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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Thoughts on Miscarriage

Everyone,


I remember my first day of 3rd grade. Okay, I remember that first recess. I was leaning against the warm red brick of the school, watching all the kids play. My eyes wandered from the big wooden playgrounds, to the swings, to the black top and the fields behind them. The kids all had bright new shoes on, and were still sporting summer tans. This was the first time I remember feeling lonely. Oh I had friends (I don't remember where they were...maybe the other recess?) but I knew that I was different. That nagging feeling of being different never left from then on.


In high school, all I wanted to be was the same. (Doesn't everyone?) But I was so tall and I just felt so different. Luckily, I had some very good friends who didn't seem to mind that I was different. I met Juice. He was not in the 'cool' crowd and was happy being who he was. He actaully started me on the path to enjoying my differences.


In college, I really learned to accept who I was and I was happy. Then Juice came back from his mission and we got married and all was well for awhile.


We lived on campus at BYU. The married student housing everyone dubbed the Rabbit Hutches. Not because they were so box like and small. But because everyone and their sister were having babies. Our ward had 3 or 4 nurseries at church, each with at least 12 kids. We were one of 4 couples in our quad that did not have kids or have one on the way. Each quad had over 60 families. I felt lonely there. All the moms would gather at the play ground in the center of our buildings and talk while the kids played. I tried to join in once or twice. Their conversations stopped while I was around. No one had anything to say to me. I don't think anyone knew what to say to me.


Suddenly, I was different again. And I hated it. Juice still had a year left for his bachelors and and I felt stuck. We had neighbors move in across the hall that asked us how long we had lived there. 10 months. He asked, "Well that's long enough to have a baby. Where is your kid?" By this time we had been trying to get pregnant for awhile and the comment stung. I withdrew and counted the days till we could leave Provo and the Rabbit Hutches behind. The women in the ward made it a point to single me out. I was their project. But sadly, when we did get together and do things, they had nothing to say to me. I had nothing to say to them. I watched silently as they lived the life that I so desperatly wanted.


When we finally moved away, we had been trying to have a baby for almost 2 years. I knew (through internet research) that we had a problem since most couples in their early 20s take 6 months on average to get pregnant. I knew we should see a doctor. We had barely moved to the east, and knew no one. Neither of us had jobs. The only thing we had was our car, our apartment, and Juice's school.


I heard an add on the radio for one of the many infertility clinics in the area. Since I had nothing to do, I looked them up online and read their articles. I was looking for a job. I clicked their job link. They had a job posted that sounded like it could fit me. And I did fit there. I started the next week, and already knew a whole lot about being inferitle.


I learned even more about infertility, and about the reproductive endocronogolists (RE) and what they do. Our CEO was LDS too. I loved him. ABout a year after I started working there, he started accepting patients again and I was one of his first. By this time it had been almost 3 years of disapointment after disapointment. I took calls from people who were pregnant and wanted to know if the baby was a boy or a girl as soon as possible. They did not want to keep the baby if it was the wrong gender. I ached. If only they knew how lucky they were. How special, how wonderful life is. And the ability to created life. Why be so picky?!


About 8 months after I started seeing Dr. CEO, I was pregnant and Butterfly joined us. She really did a lot to ease my past 3 years of suffering. I finally felt that difference sliding away. I don't know why but I felt I belonged to the human race again. I no longer had this silent pain hanging over me. I no longer was waspish with other pregnant women. I no longer hid from baby showers. I was on my way to being okay again.


I knew it took us a long time to have Butterfly. I didn't want to go through the pain month after month we we decided to have another. So we just hopped right back into our routine with the RE. New doctor (Dr. CEO moved to Utah) and new medications. But still moving in the right direction. It seemed to happen quicker this time. I didn't have time to be bitter. I knew we had found what works. Our path to conception was different than the norm, but I was okay about that. I felt proud that we had worked so hard again and we were going to have another baby. I even felt slightly sorry for the people who never had to use the RE. I worked for this baby. I was willing to take shots and endure embarassing procedures for this baby. I wanted this baby. I was proud that my hard work paid off. Natural conception seemed wishy washy to me. People thought, "Oh, let's have a baby." And they do. Like an afterthought. My baby was no afterthought. I thought of this baby first thing in the morning while I was taking my medication. I thought of this baby throughout the day as I had horrible mood swings, among other things. I thought of this baby as I was falling asleep. I worried, I fretted, I rejoiced, I cried, all before the baby had even been conceived. I changed my life for this baby. And I was happy to do so.


I never thought that once I was pregnant that I would loose the baby. And once I passed into the 2nd trimester, I felt free and clear. I was happy. I was confident. I was a little worried about Butterfly, but not enough to damper my excitment in having another one. He or she would be just as amazing as Butterfly. This baby would only make our lives better. It's what we wanted and worked for.


I did not want to loose this baby. It threw me back to feeling alone. Sure, everyone told me about having a miscarriage. Even my midwife said it happens to 20-30% of all pregnancies. But I never thought it would happen to my pregnancy. We worked so hard for it. We had our trial before the baby came. It came as a shock that we could not hear or see the heartbeat. The days that followed that ultrasound were numbing. I felt quiet inside. I thought a lot about that day in 3rd grade staring at the other kids having fun and not knowing what to do. I thought a lot about my lonely days in the Rabbit Hutches. I realized that the black hole that I crawled out of with Butterfly and skipped over with Baby #2 had caught me again.


Last time, I wanted nothing to do with pregnancy. This time, it's babies. I see people with tiny babies and I feel so inadaquit. I feel jealous. And then I feel bad because I am jealous and think that I shouldn't feel jealous but happy. I am not happy. And I can't seem to even think about babies and happy in the same sentance.


My RE is working with us. Things are going forward. I am bitter that I am different again. It is no longer special. Speical would be being normal. Being unconcerned. Being normal with a working normal body. I wish my babies could be an afterthought. I wish I could join everyone in the play ground instead of hugging the walls of the school longing to go out there. I wish that big bully didn't push me back when I had the guts to join everyone.


I wish I was still pregnant.


Safire


PS- The pictures are of a remembrance charm my friends Jill and Amy sent me from here. It came with a poem:


When a baby arrives,



be it for a day, a month, a year, or more,



or perhaps only a sweet flickering moment



the fragile spark of a tender soul,



the secret swell of a new pregnancy



the goldfish flutter know to only you-



you are unmistakeningly changed...



the tiny footprints left behind on your hear



bespeak your name as Mother.

4 comments:

  1. h Cat -- I wish I could ease your pain, hold your, be your shoulder to lean on. I wish I had a magic wand and I could just give it a little shake to make you "normal". You have every right to feel jealous, you are hulain, you have suffered and you are mourning. I know I was often jealous of people who could announce their pregnancies early, didn't have to do blood test after blood test and wait for those dreaded numbers, who didn't have to sit in a waiting room full of pg woman just waiting to see if their baby was still there and beat alive. I am so deeply sorry for the pain you have endured -- I am here when you need me! (((((hugs))))) always!

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  2. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Overcoming an obstacle makes the reward sweeter. The pain is horrible, I know and I understand it from your view better, so thanks for the post.

    Being different is good and bad, but on the whole, being remembered for your uniqueness is better than just being another ant in the ant hill.

    Yah, I know, sage words of wisdom, but hopefully they will help.

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  3. I'm so sorry Cat, my heart aches for you and for the pain you have endured.

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  4. I'm so sorry, Cat. I know you will be blessed again as will I. We just need to keep on fighting that good fight and believing that it will happen. Love ya!

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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller