Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Confession

Warning: Sensitive info here about miscarriage and loss. Please don't read if you think it will upset you. It might.

I got a text Friday morning from one of our dearest friends. "Call me. Its important."

And so I did. And that's when I learned that he and his partner (who also happens to be hubby's cousin) would most likely be meeting at the emergency room in a few hours. They feared she had a miscarriage the night before. They were right.

This has consumed our weekend. Long talks with our friend, who at 40, was shocked, then thrilled, then absolutely thrilled at the prospect of becoming a father for the first time. The pregnancy was not planned, but not unwanted. The pregnancy and miscarriage has left them both reeling, uncertain of their next steps or of their future together. I am just sad. So sad.

While some of this is not really my story to tell, hubby and I are inextricably linked to it. He is one of our very best friends; she is a blood relative. We introduced them. We watched him as he pined for her from afar. We made it a point to include them both in group outings to give her more confidence in him. One day, they went out without us. For months, we heard little from them, which we interpreted as a good sign. And it was. They were falling in love and making plans to be together in a permanent kind of way.

Then, the bomb dropped. "We are expecting!" I cried. Happy tears, I think. I was so moved by the idea that two people in love really could create another. What a fucking concept, hey?

We helped them move into their new place together, I looked through baby books with her. But I think both hubby and I could sense that things seemed to be moving way too fast for these people who are both notoriously independent and self-reliant. While we had our doubts about their future together together, there were no doubts that the baby was wanted.

But things happen. She began to spot, then bleed, then cramp, then....

And before you know it, our friend is calling at midnight, after hours at the ER with a simple message: "We lost the baby." He cried. I cried. In fact, I have had a hard time not crying all weekend.

Why am I feeling this loss - which is not my loss - so acutely? Because I love my friends? Yes, of course, that's some of it. But it doesn't explain it all, I think.

He called me yesterday to apologize profusely about the midnight call. Hubby filled him in on our situation when he told us theirs. He woke up thinking that he had upset me terribly talking about the miscarriage. God love him. His world is falling apart and he is worried about hurting my feelings. I reassured him that he had done nothing of the sort.

But still, my heart is breaking.

I think because a miscarriage is my greatest fear. When I think of "worse case scenario" in this adventure - that is it. Not a bad retrieval. Not no embryos to freeze. Not a failed transfer. Not even a BFN (big fat negative). I fear a successful transfer that results in a miscarriage. Because then the loss is real.

Please understand. Up until the point where my womb is occupied, pregnancy, motherhood, all of it, remain theoretical concepts to me. Never in my adult life had I ever thought these were possible. Never. Even now after thousands of dollars have been charged, hormones injected, donors chosen, none of this is real for me. Because right now, I have nothing to lose. I am no worse off than when we started. We are no more childless than last year or the year before of the year before. Some of it is cognitive dissonance and a desire to stay sane, stay functional, not get too excited about the possibility. But this is all a pre-pregnancy state of mind.

When hubby and I first discussed donor eggs, I was so wary. And this was the reason: what if it works and then it doesn't? Then, I think, I will be worse off than when we started.

I know so many of you have already experienced this loss, have mourned like my friends are mourning. I hope I haven't offended anyone with my post. I just want you to know that in this moment, I am just a little bit scared of the future.


Drowned Girl said...

I understand.

And I, who have had many early miscarriages, wait in fear of a late loss. I think we've lost our innocence and we know bad things do happen to good people and we're scared to hope that we'll avoid them happening to us.

I'm so sorry for your friend and his partner.


Lori Lavender Luz said...

I had never thought of it in terms of no worse off -- never having something vs losing something.

Kind of the reverse of that Tennyson line, "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

Both are hard to endure.

I'm sorry for the loss your friend & cousin are going through.

Kami said...

I am so sorry for your friends. I teared up at the midnight call. I don't know them at all, but I felt what they felt for a moment and it such a sad thing to make that midnight call to friends and relatives saying it is all over.

I don't know that it helps, but I can assure you that although it is awful, you would survive an early or late loss. Experience has taught me that it doesn't help to worry about what you can't control. Ok, I still do that a LOT, but I also sometimes quiet my fears with, "Well, whatever happens, we will find the strength to get through."

K said...

So very sorry for what your friends are going through. It must have been hard for you, also but it sounds like you and your hubby were very helpful and consoling.

stacyb said...

my heart is breaking for your friend too. I’m so glad that he felt he could call and confide in you.

As kami said we have no control over the future. I try to remember it’s not all full of bad things and worst case scenarios. sometimes, often, good things happen too. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

But i do know that somehow we get through what life brings us and that often it's our friendships that help us find that strength.

Anonymous said...

Hey boo. I hope you are all muddling through there. Thinking of you,

BlackLiterature said...

I think that once you've been classified as an "infertile" or have had recurrent m/c, you are always fearfull. I'm 12 weeks past IVF and even thought I know the odds of failure again at this point are low, I can not get over feeling that the odds have been against me in so many ways thus far... I am still expecting failure to appear on the horizon.

Just a note to confirm what others have said. We truly understand.