Friday, December 4, 2009

Things I Couldn't Say Two Months Ago

Sometimes my blog posts rattle around in my head for days or weeks or even months while I figure out what I want to say or sort through my own confusing feelings. This one has definitely been rattling around for awhile; two months to be exact.

I was going to originally title this post, “I Want a Dead Baby”. I figured it was radical and would make people want to read the post, but most of all the title summed up how I felt. In the end I decided it was too morbid to assault people’s Google Readers with a “dead baby” title.

Two months ago, after IVF #4 failed, I could accept that I wasn’t going to have a real live baby, but I had a harder time accepting that I didn’t even get pregnant. I just wanted to be pregnant, even if it ended in miscarriage.

OK. I can hear a chorus of, “why why why” ringing through the internet right now. So I will answer.

I wanted to feel the joy of being pregnant. I wanted to see the look on my husband’s face when I told him the good news. I wanted to tell my family that I was pregnant. I wanted to dream and believe that this could really happen for me. Yes, I know that having a miscarriage would bring far greater pain than the pain of never getting pregnant to begin with. But I was willing to take on that pain just for a taste of the joy. I just wanted a nibble or a glimpse of what it would feel like if an IVF worked.

I don’t know how to grieve these series of failed IVFs. In my head I constantly have this conversation with the world:


World: Why are you so sad?

Me: Well, I tried to have a baby and it didn’t work out.

World: Is that all?

Me: I don’t think you understand. I really really tried to have a baby and it didn’t work out.

World: OK. I get it…so…why are you so sad?

Me: BECAUSE I PUT MY HEART AND SOUL INTO TRYING TO HAVE A BABY AND IT DIDN’T WORK OUT!!!

World: I think you need to get over this.


OK. I know that society does not do much to recognize the pain of a miscarriage (or even a still birth for that matter). But in my head there is something more tangible to grieve with a miscarriage. The pain is easier to explain. It seems people can understand the loss of a pregnancy more that the loss of something you never even had, even if they can’t truly empathize with either one.

Those were my very raw feelings at the time, I don’t want a dead baby anymore. In fact, for IVF #5 I definitely only want a live baby or no baby (but I do want to make it to transfer). For IVF #5 a dead baby would be a disaster. I have already given myself permission to stop doing IVFs if this one fails and a dead baby would seriously mess with that plan……….

37 comments:

Mo and Will said...

Megan, I totally get it. I'd take a dead baby over no baby any time. In fact, have done so several times already. But I'd do it again just to have the chance to have some time with our children, even if the only way I ever get to meet them is on ultrasound. Crazy, I know, but there you have it.

areyoukiddingme said...

I wish I could say something that would make it all better. But, I think "The World" is being a little harsh and dismissive - more people understand working very hard towards something and not being able to get it and how sad that is than you think.

Brandy said...

I totally get what you mean.

www.brandysheaif.blogspot.com

Amber said...

I had a miscarriage two months ago and I'm with you completely. I am so thankful that I got to know the feeling of a positive test, telling my husband and family, pregnancy symptoms, etc. It was the happiest time of my entire life, even though it only lasted for 2 weeks. I hope you get to experience it too, only with a live baby in the end...

Heather said...

I guess I'm in the minority. After experiencing two lines for the first time ever, then being told, "you are pregnant, BUT..." and then waiting to have a miscarriage hurt far worse than I ever thought possible. Those days when we though IVF worked, were filled with possibilites that were ripped away from us in an instant. It was like a big FU from the world. The fact that it took IVF to get "a little bit pregnant" made even more unbearable because it's not like we can try again next month. I would have rather have had the IVF fail outright.

thegalwho said...

"It seems people can understand the loss of a pregnancy more that the loss of something you never even had"

BikerMan considers my miscarriages "something I never had" so in the same vein as your unsuccessful IVF's.

I've had 5 miscarriages and it's not something I ever want to experience again, to have that hope only to have it ripped away, completely heartaching.

That being said I can understand wanting to experience that positive pregnancy test, the hope of what is to come, the joy of telling your partner that he's about to become a Dad, I hope you get that one day I truly do.

xxx

Bean stalk ballads said...

I too completely get it. you are so brave putting it out there....

Kara's Mom said...

You really don't want to experience a baby's death. Trust me. After 3 years of infertility, we conceived my daughter (I was 39) and she died at 38 weeks. Just lost the heartbeat - no reason given. Perfect baby, genetically perfect, physcially perfect. At 40 years old, I was back int he IF saddle and 18 months later, my life is still fucked up and I cry every day over her. I wouldn't wish her away for anything in the world. I will take the pain of having lost her for having known her in my womb. However, I don't wish this misfortune on anyone.

LaurenKauf said...

Megan, I understand and commend where you are coming from. The ability for complete honesty with ones self (and a bunch of strangers)if a very admirable. I wish the best best of luck in your "hunt for baby" quest.!!

Frau said...

I totally get it. I've had it both ways and I have to say that both had their pros and cons.

I think the pain of both is very different. After my first IVF I felt so irreparably broken and beyond hope. My first failure was neatly timed with the Octomom so I was treated to a dose of, "Why would anyone go through such lengths." I just stood there and shrugged, not mentioning that the lengths that no one else could even imagine didn't work on me.

The miscarriage really, really, really sucked. And I'll be honest, it took me longer to get over that than the failure. I still wouldn't choose another failure. Really, after 4+ years of the ttc limbo, those four weeks were a vacation. It felt as if a very heavy weight was taken off my shoulders.

Don't get me wrong, I was worried about something going wrong. But even seeing two lines had become such a lost, impossible thing that it still felt like a much-needed vacation.

So I guess if I had to choose between failure and miscarriage again, I'd choose miscarriage. But at the same time, I don't know if I could have that "rest" again. Because now I don't think I'd feel as if I accomplished anything until something living and healthy was in my arms.

Lets hope you get to something living and healthy.

Frau said...

P.S: Notice I say it took longer for me to get over the failure than the miscarriage. I guess that's a silly statement because I can't say I'm "over" the miscarriage. I'm on the up and up. And I wasn't over the failure until I got my positive beta. So take that language with a grain of salt.

Bluebird said...

This makes me so sad. I'm sorry honey :(

Tracey said...

I'm in the middle of my 5th IVF cycle and it SUCKS to know that it probably won't work. We got a "maybe?" result with cycle #2...my HcG came back 15 and they kept testing it and it kept going up but then there's was nothing there, just a placenta that didn't pass through me because of all the meds I was on. They called it a miscarriage and i get to see the words "Missed Abortion" on my check-out sheet every single time I go to the doctor.
Anyway, we're getting to the end of the line and it's a grieving process that is hard to explain. People so easily say "OK, but you'l adopt, right?" As if to say "what's the big deal?" Just sucks...

Where's My Stork? said...

I know what you mean too. I have never been pregnant and desperately want to know what it feels like!

Carrie said...

I couldn't agree more....the world does not recognize or acknowledge our pain!!!!!

Life Happens said...

I think a lot of us can relate to your feelings.

I remember getting those BFN the first few cycles of IUI. Then when I got my first positive, I was over the moon, even though it was for a short period of time.

Three miscarriages later, I will never really be over the moon happy until I can deliver a live baby.

I hope and pray that you will experience that first BFP soon!!

courtney said...

Oh girl! I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much I "get" where you are at right now. In fact... I AM where you are at.

I have had one m/c at 6 weeks.. and I remember saying before that happened that I would do ANYTHING to get pregnant, EVEN if it meant a miscarriage. And then it actually happened.

But, I cant say that I would take it back because even if I NEVER get to be pg again.. atleast I was pg for 10 days of my life.

Its so sad when it comes to that kind of rationalizing the situation.. but, hey, we're just being honest here. No harm in that!

God bless you!

Here's my email if you ever need to talk:

courtneybrooke2545@yahoo.com

Sissy said...

I understand where you are. I had a miscarriage and August and I would not trade the few happy days of my pregnancy for anything. I want that feeling back so badly that it has driven me forward with infertility treatments. However, I will warn anyone, there is nothing more painful than having that hope and joy ripped away. I had absoltulely no idea what the pits of despair felt like until my miscarriage. I would never wish that feeling of desperation and hoplelessness on anyone.

womb for improvement said...

I've thought about this too.

I want to know that I can get pregnant. I want to know that I can reach stage 1, and then see if I can get through all the other stages after that.

But then, when i think about how my hopes have been dashed just by weeing on a stick. When I've allowed myself to get excited and start fantasising about the next 9 months / 18 years. And then my hopes have been tempered by a rational bit of me saying - it probably won't work. I cannot even begin to imagine the grief and obliterate hope that would go along with that.

Tough.

Illanare said...

I get it, too. With my whole being, I wish my babies back but I will never regret those pink lines, those heartbeats, the pg symptoms.

"I had a miscarriage" gets at least a nod towards sympathy. "I got a negative pregnancy test"? Not so much.

I'm so sorry for your pain and I really wish for you to know the joy of a positive test, followed of course, 9 months later, by a healthy baby.

musicmakermomma said...

Oh hon, I am so sorry you are in this place (with so many others). I have had many BFNs, and two miscarriages and I get where you are coming from. It's almost like you don't have a RIGHT to grieve unless you were actually pg.

However, I will say that even if you manage to get pg (the dreadful "sort of" pregnant with a beta of 9 or something, which was my first experience) and you lose the baby at 4-5 weeks, most people don't get that either. "It doesn't count in the first trimester" they flippantly say. I've even done that myself, in more innocent days, when my SIL sold us she was pg as soon as she peed on a stick! It was #2, and she lost it shortly thereafter, but she now has 3 children. I wonder if that loss still kills her, or if because she has the others she puts it out of her mind.
We never speak of it.

I think in our society people are expected to "move on" from what they consider a failure. My mom had two miscarriages, and it is so weird I never talked to her about it - obviously at some point she told me about them and I guess I just never asked her about it.

KuKd Chick said...

Well this is a fascinating conversation I just stumbled into. I think you've articulated something that a lot of us have thought before. With my own KuKd losses, I remember thinking - would it be better to have never been preggers at all? I could've been drinking booze and coffee with unfettered abandon this whole time! Crikeys!

I have lots of friends - both real-life friends and blog-life friends, struggling to conceive - so I've seen their ups and downs, and the special kind of grief that goes along with, as you've said, losing something you never technically had.

I'd agree that with miscarriage or stillbirth, yes - there's more support from society, because people recognize what happened as a loss of something tangible. IF seems harder for people to grapple with, I think - especially people who haven't experienced it before. It's good, I think, that there's a lot more literature and blogs out there on this subject than there used to be - people like you who are putting out your perspective, and putting a public face on this really sad and hard thing. Hopefully this is helping the world get a better understanding IF - what it means and why it hurts, and why it's loss in its own right.

projectbaby said...

I commend you for posting such raw, honest feelings..it takes more than hope to go through IF - bravery plays a big role also and I see that in your post.

For those who've m/c only once, I can understand that you'd rather go through that feeling of BFP again than keep getting BFN. You never experienced m/c to think you could m/c so it's just pure joy and bliss until your baby's heart stops beating. However, when you've m/c'd multiple times, even a BFP is not really just pure joy and bliss. Really, it's not. It just means great I'm pregnant but...? The following days are agonizing. Although I completely wholeheartedly empathize w/your frustration, believe me...m/c's just suck balls and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. Keep fighting and hang in there! Lets all get through this together!

MHS said...

You are not alone. I can totally relate to how you feel. In fact I was just thinking the same thing the other day after my pregnancy test came back negative.

Thank you for your honesty. Hang in there. Your day will come.

Hillary said...

I completely understand your point. I, too, would love to know what's it like to see a positive pregnancy test or actually be pregnant...no matter how short that moment was. To at least know that somehow, sometime I was pregnant--wow. I'm sure that pregnancy loss is excruciating, and many might disagree with us and say it's better to never succeed then to taste success and have it taken away. But I feel you.

B MoM said...

i think it took a lot of courage to write this post. I understand what you mean.

Eggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eggs said...

I figured you'd get a mix-mash of responses on this post. I'm impressed that you took a chance and put it out there...something I may have hesitated to do, or deleted after writing. Having said that I 100% COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. I know losing a baby you fought so hard for would be devastating, but so is never experiencing what you described...the joy of seeing a +. Anyway, kudos to you for shaking up the blogs...even if for some it was hard to understand.

Tamara said...

I used to feel this way. After my ectopic in January, I told myself that I was lucky to know I could conceive; that I'd had the thrill of the dream, if only for a week. But now, coming up to one year later, I feel differently. I wish it had never happened. Because the rality is horrible. I'm a year later, a year old, not pregnant, and can't help but this "there should be a 3 mo old in my "spare room" right now. I've told my husband a number of times that I wish it had never happened.

Pregnant Yuppy said...

Unfortunately it's been my experience that the rest of the world doesn't understand the pain of a miscarriage or the pain of infertility.

Sure you get the joy of a BFP and a few weeks of being pregnant, but then it all gets ripped away from you and all that remains are the brutal reminders of what you can't have.

I pray that you get the joy of a BFP and a healthy pregnancy, and a live baby!

gwinne said...

I think it's easy for someone who hasn't been pregnant to say I'd rather have a miscarriage, and it's easy for someone who has miscarried to say I wish I never conceived in the first place. Like many commenters, I've had both experiences. They are both devastating losses, but ultimately incomparable and mostly private. Still, the result of both is the same: no baby. I so hope there's a happy end to your journey.

Suzanne said...

I think that the world is not sympathetic toward IF, miscarriages, and stillbirths. People just don't get it. I had a miscarriage in September and I would rather have not been pregnant at all. It's just too cruel to have it all snatched away. That said, the pain of IF is just as raw and hurtful.

Miriam said...

This is a really brave, raw post, and I wanted you to know I appreciate this kind of honesty. This is not easy stuff to put to paper, and I think you should be commended for the bravery to do so.

I really hope you have that day where you can run out of the bathroom with a BFP, no matter what happens after that.

Jill said...

I felt the same way when we were TTC. I said something about it once, and got completely torn apart. I'm sure miscarrying is one of the worst things in the world, but when you have nothing, you'll take even that. Sending hugs.

Kelly & Cris said...

I have gone through / currently going through infertility.
While I do love the fact that we
conceived, to prove that we can conceive, I HATE that I miscarried. It made me feel like I couldn't even protect and carry my baby to term.
Some days I wish I never got pregnant at all. Some days I am grateful for those couple of weeks where I was.

No one can tell you how to feel, however, I would NEVER ever EVER EVER want to experience a stillborn...I'd rather never conceive. I have a blood clotting disorder where I will have to take shots every single day during pg, and during IVF process just to ensure no stillborn...I would NEVER ever want to experience that..and while you may think you would rather that- I've seen what it has doen to my friends..I promise that you do not want that.

hopeonastick said...

I totally get this too. After so many failures with not even a positive result once, ohh what would I do for a positive preg. test. I can so relate to this post.

~C~ said...

I am pretty fantastically tardy to the party on this one, so who knows if you'll ever even read this comment or if it's even relevant by now.

I've had 5 miscarriages. And yet I get what you're saying. I do. Fuck, I could write an entire blog post in response to this post, and in fact, I just might. But I *get* that when you've never had anything but a BFN, a BFP - even followed by a m/c - is desirable. Because that's progress. That's a sign that something went right, however fleetingly; I guess my analogy is that what my body does right is it does actually miscarry - I don't carry non-viable pregnancies to term. Yay me.

I'm far beyond the point of a BFP bringing any sort of positive emotion like joy or hope or excitement. But I can see how in others' situations, it would - especially given that while RPL is a form of IF, generally speaking, RPL and IF are *not* the same thing.

The grass is always greener, I guess. I'm, uh, lucky, or something, in that my mom had trouble conceiving and so to some degree I expected the same. But I expected trouble *conceiving*; never in a million years did I think 5 miscarriages (to date, anyway, as there will most certainly be more before I'm done) would be my fate. And I would be lying if I said I'd never wished my fate had been to have trouble conceiving instead of to have great ease conceiving but not be able to carry to term. But I'm also well aware that that's only how it looks from this side of the fence.

I hope you can continue to risk the pain for the sake of the joy. If there were one thing I wish RPL had not beaten out of me, it would be that. I dread the next BFP as much as I can imagine you dread the next BFN.

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