So here I am, standing on the edge of a decision to try for a second child again. This will be the fourth time in two years, and probably the final time as well…
How did we get here?
To be honest, in the immediate aftermath of our last miscarriage in June, I felt so certain that I would never put myself through this ordeal again. I even gave away most of our old baby clothes and various other baby paraphernalia like feeding kits, and baby mats and gro clocks to other mums.
But the truth is that the longer that we pondered it, and the more the pain of that last loss began to recede, the more my husband Andy and I both couldn’t get away from that feeling that we were not seeing things through to completion.
And over the weeks as we continued to mull over the options, (call this divine intervention or just call it chance) we kept on finding ourselves in conversations with other couples that had been through similar circumstances. And hearing their stories of how they lost maybe three, four, five or even six pregnancies but eventually had a healthy pregnancy… really encouraged us not to give up.
In the end, we just couldn’t escape the feeling that we might be walking away from all of this too soon. And if we gave up at this point, it would only be through listening to our worst fears.
The truth, if we were totally honest with ourselves, was that we both very much still wanted another child, and we also wanted our son to have a sibling. Nothing had really changed about that at all.
The next steps…
So then followed more appointments with consultants, where we learned that post-mortem fetal karyotyping (albeit an imperfect science) hadn’t revealed any evidence of chromosomal abnormalities, and that ‘on paper’ our odds were still pretty good.
We were fit, healthy, able to get pregnant, and for a couple (with recurrent miscarriages), we were told that our prognosis was still relatively positive. Though I accept, we are dealing in various shades of the un-ideal…
To be honest, I wanted to go into those appointments and to be given a definitive answer. I wanted them to say that they’d found a problem and could easily treat it, or even that they’d found some horrible rare condition and strong advised us against ever trying again.
I just really wanted someone to take away the decision for us, or to close down the option so that we could draw a line and move on with our lives. But that simply didn’t happen. Instead the recommendation was trying a larger concoction of supplements and drugs, plus starting on twice daily progesterone boosters added in for good measure too. Needles or vaginal pessaries anyone?? (hey, no one ever said that infertility was a glamorous business.)
Where we are today
So this is where we are today. Embracing this journey one more time, feeling all the feels, and awaiting to see what will unfold…
Only this time with progesterone and a much bigger cocktail of drugs and supplements because, you know, ‘it won’t do any harm to try’ (my consultant’s words not mine!)
Sometimes I think we must be crazy to even entertain trying again, but really we’re just crazy about our son and want to give him the baby brother or sister (he actually says he wants one of each 🤦♀️!) that he so desperately wants…
We remain hopeful that something in this new medical cocktail may be the difference that we need. But at the same time we’re mindful that we’re still facing the same odds as before. That’s around a 35-40 % chance of miscarrying again.
It feels so weird to go into something thinking it may well not work right from the start, not to mention choosing something that you know will quite possibly put your body through hell again, and break your heart into even more pieces.
But here’s the thing… Next year we both turn 40 and it feels kind of like we’re approaching a watershed moment, where we move from the first to the second half of life. And basically we will either finally have a second child in 2020, or we won’t – but at least we will finally be able to move on knowing that we had tried everything we could.
And if you’re wondering where the faith is in this decision, it’s not in holding any certainty that this time things will work out, because we can’t possibly be sure that they will. It’s in knowing that, either way, it will be okay.
It will be okay
For a long time this whole recurrent miscarriage thing really didn’t sit well with me, or feel okay at all. It just hurt and felt horribly unfair and made me question and doubt if there was a God.
And to an extent, that’s okay, because I don’t think we’re ever supposed to ‘be okay’ with the experience of losing pregnancies. But at the same time, now I also know that a lot of that inner turmoil and desperation we once felt has been replaced by a deeper sense that all will be well, whether or not our fertility issues are resolved.
Do we still hope that this time might be different? Absolutely. But for the first time in this two year journey, now I can also honestly say that ‘Even if not … it will be okay’.
Even if not, our hearts will be okay. Our faith will be okay. Our family will be okay. And the future will be okay.
And isn’t that what faith is really about? It’s about letting go of control and trusting God that it will be okay, even if things don’t work out the way that we’d hoped.
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