing field. The anticipation and dread is too horrific.

The options as I see it:

1) I protect myself from any future pain of losing another child by not trying to have one. Would the pain of never having a family destroy me? Probably. Would I actually believe it if I said we tried our best? No. Would I hate myself for not being strong enough to give it another go? Already do.

2) We can try again, from which there will be three resulting scenarios:
a) We lose another one. I recede into an even deeper pit of despair from which it is unclear I will ever return. And what? Try again after that? Not sure it’s possible.
b) We succeed with our sixth pregnancy. I can’t even contemplate the possibility. It hurts too much. My mind simply cannot not go there.
c) Neither of the above because we are unable to get pregnant again. Can’t even go there.

So where does that leave us? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m in no position now to try again. Maybe that will come back with time. I’ve obviously not lost hope completely yet since I’m still doing the supplements, the tests, the yoga. The physical me is going for it. Maybe the mental me will get back on the bus at the next stop, or the stop after that. Maybe I’ll step back into the driver’s seat. Until then we’re on autopilot. I guess that’s good enough for now.