No one in the history of menstruation has been as excited as I was to wake up at 3:00am to go pee and discover that my period had finally come back. I practically cried looking at the toilet paper and couldn’t fall asleep for an hour afterwards from all my excitement. It had been 28 long days since my hCG levels were negative and I had stopped bleeding from my miscarriage. Much like every phase of a fertility journey, it felt like an eternity. It seemed like for the past couple of weeks my mantra was “any day now, any day now”, trying to live in the moment, but desperate for the future. Finally, I had some tangible hope of moving forward with this process. My period meant a new cycle and another opportunity to try and start our family.
The last three months had been so uncertain, I felt like I was taking a back seat to everything that was happening in my body. Each day felt like it got longer and longer as I waited for my body to get back to normal. No one could tell me what exactly to expect or a normal timeline of how my miscarriage should be progressing. My nursing brain understood this, but it was frustrating to experience nonetheless. Questions about my prognosis were rarely answered with any satisfaction, so I was left to wait and Google on my own. If I had a dime for every time someone told me “everyone is different”, I’d have enough money to pay for an IVF treatment.
My first period was very normal, though I had some flashbacks to my bleeding episodes from the aftermath of my miscarriage. It irked me to wear a diva cup and pads again. After the first dose of misoprostol back in April, I had worn some kind of feminine protection every day for just over two months. I was not excited to feel the crampy, bloaty, leaky sensations that come with menstruation, but I was so relieved to feel normal again.
Ten days after my period started I went for a follicular tracking ultrasound, to confirm that I had an egg developing. Last time, I had to have a repeat ultrasound as I didn’t have an egg that was ready. Much to my surprise I had a follicle (egg) in my left ovary measuring 14 mm and ready to go! The nurse from the fertility clinic told me that the insemination was scheduled for August 15th and that I had to take my Ovidrel injection 36 hours before the appointment.
I was just vibrating with excitement at the news. I couldn’t believe everything was finally happening. It was as though someone had hit the fast forward button on my life. We would finally have our chance to try for our rainbow baby.
The insemination went off without a hitch. I drove 4 hours for the 10 minute procedure, but I didn’t care. It was what I had been waiting for these past three and half months. I would have driven to the moon and back if it meant getting pregnant again. I held my legs tightly together as I drove home and propped my hips up for the afternoon. I also had a couple of orgasms…it couldn’t hurt, right?
And then I started yet another waiting game.
It has been five days since the insemination and I am remarkably calm. It may help that I am very distracted by our impending move to Winnipeg on September 1st. My wife has already started her helicopter training in Manitoba, so I get to deal with the final arrangements of packing and cleaning our house. I am grateful for the list of things to do though, it keeps my mind focussed on the future.
I’m in a weird place where I’m almost sure that I’m pregnant, but I also don’t want to get too excited just yet. I keep picking up on mild pregnancy symptoms that feel so familiar to me that I could just cry with joy. Yet at the same time, I’m not sure I fully trust my body after what we’ve been through. I have been strangely exhausted lately (despite sleeping very well), I have very little appetite, and I swear my nipples are a bit bigger and darker than usual (bet you wanted to know about that, hey?). I’m re-watching Friends (for the millionth time) and I came to the episode when Rachel finds out she’s pregnant and had a good cry fest. So I think it’s safe to say that my emotions are pretty labile as well. I keep fantasizing about looking at the pregnancy test I will take in about a week and seeing that magical second line show up. Then again, maybe I’m just making everything up. I want so much to be pregnant right now that everything seems like a sign. I want to believe, but I don’t want to have unrealistic expectations.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how strong a positive mind set is, but I guess my positivity is tempered by my recent trauma. I had so many hopes and dreams and expectations that blew up in my face over the last few months. I don’t know if I can go through that again. At the same time, I know my body is ready for another baby and I’m excited about that. I want to look forward to the future, but I also want to be okay if it just doesn’t work out this time. Is it possible to manifest your desires and still be realistic at the same time?
Speaking of manifesting your desires, I have started listening to the “first trimester” meditations on my Expectful app. Maybe that’s ballsy, but I felt so triumphant when I switched over from the “preparing for conception” setting. I want to give myself permission to feel like this could be real and if I am pregnant I want to let my little baby know that they are safe and loved. During my meditations, I sit with my hands around my lower belly and send all of the light and love I can muster down there. I know that anxiety and worry are only going to work against everything I’m trying to achieve.
I also allowed myself to purchase a couple little baby items. To be honest, I can’t resist a good sale and I was wandering around the Sears that is closing down here in Moose Jaw. 60% off stuff?! Yes please! I found a nursing wrap and a little newborn lion toy that was in the colours of our future nursery. My initial instinct was to feel silly and walk to a different section, but then I caught myself and realized it’s okay for me to be excited. It’s okay to do a bit of nesting and planning for the future. God knows, I’ve had enough precious moments ripped away from me, so if buying a little lion toy puts a smile on my face then so be it!
Like I said, I’m in a weird place.
I feel like I’m playing tug-of-war with my future on one end and my past on the other. Half of me wants to leave behind all of my suffering and think that this time will be completely different. The other half of me wants to protect my heart from being broken into a million pieces again. I just finished putting myself back together and while I am so ready to see double lines on that test and deal with morning sickness and puking and uncertainty and fatigue, I also want to be careful. My future is forever tainted by the experience of my miscarriage. I feel like I have done a lot of work to shrink my fears and anxieties, and I’ve finally arrived in a place of healing and acceptance. But that healing will never permanently erase what I have gone through.
I can only hope that this time will be different.