Loss

The last year has been a tough one. We lost a dog and a cat, whom we loved very much, only a few weeks apart; shortly after that, I gave up my job (and what felt like most of my identity) and we packed up our lives and moved from NYC to Orlando. The transition was difficult -to say the least- and honestly, I only started to feel like I was getting my footing back a couple of months ago. On January 1st, I eagerly said good riddance to 2012 and thought 2013 would bring us much better luck.

In January, after trying to have another baby for about 1 1/2 years, we decided to seek out fertility treatment. We would have done it earlier but after finding out that our insurance doesn’t have any fertility coverage at all, we just couldn’t swing it. Finally, we decided that time was of the essence so we sucked it up and paid out-of-pocket for treatment. I did a lot of research on fertility doctors in the area and we settled on one who has a really good reputation. Although he said that IVF would give us our best shot at conceiving, especially given my age, we just couldn’t afford the $15,000 price tag so we decided to give IUI another try.

I wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful so imagine my surprise when it worked! Two weeks after the procedure, I took a home pregnancy test and couldn’t believe when I saw the word ‘pregnant’ on the stick. I was really happy but frankly, I was also relieved that we wouldn’t have to go broke trying to get pregnant.

My husband was so excited and while I tried to share his excitement, I couldn’t let myself. Maybe it was all the statistics I read about women my age and the increased likelihood of miscarriage. Maybe it was because I tend to be a bit of pessimist anyway. Maybe I didn’t want to jinx anything. Maybe I just had a gut feeling. Maybe it was all of those things, but I didn’t want to talk about the pregnancy at all and I certainly didn’t want to read the emails my husband now got on a daily basis telling him that the embryo was now the size of a lima bean and was in the process of growing kidneys. And the more time that passed and I didn’t feel anything, I got more worried. When the mild nausea I had in the beginning began to subside to nothing, my anxiety grew. I bought a box of home pregnancy tests and would take one every 3 days, relieved when I saw the positive sign yet still having a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.

The day of our first ultrasound, when I was 7 weeks along, I was nervous all day. My husband almost convinced me that it would all be good with his infectious enthusiasm and positivity. Almost. The doctor entered the room and asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was nervous and all I wanted to see was a heartbeat; I think I let myself hope for a second that everything was going to be fine. Still, I wasn’t surprised when he told me that the embryo stopped growing at about 5 weeks and I would soon miscarry. He then said a few more things I have trouble remembering, asked me if we had any questions and left the room. All of this happened and I still didn’t have any pants on.

I think I felt numb and sad beyond belief. For some reason, I thought that because I had prepared myself for this that it wouldn’t hurt. Of course, I expected to be disappointed but I didn’t expect to feel such a deep sense of loss. I was growing a life inside of me that was no longer growing. We were going to be a family of 4 and we could already picture our daughter as a big sister. Whether I let myself be excited about it or not didn’t change the fact that I wanted this so badly and there were times I actually believed it was going to happen.

I was left with about a million questions but most of them I only came up with once the shock wore off and I had some time to let it sink in. By that time, the doctor was long gone – off to see somebody else who I imagine he was relieved to give good news to. I’m angry about a lot of things right now but most of all, I’m angry at the fact that the doctor didn’t let me put my damn clothes back on, sit with my husband for a few minutes while we absorbed the news and then invite us into his office to talk and ask questions. I realize that fertility treatments are big business now but I expected more than a quick brush-off.

So, it’s been 5 days now and I’m still trying to figure out how to process the loss. Here’s a little TMI alert (sorry): as I sit here writing this, I think I’m going through the miscarriage right now and I have pretty much never felt so alone. And the future feels so uncertain; do we keep trying? How much do we want to spend on the dream of having another baby? Do we go into debt doing more fertility treatments? Should we just count our blessings that we have a healthy and amazing daughter? Did we get greedy wanting more? I know some people feel that we were given a gift once and maybe leave well enough alone. I’m not sure how to respond to that. Yes, I love my daughter more than anything and feel thankful for her every day but does that mean I’m not allowed to want more? If it doesn’t happen naturally, is that supposed to be a sign from somewhere that we’re not supposed to have another?

I wish I had answers but right now all I have is grief.

12 thoughts on “Loss

  1. Oh sweetheart. I’m so sorry. I’ve been following you since it was just the two of you and I remember your joy when the peanut was coming along. I hope you experience that joy again and I’m so sorry that this little peanut wasn’t for you. Beautiful words, as always x

  2. Hi There – I’ve been following you since your funny blog about your annoying husband. I just read about your sad news and I’m so sorry. I had a miscarriage and it was the most emmotionally painful things I’ve gone through. I have no answers for you, other then give yourself the next month to heal, then try again. I miscarried and conceived my son 2 months later. I was 34 years old. He was my 2nd child. I learned that one in every 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Even if you never have another baby, you will regret not trying again. Let your body heal for the next month and then move forward again. Sending healing vibes your way.

  3. I feel so badly for you – you are not wrong at all to have expected more from your doctor. You absolutely are not greedy wanting another child – We tried for 4 1/2 years after our son before we became pregnant with our daughter – and I am glad we continued even after the tests came back negative month after month. We never went beyond hormone treatments – but the frustration and sadness was tough to deal with. We thought that maybe we weren’t destined to have more children. There was a miscarriage, but I never thought it was a sign. We finally became pregnant – our kids are 5 1/2 years apart.

    Right now your hormones are impacting you thoughts and feelings – when you have gotten past some of the physical stress that your body is under, you may feel better. I would encourage you to write to your practice expressing the disappointment in your care – whether or not you go back to them. Give yourself the time to grieve your loss, and then think about what is next – just because you are blessed with one child does not mean you shouldn’t dream and pursue more children – I don’t believe God works that way. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. I am so proud of you for having the guts to write this–and the fearlessness to share it. I am grateful every day of my life that you are my wife, and the mother of our daughter. I just wish money and worry weren’t part of this process for us.

    I love you.

    M

  5. Tiffany, I am so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy to lose a baby, born or unborn. I also had a miscarriage so know some of what you’re experiencing. You have a beautiful daughter, and while I understand the desire to be a family with more than one, there is nothing wrong with only children, if that’s what fate has in store for you. There’s a lot less bickering going on, and that was the part of mothering I found most difficult to deal with. Also this might not be the end of the story for you. I know a woman who tried for years to have a baby. They adopted three because they thought they couldn’t have any due to fallopian tube scarring. She just gave birth to her own baby boy. You hear those kinds of stories so often. Another one I used to babysit for, adopted a baby boy after having 4 miscarriages. She got pregnant and had a girl around the same time as the boy was born, so they had non-biological “twins” There are also lots of happy families with only one, who are freer to travel once that one gets old enough. It seems like when you relax and stop trying so hard to have a baby you’ll get surprised and get pregnant. I wish you, Mark and Maddie the best, and keep up your eloquent writing. You have a gift. I’m not so good with wise words, but just wanted to let me know your story touched me.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless you and your family while you sort this out and make decisions. Love to you and yours.

  7. Thank you for bravely sharing this. I also had a miscarriage at 7 weeks. They are so common at that point. The term which I wish more OB/GYNs would use is blighted ovum. the body realizes the chromosomes are not zipping up properly and the embryo stops growing.
    I also recall when my body began the process of letting the embryo go. I was surrounded by strong loving friends but I still I felt powerless and alone. Hugs and love to you and yours.

  8. I wish I had answers for you, I wish I knew what to say. I wish I could see in to the future and tell you that everything was going to work out. All I can do is send you and your beautiful family virtual hugs while my heart breaks on the other side of the world. I’m rooting for you.

  9. Almost every woman I know who works in TV news has had a miscarriage..or several. Most go thru fertility.. you are not alone. (At my doctor it’s like old home week– oh, you too?! yup) Take some time, take a break, take a vacation…and try again. (See if you can hormones to support the pregnancy…(progesterone) So sorry, and you will have another….

  10. You have my deepest sympathies. I remember every month we didn’t get pregnant when we were trying and I know how hard it is. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to lose a pregnancy. I wish you all the best and hope you have more positive experiences in your future. In my opinion, don’t settle for a bad doctor, demand better. You’re allowed to grieve and you’re allowed to keep trying (or to give up). Take care of yourself and snuggle that little one close!

  11. My heart aches for you. I am so sorry that this has all happened to you. Now I’m angry at your doctor. What a horrible way to treat people! I wish I could give you a hug, so I’m sending you a long distance one. I wish I had answers for your questions, even though I know it’s impossible for me to. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for being real and honest. I think these things you’re feeling and the questions you’re struggling with are normal, and I’m sure the three of you will find the answers that fit your family. Prayers and hugs to you and your family.

  12. I’m very late reading your post but I wanted to say that I’m so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately too many women know your pain. If IUI is not too cost prohibitive and your health history is ok, you should try that again since it does seem to work, it was just something this one particular time that didn’t work out quite right. By all means, count your blessing but I’m still hoping for one more too. Hugs to you all.

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