Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

The Feelings are the Same

I recently learned that a friend in my program is one of us. Just as I mentioned in my last post, if you are open enough, you will meet other infertiles and hear their stories. It’s empowering. Terribly sad, but empowering to know that you are not alone. Even in a department full of academics who have no interest in having children right now, I have found a kindred (bitter) soul. After she told me about their situation, I gave her a link to my blog, as well as a few other blogs in the community (hey, you ladies are awesome and I’m sharing you!). Apparently she sat and read through my blog, and today she said the most incredible thing to me: our situations are so different but the feelings are the same. Can I get an amen? Seriously. There are so many ways to join our “club,” so many situations, but the feelings are the same.

We all feel grief: That deep, soul-crushing grief that makes it hard to breathe and makes you wonder if you will ever be happy again. Whether you have never seen that second line or you’ve seen more than you care to remember while still sitting with empty arms, we all grieve the children we don’t have.

We all feel fear: Fear that we will never be parents. Fear that our spouses will give up on us. Fear that we are alone. Fear that we are going through all of the treatments, anxiety, money, etc. for nothing.

We all feel inadequacy: It might come from an inability to get pregnant. It might come from the feeling that your body keeps killing your children. None of us are fulfilling this basic human purpose, and that is really hard to swallow.

We all feel longing: We all see little babies and feel a deep longing. An emptiness in our wombs. We all long to be mothers–some of us more than anything else.

I know that many bloggers have written about pain olympics–the need some members of this community have to to show that they have it worse than anyone else. I even feel like there is an inherit pressure to constantly be anxious and miserable or you are a bad infertile or your situation is not as bad or painful as everyone else’s. Sometimes I feel like I need to prove my suffering through anxiety-ridden posts where I constantly talk about how much pain I am in. But the truth is, even if I will never experience what it is like to see that single line month after month, year after year and even if you will never experience what it is like to lose a precious life that was growing inside of you, the feelings are the same. We all feel the grief. We all feel the fear. We all feel the inadequacy. We all feel the longing. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that we aren’t that different–that we share a common goal and that we are all feeling the pain of being kept from that goal.

The feelings are the same.

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Stuck in the Middle

Going to the ultrasound today, I thought I was prepared for anything. I was prepared for disaster–for an empty sack, for a baby with no heartbeat, for an ectopic pregnancy. I was also prepared for a beautiful miracle where everything looked perfect.

I was not prepared to be stuck somewhere in the middle.

Today we saw a baby sitting high in my uterus that measured 6 weeks with a heartbeat of 83. Hubby is ecstatic that we saw a heartbeat, but I am wary of a baby measuring behind with a slow heartbeat. At the moment, I am forcing myself to stay away from Google and concentrate on each day as it comes and staying healthy and sane for our baby. I am supposed to go back in a week for a comparison ultrasound to see if the pregnancy is viable.

I’m still processing all of this, but I wanted to give you all an update.

Oh, and now is a good time for encouraging success stories. Ready, go.

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Ultrasound Day

Well, I made it to ultrasound day. Honestly, I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that fact. Today I am 6wk6d pregnant, and I miscarried on 5w1d with my longest pregnancy so even making it to ultrasound day feels like a miracle.

I still have light, brown spotting, but there has been no cramping and I haven’t seen any red since that scary morning last week. I’m guessing that means either this pregnancy is perfectly normal, and I’m just one of those women who spot in first trimester, or this pregnancy has been doomed from the start and is only being sustained by my progesterone supplements. Either way, we’ll find out today.

I have been going back and forth between being so excited I can’t stand it and playing out worse-case-scenarios in my head. Yesterday the excitement was much stronger, but I would say that today is 50/50.

I’m spending my morning trying to stay busy and praying that we see a baby in the correct place, measuring on time, with a strong heartbeat. Some benign explanation for the spotting would be nice, too, but I’m not greedy.

I would appreciate extra prayers, good vibes, and thoughts around 3:45 EST. Four and a half more hours.

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Fear vs. Hope

Infertiles deal with a lot of fear. During my journey, I’ve been afraid that I wouldn’t get pregnant, afraid that I would miscarry, afraid that I would miscarry again, afraid that we would never have children, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to function after multiple mc’s, afraid of BFN’s, afraid of BFP’s, afraid that my friends would move on without me, afraid that there is something seriously wrong with me, afraid that hubby will give up on me, etc. Fear is just a huge part of this whole process, and it is something I have been struggling with a lot. There is one big fear that has been consuming me for months.

I’m terrified of hope.

Terrified.

I’ve been apathetic and disconnected. I’ve used reason and stuck to the facts, writing lists and making back-up plans. I’ve mentally beaten down any symptom spotting. I hesitantly post about our plans, thinking they sound too naive and unrealistic, but they are met with so much enthusiasm. I get comments full of smiley faces and exclamation marks, and it reminds me of how far I have fallen from hope. I am so grateful to have this community to be hopeful for me because I seem to be incapable of it right now. It’s like I’ve been in the darkness too long and can’t stand to be in the light because it is so painful.

But at some point, I have to let myself hope again.

I have a beautiful friend who always seems to understand my heart, and she told me a few months ago that I have to stop prophesying disaster over myself. She’s right. This is no way to live. The question is, how do you move away from the fear and allow hope back into your heart? Are there maybe some magic sunglasses that make the transition from the cave into the light a little easier?

I noticed yesterday that I was spotting. I’m pretty sure yesterday was 9 DPO, and I have only had mid-cycle spotting three times before. Two of those times, I was pregnant. Ever since I saw it, I’ve been using all of my mental and emotional energy trying to suppress hope, and it is exhausting. Would it be too much to hope that this is our month? Would it be too much to see the spotting as a good sign of implantation? Would it be too much to pray that we get a BFP and our take home baby? Would it be too much to hope that this year will be different–full of joy instead of pain?

Thanks you for leaving encouraging and enthusiastic comments–they help more than you know. I hope I can feel that same enthusiasm soon.

 

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Worrying about my lack of worry

Over the past two weeks or so I’ve noticed something about myself. The obsessing, the worrying, the despair is missing. When I think about TTC, I don’t freak out. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to create, carry, and birth a child, and if I will, I have no idea when that will be. It will be months before we will even start TTC again. As you have seen in previous posts, this fact usually throws me into counting fits where I calculate the soonest we could have a baby. How old will I be then? What are my life plans then? How old will BFF’s son be? (I try not to compare, but she was three months preggo when we started TTC and it gives me a point of reference, albeit an unhealthy one). Usually, when I think about our journey thus far and what all the future could possibly hold for us (tests, procedures, more mc’s, no baby), I am a quivering ball of anxiety and panic who can’t function on a normal level due to the crippling worry and fear. But that hasn’t been the case the past two weeks or so.

I noticed this change last Thursday. That was the day we were supposed to go hear the heartbeat, and of course, we didn’t. And I was so calm and zen about it. If I could use one word to described how I’ve felt, it would be content. I have a wonderful husband and life and maybe babies just aren’t in the cards for us right now. Waiting could even be a really good thing because that might give hubby the opportunity to find a full time fire job, allowing me to stay home. Molly will have the chance to grow up a little, meaning I won’t have to chase the most hyper puppy in existence whilst pregnant. We can pay off a few things and add a little cushion in our savings. I am calm and rational and ok with where we are in life right now, and to tell you the honest truth, it is freaking. me. out.

It all started with a pretty intense prayer session with some close friends two weeks ago. I know some of you aren’t religious, and it’s ok if you are rolling your eyes at me right now. My most ardent request during this prayer session was that I would stop asking why and stop trying to understand and just trust that God is in control. That I could accept what happens and live my life with joy. That I could release my fear. And here’s the thing: I’ve stopped asking why and trying to understand. I have accepted that I am not in control, and I am so happy and appreciative of what I have. I’m not afraid. And this is all so foreign to me.

I am honestly starting to worry about not worrying. Is this a sign of healthy healing and acceptance or am I suppressing all of my problems in an unhealthy way? I know lots of women in this community hit a point where they wonder if they even want children anymore, and I wouldn’t say that is where I am. I am just ok with the fact that I can’t have any right now–at least I am today. However, I feel a little like I am waiting for full blown panic. Maybe it isn’t coming and this is the new normal. That would be nice. Once I get used to it. I’m not really sure what to do with myself when I’m not worrying all the time. And I feel like I’m a bad IF/loss blogger if I’m not obsessing about TTC right now.

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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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