You know you’re caught up in trying to conceive when someone asks you what the day is and you immediately say, “Cycle Day 4!”
I never thought I’d be in this place again. After our first baby died at 20 weeks (back in 1998), I didn’t think I’d ever get the courage to face the whole process again. But we did, and just shy of a year after losing Casey, after a whole lot of worry and trauma and high-risk doctors and scary scenarios that didn’t happen, we got Emily Faith.
I felt bolstered then, and when trying for the third child, had little fear. I had almost reset the clock back to 1997, when I had no idea that anything could go wrong. I’d had surgery to correct my uterus—surely no more babies would die.
I was wrong. In 2001, TTC #3 got us pregnant first try and lasted only five weeks, Daniel. I was determined not to slow down and without following my own advice, immediately tried again and got pregnant again.
We knew that unless this pregnancy was picture-perfect, we would not be trying for any more. And boy, was it not. Water breaking at ten weeks, two weeks of uncertainty, finally realizing we’d lost one twin and kept the other. A seriously transverse baby who was tough to get out even by c-section. And later, of course, learning that she had brain damage from the lost of her twin, something we live with and think about every single day of her life.
I was done.
But life has a way of altering your trajectory. I found myself divorced, and dating, and falling in love with someone who had no children. In two weeks we are getting married.
Still, a baby was not part of our plan. I explained about my history and we agreed that adopting would be the best thing. After the wedding, we’d start saving for the fees.
But then life cut in again. In March, my intolerable cycles became frightening. Instead of the already short 22 days, they dropped in length to 18. And the number of bleeding days increased to 7-8. I was facing very little time “off” and I knew I had to do something. I called the nurses and they agreed it was time to schedule a consultation for a uterine ablation, where they remove the lining of your uterus. In addition, because it was so dangerous to get pregnant after an ablation, I would be sterilized.
I had just turned 42. I was okay with this. But when we got there, my doctor decided this was not the course to take. He checked everything, from an endometrial biopsy to a complete blood panel, and determined I was anovulatory, which was causing the short cycles. He felt if I could calm myself down and get my stress hormones to normal levels, and take some progesterone to elongate my cycle, I might ovulate again and we could have a baby.
I walked out of there in a bit of shock. I didn’t say anything to anyone until the tests came back, but when the nurse’s last words are, “Call us when you’re pregnant,” right when you were thinking your baby days were over in a big way, your whole life resets.
So here I am, on CD4. If I follow my own Sperm Meets Egg Plan, we begin this journey in 4 days. (And if you’re on Fertility Friend, join the SMEP thread—it was there when I arrived, and I thought it might be fun to jump in!) [Edited to add: I got kicked out of Fertility Friend for mentioning I had this site in my profile. So don’t go there looking for me. The mods there make the Soup Nazi look like Cinderella.]
I know that quite possibly there is a lot of heartache ahead. I hope to end up with a baby. But I may instead have more losses. Failure. Heartache. Despair. But this is what we moms do. We carry the hope for a whole generation. And that is something that makes it worth holding on to faith.