Friday, September 08, 2006

The beginning of the end

I think it's time to share a little of my infertility journey, because that's why I started blogging in the first place. And if I were going to therapy, I would eventually be prodded to work over these memories anyway.

What's true is that I am coming up on the first anniversary of the beginnings of my second pregnancy. I know the exact date that conception took place (or, technically speaking the main event which would lead to conception in the days following ) because, as with my first pregnancy, it was a one-time-deal. I had wanted to start trying again, so that our children could be about 3 years apart, so last fall was marked with a bullseye. However, things got tricky with hubby's job and he felt uncertain about his future and this led to us agreeing to temporarily shelve the humping-with-a-purpose.

But there was a random, randy night. Just one. And it was good. Apparently so good that we didn't even attempt it again for awhile. Ahem. For months. And after a few weeks, I had an intuition which turned out to be on the money, because the appropriate pattern of pink lines showed up on the HPT. Pregnant from a "Shot in the Dark." (There would be more of those to come.)

It was now Thanksgiving, involving a trip home to visit all of my family. I convince my conservatively-natured husband to join me in telling my whole family our good news. (I say "join me" because the reality was that I had no ability to stop myself from spilling the proverbial beans. At least he could decide if he wanted to be present.)

I let my daughter tell them "I goin' have bruddersisser." Which no one understood after repeated attempts, so I pushed her aside and shouted, "She's going to have a brother or a sister!" A great cry of triumph went up around the table, almost as though the procreating had been a group effort. My husband nudged me during the ensuing hub-bub to point out my brother wiping at tears. (Not even close to his MO. I felt special and loved, for sure.)

Fast forward two or so weeks. A Monday ("I don't know why I don't like Mondays."). The first prenatal visit. We brought our daughter, to include her and to let her hear the heartbeat, and because we are too cheap for babysitters (because God knows how long you'll be stuck at those appointments...hours, days?).

The appointment went reasonably well. The doctor was new to me, but very calm and sensitive to our worries, which stemmed from a terribly rough go of it when my daughter was born. (Imagine we were discussing doulas, for Christ's sake! Oh, the hubris.) My husband and daughter weren't present during the pelvic, due to my child's fascination with public potties and her need to go on them, ad nauseum, even when she has nothing to "contribute." She did tinkle, actually. But I digress.

I remember telling the doctor that I didn't feel pregnant, but that because I had such an easy first pregnancy, it wasn't particularly alarming to me. Isn't it strange, though, that I said "I don't feel pregnant," rather than "I feel good," or "No complaints." Maybe, as the words were spoken, I was already understanding.

The doctor obliged me with a Doppler, which found nothing. But, she assured me this happened often, usually due to it being too early, or the position of the baby. (Or...)

The next morning, B (my hubby) and I decided we had time for a quick romp in the hay. Actually, it was missionary position in our bed, trying not to wake the toddler in the next room. All fun and games, until...

...the bleeding started later that day. This was the Tuesday before Christmas weekend. A panicked converation with the dr. on call led me to schedule an u/s the next morning with the office. The earliest I could be seen was 4:30 that afternoon (Wednesday, now). The bleeding was intermittent, probably held at bay by my sheer will and the repeated clenching of my sphincter muscles. (Who says Kegels don't work?)

The ultrasound was not great, of course, as this is a story of miscarriage. There was a sac, and a fetal pole, but no heartbeat. Consistent with a 6-week pregnancy. This didn't exactly worry our doctors, until my husband reiterated that this was a "Shot in the Dark" pregnancy. Try as I might, I could find no wiggle room. No lusty encounters vaguely feathering in and out of my memory, to explain away the discrepancies.

It was doomed.

The miscarriage started in earnest the following evening (Thursday) as we were packing up to head to the in-laws for Christmas. Needless to say, we postponed traveling until the morning, and even then I was not up to the challenge. But, my MIL is a retired nurse who encouraged me to come and be taken care of and let my daughter be chased by everone else and what else could I do? Stay home and look at the walls and bleed and pass clots and wonder all by myself "Was that the products of conception? Was that?"

It was an unhappy holiday. I remember having to retrieve a package, for my husband, from the pile that we were taking to Christmas. A baby sling in his size (because the New Native Carrier comes in different sizes, don't you know.). I remember laying down on my bed, while trying to pack, because the physical exertion was just too much. I remember baking some homemade biscuits for Christmas dinner and my MIL making a horrible, twisted "something in the oven, no pun intended" comment to me. I remember being numb.

And the baby sling is still sitting in my closet. Wrapped in blue reindeer paper. Waiting. Waiting.



At 2:00 AM, Blogger Hetty Fauxvert said...

I'm so sorry ... but thank you for sharing your story with us. (Okay, that sounded awful, but really, I mean it.) How awful to find out just before Christmas. And the baby sling ... sigh. My SIL miscarried at about 20 weeks, but only after we had had a joyous Christmas with the whole family there, rooting for her (since she and her DH had been trying for the happy event for years and years) and she had received every possible baby present known to man. It was so awful for her having that stuff sitting around afterward.


At 11:27 AM, Blogger Kath said...

Dear Casey, I'm so sorry. About the crushed hopes, the losses, the pain and the waiting. And about that present that keeps on giving sadness.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Muffin&Bear Mom said...

It's been over two years since my loss. I've had another one since then - IVF finally did the trick. But I still get sad when I hit that 'due date' - or when I found out (shortly after my birthday).

Do you think we'll ever get over it? Or is it one of those things that, older and grayer, we'll still be sad about??


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