Most doctors don't even want to talk to you until you have had a minimum of three miscarriages. According to doctors, two miscarriages is normal. Plus, you have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby! I was told that the first time I was pregnant when I felt like something wasn't right. Then I was told that after I had miscarried and was nervous about getting pregnant again. I was told that when I got pregnant a second time and felt like something wasn't right. And then I was told that after I had miscarried for the second time.
I have taken statistics. I understand that I have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby. But after being in the 25% group twice now, I'd like to increase my chances any way possible.
Meeting with a reproductive specialist is not easy. Besides all of the awful tests, they ask you questions that feel deeply personal. Going in there I was on the verge of tears. Luckily the doctor was amazing. He was funny, but never joked about anything baby related. Before I went, they sent me a million forms to fill out. One of the forms asked me to write about all of my concerns. I was really grateful for this because it gave me the opportunity to express everything that was on my mind. And the doctor addressed all of my concerns--the physical, the hormonal, the emotional.
We left that first appointment with a prescription (not for birth control), a lab order, and, most importantly, hope. I know that sounds cliche, but it's the truth. For the first time in a long time, I felt like we were making progress toward what we wanted so badly.
I have always been fairly reluctant to seek out medical advice. But if you are in a similar situation, I would encourage you to find a doctor you really connect with. I think that means different things for different people, but don't be afraid to keep trying until you find a good match. It has made a huge difference for us.
There is another aspect of this experience that I have only gone as far as to briefly mention on this blog. It often seems too personal and I have difficulty finding the words to describe it. But it would feel disingenuous not to say anything on the subject of my belief.
Several weeks after my first miscarriage, I found myself asking, Why? I knew several girls who were all expecting within weeks of my due date and watched as their pregnancies continued normally. (Let me clarify something here: I never, ever wished my experience upon another person. I wanted each of them to have a healthy, happy baby; I just didn’t understand why I couldn't do the same.)
I have experienced disappointment or loss at other times in my life, but I have always been able to explain it. Usually, a better job or house or boy would come along and everything would make sense--the whole one-door-closes-and-another-door-opens philosophy.
But I couldn’t find a logical or comforting way to explain away a baby. The thought that the next baby would be “better” just didn’t feel right. And the medical explanations—the baby wasn’t viable—just seemed to make it worse. Finally, one day I decided that asking why was a path I just couldn’t allow myself to go down.
And that might seem weak, but it was honestly a lot harder to stop the questioning than I had expected. I was trying to move on from a situation that I felt I didn’t have any answers to. In some ways it felt like the entire experience had happened for no reason at all.
And then over time I started to feel better about things. It was almost like a fog lifted. I could see that Heavenly Father was just as much involved in this process as we were. And even more importantly, I knew that He wanted what was best for all of us—me, Nate, and our baby. He was in complete control. I realized that even if He had given me an explanation from day one, that probably wouldn't have changed our experience very much.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still have hard days. But on the hard days, I have found comfort in the following wisdom:
It was also important to me that I wrote about this now when I'm in the throes of it all. I've noticed that often we share difficult experiences when loose ends have been tied up neatly and the lessons have been learned; from the perspective of post-happy ending. I'm confident there will be a happy ending, but it could be days, weeks, months, or even years away. (And it won't even really be an ending. As insurmountable as having a healthy baby feels right now, it's really only the tip of the iceberg. Then I have to get down to the business of raising a human being!)
I wrote this because I want to remember how it felt to have hope in the midst of uncertainty. I want to remember what it felt like to be here--in the middle.