Deep breath. Okay, here we go. This will be awful, but I have to stop avoiding even trying. I have been having a hard time. A really hard time. And that’s okay. Even normal. I have not wanted to admit even to myself how hard it’s been, but beating myself up for not being strong enough to just “get over it” is not helpful in the least. My heart was broken. And so I have been heartbroken. I am grieving what might have been. I am allowed to be sad about it. It would make less sense if I weren’t. As much as it was the same as the other miscarriages, this one was different. First, I didn’t think I was leaving myself open to the possibility of getting pregnant. I was on the pill. Taking it at nearly the same time every day. That’s about as much as one can do with it. Strike one against my tenuous, and fictitious regardless, sense of control over this whole subject matter. I had been taking the prenatal vitamins and the baby aspirin (along with the pill! Conflicted much?), and as soon as I saw the positive test I called to get an appointment. I knew the plan was to do heparin injections, and I went for the blood tests first thing the next morning (was already driving there when they called to return my message left after business hours. Who needs an actual appointment?) and started the injections twice a day and taking the progesterone every night. And the calcium supplements twice a day. I was hopeful. But guarded. So guarded. I have not even allowed myself to fully hope. I may not have PTSD exactly, but I have been traumatized by the early losses. Losses. I can’t even completely let myself think of them as pregnancies, let alone babies that might have been. Mmmmkay, stop and cry for a minute.
When the beta hgc nearly doubled, I did hope. When we saw the heartbeat, I hoped. But it was slow, and I knew that wasn’t right, wasn’t perfect. I am not a perfectionist, but if there is ever something I’d hoped to be perfect, that was it. I was so scared. Then the end began, and didn’t end well, and took what seemed like an eternity to truly end, and I am still so scared. I have so much fear over what might be. The chromosomal testing was normal. Female, so it may have been me, but not too likely. No clear medical reason to not try again. Not that we ever really tried to begin with, is what kills me. But I still hope. I don’t want to give up, and nobody has said that I should. It could still happen. That is the what-if I need to entertain. The opposite is what is instinctual, but it is not helpful. I have a few times seen a counselor who specializes in pregnancy loss and infertility among other types of grief. I think it is helping, but it still hurts. Which it should, really. Even though it hurt all along, I think I was trying too hard to keep it from hurting as much as it really does. Using the words heartbreak and heartbroken feels like a breakthrough. An honesty after piles upon piles of white lies, told mostly to myself. Not exactly a refreshing honesty, but a necessary one.
Like admitting that it hurts to see ultrasound pictures and birth announcements and belly progress pictures posted on Facebook, but not being able to stop myself from looking. Like the difference between envy and jealousy. I don’t begrudge anyone their joy, I just want to be able to have some of the same kind myself. I don’t want to take it away from them, but it hurts to only have disappointment myself. It just…hurts. Like being punched in the stomach, seeing that a friend from junior high has not only a new-ish baby of her own, but is also now going to become a grandmother. Talk about being lapped. I’m sure it isn’t completely easy and only joyful for her, but there is joy in it for her nonetheless, and I envy it, if not in its exact form. I have a hard time acknowledging even to myself that I really want to be a mother, a hard time picturing myself in that role, because I am so terrified it may never happen. Yet the idea of giving up is even more terrifying. I hope. I can’t help but hope. I am scared, but I am strong enough and maybe even brave enough to take the risk when I’m ready. That will be whenever it will be. It’s not now, but I think it will come. I’ve been brave enough to pick up the prenatal vitamins, and to start taking them again. Then, after a while, I was brave enough to start taking the aspirin again. It’s not a direct effort, but it’s a part of the routine that was hard to restart. It’s the little things that hurt. Daring to open the linen closet and actually looking to see what the expiration date is on the leftover vials of heparin. Little things that in an odd way add up to bravery that I have to give myself credit for doing, whatever it’s worth. It’s a start.