Last week we went back to see my ob/gyn to follow up on the miscarriage. So the week before that I went back to the fertility clinic to request my records be sent to my ob/gyn. Every part of going back to that place was strange (even though I loved our doctor there and we had a wonderful experience). Pulling in to the parking lot, opening the front door, seeing the other women seated in the waiting room, talking to the receptionist, walking back out. I thought we were finished with that place. I had certainly thought and wished that we'd never have to go back there again. The last time we were there I was so newly pregnant, getting my blood checked for the second time with these great super high HCG levels, with the nurse in amazement that I was pregnant after just one IUI. We had walked out those doors with this unspoken sense of finality. It had worked! We were pregnant! We were finally outside that awful world of infertility. We were on the other side at last. Pregnant!
But then there I was. Just three months later. Not pregnant anymore. And starting all over.
I had forgotten how that place felt. It's like every person there is holding their breath. Suspense and hope hang so heavy. It made my chest ache. Oh God I don't want to be another one of the women sitting in these chairs- again, full of anticipation, questions, pain and just hoping and hoping and hoping that something will work- that a baby will come. It made all of me feel so tired to just remember it and feel it again.
I requested the records and left, wanting to quickly shake that heaviness.
So then last week was the ob/gyn appointment and I had so many of the same feelings going back there. I had found that doctor just a few months after we were married and we had been trying maybe two months. I was suspecting endometriosis and already questioning our ability to get pregnant based on the charting of my cycles I had started doing when I was still single. The dr confirmed the endometriosis at my first appointment and scheduled me for surgery the next week. "Your chances of getting pregnant are even higher right after the surgery!" he had tried to encourage us. I wish doctors didn't even say things like that.
I did NOT get pregnant right after that, obviously, and we officially started down the road of infertility treatment in the following months. I was on an ovulation drug for five months/cycles, still charting my temperatures and symptoms every day, wondering and fearing what would be next. After those five cycles my doctor just said "There's nothing else I can do. You've reached the end of what I can do for you." Whew- that hit hard. Now what?
So the last time we had left that office we were a bit numb and feeling really disappointed. We were moving on to the next stage and I didn't think we'd have reason to return to that doctor again.
(More hard, crazy stuff happened after that, but eventually God led us to the fertility specialist that I really liked.)
Going back to both offices was like: "We're here again?" Seriously? For reals? Did someone just hit the repeat button? This feels all too familiar, but with a new pain, a new disappointment, but also a new hope. At least this time around we know that it is actually possible for me to get pregnant. That had been the huge looming question through everything before. So now we have two new looming questions: Can I get pregnant again? and- Can I have a full-term pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby?
We decided to really start all over and go back to my ob/gyn instead of heading straight back to the fertility specialist. Mostly because we're hoping that we can just get pregnant on our own, with maybe just a little help from some medications. And secondly, we can't afford to do infertility treatment again for awhile, especially with all the bills coming in from my two ER visits ("visits"- as if it was a hotel or something! It sounds so casual and enjoyable, like a "visit" to the zoo or something. Ug.)
So yes, here we are again. It feels different than before in some ways, but other things are so dreadfully familiar. Am I braver? Stronger? Is my heart harder in a way, to just try and get through this? I don't know. All I do know is we're ready to keep going forward and so we're taking the next steps. And that does not deny or minimize the fact that our hearts are still broken and that we are still mourning the loss of our first child. Even as we go forward with trying again, I think about my baby every day, all throughout the day.
In talking with friends who have experienced miscarriage and are trying again or successfully had children I am learning how those two things- grieving for your baby who died and hoping and trying for more children- are strangely able to co-exist and they don't minimize each other. Both things are able to be special and treasured and hold a place in my heart.
I could go on and on about this topic- "Are we here again?"- because that is true in spiritual matters and life experiences too (at least it is for me!). That thing you went through and those hard lessons you learned and you surely thought you really "got" that one and moved on....only to experience something else years later and have those same feelings, struggles, sins, and questions come flying right back out of your heart. "I'm back here again?" Or that trial, that suffering, that wounding you went through and how God led you through that and ministered to you and you really felt freed and walking in healing from the Lord...only to have such a similar pain and injury to your heart all over again, maybe several times again. And you're just reeling and thinking "I'm here again?"
Something in me, maybe some Christian-culture type of thing, wants to write something nice and comforting here that sorta wraps all this up with meaning and purpose. But honestly that doesn't feel real to where I'm at right now. I don't even know what I'd write if I were to try and say something like that. So for now that question hangs there, along with all the other questions. God knows them all. That's comforting to me in a way. And that's enough right now.