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November 11, 2013
It's as if my brain can only handle one worry at a time. I feel like I'm upside down and backwards. I'm all turned around and sorted out wrong. This month marks the anniversary of my last miscarriage, which I don't often talk about. Really talk about.
Sure, I have opened up and shared the story of our struggles with friends and even occasionally strangers. But I don't often talk about them. About the pain of the miscarriages. About the sadness and despair. I just say that they happened, as though that's enough of an explanation.
We've been trying to conceive for almost a year without success. It's been almost a year since my last miscarriage.
Ironically, my difficulty in getting pregnant has become the focus. My fear of miscarriage, it's still there, lurking, waiting. But now my focus is conception. I only have room for one worry at a time but I'm positive, with all certainty, that the moment the excitement and exhilaration of realizing there are two lines to that pregnancy test happens, the ugly fear will rear its nearly forgotten head.
Somehow I've done this backwards. It's like I'm going in the wrong direction. It took me 4 months to get pregnant the first time. There were no ovulation prediction kits in my bathroom. There wasn't a thermometer on my nightstand or a fertility friend app on my phone. None of that existed, because back then, I was confident with 100% certainty that I would get pregnant naturally. Easily. And then it happened. And just like that, I was thrown into a whirlwind of pregnancy books, and buying diapers in bulk and figuring out what size fruit my baby was that week. And sure, I was nervous about miscarriage. I knew it wasn't all that uncommon.
But it's a little bit like hearing about cancer. You know it's out there, but were you to ever receive the diagnosis, you would be taken by surprise.
I had a missed miscarriage. That first miscarriage, it hurt. It hurt a lot. It stole my joy and my dreams of ever being able to carry a baby without fear. That miscarriage introduced a fear so deep in my heart that I still don't like to think about it too closely.
It did, however, make the second miscarriage easier. It took us quite some time for me to conceive again. Eight months. I had started to become antsy and was relieved when I finally saw that positive pregnancy test again. I was prepared though this time. I knew better than to naively believe that a positive pregnancy test meant that I would have a baby in 9 months. I only had two weeks to warm up to the idea of my pregnancy before it was stolen from me, this time in the more obvious way. There was no way of ignoring the cramps and pain and blood. It happened in my childhood home, the day after Thanksgiving. Three days after I shared the happy news of my pregnancy with my parents. I honestly can look back and see it as a Godsend that I was surrounded by my loving family the second time around.
The second miscarriage. Officially now harder to ignore the possibility that the first time wasn't just a one off unlucky occurrence. It felt different the second time around. I had prepared myself mentally for the possibility. If the first time represented sadness, than this second miscarriage represented anger. I wanted answers. I was officially angry at what had been stolen from me. That happy, care-free pregnancy that I would now never know.
I have such mixed feelings when I think backwards and forwards. I want with all my heart to bring this full circle. I've had the laproscopy and hysteroscopy. I'm taking all of my vitamins. I'm ready for a third pregnancy. It's been a year and the timing of this month is symbolic. I will be hosting my family for Thanksgiving, a first. And wouldn't it be beautiful if I could announce my pregnancy over the holiday? Wouldn't it be beautiful to replace last year's difficult memory with a new, promising one?
I know not to get too carried away. To be too hopeful.
I know that even if I do finally see that elusive positive pregnancy test, whether it's this month or six months from now, that it's really just the beginning. I will worry endlessly about another miscarriage. I will fret over every ping and pang I feel. But you know, this journey has also made me realize something else too. Yes, I will worry. There's one hundred percent, no doubt in my mind, that I will worry. I will worry about making it to 12 weeks. And then I'll worry about NICU's and stillborns. And then, when I'm finally relieved that my baby is outside of my body, I will worry about sudden infant death syndrome. And after that? I'll worry about freak accidents to little bodies. It's endless. The worry. But isn't that what parents do? They carry on worrying about their children until the end of their days. So maybe I should just make peace with this worry. This worry is here to stay.
I'm equal parts worry and equal parts hope. I'm ready.