So much loss...
Seven years ago I was caring for my mentally ill mother. She committed suicide by sleeping pills on August 14, 2002. She was a life long addict with many, many demons she couldn't escape.
She wasn't a very good mother, but she did her best.
She was my very best friend and I try to remember the good times and let the bad times pass quietly away. But someone with so many demons can't help but pass those demons on.
I never wanted to have a child until she died. It was a knee jerk reaction to replenish the tribe after a loss. I felt very alone and I wanted my own family. It took us 4 years to get pregnant. I was beginning to think it wasn't possible and I was so thrilled that we could, it almost outweighed the grief when we lost it at 6 weeks.
It took another year and half to get pregnant again and it was harder when we lost that one at 5 weeks. My doctor didn't believe I was really pregnant because he wouldn't see me until 10 weeks and my beta was 'less then 2' by then. He even went so far as to say it was probably just menopause. I asked him point blank "So we had unprotected sex the day I ovulated and he (my SO) gave me menopause?" Then I looked at SO and said "Can't you give me warts or crabs like a normal STD?"
I asked for hormonal help because I wanted to try again and the doctor laughed. I was 38, way too old and high risk for help in getting pregnant.
I turned to herbal help after that. I started Vitex and my cycles were more 'normal' then ever.
I started the vitex in February 2008 and in May I came down with an infection in my lungs. I took a course of antibiotics and the day I finished my SO tore his rotator cuff. The meds made constantly nauseous and we didn't have sex the entire cycle. Before I knew I was late and I didn't know why. I've never been late before and I spotted through both my previous pregnancies.
Our first time in over 35 days was when I was 4 days late.
The nausea from the antibiotics never went away and I made an appointment for a physical 6 weeks later.
On August 11th I woke up bleeding and the nausea was gone. I was glad that obvious menopausal bout was over.
The morning of August 13th I started to think something was going on because he bleeding was just getting heavier.
One the morning of August 14th I knew something was very wrong because I was cramping like I was going to turn inside out. I went to the emergency room and after blood tests, urine tests, and an ultrasound I was told I was 8 weeks pregnant and having a miscarriage.
I lost that baby the same day I lost my mother.
I wanted to try for another baby but that miscarriage was so hard it took me 6 month to have a normal cycle. In fact, I never really believed I was ovulating again.
On the anniversary of my second miscarriage I lost my 19 year old cat. I'd had that cat since he was 5 weeks old and he went through everything with me. I felt like I was loosing a part of myself and it was equally as painful as loosing my mother and my 3 babies.
The grief was so bad I couldn't even begin to try to start TCC again
My cycles went out of wack again last March. Suddenly they were 2 days late and lasting 2 hours. Things just weren't right but I couldn't seem to figure out what was wrong. I never thought of pregnancy because I had bled red. When I was pregnant I either didn't bleed or spotted brown.
Then I started having problems with my hip and pelvic. The muscles kept locking up and my hip wasn't moving. I was put into a pelvic brace in the middle of April and my period came 2 days late and lasted 2 hours on April 28.
Then in May I missed my period all together. Mentally I was tripping out because it was close to a year from the last pregnancy.
When I was 8 days late I took a pregnancy test, even though I thought pregnancy wasn't an option. The only time I ever missed a period was when I was pregnant.
Sure enough it was positive. I went over my calendar and deduced I must have conceived in March. I hadn't had sex since before the last time I bled.
I went to the doctor 2 weeks later and knew something was wrong when the baby had a normal heartbeat, but measure only 6 weeks. Unless it was the second coming, it was just impossible.
We were schedualled for another ultrasound 2 weeks later.
2 weeks later (on my birthday) the baby measured 7 weeks and the heartbeat was gone.
We were schedualled for yet another u/s 2 weeks later to make sure.
My doctor went on vacation, leaving me hanging and would be back 3 days before my next appointment.
I went into 'labor' 8 days later.
My water broke and I started cramping but not bleeding.
I went to another doctor who confirmed a missed miscarriage and schedualled me for a D&C. The proceedure was 10 days away, the same day as my previous confirmation u/s.
30 hours before my D&C I began to hemmorage and the contraction were 20 minutes long and overlapping each other. I bled through 5 maxi pads in 40 minutes.
I went to the emergency room where they told me the most god awful news possible. All that pain and bleeding was for nothing. My cervix was still closed and the baby was still attached to my uterus.
When the doctor informed me that I was not life threatening and they were sending me home my brain flipped out. I actually threatened my life just so I could get a psych evaluation and get 72 hours...just to stay in the hospital. The fear of the pain was that bad. I threatened to go home and 'coat-hanger it'.
Obviously the ER doctor knew my fear and pain and promised to keep me painless until my procedure. He told me I could have any drugs I wanted and the hospital was only 5 minutes away. I had an open file so if the pain and bleeding started again I could call 911 and get instant care.
I spent the next 30 hours so drugged up that I barely remember that day.
After the horrid 10 days of cramps running from my ribs to my knees and going into my back and up my spine...after the fear of all that blood, and panic and being sent home to face it again, and the waiting a month for my baby to leave so I could start grieving...after the three previous miscarriages and were getting progressively harder on my body...after going over it and over it and over it, I came to the heart wrenching choice to stop TTC. I chose to really intervene and stop the madness.
While I was under anesthetic I chose to have my tubes tied.
I'm 41 years old and after 12 years of unprotected sex with not even a pregnancy scare, I felt like my body was suddenly addicted to being 8 weeks pregnant. I felt like the next pregnancy and miscarriage would kill me.
To me it wasn't a choice, it was self preservation.
Logically I made to right choice and I feel good about it. Emotionally I feel dead inside. Not only did I loose number 4, but I lost the hope of ever having that miracle. I derailed the only reason that nature has for having gender. I gave up any chance of having my own family. I just feel that at 41, if I can't carry a child to term, I REALLY need to stop getting pregnant.
I feel very alone and I feel like no one really understands.
Many woman have had multiple miscarriages, but how many have given up to the point of sterilizing themselves. Many woman have sterilized themselves, but not for the sake of really giving up TTC. Many woman have had multiple miscarriages, but most of them have living children with them.
Right up until the surgery, even as I was being prepped, I've had women arguing with me about this. The nurse who was giving me my IV told me "We don't think you want this cause you don't have kids." I wanted to reply "Do I have to prove my worth as a woman by dying in childbirth?"
Then the first woman I talked to after the procedure asked when I was going to start my family...
What I didn't expect to feel after the surgery was the overwelming sense of loss of myself. I felt betrayed by my body that it would force me to mutilate it just to stop it from trying to kill me.
Only one person acknowledged that I found out my baby was dead on my birthday.
The anniversary of my mom and my last baby is in 2 weeks and tomorrow I have an appointment to put my other cat to sleep. She's 17 wih heart problems and thryroid problems and her kidneys are shutting down. I should have done this weeks ago but she's the last link I have with my mom. M mom hated that cat and would tease her constantly. It bothered me at the time, but it's one of those things I stupidly remember with fondness.
Men don't understand. They think that because I made my choice I should be cool with it. Women think they understand, but then they go home to their kids...or they go home to count their days so they keep trying for a baby.
Oh gosh. :( I am so sorry for all you have been though. I can relate on a few levels and wanted you to know that you are not alone.
I hope that you and your SO have been able to talk and although men usually do grieve differently than us, I know that that is no/litle consolation.
I am here anytime if you need to talk...
mom to 5 angels in Heaven