four months later, Infertility
There is a little game I play with every miscarriage. It’s not that fun. I just happen to have a lot of family and friends in the growing the family stage of life. My sister just announced that they are expecting. Let the game begin. I took their due date and my due date, and we have a connection. My baby would be 3 months older than hers. It starts as a casual connection, but the thought never leaves my brain. My first baby is a few months younger than one of my sister’s second kid and 3 months older than another sister’s first kid. My second baby is 2 months younger than one sister’s third kid, a few months older than another sisters second kid, and 6 months older than Sarge (I know it would be impossible to have both of them).
I have watched those kids learn and grow; knowing that I almost had the same thing, and I’ll do it again with these babies that are being grown around me. At my most bitter it feels like a curse. There will always be at least two people close to you who are pregnant or who get pregnant right after you miscarry. I’m sure that I just become hypersensitive to pregnancy for a little while.
Funny thing; I thought I was doing better with this one. It’s different when you have a kid. I’m no longer worried that I will never get to be a mother, instead I worry that Sarge was a fluke. What if he really was a miracle? Maybe he would have gone full term without progesterone. If that’s true than we haven’t figured anything out. Fertility research is lacking and the go to solutions for infertility are expensive and may or may not help. I worry about future miscarriages, medical treatments, next steps, and how to answer questions like “Are you going to have more kids?”. I worry about how to explain miscarriage to Sarge when he is older. Progesterone is not my friend and I don’t know what to tell him about mom being sick for 4 months. I told all my family and friends that I was okay because I have Sarge, and he makes everything better. It’s true that he brightens my life, and when I told them that I thought I was fine, but I’ve since learned that I’m not handling this one as well as I thought I was. My sister’s announcement caught me by surprise and the emotions hit.
It’s a different kind of pain this time. It’s a pain that comes from the elation of thinking you’re your fertility problems are over, only to find out they aren’t. It’s the pain of realizing that your plan to have 4-5 kids and be done by the time you are 30 may not work out. It’s the pain of the unknown and most of all it’s the pain of conflicting emotions. I’m so happy to have Sarge, yet it hurts to think he could be my only child. I’m overjoyed for my friends and family who are welcoming new little ones into their families, yet it hurts that I’m not one of them. I’m so grateful for my family and friends who have been able to grow their families without this particular set of struggles. I hurt for my family who have been where I am, for those who will probably be where I am in the future because I can’t supply any answers for them. I hurt from my friends who sacrifice so much to have their miracle babies, for those I know how have children, but can not have more no matter how deeply they wish they could.
All of these conflicting emotions inside me. I’ve learned not to run from them. I’ve learned to embrace the ones that I want to keep and to face the ones I want to move past and heal from. If I try to run, I am never able to heal and find joy where I am.
So, here I sit, four months after going in for my first appointment already knowing I was miscarrying and seeing the still form in the ultrasound, with my Dr. Pepper and my dark chocolate, watching a movie that I know will make me cry; giving myself permission to mourn my loss. Making space for the sorrow, anger, devastation, and whatever else I may feel. Reminding myself that I will probably always hurt a little, and that’s okay. Finding space to see what brings me joy in life so that tomorrow I can embrace that. Healing so that when I see my pregnant friends, I can congratulate them without hesitation. Only feeling a slight pang of sadness knowing that I could have been in the same place if things had gone differently.
If you are in a place like mine, I hope you will allow yourself the space and time you need to heal too. I know it’s hard. I hope you will find peace through the pain and that happy little moments will begin to shine through for you.
If you are watching someone go through this struggle, I hope you will give them the time and space they need. Let them tell you of their hurt months and years later. Let them be happy with you when the happy moments come. Support them and they will support you in return as much as their hearts can handle.