In November it will be three years since we lost Lily and in September it will be two since we lost Anika. In that time David‘s and my thoughts on trying again have shifted, changed and evolved many times. And now we have reached a place of peace, both internally and between the both of us.
I am not as young as I used to be and I am far less fearless and naive. David and I have had countless conversations and gone back and forth on the idea of growing our family many times. About a year ago, we decided to just let nature take it’s course and see where things led. I was having almost regular and almost predictable periods for the first time in my life and we decided that if I got pregnant I’d get an in-pregnancy TAC and that would be that.
Well, I can’t express how stressful that decision was for me, or the mixture of feelings I got before my next cycle started. I can’t count the number of home pregnancy tests I took and I can’t articulate the complexity of the relief and disappointment I felt at the negatives. I can’t express the guilt I felt when I decided not to waste money on a test. You see, with an in-pregnancy TAC there are greater risks and they can only be done within a certain window of time in the pregnancy. I also didn’t know whether or not a TAC alone could protect my next baby… Until getting the results of my tests in September, which showed that it wouldn’t (low-grade chronic infection in my uterus that will need antibiotics throughout the pregnancy in order to keep it under control). And knowing about the infection didn’t make September, October, or November any easier because now I had to worry about getting the antibiotics and the TAC in a timely enough manner to save the life of the baby that may or may not be growing inside me right at any given time.
At the end of November we met with the TAC surgeon, and we decided to go ahead with the surgery. David and I had long, candid, and tough conversations about what getting the TAC would mean and how it would affect our plans going forward. As I mentioned, I am not as young as I used to be, and we had agreed before we were even married that we would try for a family until we were 35, and if it didn’t happen by then we would find other ways to be fulfilled, and honestly we have an amazing life together. We have so much love and joy and laughter in our lives and endless support when things are tough. Really, we are blessed. In the end, David said that he would support me in whatever I wanted to do going forward: if I wanted to do fertility treatments again, he’d support me; if I didn’t he’d support me. I told him I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t know.
The next generation of my family are having kids. I have a grand-nephew, and more soon to follow. My siblings are long done having kids and some are either grandparents or on their way to being grandparents. While I would love to have my own children grow up with this new generation, I have felt the joy of pregnancy. I have felt my babies move in my belly, and I have experienced the pain of labour. I have lived lifetimes in an matter of moments. Maybe it’s enough to be a wife and an aunt and a great aunt and an Angel Mom. I’m getting great marks at school and I feel good… The fertility meds made me feel like a monster. Do I really want to do that again for an if?
I have spent so many nights staring up at the ceiling or at the memorial for our girls in the corner of our bedroom, and really searching my soul, really trying to understand what I want and what I need. I want to be a regular mom; I need to surrender control. I have battled with the idea that in doing the fertility treatments, I wanted control at any cost. I wanted my babies. I wanted them now and I wanted them my way. I tried to play god and God said “No.”
I tried again and God said “NO.”
I feared that if I tried again despite the suture and the giant jar of antibiotics once again God would say “NO!”
And what damage would the next ‘no’ cause? The TVC with Anika tore my cervix and the infection could have killed me. If I took matters into my own hands again, would my uterus rupture? Would my punishment be death?
I made the decision that with the TAC in place we will continue to let nature take it’s course. I am not going to take control. The most I’m willing to do is track my temperature, drink raspberry leaf tea to help my uterine and reproductive health, take a multivitamin daily, and beyond that I am relinquishing control. I am trying to eat healthier and lose weight to feel more like myself again. I am focusing on my studies and I know that if I get a pee stick positive, my cervix is protected by the TAC and I have a big bottle of antibiotics in the candy cupboard that I can start taking immediately. I have a plan with doctor C at the hospital where I got my TAC done.
I feel at peace. I can fall asleep. I feel good.
I miss my Lily, my Anika every day and I long for my Iris or Tobias, but I am genuinely okay with whatever comes.