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.
The art of waiting patiently and living well
4 weeks ago