It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since our D&E. Emotionally, I’m feeling okay most days. I know I’ll carry both our losses with me forever, but it’s true what they say — time heals. Each day feels a bit better than the last, but I do notice certain “triggers” take me by surprise. Like earlier this week I was sitting in a meeting and noticed the date on the calendar and had the realization that I would have been 18 weeks that day. It hit me like a ton of bricks and took my breath away. I had to really focus to compose myself. Little things like that seem to come out of nowhere, but overall I’m doing okay.
Physically-speaking, I had my post-op appointment and talked to my doctor about next steps last week. In another month or so, we’ll do an HSG test (where they inject dye into your uterus and tubes to look for abnormalities), and we’ll test for autoimmune and blood clotting disorders at the same time. I’m also going to get tested for Celiac disease again. My dad has Celiac, and it’s hereditary, and can cause miscarriage. I tested negative for it about 5 years ago, and I’m not showing any symptoms, but it’s possible to be asymptomatic and test positive at a later date, so we’ll get that checked out. Unfortunately, my doctor said she doesn’t think any of these tests will find anything, because if I had had any of these issues they would most likely have affected our pregnancy with Theo, and that pregnancy was essentially textbook. She said if she had to guess we’ve just had bad luck. I still want to do all the testing, though. As strange as it sounds, I hope they find something wrong with me. Most of these things can be treated if you know what you’re treating. But if we can’t pinpoint a cause, I’ll feel more confident knowing we’ve at least ruled out some things. It feels good to have a game plan, but I need to start accepting the reality that we may never know what happened or why.
Unfortunately, I was still bleeding slightly at my appointment, which the doctor had hoped would be over with by that point. She did an hCG draw and my levels were 11.6. That’s very low (the most sensitive of home pregnancy tests will detect around 25), but she had hoped they would be zero. We just did another draw this week and I’m happy to say they’re finally zero! I’m pretty sure the sheer elation of reaching zero is truly something only a miscarriage survivor can appreciate. I’ve also finally stopped bleeding, so that’s a relief. I recently started tracking my cycles again by taking my temperature, and my body seems to be still wonky. 32 days out and I have yet to ovulate. It’s not like we would do anything about it yet (more on that in a minute), but it would be nice to know my body is back to normal.
Some good news: D and I had a serious talk the other day about trying again. I was terrified about having this conversation. He was on the fence about trying this last time, due to fears leftover from our first loss, and I was afraid this later miscarriage would put him over the edge and he would be totally closed off to the idea, but to my surprise, he is completely on board. So that’s a relief. We’re still going to give it a few months so we can do all the testing, but I have hope that we will be pregnant again — it’s just a matter of when.
I think the “when” aspect is actually one of the hardest things for me to accept this go-round, though. I had always dreamed of having children 2-3 years apart. Now, best case scenario we’re looking at 3-4 years apart. I’m trying to have patience, but the truth of the matter is, the more time that passes, the farther apart the siblings will be in age, and that’s hard for me to accept, since I have such great memories of playing with my brother growing up (he’s two years younger). The other thing is that, frankly, time is not on our side. I’m 34 now, and best case scenario, I’ll be 35 when this next baby is born. That’s considered “advanced maternal age” by the medical community. I know women are having babies later these days — and I still feel young — but biology doesn’t lie, and the older a woman gets, fertility declines and chances of complications rise. It’s ironic — we got married so young — who would have thought we’d reach the point where we were at risk of being “too old” to have children? It sounds dramatic, but in some ways I sometimes feel like my life is passing me by and there’s nothing I can do about it…