September 22, 2015

This is a good one to skip if you don't like wallowing and/or obsessive navel gazing around fertility

Hey guys! Ready to get uncomfortably personal up in here? Let's do it!

So. As you may have caught in my grand summary return-to-blogging post earlier this year, one of the life events of the past year was a miscarriage, back in March. It sucked, as I imagine they all do. It was a baby we had been trying for, and we got far enough along to see a fuzzy little thing on the sonogram screen that they assured us was a fetus, and heard the strong, fast little heartbeat. The next time we went in for a sonogram there was silence. Saying it sucked is such an understatement, but also a really succinct and accurate description as well. It did indeed suck, a lot.

Anyway, after that, I had a lot of wonderful people reach out to me and tell me several helpful and supportive things: many more people than I realized had gone through miscarriages of their own, and many of them had reassuring stories of miscarriages followed immediately by successful pregnancies, resulting in babies I had personally met and whose lovely baby heads I had sniffed. The hard part is apparently getting pregnant, so I was lucky because my body had proved it was capable of getting pregnant, even if it had a little bit of a learning curve on the staying pregnant part. So I consoled myself with the thought that this was hopefully just a trial run for my body, and the next time it would do better.

....and then nothing else happened.

It's weird: in the many months leading up to the pregnancy, I was not upset each month when I didn't get pregnant. I was still mentally in the headspace that pregnancy and motherhood would be wonderful, but not necessarily something I desperately needed to fulfill my life. I didn't have a lot of faith in my body's ability to get pregnant in the first place, so I didn't want to get too excited or hopeful. As my sister pointed out, she was sure I'd be a great mother, but didn't think I was the type of person who NEEDED a baby to be happy in life.

But once there's a heartbeat, things apparently change. You're forced to go from a hypothetical to a reality. Obviously, a heartbeat is not a baby - extra obviously, in my case - and while I was perfectly aware of the risks of the first trimester, and was only ever cautiously optimistic, at most - there was a definite shift somewhere inside me, mentally and emotionally. The heartbeat forces you to make an emotional commitment. It's obviously why so many anti-choice organizations force women to have vaginal ultrasounds before allowing them to terminate a pregnancy: it's really hard to stay detached at that point. All of a sudden there is a real possibility of a human being being deposited into your life in a few months, and for me at least, it sparked some primal shift deep in my psyche which caused me to lurch suddenly and solidly into the baby = good side of the house.

So while the miscarriage sucked, it would be OK. We would try again and I would do better.

Getting my period prior to that hadn't denoted a failure. It just meant we'd try again next month; no big deal. Each month now, I'm kind of shocked at the depth of the anger I have directed at my own body for failing me yet again. It's not enough that I failed at being pregnant; now my body won't even give me the opportunity to try and fix that? Then there's the mean little sliver of my brain that suggests maybe it's good that I keep failing to get pregnant again, because I'd probably just fail to keep that pregnancy again anyway. What is this shit? I thought I had shut up that nasty toxic voice in my head after highschool.

I was sure I was not going to be the type of person who dwelled on things like my would-be due date, and I still plan not to be. But I also made that determination when I assumed I would be pregnant again by my due date. Which I will not be.

All hope is not lost, of course, and I'm not nearly a dramatic enough person to keep up this level of wallowing as a permanent state. We decided to talk to an RE to see if there were any physical limitations that might be contributing to our low success rate (you know, aside from my vastly advanced age, at least in the realm of reproduction). And hey! Turns out there are. So on the one hand: it's nice to know it's not due solely to me failing at a pretty basic human and biologic function, since there are things beyond my control affecting the situation. On the other hand, my prior melodramatic and woebegone announcements that I felt as if I had one shot at this pregnancy situation, and I'd used it and failed? Was actually sort of accurate, seeing as our doctor gave us a roughly 1% chance of conceiving in a given month, in our current state.

So! We'll see where things go from here, but it looks like there is a good chance I will be joining the (somewhat silent) (except honestly, when have I ever been silent) ranks of women who delve into the fascinating and distressingly-not-covered-by-insurance realm of assisted fertility. I feel better than I have in a few weeks: there's a plan. We might not follow that plan, and that plan is certainly not guaranteed to work, but at least someone has proposed one. And that's a hell of a lot better than sitting around waiting to fail.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry. It sucks to have a miscarriage and it sucks to want to get pregnant and not. ((hug)) I'm glad you guys have a plan. I'll be thinking about you!

  2. Oh, Alice. I don't have any advice because I haven't experienced what you're going through, but please know that I'm thinking of you! Hugs to you, my friend. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I'm extremely interested in this. It's such a series of good news / bad news. I am hoping for all the best things. Once again I fervently wish there was a way to SHARE or DONATE pieces of fertility: like, "Oh, I'm not using mine this month so you can have it."

  4. Gosh, I must have missed the post before. I am so sorry about the miscarriage. Huge hugs to you. I hope this new plan works! And I think it's really good you are talking about it, because people don't, but I know so many who've gone through stuff like this... and that it's more common that people think doesn't make it any easier, but I bet there are lots who can relate when you really need that person who's been in that situation before.

  5. Oh honey, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how you feel but I'm thinking about you and I'm so sorry. Hugs.

  6. I'm sorry lady. Here for you if you ever need to talk/complain/yell.

  7. Oh, honey, I am sorry that this has been so rough. I'm glad you have some answers and a plan and I'm also rage-y that your insurance doesn't cover it. I want to be like, are you SURE? I feel like more and more insurance is covering fertility assistance recently. Come onnnn, insurance. Step UP.

    Xoxoxo to you and we will be here to support you through whatever comes next.

  8. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I've been lurking for a long time. Unfortunately I can relate to finding out that there's pretty much zero chance of conceiving without assistance, but thank goodness that assistance is available. My daughter is the product of our second round of IVF, which is a bit of an emotionally overwhelming adventure, but she is totally worth everything we went through for her. I don't know that you're looking for advice, but I will say the best thing I did was find a group in the infertility group on BabyCenter. It was my biggest source of support, these women were going through the same thing I was at the same time and could understand how I was feeling better than anyone (even my 10000% supportive husband).

    Best of luck to you - I hope you continue to blog about it, it's a shame that more people don't talk about it.

  9. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear all of this & am sending you so much love.

  10. I am so sorry to hear that you're going through this. We are in our 4th year of infertility struggles and while I'm not (yet) a success story to share with you, I know how you feel. It can really be the worst. Feel free to reach out any time to chat/whine/complain/ask questions/whatever.

  11. So many things I want to say: how sorry I am that you're going through this, how good it is that you have a plan, how much I am hoping that things work out! Fingers very much crossed for you guys.

  12. Alice, we can not imagine going through a miscarriage and then having fertility issues, our hearts goes out to you. However, we do have plenty of experience with not getting to the conceiving part. We are still working through our issues and hope to be moving along in the process soon.

    If you want to talk about anything, we are more than willing. We have found that talking to others helps us feel less alone in the process and also helps our emotional states.

    Best wishes!

  13. I am very bummed for you, Alice. My desire-to-be-a-mommy switch was probably in the "on" position when I was born, so my poor husband had to put up with me crying every single month for several years. So yes, I totally get the crushing feelings when you are trying and it doesn't happen.
    I'm personally glad you are blogging about this because too many people keep silent about important stuff, and then when others go through the same things, everyone feels alone.
    I'm wishing you the best as you & Chris work through a lot of decisions and medical stuff (and, oh the insurance crap! Don't even get me started... but feel free to blog away on any topic you wish to write about).

  14. Also, thank you for making me feel better about my inability to show excitement over my fetal grandson. He's due December 1st, but he still doesn't seem real to me. It's as though I'm afraid to fall in love with him until I can hold him for the first time.

  15. First off, this sucks! I'm so sorry that you have been going through this. Know that you are not alone! I'm proud of you for sharing your experience on your blog. I know it's scary hitting post, but I personally found blogging about our experience rather therapeutic. Keeping my experience bottled up inside and putting on a brave face every day was exhausting. I felt much better putting it out there. I hope you find a similar release in sharing your story. Sending you such big hugs.