Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

It’s such a simple word. Three little letters strung together, that when strung together pose the greatest question. A question that’s answer may be loaded with so many things that it can send your mind into overdrive and make you feel like you are going crazy. Or, the answer may be empty, devastatingly empty.

Everyone at one time or another, asks themselves why. Children, myself included once upon a time, love to ask the question. Sometimes they ask it after every sentence as a bit of game, just to drive the other person crazy. But, unusually the question is the result of some innocent thought like why does the Easter bunny leave chocolate eggs and not an Easter chicken? Or, why is the sky blue? And sometimes children’s why questions are a bit more complicated and the result of very difficult circumstances. They might ask, why did grandpa die? Or when is mommy coming home? These are all great questions that are important inquisitive questions for a child to ask as they develop and grow.

Interestingly, our love for these three simple words never seems to leave us, and as adults, we continue to ask the question. It may be in response to a seemingly simple situation – why did I burn supper again (I ask this one a lot)? Why did I buy those shoes when they hurt every single time I wear them (unfortunately another one I’ve asked a few too many times)?  Or why did I buy a white shirt (I always ruin them usually on the first wear)? Or, the question might result from a much more complex situation – why did he/she not call me back? Or, why did our friendship fade? Or, why did she die so young? Or why is this happening to me? Sometimes we ask the question out of insecurities or sometimes we ask as we desperately search for meaning.

At a young age, I decided not to dwell on why my family was in a car accident, or why my mom and sister died that day or why my dad and brother lived. I am not a believer in fate or destiny, so I cannot chalk the situation up to it was there time. I am not particularly religious, so I cannot accept that god had a plan for them, or god needed them for something else. Simply, I didn’t like any of the greater philosophical answers as to why it happened. I couldn’t accept any of these answers to explain the situation. The best why, for me at least, was we all have personal choice and the driver of other vehicle made a choice to not pay enough attention and missed a stop sign at the absolute worst time. Shit happens. Someone made a mistake with deadly consequences. In my mind, there is no higher meaning. Simply put, it is what it is.

But, now I’m faced with a new why. Why, have we lost 4 babies? I decided long ago not to dwell on the why when it comes to my life; but, holy crap is it hard with this one! Personal choice doesn’t cause this situation, because trust me, I wanted each one of those babies more than anything else in the world. If personal choice played a role, then I would have 4 living babies today.

I’ve spent my entire professional life finding solutions to complex problems. I am educated and trained to find the answer to why. I am trained to find solutions in difficult situations. And, I’m really good at it!! So, in my mind, there has to be an answer to a medical situation such as this – its medical/scientific, there has to be an answer. I’m not talking about why from an emotional perspective, I honestly don’t care about that. I care about the scientific, medical reason. The hard, cold, objective facts. But, when I talk to leading medical professionals about our recurrent pregnancy loss, I’m told there are no answers. None. All medical testing says that my husband and I are perfectly healthy, therefore this shouldn’t be happening. Try again, and one of these times it should work. Seriously?! Trying to find the answer to recurrent pregnancy loss, has resulted in our primary RE laughing with us – we actually asked 21 questions at our last appointment, all trying to understand why from a scientific perspective.

This unexplained why is one of my biggest struggles with this situation. It’s one thing for someone to die in a car accident, or from an illness without a cure (no, I am not saying this is easy, but I am saying there is an explanation). It’s a completely different thing for 4 babies to have died for no apparent reason. In my mind, I am struggling to accept that I will not be able to answer this why.

I know I’m not going to get an answer to this why, but I still want one and I’m working to accept that I cannot answer this why.

How do all you other ladies (and gentlemen too) deal with the struggle to answer why as you face your own struggles? Maybe we can build a giant list of how to deal.

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

So, I came the realization yesterday that I am a lab rat.  I am a very fortunate lab rat in that the scientists are not giving me cancer to see if particular concoction of medications will work to cure the cancer they just gave me. And no-one is intentionally giving me a stroke to see if they can fix it with a little bit of brain surgery. And thankfully no-one is putting make-up on me to test my skin’s reaction – I would not want to look like a clown! So, really, my lab rat status could be a lot worse.   Which could lead one to think that maybe being a lab rat isn’t all that bad. But it is, trust me, this lab rat would much prefer to be a rat living wild and free, with the sole focus of finding food scrap to gorge on.

So, what does this lab rat’s life look like?

I have more freedom than most lab rats. Which means I get to live in the home of my choosing (without bars on the windows), sleep in a comfy bed (not made of a wood chips), run on a treadmill (which surprising similar to a wheel in a typical rat cage), and I get to play with a large dog that doesn’t eat me (which is not the case for most other rats).

But, I also get to go to random medical appointments all across the city, sometimes with a few days’ notice, 30 minutes’ notice, or no notice at all. At some appointments technicians stick me with needles to take my beautiful red blood, and presumably send it to labs to be tested. Sometimes they stick needles in me to put me to sleep for a few hours while they remove tissue from my insides. Then they watch me like a hawk in a giant building full of sick people because my blood pressure tends to drop drastically and dangerously low (thankfully they rarely do that procedure because the other rat I live with gets really worried). Other times, they shoot me full of radiation to make sure my insides are all good. And, other times they use external and internal wands to take pictures of my insides. Other times they insert an incredibly painful suctiony thing into me while I’m awake, and suck tissue out (I suggest avoiding this one at all costs). Sometimes they stick pills inside me, send me home with narcotic pain meds and then I get sever cramps for a few days. And when they aren’t busy physically hurting me, they seem to like me to talk about all of this with a brain specialist.

Some days through all of this, I wonder if they are really studying me, or if they are studying the reaction of the lab rat I live with. They have poked him with a few needs to take samples of his beautiful red blood, but it’s pretty rare that they try to physically hurt him in the same way. But, they almost always require his presence at all of my appointments. And the brain specialist really seems to like to monitor his reactions too. I think they worry he might not be coping well, but he really does seem okay most of the time.

Just when we think we are done with being lab rats, they surprise us with more tests. So, this week we cleared another test hurdle like two champion lab rats, and we continue to be perfectly healthy with one unexplained tiny little problem when it comes to producing a viable and healthy baby.

So, until our next pregnancy, this tiny lab rat will relax and enjoy some much-needed time without painful tests and needles.


Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

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