Hope Less Full

It’s been almost a year and I’m still waiting for this nightmare to end. I joined the support groups and started therapy, but nothing will extinguish the grief that lives inside of me. The good days outweigh the bad, but the bad days take weeks. Just when I’ve overcome one of my triggers, a new one erupts. Today, someone came into work with flowers and my heart sank because after our loss my kitchen counter was inundated with arrangements of flowers conveying sympathy.

Although I’m open about our struggles and wear my trauma like body armor, it doesn’t stop people from asking when I will have another child or telling me that my son needs a playmate. This hurts more than anything because it’s what drives my desire to have another child the most. I want to hear my kids giggle under the covers before bedtime and watch them argue in the backseat of the car from the rear view . I want Beau to have someone to play with while his parents are busy being boring adults. I want to leave our son with a family when we are no longer around. I want him to share our legacy and carry on our traditions with his siblings. The guilt of failing to provide my son with a counterpart tugs at me daily and it’s slowly tearing me apart.

Every month is a roller coaster of emotions. The excitement of ovulation is immediately followed by the suspense and unease of the two week wait. I’ve held onto hope nearly every cycle, only for it to be decimated by a negative test or the sight of period blood. After a year and half of trying to conceive with a devastating loss in between I am exhausted. I am hopeless. I feel broken.

My body is struggling to do what it was biologically designed to do. My maternal instincts are aching as my mind and spirit are so ready for this baby, but my body is not in sync. I’m trying to have patience and to give my body grace, as it is still healing. It went through a trauma and lost not one, but two pieces of itself in the process. I was sleeping during surgery so I have no recollection, but my body was fully awake and aware. My body had to feel and accept every part of my baby being taken out of me along with my left fallopian tube. It wasn’t able to engage in survival mode to protect us at all costs. My body had no choice but to surrender to the surgical instruments that infiltrated its space and took pieces of it that it would never get back.

My mind and body are mourning the loss of our baby separately. My mind sees the pictures that they took during surgery and the scars on my belly that reside as evidence, but my body is still coming down from this unexpected assault. It connected with our baby before we even got those two promising lines. It gave our baby a home and a space to grow before we had anything to do it with it. Ironically, an embryo can not survive in the fallopian tube, so it almost feels as though my body betrayed us by allowing our baby to stay in a space that it wouldn’t live for long. This is the part that my mind doesn’t comprehend. Why? Why did my body let this happen? Our situation is the most unfortunate example of wrong place at the wrong time. Why couldn’t my body push the little embryo into my uterus where it would be safe? We would be holding our child by now, if only that embryo moved a few centimeters. That’s what makes up the difference of who I was before and who I am now….a few centimeters.

That question of why continues to eat me alive and it’s nearly consumed me. How do I know it won’t happen again? How can I trust my body to keep our baby safe next time? A lot of times there is no reason as to why a women will have an ectopic pregnancy.

There are risk factors such as previous abdominal surgery, certain STD’s, and scar tissue. My ectopic was deemed bad luck. I’m grateful that that the reason for my ectopic doesn’t appear to be because of my fertility, but bad luck isn’t concrete, it’s not something I can work with or mold into a reason as to why.

My husband and I have decided that we are ready to take the next step which is to have an HSG performed. An HSG is a test that uses a saline solution and x ray technology to look inside your uterine cavity and insure that your tubes are open and that there are no blockages. This test can be uncomfortable and a lot of times it is not covered by insurance. We did not take this decision lightly as it feels as though we are admitting defeat. We are at a point where we are ready for some answers, but we aren’t prepared to hear bad news. Last time we were at the hospital, we left with two broken hearts. We have been conditioned to associate bad news with that particular setting and it feels like we’ll be walking into a dark piece of our past when we go to our appointment. The hope is that my remaining tube is open, free and clear and that we just need to be a little more patient for our rainbow baby. If my one and only tube is blocked, we will have no other option than IVF.

We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we undergo this test. It will be undoubtedly triggering to be back in the same hospital almost a year later. Please pray that we get good news and that our hopes may be fulfilled again.

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