Monday, October 29, 2007

Self-Pity and Just the Crappy End of a Statistic

In order to take the day of my D&E off, I had to get someone to cover a meeting for me, but no one had known I was pregnant, so no one knew what was going on, so I wasn't sure who to ask. A colleague (very pregnant, of course) had previously told me she was free during the time of the meeting, so I decided to tell her and ask for her help. She was incredibly supportive (far more so than I had ever expected -- thank you, M), was happy to cover the meeting, and mentioned that another colleague of ours (who it turned out I didn't know) had, sadly, been through a very similar experience a month earlier. She eventually put me in touch with her friend, C, and C and I have gotten together somewhat regularly ever since. Unlike P and I, C and her husband weren't trying but were planning to start trying soon when they found out she was pregnant. She was a couple of weeks less far along than I was when she learned her baby's heart had stopped beating. But she also learned from her final ultrasound that there was something "abnormal" about the shape of her uterus. She has since undergone another ultrasound and an HSG. The former revealed that the bicornuate shape they observed initially was relatively mild, which was good news; the latter revealed a 2 cm septum, which was not. Two centimeters didn't seem like a lot when I held it up in the air, but then she had me hold it against my abdomen, and it seemed quite a bit bigger. The specialist told her she would need surgery or was almost certain to miscarry again; her OB told her that surgery could be risky and that she should think about whether she was willing to accept the risk that a mistake or complication could compromise her ability to carry a child at all before deciding on surgery. She and her husband have decided to try again before surgery and accept the risk that she is likely to miscarry again. The odds are relatively high. And that's if she can get pregnant again, which the specialist said was a big if.

The night after my D&E, I learned that while I was having my dead baby suctioned out of me, my friend A was having an HSG performed, an HSG which showed that both her tubes were blocked. Completely. There was no possibility of reopening them. She would likely need to have them removed, then she and her husband would need to move on to IVF. For complicated reasons, even though we all live in Massachusetts, they can't get any insurance coverage for even a single IVF cycle until, at best, next summer, and even then it is uncertain. Until then, they have to wait (and save up). They have begun researching adoption. We didn't know they were trying, and they didn't know we were either, but we talk a lot about frustration and disappointment now. We also talk about the inability of our other friends to really "get it," even though the "it" is somewhat different for each of us.

And those are just two of the people I know IRL -- the two who I know are struggling. Thinking of them, and of the people I've "met" out here in blogland, I feel incredibly self-indulgent writing this blog and feel self-involved for feeling any self-pity. I talk to both of these friends a lot about baby-making-related issues and feel absolutely ridiculous feeling sorry for myself -- and especially for expressing it to them. I fear I have become one of those hideously insensitive people who knows better but insists on talking about their relatively inconsequential problems to those dealing with more. I know that one in five (or six, or eight, depending on who you ask) of known pregnancies ends in miscarriage. My doctor was of the opinion that there was no reason to believe ours was anything but us ending up on the crappy end of that statistic. We were able to conceive easily. As best we could determine without any testing, my parts all seem to be in working order, as do my husband's. We are hoping to start trying again next month -- I should be ovulating right around Thanksgiving. I could theoretically have a baby next August. But I am terrified of succeeding -- not only because I now know all too well that it could end the same way again, that there is no assurance that a positive pregnancy test will mean a baby nine months later, but because I will then have to pass my news on to my friends, people who I know would give anything to be pregnant themselves. I resent the hell out of pregnant people right now, whether I love them or not, and I know A and C do too -- we talk about it -- and I'm scared of being next.

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