The Most Petrifying Experience of My Life
Being pregnant is one of those things that almost every single women seems to want to experience at least once in her life. I am generalizing here, so let me be clear that I do acknowledge that there are a number of women and couples who chose not to have biological children either by choice or due to infertility.
For me, I desperately want to be a mother, yet at this point in my life I can state without hesitation that I have absolutely have no desire to experience pregnancy. Or at least never again.
See for me, pregnancy is petrifying. I have carried and lost 5 babies. Of those 5, Mr. MPB and I have waited and watched 2 slowly die. Of those 5, my husband and I have chose to terminate one in order to save my life.
So, you see, I have absolutely no desire to be pregnant. I have no womanly inclination to experience pregnancy left in me – the first kicks, watching the baby bump grow, going to ultrasounds to see our baby, labour, etc. The dream of experiencing labour is lost to me because my version of labour has thus far included being induced through misoprostol/cytotec (2 different times), and one an emergency trip to the hospital to have an emergency D&C due to complications from the misoprostol/cytotec. See, my version of labour is waiting to pass products of pregnancy while being doped up on Percocet and Oxytocin to handle the pain (T3’s just don’t cut it for me). My version of pregnancy has been countless trip to the emergency room, weekly ultrasounds waiting for confirmation of fetal demise, hoping our child is not suffering and hoping that I don’t end up with another septic infection through the process.
Pregnancy for me is simply not a fun experience. Rather, it is literally a life a death situation. It is a daily hope that my baby isn’t dying or dead. It is a daily struggle to maintain a healthy perspective on life, while balancing all the fears that past pregnancies have given me.
After reading our history, you can probably understand why unlike most women, I no longer dream of experiencing pregnancy. All of our experiences, have meant that I am no longer naive. I am no longer able to assume that pregnancy will be one of the best times of my life. Instead, for me, pregnancy has literally been the worst experience of my life.
So, I know a future pregnancy will be petrifying. It is unlikely that I will enjoy it. It is unlikely that Mr. MPB will enjoy it. It is unlikely either of us will have any moments of naïve joy during the entire pregnancy. You see, we’ve been told that we have no “safe” date. Most people have a much better statistical chance of success once they get to the second trimester. This is not be the case for us. We have a 50% chance of success (or a 50% change of failure depending on your perspective) right up until the child is born, hopefully alive. This means we have a 50% chance of losing our baby at 5 weeks, 15 weeks, 25 weeks or 39 weeks. There simply is no safe time, as my body could wag the war against the placenta and the baby at any time. There is no time where we can take a deep breath, and enjoy blissful moments of innocent hope. You see, once (and only once) one of our babies (baby number 4) had a strong healthy fetal heart rate and looked great by all medical standards – to us, this meant our baby was perfect. We were told to be cautiously optimistic. We got so excited, we thought this one would be different and would make it. Mr. MPB was over the moon excited. Then, two weeks later, our baby was no-more. Our baby was dead.
So, if we were to get pregnant again, rather than getting to take a deep breath at the 13 week mark with a good neonatal scan (assuming we make it that far), we will keep living on pins and needles and living hour to hour hoping our baby is still alive. We will battle the demons of doubt and fear, and fight back the daily/hourly questions about our baby’s state of being (i.e. living or dead). Our doubts and fears are grounded in our past experience and our reality – no matter how hard we try, we cannot ignore or forget our past experiences.
So you see, while almost all will-be mom’s are desperate to experience all things pregnancy, this just isn’t the case for me. The idea of being pregnant again is literally the scariest things I can think of.
For me, I am desperate to bring home a healthy living baby. I am desperate to do everything in my power to protect and shelter this baby, and actually have it work. The naïve dreams of multiple children are gone, slowly turned to hoping for just one. But, I also know, my desperation means nothing to the outcome of another pregnancy. This is beyond my control, so long as we try another pregnancy, I am unable to move the pieces on the chessboard to win the game. Instead, I will be forces to wait and I watch. Live in fear. Live without hope.
So, here we are, giving up. Saying enough is enough. In the dream to be pregnant, RPL has won, and we have lost. Knowing my body is causing each baby to die is just too great of a hurdle for me to overcome. For me, losing another baby with this knowledge is not something I can risk – I’ve weathered 5 losses pretty well. Yes, in many ways I am a completely changed person, but from a mental health perspective I am not depressed, I am not a raging lunatic, and I am not at the end of my rope. Yet, I now I know that losing another one, with our new knowledge, will likely result in my undoing. I need to stop before I completely lose myself.
So, while we give up on trying again, we are opening new doors. We are embracing the hope that goes along with adoption. We are working to come to terms with all our adoption fears. We are educating ourselves to know what adoption really means to us, to our child, to our future family dynamics – both the good and the bad.
So we will move forward in a new way, taking it one day at a time. I know some days will be hard, but I am determined to focus on hope the best I can. I owe this much to our present selves and our future family.
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