When enough is enough

You see it a lot in the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss world and even the Infertility world.  People questioning when enough is enough.  I know even I was tempted by the ‘try one more time‘ even after 6 losses mind game as we planned on a FET after losing Abby.  Often times you see the try one more time turn into a try again and again and again.

When do you stop this crazy trying to conceive(TTC) race?  Or the crazy TTC and hope you don’t miscarry again race?  When do you stop trying drug x or drug y thinking that might make it ‘work’ this time?  When do you decide that you’ve seen enough specialists and have had enough labs drawn?  How many miscarriages is enough?

This is such a personal decision- no one else is walking in your shoes or living with your relationship or parenting your child(ren)(if you have any).  No one else can know what recurrent miscarriage or repeated IUI/IVF failures have done to your body, heart and mind.  Other’s experiences may provide you with some lessons learned but ultimately you need to own your own experience.

This hits home when I realize that I’m a ‘quitter’ in the RPL world (and yes, I was called such by someone on a RPL group).  I only had 6 miscarriages and Sally over there has had 11 and she’s still trying or Jill over there has had three children and then 7 miscarriages and they are still trying.  I think many people try to be encouraging- ‘Don’t give up, don’t quit, you can do it, great things come to those who wait, maybe next time your bean will stick!’  Honestly, I’m not a huge encourager.  I have to be realistic with myself, and I tend on the slightly negative side.  I also don’t get how some women can keep doing the exact same thing over and over and over again with the same result don’t see that as insanity.  But that’s their choice- if it doesn’t drive them insane, I really should have no say over it.  I just think that in being encouraging that we should be encouraging people to be making the best decision for them, not just encouraging them to keep trying.  People shouldn’t feel bad or guilty because they say enough is enough.

Then there are the things that just tick me off-

First is when these women say that if you stop TTC anymore that it means you didn’t want it badly enough.  You must not REALLY have wanted that baby if you aren’t trying again.  This really irks me that women who decide to get off the roller coaster of loss have to feel like had they just WANTED it more, they may have ultimately had success.  I guess we’ll never know, will we?  But I do believe, that when it comes down to it- what is in our hearts and minds has NOTHING to do with what biology may or may not do.  At the end of the day, some women will not be able to carry a(nother) baby and doctors may not ever be able to offer an answer.  You can want it till you are blue in the face, but that is a sad reality for some percentage of people.   It’s bad enough to feel like your body failed you and to stop without a(nother) baby, but she shouldn’t also have to have others tell her that she should have wanted it more.

Next is when someone does FINALLY get that pregnancy success and then she decides that she’s going to swoop in and ‘save’ the rest of us from our RPL.  I’m glad for her when I read that she has a healthy pregnancy after several losses.   And I think it’s great if she says what may have worked for her this time (ie, this time she used steroids or progesterone or xyz)– maybe someone else can take that to an appointment with their doctor.  But it irks me to no end when she generalizes that ANYONE who tries another pregnancy without using what worked for her that they are not advocating for themselves enough or they aren’t seeing the ‘right’ specialist or they should just get the drug and try it anyway because its a harmless drug.  Like we are all stupid and just blindly miscarrying without trying ‘enough’ medical intervention.  I’m glad you attribute a baby aspirin or a progesterone pill to your healthy pregnancy.  But don’t presume that everyone will benefit from that or imply that their miscarriage was their ‘fault’ because they weren’t on this drug therapy or because you didn’t push your doctor enough.  Last time I checked, there are no magic bullets to prevent miscarriage.  There are some crazy (untested, uncertain, and sometimes even dangerous to mom or baby) things out there that people are trying and there are still no guarantees.

So I’m trying to be ok with my decisions and experience.  I’m not there yet and I’m not where I want to be, but I won’t feel threatened or disappointed or whatever emotion when other people take different paths. If someone else is done, I respect that she has made that hard decision.  If someone else is trying again, I respect that hard decision.  If someone is moving on to adoption or surrogacy, I respect that hard decision.   And when someone asks the question, ‘How do you know when enough is enough?’, I’ll offer the most thoughtful response I can and remind them that what’s in their heart is most important.  If they don’t know, then maybe they need some more time to figure it out.  But I owe them more than just blindly saying to hang in there and keep trying till they get their rainbow when that may not be what’s in their heart or what’s best for them.  Only they can know.

Yet another announcement

I told myself that I wasn’t going to write another blog post until I had something positive to say.  I try to read lots of other blogs now and I’m always loving on their wit and upbeat nature and whatnot.  Why can’t I be like that?  I’m just a downer and if I wait to be positive, I don’t think I’ll ever write again.

I got another email this afternoon-  the third in 2 weeks (but who’s counting) that yep, another friend is pregnant.  This one has three kids and was the person who made the worst comment about surrogates being crazy because she worked with a crazy one and she would never use a surrogate.  Then she proceeds to say that this was a ‘surprise/unplanned‘ but very wanted ‘little miracle’ .

First off, why the fuck do fertile people feel like it makes it better to hear that their pregnancy wasn’t planned?  Do they think that as an unfertile, recurrent baby-killer, I will take the news easier because they didn’t PLAN to have a baby?  No- actually it just adds a few extra layers of mindfuck to me.  I PLAN and spend THOUSANDS of dollars on IVF AND take endless injections in my stomach and ass AND STILL the only ‘surprise’ I get at the end of the day is a DEAD baby.  So tell me again how you PLANNING or not PLANNING and still getting a healthy baby should make me feel better?

Second off, she proceeds to tell me that she wasn’t using birth control but they thought they were being careful.  I DON’T CARE HOW YOU GOT PREGNANT.  Maybe I’m not being fair, but I don’t get how two 30 year old married adults can feel like they have a ‘SURPRISE’ pregnancy when they aren’t using any FUCKING form of birth control?  REALLY?  They have 3 other kids, they know how babies are made (at least for people who can have sex and get a baby at the end and don’t require doctors up in their business to get knocked up).  I will grant her that this may not have been planned, but if you aren’t using any form of birth control, PLEASE don’t pretend to be ‘SURPRISED’ when you get pregnant.

Then we hear how she had already given away all of her baby things so this was ‘uncharted’ territory for her to start over.  UM, please, you send me an email trying to give me advance notice and pretending you are being sympathetic to the fact that I’ve lost 6 babies (and my fertility with the last baby) and then you put in that the worst thing that you are dealing with is needing more baby clothes?  Cry me a river that you gave away all your baby things.  Let’s talk about trying to START OVER after your BABY dies-  that seems a little more uncharted and challenging than having to go to a few garage sales.  Am I supposed to be the better person and offer her all of mine since I obviously don’t need them anymore?  Here-  Sweetie’s little sister DIED, so why don’t you take all her old clothes?

I’m just done.  I am too angry and bitter and nasty and I hate this world.  My Sweetie deserves better.  I can’t handle these cards I have been dealt anymore.

Can I just quit?

So I’m still just reeling from my news and it’s almost been 2 weeks now.

I’m still trying to figure out how when the worst possible thing you can imagine happens and then you find out later it just gets worse.

I’ve tried to pick myself up and keep moving.

I’ve spent many hours pounding my punching bag.

I’ve consumed more alcohol than I thought I would ever consume.

I’ve spent hours reading medical journals and literature about Asherman’s and surgery and how with my history of RPL, it’s just not worth wasting embryos on my uterus ever again even IF I found an expert to attempt to remove the scar tissue.

I’ve had moments where I felt relieved that I will never be pregnant again.  I’m strangely comforted by knowing my body/uterus will never be responsible for killing another baby.

I’ve put the only energy I have left into furthering our surrogacy plans.  Because that’s all I have now.

I’ve found myself resenting the fact that I have the most wonderful living daughter because if I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t have to keep going.  And then I hate myself because that makes me a pretty shitty mother to even wish for a second that I didn’t have the responsibility of my daughter when she’s all I have and the only baby I’ll ever have carried.  I just want to quit.

I’m not strong

I hate it when someone tells me how strong I am.  Yes, I’ve made it through 6 miscarriages and I’m still standing (barely, at the moment).  But please don’t tell me this makes me strong.

I didn’t have a choice in any of this, every day I wish this were not my life, that this didn’t happen to me.  I am only doing what any other person would do given the same sh***y circumstances.  I’m not strong, every morning I just want to quit.  In fact, if I didn’t have one daughter who depends on me, I would have quit.

In fact, I think I’m the opposite of strong.  Recurrent Pregnancy Loss has broken me.  I’ve become a person that I don’t like when I look in the mirror.  It’s made me so angry and mean and bitter.  I am not happy for friends when they so easily get pregnant and their bodies don’t betray them.  I want to punch every pregnant woman that I see in the grocery store (or mall, or park-  lets face it they are fricken EVERYWHERE).  I am scared to death of getting pregnant again.  No, take that back.  I’m not scared to get pregnant again- I do that pretty well.  I’m scared to death of losing another baby.  I have anxiety attacks now thinking I’m going to lose my living daughter.   I’m not strong enough to handle this again, so I just won’t try.  I can’t.

So I’m not strong.  I’m a quitter. A baby loser.  A failure.  So many things other than strong.