Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.
In January, I lost a baby and a Fallopian tube to an ectopic pregnancy. I can say that without crying now, so it obviously gets easier to cope with over time. Our doctor warned us that I would need three months before my body would be ready for us to try conceiving again. Guess what? Our three months are up!
In many ways, I’m thrilled to begin this journey again. Obviously, we still want to have more kids. Not trying has been a little odd these past three months. I feel like I’m ready to push forward and continue on our journey. And even though it didn’t work out, I know that my husband and I can get pregnant, so I feel like I’m even more determined.
“I’m ready,” I keep telling my husband, hoping that my enthusiasm will translate into a child somehow.
Then, the nightmares start. In the past week, I’ve been plagued by a recurring theme. Every night, I’m elated to finally see that second pink line. Then, the pain sets in and I suffer through what seems like hours of tests and doctors only to find that I’m having another ectopic pregnancy. I lose my other Fallopian tube and every chance of ever having my own children.
I wake up, and I could swear that my abdomen is re-experiencing that excruciating pain of a growing baby in a very small tube.
I’m ready to keep trying to have a baby, but I have realized that this process will always carry a touch of fear from now on. It’s not just that I might not have a child, but fear that everything will go wrong. It’s the fear of losing a child before I ever get to know it again. It’s a fear of my last Fallopian tube bursting and bleeding out.
For a year and a half, every month seemed to hold one of two possibilities. I was going to be pregnant and thrilled or I was not going to be pregnant and we would just have to try again. Now, this process is tainted by a third reality. It might not be “pregnant or not pregnant.” It might be tragic. It might end my attempt to have another child, it might end my ability to ever have kids or it might end my life. This process is much more scary now.
Having a miscarriage was horrible, but I was lucky to come through the grieving process pretty smoothly. I have an amazing husband and child to be thankful for. I have a supportive network of friends and family members. But I am aware that I might not be able to handle it all over again. I know that experiencing that pain again might be too much for me to get through quickly and unscathed. Before miscarriage was a distant threat, but it now seems like a real option.
My body has healed from my ectopic pregnancy and my sadness has abated over time. But maybe the fear is the part that you don’t move on from. I think it’s possible that whenever I find myself pregnant again, it will be a strange mix of excitement, happiness, and a little terror, leftover from an experience that it’s impossible to fully forget.