A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Of Clean Slates and Second Chances; or, Answers

I periodically wondered in the last three years since our first miscarriage if it would be better to know or not know why it happened. Not "Why it Happened" in a religious or fatalistic or moral sense or anything like that, but just literally, physically, why this happened. What was wrong? Why didn't this baby make it?

I never found out last time. We waited and waited for the results to come back, but when they did we didn't learn anything. It wasn't even clear whose tissue was tested.

I expected something similar this time around. I was prepared to once again accept not knowing forever.

Triploidy. Three full sets of chromosomes instead of two. Invariably fatal with almost no chance of live birth.

I think it's better to know. The doctors always say "It's not your fault," and we tell each other that on blogs and message boards. And we say we believe it. And we kind of do.

Maybe it's just me, but there's a part that always wondered nevertheless if it didn't have to be like that. If there was a chance for those nuggets after all, if they'd belonged to someone else. I couldn't help feeling a little bad about that thought, either.

We have a meeting with a genetic counselor at my OB's office next week, so I'll know more after that point. From what I've read, though, this--triploidy--really is the freak accident people always ascribe miscarriage to. Ironic that after cycle after cycle of sperm refusing to meet eggs, two apparently got there at the same time. Probably. Possibly.

For whatever reason, I feel comfort in the fact that this was never meant to be--this little one could never have become our baby. Any further gestation would have simply prolonged the inevitable, so I even feel gratitude that it happened when and how it did. I take some reassurance from the fact that there really isn't any increased likelihood of this specific chromosomal abnormality occurring for us again, though I can't rule out the possibility that it will.

I've thought a lot about the differences between this miscarriage and the last, and obviously the biggest difference is made by Smudgie, who makes all the difference in the world. This is another-- to have a reason or a diagnosis or a cause allows for a sort of closure. But beyond all that, I think there's a difference in me, too. I'm three years older now. Those three years were filled with horribly low lows and wonderfully high highs and all those lows and highs and the ways that I dealt with them, whether well or badly, changed me.

I worry a lot about what comes next. I think about the possibly rough road ahead. The months of trying, the difficulty of treatment, vividly come back to me as I anticipate the next year or so of our lives.

And then I stop myself and say: I have a son, and he's everything. If he is all I ever have, he will be enough. And I did this before, and it turned out fine--better than fine. It was wonderful. Which doesn't mean it will be again. But it also doesn't mean it won't be. So have faith. And be calm.

The years of trying and losing-- they take a toll. I know full well how ugly it can look, the business of surviving until the next day. I don't blame myself for those uglier emotions, the anger and bitterness and selfishness that came along with all the pain. But I also don't celebrate them, and I realize that not everyone who goes through this becomes as warped as I did during the experience.

So with all the questions that I have about what comes next, perhaps the most central (today, anyway) is just to wonder: who will I be at the end of whatever lies ahead? Whoever that person is, I hope she can reflect on these yet-to-come months or years and feel, not just understanding and forgiveness, but pride that this time struggle inspired her best.


  1. Hi Sloper! I don't know if you will remember me, but I used to follow your blog when you were going through your 1st m/c. I stopped blogging after my son was born and life got more hectic/better?? I was so sorry to see that you recently suffered another loss. I too suffered another loss in June, and the result....triploidy. I remember feeling like our stories were so similar when going through my first loss, so I just wanted to reach out to you again and tell you that I am sorry that you find yourself here again. I am having similar feelings as you. I feel so blessed to have my son, but I wonder what the future holds. I really want him to have a sibling, but what if it's not in the cards? I know we will all be ok, but it was just never what I would have expected. So here we go again, back on this roller coaster, on to IUI's and meds.... Wishing you a happy new year with lots of love and happiness in 2013!

  2. I'm glad you were able to find comfort in knowing. I wish I knew because my brain invents little things I did "wrong" with each one. The things your struggle has taught you are important but I hope your lows are not as low in the coming year. <3

  3. I'm really glad that you were able to find out a "why" in this case. I'm sure it still hurts like hell, but sometimes it's comforting just to have answers. Best of luck moving forward...

  4. I'm glad you got an answer. but still so sorry for your loss.

  5. I'm right there with you. After years of heartache, I have a son, too, who is the light of my life. I want another baby and am battling fear at what the future holds. I am so sorry for your recent loss and I wish you the best as you move forward.

  6. I glad for you that you've found some closure through the test results. That sense of closure is really important even though it doesn't take away the pain. I love that you're looking at this from the perspective of how you want to remember the time and yourself in it. It's something for me to think about.

  7. I'm glad that knowing makes you feel better. I wish I knew about my previous losses, too. I still can't rule out that something I did caused those miscarriages, even though I know how irrational that may be. Knowing that it was a genetic problem would help me a lot, to this day, in processing those feelings. I also wanted to add that I don't think that you were more warped than anyone else in your situation, during the 3 years of trying for Smudgie. I understand what you are saying about not blaming but not celebrating those emotions, but I don't think you have anything to even be remotely ashamed of. That shit is HARD, and no one could get through without becoming morose and bitter during the process.

    I am honestly very frightened for what I will feel after my first m/c after P-- every month that I don't get pregnant I sigh with relief that it isn't a loss-- so I am looking to you as a road map of how this shit goes. Not that that is any consolation to YOU-- I'm still just so sorry this happened.

  8. This: "Who will I be at the end of whatever lies ahead? Whoever that person is, I hope she can reflect on these yet-to-come months or years and feel, not just understanding and forgiveness, but pride that this time struggle inspired her best." I wish my 30-year-old self could have read this when we started TTC. I read this now and I think, wow, this is exactly it. All of these, as you say, horribly low lows and wonderfully high highs shaped me, us.

    I'm glad you have an answer. For me, knowledge is power, though sometimes it can make us crazy infertiles go even crazier. (Say, hey, Dr. Google.) But I think this is what you needed. And, I think, it may offer some closure for you on this pregnancy.

    Happy new year. xoxo

  9. This is such a wonderful, thoughtful post and I just, I get it. I am so different this time around than I was last time and I feel like I often beat myself up for how I was last time (like you said, selfish, bitter, etc), but I had to go through all that to get to here. We do what we had to do to get through it, and it just, it was it was. We had to go through it (as much as I wish we both hadn't).

    I am so glad you have answers in this case. I'm so glad it brings you peace. Continuing to think of you and send you support.

  10. I am glad that at least you got answers this time and that, in some ways, those answers have helped to bring closure. I think it is absolutely unavoidable to not blame oneself. The mere word itself, miscarriage, implies that something was wrong with the vessel in some way and I, personally, find that to be almost like salt in the wound. Not having the answers for a second time would surely have exacerbated that feeling and I am grateful that you have at least avoided that.

    As for the journey ahead and the person you'll be... well, that's at the crux of it all, isn't it. I look back at the me of 15 years ago and I am nowhere near what/who/where I imagined i would be. At least not on the surface. But underneath I can still see some of the similarities. And that is comforting.

  11. I needed to go back and reread this today. Thank you.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.