I despise cliches, but I now have a deeper hatred for one in particular: "Lightning never strikes twice." I can tell you from experience that this is a lie. When A and I lost our first baby, we were left with no doctor and no real plan. We had an appointment with a new reproductive endocrinologist and were taking the six week break between doctors appointments to heal and regroup. We were by no means "trying" to get pregnant, especially considering that we had been told it would be virtually impossible for us to conceive on a natural cycle. I continued to monitor my ovulation, though, so I would know approximately where we stood.
We met with our new doctor on Monday, October 4th, and we were more than pleased with our new helpers. A new plan was set into motion, and we were set to begin IUI on my next cycle. I knew that I should start my period sometime between Friday and Monday, and for some reason on Saturday I decided to pee on a stick (I am fairly certain that this is because peeing on sticks is my new vice). And there it was again...a faint second line. A was doing some weekend work at his office, so the stick and I quickly jumped into the car to get his opinion on whether the line actually existed. He saw it too, and a couple hours later a second test showed a darker line.
We were completely overjoyed. We knew that we should remain cautious, but this just seemed meant to be. We had conceived on a natural cycle when we were not even trying! Surely this was the baby we would bring home from the hospital in eight months! Although I tried to remain guarded, my heart was full. The baby would be due in June, which was perfect...my mother-in-law would be off for the summer, our family has no birthdays in June, I would be through the pregnancy before the hottest months of the year. I could not have written a better script. I even sewed a little green sleep sack on Sunday night (sewing is a new hobby I am attempting to use to de-stress).
Our first blood test was this past Monday, and despite being certain we would get a good number, my hCG was only 33. Although this was low, we knew that it would be fine as long as it doubled correctly. Plus, I chalked up the lower number to not knowing the exact date we conceived. We went back on Wednesday, and as I waited at work that afternoon my stomach sank. Although I had no physical reason to think things had gone wrong, I feared the worst. At around 3:00 p.m., my fears were confirmed. The nurse called and said my hCG had dropped to 8. Two ovulations in a row had resulted in conception, and for two cycles in a row we had lost that precious promise of life.
I have always felt empathy for couples who suffered miscarriages, but I had no perspective on how such a loss truly felt. It is an invisible loss...no one can look at you and tell you just lost your child. For me, at least, this invisibility is burdensome. No one knows the reason for the vacant look in my eyes. People are confused when I, who am normally outgoing, am quiet at a dinner party because I feel completely alone at the full table. The loss of these two precious ones stings with a pain I have never felt, a pain with which too many women are familiar.
In a bit of irony, A and I were scheduled to go on a trip to the desert Thursday. We decided to go, hoping that some time away from our normal surroundings would be helpful to our healing. So I now sit in the desert, both literally and metaphorically, wondering what our next path will be.