A Tough Post

So, I had been planning to post today to announce that I was 3 months pregnant with Henry’s sibling- finally.  Instead, on Friday at our ultrasound, I found out we had lost the baby. I pondered whether or not to even say anything here, as this loss is big and brutal and messy, but I have found in the past 12 years of blogging, that whenever I open up about my personal struggles, you guys tend to be one of the most uplifting sources of support and reassurance. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it may seem too personal. But here I am. And I know I am not alone in my loss or pain.  And not feeling alone is one of the best ways to heal, in my experience.

This loss blindsided us. We had already seen a heartbeat and gotten the results of our genetic testing which came back all negative.  So while I had this nagging feeling of worry and dread since 8 weeks, I chalked it up to the trauma and stress of having lost two other pregnancies this year in my quest to expand my family.  But the old adage of “mother’s instinct” was unfortunately true. And as I sat there in the waiting room, with Andrew promising me it was all going to be okay, there was no need to worry,  I was terrified. And as it turns out rightfully so.

The worst part was that waiting for me at home was a gender reveal balloon.  We had been planning a little party for this weekend to find out.  Andrew called our nanny and had her get rid of it before I got home, but not before asking what it was.

A girl.

I’ve been numb all weekend, and instead of my fun party with pink confetti, I spent it getting surgery in the hospital and trying to recover. Although, while I may physically recover, this one will be incredibly difficult to heal from emotionally. This was our last frozen embryo from Henry’s cycle, when I was 35, and now at 39 I know another cycle may not yield the same results.  Of course, I can’t get too deep into that thinking yet, as I need a few months to heal and get back on my feet– but I tend to deal with things like this by planning a mode of attack to try again. It helps me.

I know 39 isn’t “the end”, medicine has proved that to be true.  And I know from my doctor and the knowledge and data we’ll gain from this loss and others, we can form a plan. All hope is not lost, even though right now it feels that way in my heart and head. I think I have one more run at this in me. I don’t feel “done” yet, unless the doctors tell me I’m done. There are more tests to run, lifestyle changes I can make and alternative treatments I deemed myself “too busy’ to do this past time around. Not that I blame myself for the loss, it was clearly something genetic, but there are things I can do to be healthier in general.  And while my body is so tired and beat up from the constant hormones and pregnancies, it is stronger than I give it credit for.

Henry makes this time both easier and much sadder. I so desperately want him to have a sibling, he would be the best big brother on earth.  And I know there are other methods by which we can accomplish that- but that is something I will need to consider in my own time.  I know how lucky to have him, he is a wonderful, sweet, beautiful boy and I get to be his mama and that is a huge privilege.  I know there are women who have been through all the losses I’ve been through (and more) and don’t have a child yet.  And my heart breaks for them too.  It feels so unfair that some people get pregnant so easily, while others have to fight so hard and wear themselves down to the bone to yield the same results. But that is life, it’s not fair.

I have an incredible team of doctors working to help me and friends and family who are here to help and listen. But you guys are here too, and for that I am grateful as well. So thanks for listening and let me vent and write through this experience.  It always helps me, and I hope it helps others too who may be going through infertility or miscarriage as well.  It’s a particularly awful kind of hell to go through, and one that isn’t talked about much, so I hope that by opening up myself, others will feel okay talking about it too.  This battle is lonely, even with the biggest group of supporters, so every voice helps.

Last night as I put Henry to bed he touched my face and and said “you’re my best friend” and while it broke my heart, it healed it a little too.  I have my boy, who I need to be present for, and who knows what else may come. Maybe nothing, maybe something- but either way, I’ve won the lottery in many respects.

368 comments

  1. You are so incredibly brave. Reading your words always feels like listening to a friend – and so you have a friend’s sympathy and sadness in me as you open up about this terribly difficult experience. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but know you have left a mark on my heart with your openness and I want to send as much love and encouragement as I can muster.

  2. Querida Erin:
    Te escribo desde Madrid. Desafortunadamente mi inglés, aunque bueno, no es lo suficientemente bueno como para escribirte este mensaje de modo que confío en que alguien cercano te lo pueda traducir y si no al menos aquí quedarán reflejados mis mejores deseos para ti.
    Yo, como tú, tampoco pude quedarme embarazada de forma natural. Lo tenía todo, un marido fantástico, una familia estupenda, trabajo, salud, nuestro precioso piso… pero lo que más deseaba en el mundo parecía imposible. Me sometí a varios años de tratamiento, cada intento que se malograba era una tarde-noche de hondísima tristeza y llanto. Sin embargo al día siguiente ya estaba completamente mentalizada para seguir, perseverar hasta conseguirlo. Jamás he intentado nada en mi vida con tanta obstinación, aunque sin desesperar ni perder la alegría. Tuve entonces un aborto durísimo y desgarrador. Ese fue un varapalo tremendo y aunque las fuerzas iban fallando seguí adelante sin dudar.
    Finalmente a los 36 años tuve una niña preciosa. Después de que naciera me quedaba un óvulo congelado, el último. Lo volví a intentar y… fracasó.
    En ese momento decidí que ahí me plantaba. Seguía teniendo todo lo bueno de la vidad de antes, pero ahora además a mi hija y la tranquilidad que me daba saber que lo intenté todo y durante años. Decidí que había cumplido y que iba a disfrutar de todo lo que tenía, que es muchísimo. Me hubiera encantado poder darle un hermano pero no hay que pensar en lo que uno no tiene sino en lo que sí que tiene y sobre todo en que lo tienes de milagro.
    Te deseo lo mejor de corazón, Erin, decidas lo que decidas, tanto si decides seguir intentándolo como si consideras que te quedas con tu preciosa familia de tres. Pero tomes la decisión que tomes que sea sin angustia, sin que te cueste ni un ápice de la alegría del día a día que os merecéis tu marido, tu hijo y sobre todo tú.
    Te deseo la mejor de las suertes, Erin. Con todo el cariño del mundo.
    María

  3. We have a 5 year gap between our boys. Our oldest is 6 years and our little guy is 10 months. Our oldest would come home from preschool with”his brother” in the picture, needless to say at the time we were a family of 3! We finally pursued adoption; it was tough but so is your road so no judgement or bias or anything. We have one super blondie biological son (6) and one super awesome dark haired son. Happy to provide more details off line on our journey. After all of the ups and downs, it worked for us.

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