Finding (and Maintaining) Hope… After Loss. 

Finding (and Maintaining) Hope… After Loss.  

I have been struggling to find words lately. 

Everything that comes into my mind is riddled with doubt and anxiety. 

Infertility changes you… I’ve touched on this specific topic before, but it bares repeating. 

With the decent developments in my story, it has changed how I approach the world and my day to day life.  

I am pregnant. I am now 7 weeks.  

5-6 weeks is when I had my full MC this time last year. I was literally still grieving the loss this time last year… After my old obgyn had refused to see me when I called about pain that led to severe bleeding. Before they actually saw me and had given me very little to go on in terms of hope. Before I had 2 more chemical losses, so faint, almost not there at all, but still heartbreaking when they left me.

Before I went to a fertility specialist. Before I found out I had stage 4 severe endo and low ovarion reserve. Before surgery. Before I healed. Before our first round of IVF. Before I had one more chemical losses, (a fresh transfer after our first round of IVF). Before PGS found out more then half of the embryos we had frozen were abnormal, leaving us with only 2 heathy embryos. Before the FET cycle started. 

And now. I’m pregnant. Pregnant after the FET. And justifiably scared. Scared of every twinge. Every pain. Every bowel movement. Every step I have to walk up. 

Every bit of moisture in my pants and instantly I am thinking “This is it!” And then there is nothing… Thankfully. A moment of relief.  

I am frightened. I keep repeating in my head: “Its only 10%! It’s only 10% after PGS of a loss. Only 10%.” So low. But It’s not enough for the doubts in my mind. 

I thought seeing it at the first ultrasound (week 5) would have been enough… It wasn’t. 6 week ultrasound and I cried with my favorite clinician before she even put the probe in. I was afraid it would be gone again. And then I cried seeing it’s tiny heartbeat show up right away. A little swirly flash on the screen like it was saying “Look! Mom! I’m alive! Relax!”

As I sat there crying the clinician told me “Today you need to be happy. Don’t worry. Be happy all day today.” And I cried some more with happiness, still tinged with fear.  

I frequently put my hand on my already extremely (and stupidly) bloated stomach and whisper “Don’t leave me little one. I saw your tiny heart beat on the monitor. So tiny and flashing light. Please grow healthy and strong for mommy.” 

I constantly ask my husband “Everything is alright? They are alright?” And he has to reassure me. The other day we were in the middle of eating watermelon and I blurted out: “Everything is alright? The baby isn’t dead inside of me?”

The poor man damn near dropped his fork he was so shocked. Then I had a mini anxiety attack, which involves crying and laughing like a lunatic while my husband hugged me.  

I am afraid. So afraid. I wonder if I will be fearful the whole pregnancy. I’m afraid to be too happy. Afraid to be “too sure.”  

I watch other pregnant women walk past me, with no cares. Here I am, waiting on my rainbow baby. Fearful every waking moment.  

Infertility changes you. Especially with previous losses. You live in fear. Fear even with happy news. I am so happy and so afraid.  

I get an ultrasound every week, and I seem to start panicking about 3-4 days after for the next one. So I am panicky now that my next one is on the 5th. At 12 weeks I go on to a normal OBGYN and I won’t get weekly ultrasounds anymore. Will I still be a basket case at week 12? Will I survive until the next ultrasound without turning into a lunatic? Or do I need to buy a heart monitor to listen whenever I start to panic. 

Soon I need to make a decision about CVS. Do I do it? Or will I freak out even more about a MC? It’s just a precaution after the PGS in case they missed something. Even though the chance of MC is so low… I am so afraid of it. So afraid. I will have to discuss this with the doctors before making a decision.  

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I am so alone in this fear. People who haven’t had a loss don’t understand what it’s like to be so incredibly afraid. I should be happy, not so afraid.  

How do you find/maintain hope after a loss?

Stolen.

Stolen
. I was reading an IVF success story a friend had passed along my way yesterday, and the woman who had shared her story wrote that “infertility steals who you are.”

It wasn’t until that moment that I realized it. 

Infertility does steal who you are. It steals your body and changes it. It complicates your emotions. It hijacks your hormones. It makes every moment of your life seem like a tiny little hell hole that only you exist in. 

It’s not just sweat you are feeling falling from your skin in this race, you are literally breaking apart. Little pieces of you break off with each hurtle you jump. 

Every moment, every single moment something gets lost. And you cope with it like it never existed before. What choice do you have? 

I feel like my life is measured in doctors appointments. I’m always waiting for the next ultrasound/blood work/surgery. You live in a world of “worst case scenarios” because it can and always does get worse. 

Meanwhile, through all these doctors visits, ultrasounds, and surgeries I ruin special moments for my friends and family. I can’t go dress shopping for my friend’s wedding because I’m lying on the couch on mandatory bed rest. With any upcoming social events I have to gauge what I can and can’t do with what the new cycle might bring, and usually that means a days and sometimes hours notice. I even have to carry my medication with me in a lunchbox because I’m tethered to a schedule. Sometimes I have to inject myself in a public restroom, which feels a lot like a drug addict. 

I have reminders set on my phone to take medication at all sorts of strange hours. 

To make matters worse every time I take Estrace I become a homicidal maniac. What’s with that? 
I took a walk at lunch today and I had to decide whether it was worth it. A walk. Something I used to routinely do… But lately I haven’t (mainly because I physically couldn’t walk -or even bend/stretch for that matter). But I know I shouldn’t be changing my routine too much right now… I know another round of bed rest is on its way. 

The reality is that most of the time I’m like a human slug these days because of my body. I just don’t have the energy. Infertility steals your energy.

Does it get easier? No. You just get used to it. 
It’s like being kidnapped and held hostage by your own body. 

But even so… I am hoping that what was stolen can be replaced with bigger and better things.

Every single moment of this makes you stronger. You will survive and it will surprise you how well you do it. Every hoop you jump through makes the next one easier. You start to expect them. You have to keep pushing. You have to keep taking steps. I know what this reward is, and it’s worth the path littered with the broken pieces of the soul you have left behind along the way. 

Infertility steals who you are, but that’s what a good insurance policy for.