***trigger warning: scary first few weeks of ‘p’ and some talk about being ‘p’
I am going to be honest here. The first few months of being ‘P’ were hard. Super hard. We fight and battle and claw our way with blind relentlessness just to see those two lines, to hear those words from your clinic, to finally be ‘P’. It seems so rough and a bit surprising that the next phase should be in some ways more mentally challenging. Notice I don’t say harder. I am hard pressed to find anything harder than being in the desperate rat wheel of IF/RPL. The negative after negative, failed cycle after cycle, life on hold as people and the world pass you by. Yet you must hold it together, be gracious, keep hope and keep fighting. That is harder. The knowledge of that never leaves me. Not for a second.
Doesn’t make the mental challenge of literally carrying something you have dreamed of inside you but not knowing if it will last, if it will stay any easier. Will it all be ok or if it will be ripped from you once again. Leaving you even more devastated because you were that much closer. The dream was growing inside you. You know the statistics. You know that doubling beta is good but not near a guarantee. You know a first good ultrasound is great but not even close to safe. You know a second good ultrasound is really good but darn it still not clear.
I was going through this mental challenge when the day after my first good ultrasound, I started bleeding. A lot. Every chemical and every miscarriage I bled. I fell to the floor sobbing. I just knew it was over. My husband held me together and we rushed in for another ultrasound. Miraculously the heart was still beating. But the doctor on call cruelly told me ‘bleeding causes miscarriage and miscarriage causes bleeding. It doesn’t look good’. I understand her need to temper expectations but that is all that kept repeating in my head for weeks. I went home and was in bed for the entire next week. My husband and my Mom took over the house and parenting and I lay in bed near comatose desperately checked for blood (it abated quickly but I didn’t know if it would come back). I sometimes couldn’t breath out of fear. I didn’t do anything but lie there. No reading no Netflix just trying to keep my mind blank and prepare for my next bleeding check. It was to this day- the hardest week of my life.
Yet miraculously my symptoms got stronger. I started to get such strong morning sickness the miserableness of it quelched the mental fear. I started to hope for it to get worse. The worse I felt physically the better I felt mentally. A strange situation. I would puke and then cry with happiness. I would lie in bed moaning and tearing up at the same time.
Then came the next ultrasound and progressive symptoms and finally I could breath a little. I took back my life duties and kept plowing ahead.
Now here I am- a few weeks into my second tri after a good NT scan and just hanging onto every shred of gratitude that comes my way. I don’t know how I somehow made it to this point but all I am focusing on is the moment. My current fortune. I can’t begin to understand how the world works. Why me now? I mean logistically the miracle gift of donor eggs is the answer to the above but it is still not a guarantee. I chose a path that statistically would lead to this right now at some point. But it could have been longer. It could have been harder.
Those of you reading this and wondering why me for a different reason. Why isn’t it my turn? Why another failure? When will it end? I hope in the short future you will look back on this moment and realize the light was just up ahead. You were almost there. The energy and stamina is takes to keep going is something that builds inside us, making us stronger and stronger. That doesn’t make this all worth it, but it does leave us with lasting strength to face the future. It does make you beautifully resilient in the face of hardship. It does give you profound depth to the joy when it comes.