Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Year

Tomorrow (1/13) is the one year anniversary of when I learned I was having a miscarriage...

I'm not sure where I expected to "be" in the emotional sense. In many regards, I've moved on with my life. Yet, in many other ways my desire for another child repeatedly brings me back to the fact that I miscarried my last pregnancy. Harsh, but true.

Generally I think I'm over the emotional pain associated with my loss. Meaning, I don't have feelings of grief or "why did I lose my baby?" However, I still have much longing. I still experience moments of intense jealousy when I see babies...or sometimes even just baby-related items.

Fortunately, my "bump envy" over seeing (or hearing about) pregnant women seems to have mostly subsided. And though I may have a quick glimmer of "Damn! I can't believe ANOTHER friend is pregnant and I'm not," I do feel truly happy for my friends and family who are expecting.

Part of my self-inflicted time crunch for wanting another child is that in 4 months I'll be 35. While I in no way consider 35 "old," I know it comes with a whole new set of risks for a baby's health. Not to mention increased risk of another miscarriage. GULP!

The rational side of me acknowledges that my mother and both grandmothers had children when they were over 35. In fact, my Dad's mother literally had FOUR children in FIVE years, and the first child (my Dad) was born when she was 36.

My rationale also acknowledges that my maternal grandmother and my mother had their children with very large age gaps. (My Mom and her twin brother were born 17 years younger than their oldest brother, 15 years younger than their next brother, and 6 years younger than their sister. Talk about having kids at home for 20+ years...wow!) (In my family my older sis is 8 years older than me, and I'm 4 1/2 years older than my younger sis.)

To my knowledge, neither grandmother had any complications with their pregnancies. (Though I still find it fascinating that my grandmother didn't know she was pregnant with twins until the day my Mom and her brother were delivered. What a surprise!)

My Mom suffered at least one miscarriage between the birth of my older sister and I. I don't know of any miscarriage history with either of my grandmothers.

Dad's Mom was 41 with the delivery of her last child. Mom's Mom was 37 with her last delivery---the twins. And my Mom was 36 with the birth of my younger sister. Looking at my family history....at 2 grandmothers and a mom who between them birthed 12 children.... it makes me wondered if my genes are pre-destined to have a child in my late 30's. Am I being illogical?

An interesting fact found on the March of Dimes website: 1 in 5 women in the U.S. has her FIRST child after age 35.

I am not anti-fertility treatments. I just know that my family history has shown on both sides of my family that children were eventually conceived WITHOUT fertility aides. Combining this with my worry of the expense (I have MUCH Mama guilt over the thought of blowing our future larger-house-fund and/or Emma's college fund on fertility treatments. It's sooooo hard considering spending money on a "maybe." If only there were a 100% guarantee, I wouldn't fret so much.) This is why I've avoided the "fertility" doc for so long. Because the reality is...if my OB refers me to a fertility specialist, beyond testing to find out why we're not getting pregnant...I don't know how far I want to pursue things. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous when you take into account I want another child. But it's what I'm feeling, so I'm putting it in writing. Are you getting the sense of whirlwind emotions I'm experiencing?

I won't even go into the Mama-guilt of "Emma should be enough." I pray that she never, EVER thinks she isn't. One day I will explain to her that so much of my longing for another child is because sibling relationships are so important to me. The fact that I want a sibling FOR Emma, is much of why I want a baby added to our family.

So, today is like many others. I sometimes think, "What if?" What if I hadn't miscarried the baby...I'd have a 4 month-old infant right now. Em would have a sibling. Would the longing in my heart go away? I force myself to move on. To not dwell nor feel sorry for myself. But I continue my dream of wanting another child.

And though my heart feels like time is ticking away, my mind wonders if I just need to hang on a bit longer...


Anonymous said...

I to have lost a baby. Reading your blog today was like reading my own thoughts in someone elses words. Keep faith girl. I'll be thinking of you and your angel tomorrow. Sending my love thoughts and prayers

Midwest Mom said...

I am just starting out in the world of infertility (secondary infertility, to be exact), but I totally relate with your feelings about fertility drugs. That is where I am struggling most right now, and I am happy to know I am not the only one in the same boat.

Cherish This Life! said...

Don't you dare stop dreaming!!! (sorry, sounds a little harsh but I'm saying it in a nice voice! ;) The unknown and the hope for the future is what keeps us going and if you want to see a baby in that future then you keep dreaming. We have no way of knowing what's in store for us (which at time REALLY stinks), we just have to hang on for the ride!

I share so many of your views. We have talked about the whole sibling thing before, I am very passionate about that. My bro & I are 7 years apart and at this point a new child in our family would be at least 8 years younger than my daughter. Not ideal, not what I had hoped for my life but I will take it and I know that my daughter will be a fantastic older sister and that's really all that matters!

I also share your thoughts on fertility treatments. We talked about it extensively and decided that ultimately if we were going to spend that much money that we would adopt because our "odds" were much better. I do have to say that using Femara to help me ovulate has been a great move in the right direction. I was very weary about going there but our insurance pays pretty good on it and I said I would give it a trial and see what I thought and I have seen results 3 months in a row so we are making progress. There are lots of options out there besides the big buck ones, I just had to force myself to keep an open mind!

I am sorry for your loss and sorry for today and the sadness of the memories...you are in my prayers girl!

Kristin said...

I remember being in almost the same spot Alana. It is so hard. I Hope that one loss is the only one you have to go through. {{{Hugs}}}

Marie W said...

Thinking of you today Alana! Dreams are all we have, and as long as we keep dreaming, wishing, praying, hoping, actively pursuing, we will reach that dream. I refer to the quote that says; There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream - author unknown. Your dream of holding a little one in your arms WILL come true. Here for you always.

Sunny said...

What a beautifully honest post. I don't blame you for being of two minds, and for not being eager to jump on the treatment bandwagon. I am remembering your lost little one this week, and praying for a healthy newborn in your arms before 2010 is out.

And I know you aren't genetically related to me, but my grandma had my aunt at 37 and my mom at 42. No complications, nothing. There are many "warnings" out there to scare you, but healthy post-35 pregnancies are still common enough!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Thank you so much for answering my question in your last post (ekk am I behind!) I am thinking of you and your beautiful butterfly baby today. The position you are in is such a difficult one, and I know that none of the decisions that you make will be taken lightly or without serious thought. I am so very sorry for your loss and hope that family history does repeat itself!

Mai said...

Alana..You have been in my thoughts and heart today. Im so sorry you had to go through this at all, but your post has been so awesome and honest. I love it. Please know there are so many of us holding you close today.

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

Hey Alana,
I think it's good that you're over some of the emotional pain of the miscarriage. It is true that time is a great healer. Also, I see what you mean about fertility treatments, this is the same aregument I'm having with myself right now. Although, my doc seems pretty convinced given my current issues, that we won't get pregnant on our own.
I'm sure your daughter is cherished, but you're so right, sibling relationships are really important.
Take care

Christina said...

So sorry for your loss. We lost our first and only sweet miracle baby the week before Christmas. She will be forever missed.

the subfertile frugalista

Willow said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and glad you are healing.

As an only child myself, I understand wanting sibling relationships for your daughter--I was happy growing up an only, but as an adult, wish I had those sibling bonds that I see with my husband and his sibs.

Good luck on your journey!