Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

My love/hate relationship with BFPs

I really wanted to TTC this cycle, and I am so ready to be a mommy. The longer this entire process takes, the more sure I am that I am called to be a mommy and love on my children like crazy. Starting out, I was nervous about having kids and unsure about how good of a mother I would be, but that feeling has shrunk with every cycle that has passed until it was basically gone. Now I know that I will be a good mommy and that is one of my deepest desires right now. There is only one problem:

I am terrified of BFPs.

I am stuck in a weird place: AF or a BFN will make me sad and a BFP will make me scared. The first time I got a BFP, I was elated. Hubby and I were jumping up and down and smiling like morons and so sure that all of the worries we had faced TTC were finally over! I still had a small nagging fear that we weren’t out of the woods yet and something could still go wrong, but I don’t think it was any worse than any other freshly pregnant woman. I told myself I would feel better after my first appointment when the midwife assures me that I am actually pregnant and the baby is healthy, but I never made it to that first appointment. I had a miscarriage with a traumatizing ER experience. I was devastated, but I was also filled with hope–I can get pregnant! Everything I had read and heard said that one mc does not suggest another one and there was no reason why we couldn’t have a perfectly healthy pregnancy after the mc, so we started trying again immediately. Another BFP. I felt a little relieved knowing that the last pregnancy wasn’t a fluke, I can actually get pregnant, but I was filled with anxiety about this little one inside of me. I remained distant from this pregnancy, afraid to get too attached, and I miscarried before my first appointment again. In some ways, it’s probably a better that I mc’d before my appointment and didn’t have a first appointment filled with joy and hope before losing our little one, but anyone who has had a mc knows you become a mommy the minute you see that second line.

In my last post, I talked about how I feel like this isn’t our month and I’m not pregnant. Honestly, I think I’m just afraid of another BFP. I want to be pregnant with a healthy baby and then give birth and have a healthy child, but part of me just wants to skip the initial BFP part of the process. Seeing those two lines that mock me with hope, calling the birth center to make a first prenatal appointment again, feeling a rush of panic at every twinge and tweak in my body (indigestion or mc?), scrutinizing my pantyliner for any sign of blood every time I go to the bathroom, needing support but not wanting to announce my pregnancy, etc. It’s exhausting. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t be trying again if I’m not in a place where I can handle another mc, but seriously, who is ever in that place? I am ready to be pregnant. I am ready to be a mommy. I’m not ready for another mc, and at this point in my life, I would rather have AF or a BFN than lose another one. How do you reconcile this with TTC? I haven’t quite figured that out yet–these are some pretty complicated/conflicting emotions and I’m not sure how to sort through them right now.

AF is due sometime today or tomorrow. Or she might be much later because the progesterone might lengthen my luteal phase. So at what point do I POAS? The birth center is closed on Fridays, so if I POAS tomorrow and get a BFP, I can go ahead and call to set up my appointment early next week. If I POAS anytime after tomorrow, I’ll have to wait until Monday to call if there is a BFP. I don’t know. I don’t have any HPTs in the house right now (I do that on purpose to reduce the temptation), so I’m still trying to decide if I will buy some on the way home tonight. I probably won’t make that decision until I’m pulling out of the parking lot.

That zen feeling I had yesterday? Gone. Replaced with a nauseating fear that I will get a BFP and go through another mc. I  feel like this is weird–most women are afraid of seeing a BFN or AF, but right now I only know one end result to a BFP and I can’t handle it right now.

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What NOT to Say

It seems like every blog I read that deals with infertility/loss has at least one post on things that you should not say to a woman who is struggling with becoming pregnant or a loss. I wanted to share some things people have said that made me want to punch them in the face were unintentionally hurtful.

  • If it’s meant to be, it will happen:I’m fairly certain this is just something people say when they have no idea what to say. I think people believe this phrase makes them sound wise and empathetic, but I personally think it makes them sound insensitive and a bit moronic. I work in emergency services so I hear lots of horrible stories from our paramedics: babies that die from drug withdrawal because their mothers are addicts, toddlers who are covered in deep burns from their abusive parents, etc. Apparently, it was meant to be for these parents. If I don’t have kids, it’s because I just wasn’t meant to be a parent–obviously, I would be a huge failure at it.
  • All in God’s timing: Similar to the above phrase, this seems to be a phrase that people say when they have no idea what to say because they seem to think it makes them sound not only wise and empathetic, but also deeply spiritual. This is probably the phrase that I resent the most because it suggests I don’t have enough faith to trust in God’s timing and need to be reminded of it. Growing up, I never wanted kids. I thought the girls whose life goals were to grow up and be mothers needed their heads examined. Then something changed. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. I believe it was God working in my heart and calling me to be a mother, and I have a hard time believing that the God I love would call me to something yet keep me from doing it. In fact, I completely reject that suggestion.
  • Just relax–it will happen as soon as you stop trying: It seems like everyone I talk to knows someone who quit TTC and got pregnant. If my progesterone is low, not thinking about it will not magically bring it back up and cause me to get pregnant. Also, how are you supposed to make a big life decision, like having a baby, then not think about it? “Oh yes, I want a baby, but I’m going to pretend like I don’t so that it will actually happen.” You’re right, that makes perfect sense.
  • Just enjoy having sex with your husband: I find this highly offensive because it suggests that the fact that I’m upset about having trouble getting and staying pregnant means that I am not enjoying having sex with my husband. If good sex equaled babies, a lot of people with children would be childless and visa versa.
  • You are so young, you have plenty of time to have kids: I’m not entirely sure why everyone seems to think that 24 is too young to worry about fertility issues. Biologically, I should be at the peak of my fertility–nothing but downhill from here. Yet, despite a year of trying, we still don’t have a baby. Why do people insist that this isn’t cause for concern?
  • (Regarding my miscarriage) You didn’t have a miscarriage, you just had a late period: In the minds of a lot of people, a chemical pregnancy is not considered a miscarriage–it is a late period. According to this train of thought, if I hadn’t taken that pregnancy test, I wouldn’t even know that I was pregnant and therefore, that pregnancy didn’t count. When you spend nine months fruitlessly trying to get pregnant (like my choice of words there?), that second line is a huge cause for excitement and celebration. And no matter how far along you are, losing that piece of hope is devastating. To quote Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person, no matter how small.”

What should you say to someone struggling with fertility issues/loss?

How about, “I can’t possibly understand what you are going through right now, but I am truly sorry you are having to go through this.” That sounds good. Don’t try to relate to people that you can’t relate to–just because your sister’s best friend’s uncle’s first wife had a miscarriage does not mean you understand what I am going through, so stop trying to pretend like you do. You know what I have found the most comforting? A big hug (at an appropriate time, of course–don’t make me cry in the grocery store). You don’t have to say a word, just show me that you care, and you are there for me.

What sayings have you gotten that thoroughly tick you off? Has anyone said/done anything that genuinely comforted and encouraged you?

-Danielle

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