I initially hesitated adding this page to the blog, as it’s a bit of a downer, and despite how I may come across in most of my posts, I am actually a happy, optimistic person with a lot of great things going for me. The other two pages I’ve added either provide context on where I’m coming from (the ttc page), or try to balance the depressing tone of many of my posts (the no kids = not all bad page).
So I was loath to add a page whose sole purpose is to make a list of “depressing a-ha moments I’ve had while trying to conceive”. However, in the end I decided to give it a shot as I think everyone going through infertility (or any sort of difficulty in their lives for that matter) can relate to moments of feeling like things have spiralled out of their control, and asking “how did it come to this?”, and sometimes it’s nice just to know you’re not alone.
So, below is a partial list of what I call my jolt moments:
1. Seeing my uterus on an ultrasound for the first time during my first appointment at the fertility clinic. I’d seen many ultrasound photos before this, but they always involved a baby, and there’s nothing like the visual of an empty uterus to hit home that you are barren (I actually hate that word, but I remember it being the first word that popped into my head when I saw the ultrasound).
2. Going for a follow-up ultrasound after my miscarriage and having to fill out an intake form asking if I’d had any previous pregnancies and what the results were. Then, later that day making an appointment with the Dr. to review the ultrasound with me, having the receptionist ask me if it was a pre-natal ultrasound, and having to tell her that it was a post-miscarriage ultrasound.
3. Finding out that one of my friends who had experienced miscarriage a few months before me, and had commiserated with me about the frustration of trying to conceive was pregnant again, and realizing that the time it took her to try to conceive, miscarry, try to conceive again, get frustrated about it taking so long, conceive again, and gave birth was all less than the 23 months it took me to conceive the first time. Only to miscarry. (In case it is not clear, the jolt moment here is not that she got pregnant again and I didn’t. Or rather that I did, but had a chemical pregnancy. I was, and still am very happy for her. The jolt moment is that her timeline from first trying to conceive to having a baby in her arms, with a miscarriage and other frustration along the way was shorter than my timeline to even conceive in the first place. And still have nothing to show for it).
4. Losing any hope I had that having sex at the right time of month (without the aid of fertility drugs or other intervention) was going to result in a baby.
5. Reading on a fertility forum that a Dr. had given a couple only a 2.5% chance of conceiving naturally, seeing that they had unexplained infertility, and wondering how he could possibly give them such low chances if there was nothing obvious wrong with them, then realizing that based on how long we’ve been trying if we managed to conceive naturally that month, it would mean that our odds of conceiving were about 3%. (Yes, despite already coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen for us naturally, this still came as a shock).
6. Looking up the notation “gravida 2, para 0” that my Dr. had written on my blood test requisition form, and finding out that it meant two pregnancies, zero live births.