Updated: Sep 10
I wanted to write this down, before I venture out in to the world and have to begin the process of explaining why I am not pregnant anymore. Im not shouting it from the roof tops , its actually an act of privacy. Like those celebs that have a drama be it their own fault or not when they make a statement and then ask people to respect their wishes to be left alone. No questions today. Im not lumping myself in to the category of people who are interesting , etc. Its kinda of a way of answering any well meaning and friendly looks or questions / queries. A chance to put it out there and be done with it. It is selfish really , I know but it's my healing process as I write this and I may well feel differently at the end of it and be an advocate for those who want to talk , need to be heard, can identify and/or just understand . But right now, this blog is for the pure and simple reason, I don't want to have to relive and re tell my story and experience my pain over again once lockdown finishes.
Us women , we are good at sharing and we need it, I know that. I can't function without my female friends. But I feel very low right now. Talking about it just makes me feel lower. You see I was very vocal about wanting , conceiving and achieving another baby. If you have read anything on this blog site , you will know my first daughter was hard fought and won. She was expensive and invasive, and of course worth it. She was IVF and I know now how lucky I was to get her. This time when I got pregnant, it went spectacularly and dangerously wrong. And I was left scared both physically and emotional and mentally from this, even go so far as to say spiritually too , as I was praying through this drawn out and exhausting experience to save my baby and it didn't happen. My journey ended one day after it started. I got the positive test on a Wednesday , my daughters 2nd birthday was Thursday and Friday was the beginning of a month long rollercoaster of hope and disappointment. Too many well meaning nurses and inexperienced doctors erring on the side of caution, telling me to not worry , it's early, its just cysts, yes you are most definitely pregnant, everything will be all right , to finally sitting alone in the early pregnancy unit while I was discussed just outside the door as to how best to end all of this. The ordeal of loosing those treasured embryos and all the medical faffing , testing that was deemed inconclusive and final diagnosis has taken a toll on me.
Miscarriage is lonely, no matter how much support you have. Yes, the loss is both yours and your partners but the empty feeling, literally is yours alone as a mother ( to be ) you feel it in every aspect of your life. Your body ...... I had one job especially as it was IVF, the magic had already happened. I saw the embryos moving under the microscope. I was the vessel , the oven and already feeling a small part failure that I could not achieve natural conception to compound that I couldn't even get this right. For it to end as an ectopic just didn't feel fair. I feel it in my future, there is an empty space where her sibling should be. Plans that will no longer happen and have all changed. Baby clothes that will now be given away and items sold. The crib in my room ready for them covered over. When you are pregnant , you've got that pee stick to prove it, hormones levels on the rise, you mentally get prepared. Ok my body is going to change again , I'm going to throw up for the next 6 months minimum. I need to take vitamins , etc. Suddenly all that is gone. Pill boxes on the kitchen counter are just a reminder of what didn't happen.
For me the whole process has been an especially lonely one. I conceived smack bang in the middle of covid 19. Its been a year of planning and ups and down, false starts and hold ups. Tests , blood work and swabs, pelvic scans to ready my body, drugs and injections, all alone. Flights and FET ( frozen embryo transfers ) alone. Then bleeding , pain , scans , cysts, bad news, hospital overnight stays and then finally key hole surgery, alone. All the while surrounded by strangers in haz-mat suits, not able to see their faces, which you guessed it makes you feel very much alone. My pain I bear alone as life goes on and I cant seem to process the loss. Therefore it is forgotten by others close to you , as I silently battle, walking wounded, functioning but empty. Like a tidal wave of emotion is lapping at throat every time I breath out. But I cant seem to deal with it. Im numb, a piece of me missing.
What is the worst part is that , I am left feeling embarrassed and ashamed of having to explain to family and friends that it all came to nothing, I was so excited, borrowed back baby clothes and had it all planned out. It never occurred to me that it would end this way. ( disclaimer no family and friends have made me feel that way, its all in my head). I cant shake the overwhelming sense of failure. Then there is the anger, was this the clinics fault? If it was an act of nature, why would God do this to me. Why not just give me a negative test ! The Mommy guilt, was I being selfish, greedy? All this achieved was heartache and me being away over night on several occasions, from my little girl , the one thing I never wanted to do. And now I can't be there for her completely as I can't let her see me cry, she get upset if she catches me. I can't play with her properly till I heal physically. All this suffering to end in nothing kills me. Im distracted and exhausted, more than normal. My other kids kind of know what happened but explaining this to three teenage boys isn't high on the list. Im isolated within isolation within isolation. My family are all in NZ and I cant fly there even if I was healthy. My friends are all in lockdown. And Im alone in my house with my thoughts and theories and a lot of teenage testosterone.
Maybe I'm purposefully ignore myself as for the awful truth was I had to terminate the most precious of things. An embryo especially an IVF one is life. Its hope , its a dream. I saw my two on the microscopic alive and ready to go. My hormonal count was going up in the following weeks, they or at least one was alive and I had to let them go to save myself as such . A mother would die for her child and I was signing paper work asking them to dispose of it like it was garbage. The miscarriage wasn't voluntary , yes something was wrong , but my embryo didn't die on its own and I have to live with that. I had one job. I know in my head at least that there was no choice, that no one would survive if nothing was done. But putting myself and my living child first still took a piece of my heart. Its like I'm numb. The gravity of the situation that my desire to have a sibling for her could have killed me. As I had a gallon of blood in my body cavity from where the fallopian tube underneath the ectopic pregnancy, had ruptured and sepsis and my wee girl losing her mummy was a possibility. Im just so sad my journey ended on such a low.
An interesting side effect that I never saw coming was the PTSD of the whole affair and others have shared their experience too. Hospitals aren't the same, its a place of dread. I can't even look over at the building as I pass by in my daily outings. I get anxiety now every time I go to the loo. For me the bleeding was on and off for the a month straight while they uhhmm and ahhhed as to what was happening. And when it stopped I was hopeful and when it started again, I was devastated. I know my next natural period will open up the feelings of sadness and loss and failure all over again. Any sort of pain in my stomach be it trapped wind, indigestion or a tweak of the stitches and push on the bruises and I'm catapulted back to those dark days and its failed outcome.
What has come out of it is a weird bonding and welcome to a club no one wants to be a member of. When I have been brave enough to say whats happening , those who have also experienced loss of some sort in some same way of this nature have been there virtually , on the phone or a text everyday to say hi, how am I feeling today. Telling me the truth of the matter. What to expect. That what I'm feeling , or not feeling is normal and my own to work through. Let it what ever 'it' is flow through me, don't bottle up or pretend to be ok. Its ok not to be ok . A loss is a loss and you will not move on or get through in a prescribed time scale. It will feel and in an essence is a loss of a family member and should be treated as such in the grief process. That while I go through this , it will sneak up on me at weird and worst possible times. Trigger me and I'll need to plaster a smile on my face or break down in to ugly snot bubble crying. The hardest part is the finality of it for me, there is no rainbow baby. Im 45 and this was my last try. I don't understand why it didn't work. No matter how well I heal inside and out, on the surface or in my soul , I don't think I ever will.
My only conciliation prize in all this is that I appreciate life and love more. I was distracted this past year and now that it is over, I can focus on my family. I am grateful to be here and appreciate every moment with my beautiful, wonderful, full of life, makes me smile every day daughter. I have to say , apart for the looming depression, which I know I just have to go through, I am having more fun with her than ever, her smile is brighter, her laughter louder. She really is my Gods gift (and will be good enough for me.)
edit note. In putting this out there. Many women have offered support, love, understanding and their own stories. The club no one wants to be a member of. THANK YOU. I hear you. I see you. Stronger together. X