It’s been six days since I was released from the RE. Six days since we saw that undeniably human-shaped fetus wiggling around in my womb. Six days since I had some reassurance that something might go right for once. Apparently six days is about all the unassisted hope I can muster.
I’ll start by adding that (thankfully) I have an appointment with my therapist this afternoon. Seems we’ll have plenty to discuss. And here’s an additional caveat that if you’re in a fragile mental space this post is not for you. If negative thoughts, frank discussions of miscarriage, and angry rants are not in your best interest right now, then stop reading here. It’s about to go downhill quickly I’m afraid.
Dear Lord how do you survive the constant worry? Since being released from the RE last Wednesday, I’ve already come to feel mentally battered and beaten into a pulp. After becoming accustomed to the weekly reassurance of good-looking ultrasounds at the REs, the prospect of no more ultrasounds any time soon is enough to push me over the edge. These past few days I just can’t stop reliving each of my miscarriages. I can’t talk happily about this pregnancy (though I’m trying for the mister’s sake). I can’t even allow myself to do anything about the fact that my pants are starting to get too snug. All I think about is what it would feel like to have a new pair of maternity pants or a belly band arrive the day I start miscarrying.
I know the worry will never completely go away (like, for the rest of my life), and I know that is normal. That one of the few things fertiles (including my therapist and OB) have said to me in the past several weeks that hasn’t immediately made me want to punch them. It’s true, in the worry regard I’m likely as normal as the mister’s kid-spouting cousin. All new parents worry about the health and well-being of their children. As much as I’d like to argue that the fact that I have three children I’ll never meet makes my worry worse, that’s just not productive and, most likely, not true.
I guess, more than anything, I’m just frustrated with the medical industry and it’s total disregard of worry as a treatable medical complaint. After starting to embrace a future where I would NEVER have to look an OB/GYN in the eyes again (GPs can do a regular pap, people!), the piss-poor hands-off attitudes of these “specialists” have me irate. If one more medical “professional” tells me something is not “medically necessary,” I plan on sending them all my counseling bills. Nickle and diming me on a 5 minute ultrasound is just costing me and my insurance company that much more for mental health services. Infertility is an insidious ass and invades each and every aspect of your being; to deny me an NT scan, additional blood work, or an extra ultrasound because I don’t fall on the right side of their actuarial tables is a daily middle finger. Where were these medical professionals when I was diagnosed as infertile at 25? Where have they been the last 4.5 years, the last 3 miscarriages, the last tens of thousands of dollars? I was breaking their projection models then, but instead of extra testing I got a swift kick in the behind and a “good luck, you’re on your own.” And, what doctor thinks I WOULDN’T gladly pay out of pocket for extra monitoring after all the time, money, and heartache was have put into IVF? WHY do they insist that I must come off Lovenox because, “ouch, those bruises look painful, you really don’t need to keep doing that!” You know what is painful? Miscarriage. And I’m not even talking the mental pain…
I’m a mess because of tomorrow. It will be my first (and likely last) appointment with the maternal fetal medicine doc, and my first true OB consult with my OB (previous visits have been coded as GYN). I’m expecting a several round knock-out fight, and don’t quite know which of us will come out on top. My RIs plan got me PG, my RE takes the credit and calls the RI a “witch doctor,” the OB tells me I’m normal and on “crazy” and “unnecessary” medications, and the MFM (who I’ve not yet met) will almost surely tell me I’m wasting his time by being there. So much for the added peace of knowing you have a whiz-bang team of experts there to guide you through the bumpy ride.
All the while, I’m terrified. I look at my latest ultrasound, I see the human-shaped blob, I recall what it looked like to see the blood flowing through the umbilical cord, and all I can think is, “Wow, it’s big. This miscarriage will surely hurt worse than the last one. Especially if they send me home from the ER with a collection jar again after declining to do an ‘elective’ D&C on a Saturday.”
And then, other times, I look at that ultrasound and it all melts away. Yes, I’m furious that it’s all I have to hold on to. I’m concerned it is all we will ever get to see and hold of our little one. I worry that this is as good as it will get. But, some small part of me still squeals with delight to see that blob with a head and flippers. Am I really justified in my rage, or am I just becoming an overbearing mother that wants to order the million-pack of school pictures already? And then I sigh and scold myself for thinking too far ahead. For opening up to hope. For too easily dismissing insidious IF.