Ok, so those weren’t the exact words that the doctor used, but that’s what I heard.
I love being a mom. I love it so much it hurts. I feel the love and joy to my core. I actually feel the happiness through my veins because of Arrine. I enjoyed being pregnant. I loved the female strength that surged through me and the beautiful natural birth of our daughter. The reading and preparing and mental challenge pregnancy and birth presented me was such an empowering time. So naturally I would love to experience that again. And have more babies.
Because I am not in the position to have another baby right now, but know that I would want another one, I spoke with my family doctor last summer about fertility options. At the time she put my name in for a referral. I did my own research, thought about it a lot, and as the months passed, I came to accept that I wouldn’t pursue the fertility path. But when I got a call from the clinic almost 5 months later, I decided to still go to the appointment. So half a year later, I found myself being tested and tested some more. All because I know I will ache for another baby one day. And every time I was reminded that my partner needed to be at the appointment, I would reply, “It’s just me.” And usually they would pause and take a moment before they responded. I could imagine what they were thinking during that pause, but I pushed those thoughts out of my head.
After the tests, I had to wait another 3 months for my follow-up appointment. So last week when I went in (“Yes, it’s just me. I don’t have a partner with me”), I realized I had already been mentally preparing for the worst news. Because that’s what I seem to do in these situations. But even though I was expecting the worst, I was still shocked when the doctor reviewed my tests, wrote some notes in my file, and within a few minutes, looked up at me and said, “I wouldn’t recommend we proceed with any treatments. Your tests don’t show results where we would expect success.” And the tears came. He followed up by saying, “I’m not telling you that you can’t get pregnant naturally, it’s amazing what the body can do. Just the results aren’t positive enough for us to continue.” And in my head all I am hearing is, “MODERN MEDICINE CAN’T MAKE YOU PREGNANT. WE CAN PUT A MAN ON THE MOON BUT NOT KNOCK YOU UP.” And he said it again, “I am not ruling out a natural pregnancy.” But that didn’t stop the tears.
And that was it. What else is there to say? It was like an awkward break-up. But I asked him to write out what he just told me, the detailed medical lingo, so I would have my own copy of the information. And I thought that is what my mom would have done too. And the doctor apologized. And I said it was ok, it wasn’t his fault. And that was it. I walked out through that waiting room, with all the other nervous and anxious couples (two people, no single people), eagerly looking up to see who was coming out from seeing the doctor, being so hopeful to see happy results. But I hung my head and let the tears fall and let them see my pain. I wasn’t going to censor myself for them.
And then the memories of crying in a hospital came back full force. It took me to the times I would be walking out of the hospital in NB, just crying. Like it was a completely normal thing to do in public. And I did not care if people looked longer or felt pity for me or wondered why this girl was just openly crying while walking to her car. But I needed that at the time. Just an open release of emotion, otherwise it would have stayed inside and consumed me.
So a week has passed, and when I told my therapist about it today, he gave me some great things to reflect on.
1. Don’t Rationalize – Telling myself that another child just isn’t meant to be or wasn’t in my life’s plan, won’t allow me to properly grieve. I need to acknowledge that these feelings I am having are not misplaced and go through the process. Which led to the next point:
2. This Is A Real Loss – You can experience a loss of something that hasn’t actually happened. Meaning that even though I haven’t lost a conceived baby, it am feeling the loss of the idea and further plans I had for children. So I need to allow myself the time to grieve. Because so far, I have been rationalizing and setting aside the grief.
And that’s when I made a great observation. When my mom died, within a few months I was pregnant and I set aside my grieving process, unknowingly, to focus on my pregnancy and new baby. It wasn’t until Arrine was around a year old, when I started to have time to my thoughts again, when the grieving kicked in. And that’s what I had started to do it again. Put the loss I was just told aside, making excuses being busy with work and Arrine and my own personal life, and not allowing myself to really think about it. And feel it. I haven’t been letting me feel it.
So now I am going to feel it. Let it hurt. Allow the tears when they come. Go through the grieving process. I have the strength to do it, so I will.
Here’s a major difference between this situation and my mom though. I have hope. There was no hope with my mom. The disease was what it was. It wasn’t an illness where there was a chance of recovery. But I have hope that one day I will have a new little one who will fit in my arms perfectly. And as the doctor said more than once, he wasn’t telling me that I couldn’t become pregnant naturally.
PLUS – My mom didn’t start getting white hair until her late 50s!! And she aged beautifully. So I hope her genes that carried her youthfulness are a part of me now, and even if my results don’t show the ideal numbers for modern science, they are more than enough for what our Goddess needs.