Brian and I were walking through the mall tonight after an overwhelming visit with our Reproductive Endocrinologist (aka our Infertility Doctor), and I saw an adorable shirt with the words, “Dog Mom” on it. I pointed the shirt out to Brian and he asked, “Do you ever wonder if that’s all we’re ever going to be?”
My heart initially sank, I didn’t want him to ever feel that way, but I had to admit that I knew exactly what he was feeling because I fear that every single day. I fear that all we’ll ever have is our babies in heaven and our dog. I guess in some ways I’m thankful. I am so grateful that I was chosen to be the one to carry my daughter, no matter how brief her life ended up being. I’m even grateful for the baby that we miscarried because for the short few weeks I carried that baby, I got to feel such an overwhelming hope and excitement that I hadn’t felt in such a long time. Then there’s our sweet four legged angel in a fur coat, who brings such a beautiful daily happiness into our home. I’m grateful for all of them, and the color they have added to our world.
But despite all that, there is fear in wondering if this is it for us. Never to hold another baby in our arms, never to know the sweet sound of our newborn’s first cry. So many hopes and dreams never coming to fruition.
Earlier today I was sure we would leave our RE’s office with answers, a solid plan, and lots of hope. Instead we left feeling uneasy and confused about our next steps. The hard thing is that when it comes to fertility treatments, nothing is guaranteed. You can spend thousands and still walk out of there empty handed. It’s beyond frustrating and completely unfair. Yet the thing that keeps pulling us back is the chance that it could work, and then of course it would all be worth it in the end.
But it’s nights like tonight that I am fearing if this is all we’ll ever be, and it is so very hard.
When I miscarried a year and a half after our newborn daughter passed away, I wasn’t sure we would try again. At first we didn’t want to. It was too much for our broken hearts to bear.
But as the first weeks passed, a renewed hope filled our hearts and we decided to keep trying. They say you’re more fertile after a miscarriage, so what did I have to lose? Well, it turns out that isn’t true for everyone.
Last week, I became so frustrated and so tired of waiting, that I finally made the phone call I had been dreading, and set up a consult with a fertility clinic.
We’ve had tests done at two different fertility clinics in the past, but I was referred there by my regular OB/GYN. I felt like I had a small safety net by seeing a “regular” doctor that all women see. I didn’t feel like I was infertile in that waiting room. But sitting in the waiting room in a fertility clinic, that makes it real. And well, I didn’t want it to be real.
Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, folks.
But they say admitting the problem is the first step, and I guess admitting the problem is bigger than your regular gynecologist can handle is the second.
It only took a few minutes on the phone with them for me to realize that I was making a really good decision. My fertility specialist put me through more in one appointment than my old doctor did in six months, and that makes me feel like something is actually moving forward. And it helps that the homepage for our clinic’s website says, “Where the waiting ends and families begin.” And dear God, I hope so.
We are waiting for all my tests to come back before finalizing our plans forward, but I already feel so much hope. As my doctor said on Tuesday, “You’ve been through a lot of rough stuff. We need to get you some happy news. It’s time.”
Last night I turned to my husband in tears and said, “Nobody misses her like I miss her.”
And I guess it makes sense that no one misses Aria like I do. I’m the only person in the entire world that was chosen to be her mother. I’m the only one who knows what it was like to carry her in my body. I’m the only one who knows the agony of feeling her kick as the doctors told us she was dying. I was the first one to kiss her sweet face. I was the last one to hold her when we said goodbye.
But that’s the injustice in loss. Even though the rational part of my brain gets it, my heart does not. My mama heart just wants her to be loved all over the world, in the exact same way that I love her. And I think maybe more people would love and miss her like I do if they had more time to get to know her, but tragedy stole that from us. No one was able to bond with her exactly the way Brian and I did while she was here.
Every time she’s not acknowledged it stings, maybe more now than ever. As time moves forward and people move forward, the grief gets more isolating and internal.
But there are those who do love and miss her. The loss of her wasn’t the same for them as it was for Brian and I, but Aria still left her mark on them. And I’m so grateful for them. I only wish we were all given more time.