And so it ends. Our time is up and I am not pregnant. I will be restarting my MS medication this month. I am trying to find a way to put a positive spin on this whole episode of my life. So far, it is not coming to me how to do that. We did our best, but for now it feels like ultimate failure and it seems I am left worse for the wear.
This time last year I had come to terms with the fact that I missed out on having a child. I had married later in life (42 on our wedding day). I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 3 years prior to getting married. The medication I was taking was given with the warning not to get pregnant and with the understanding that I would be on that medication forever. At the time, it was not an issue. I hadn't even met my future husband and frankly, I had pretty much given up that I ever would. About a year after I started the medication my initial neurologist left the practice and I was assigned to a new doctor. When I met and married my husband, my new doctor and I never discussed children. I already knew "what I needed to know" from the first doctor - medication equaled no babies. Fast forward to last spring. My doctor and I were discussing changing my medication. New oral medications are available and I would love to be finished with every other day injections. The medication she preferred would only be an option if there was no chance of pregnancy (i.e. menopause or sterilization). That lead to a discussion about my current medication and the fact that it could actually be suspended for a short time to attempt to start a family. We were stunned.
Once we got over the initial shock, we decided we would try despite the odds. When we first started trying there was a significant part of me that didn't even believe that it was possible at my age. Then when I became pregnant in the second month it seemed so easy. Little did I know.
After our loss we decided to try again. Even though I knew I was not emotionally ready, we had to start again right away due to the time limits of being off my medication. Of course, one baby can't replace another baby, but in my head I hoped the joy of having a baby to hold would ease the pain of losing the one I would never hold. And now that our time is over, I am struggling again with that loss. I am acutely aware of where I would have been in the pregnancy. Names we liked float around in my head, I think about how we would have been preparing for an arrival. I dread the due date I was given. I want to scream at the top of my lungs and beg for my baby back.
I think my frustration is compounded by the fact that I know now for sure my body was capable of conceiving at my age. The first hand knowledge that it was possible, gave me both confidence that we might actually have a chance to conceive a second time and greater heartbreak that we couldn't make it happen again. At various times in the past few months I have struggled with wishing I had never gotten pregnant to begin with thinking that it would be easier. Then I am flooded with guilt that if that were true I would actually be wishing away my baby. I believe that my baby was a baby from the moment it was conceived, but somehow it is hard to believe we were parents when my belly didn't swell, we didn't get to see his/her face on an ultrasound screen and worst of all, when we never held our baby. But until the moment when we lost our baby we were a family. Those were precious moments. I can't waste those moments of love and joy by wishing the whole experience away.
Looking back, I am angry that a doctor's miscommunication wasted valuable time. The odds of conceiving decrease dramatically with each passing year. Maybe trying sooner would have been what we needed to succeed. Maybe it would have not changed the outcome. We will never know.
During the past few months, I have hated how my body has changed. Weight I had recently lost has crept back. I have lost much of the overall fitness that I had worked hard to achieve. I am much closer to starting over than I had sworn I would ever be.
One never knows how life will turn out Though nothing can make up for what we have lost, I must force myself to remember I still have so much. I have the love of family and friends for which I am very grateful. I have the unwavering love of my husband. We have faced this together and it has made our bond even stronger.
I still have the ability to lose my puppy. That path has just become a little more winding and bumpy than I anticipated. I don't want to get stuck wailing, stamping my feet and licking my wounds. I have been working on a challenge for myself. I will post about it on Friday. I am excited to try some new things in my weight loss/fitness quest that I was not comfortable trying while we were still trying for a baby.
Writing this blog has been very helpful for me during this time. There were days I made myself do things simply so I would have something to blog about. In the end those things helped me to see positive moments and focus on them. Thank you for all the kind comments and encouragement you have given me in the past several months.