There isn't a manual or instruction booklet to guide a woman and her partner through the process of a miscarriage. However, I thought my professional experience offered an advantage. I knew it was a possibility in both situations, as I'm aware of how common miscarriages are. I was also able to derive some positive aspects during each occurrence. After my first, I was able to embrace the 'at least you can get pregnant' mantra. We had conceived spontaneously in just under a year since my IUD was removed, and when you added up our actual attempts, it was just over six months. This actually put us within the range of normal fertility! Although I would develop some regret that we didn't evaluate my cavity when it was initially suspected that I may have a septum, I was relieved when it's presence was confirmed. I felt there was an explanation for my loss and once it was corrected, my prognosis would be improved.
It's now apparent that I was lulled into a false sense of confidence. The spontaneous conception and corrected septum probably gave me a little too much hope for success with an IUI procedure, and hence we probably should stopped after the third, rather than pursuing two more. The regret of not starting IVF sooner set in immediately upon learning our embryo report. I had very low expectations that my first transfer would result in a pregnancy, and my skepticism continued after the pregnancy was confirmed. I almost didn't feel any sadness at the time of diagnosis, as I felt so prepared for the news. Once again, I felt fortunate that we had an explanation for our loss, the formula for a victory was seemingly apparent -just transfer an embryo without a lethal anomaly. I was comforted by the fact that we had embryo insurance and I felt hopeful that at least one would come through for us. As I bailed on doing PGD testing after my day 3 transfer, no one will ever know if they were normal.
I didn't have that much hope for our final embryo, so in theory I shouldn't have been that disappointed. Thank you hindsight for making me realise that I should have followed my RE's recommendation to load both at the same time, as I feel really silly for transferring these losers individually. I'm sure the hottie embryologist regards me as 'the one with crappy embryos who is overly paranoid about twins'. As I fear that a second cycle will produce another tainted batch of embryos and the possibility for our baby seems so far out of reach, I've discovered that I'm going though a second wave of grief for what was once within my grasp.
The losses feel more tangible now that the bubble of optimism has burst. The devastation and disappointment that I should have felt at that time is resonating now. After the diagnosis, my coping method was to look on the bright side. It's one of the many shitty things about infertility and pregnancy loss; we mitigate our pain by acknowledging that there are seemingly worse situations. We're still healthy, this isn't like being diagnosed with cancer. I'm fortunate that it ended so early, it would have been much worse if I were further along... As the brightness is fading, it's really hitting home. Twice I was pregnant, but neither pregnancy would produce a baby. I may not become pregnant again.
Mother's Day hit a little harder this year. Two years ago, I reached the 6 month mark and was starting to research REI clinics. I sent cards to Myrtle and three other friends who were expecting to join the motherhood club later that year. I was hoping karma would take note of my efforts especially since I may never be a mother myself. C'mon Jane, you're being just a touch dramatic... I acknowledged at the time. Last year, I found myself mourning my lost pregnancy a bit on the fête de meres. I kept the door to our guest room closed, so I wouldn't feel reminded that it still didn't have plans to function as a nursery. Yet, I still felt hopeful. We could try a few more IUIs and we still that the IVF option in our back pocket. This year, as we're embarking on our second IVF cycle, I don't feel that my former self was being so dramatic.