I’ve been thinking about women’s different attitudes to miscarriage. Everyone deals with this in their own way. I’m not one of those women who remembers the dates and the would-be-dates and has a name for her baby and wants to mark its passing in some way. Every time a medical professional says they are sorry about my miscarriage, I feel a little embarrassed. I’m sorry it happened but it’s not something that makes me sad any more. I think there might be a lot of reasons for this:
- They were very early miscarriages, around five to eight weeks. The one last year didn’t require any intervention.
- The intervention I did need, April’s ERPC, was pretty painless and straightforward and handled very well by everyone. Some women have absolutely awful, unexpected, lonely and painful experiences with miscarriage.
- They weren’t missed miscarriages. It must be heart-breaking to think you are pregnant and then find out at a routine scan that your baby stopped growing weeks before. I went into my viability scan this March with fairly realistic expectations.
- I’m aware of my age and the other (unforeseen) barriers to getting me pregnant and I was just so damned happy to make it to a proper pregnancy both times. Despite the financial and emotional cost of IVF, I think many IVFers probably have a more pragmatic and less rose-tinted approach to their pregnancies than those who get pregnant the natural way.
- I didn’t have to feel sorry for the man I love who fathered the child with me and the death of our shared dream and future. There was no coy “hand-knit bootees left on the kitchen table” moment in these pregnancies. My sperm donor lives in another country and has no idea I exist.
- At least I’m trying, which is a lot better than sitting around waiting for a Prince Charming I haven’t even met to give me the one thing I want in life.
I think the last has a lot to do with it. The five or so years between my becoming single at 34 after a long-term relationship ended and starting to try to conceive were scary and frustrating. It is absolutely horrible watching your fertility slip away over the years and feeling helpless to do anything about it. It also feels so very demeaning and desperate to be reduced to scanning potential relationships for fatherhood potential. I never, ever want to be in that frame of mind again.
We have a provisional date for transfer of my one frozen embryo – 17 July. I think I’ve decided that if this one doesn’t work I will do one more round of IVF and then bow out. I think.