Help me get over my miscarriages. I know logically that there's nothing I did that made them happen, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that a) I caused them through bad thoughts or actions, and b) that this negativity means that even if we do conceive again, I'm going to lose the next one as well because I can't make those thoughts go away.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I have been trying to conceive a second child almost since our son was born 2.5 years ago. I'm 41 now, and we had mild fertility issues requiring IUI, so we didn't want to waste time. About a year after my son's birth, after no luck naturally, we tried again via IUI. On the day of insemination, we were unable to get child care and took our son with us (the clinic also housed an OB/GYN practice and had parenting magazines in the waiting area, and when I called ahead said it would not be a problem, but still not ideal at all). We tried to be sensitive to the feelings of the handful of other patients in the waiting area, asked if they minded us having him there or wanted my husband to take him outside, etc. One couple was there with their fertility doctor and said that they not only didn't mind, that it even gave them hope since he had been conceived there. Their doctor, however, pulled me aside and told me that it didn't matter what they said, we were insensitive horrible people to have brought a child there (pretty much those exact words). I fought back as best as I could under the circumstances, but I was really shaken by the experience. But the IUI was successful. A few weeks later I saw their fertility doctor on the street in my neighborhood. I had this flashing thought that it was a bad omen. At the 6 week ultrasound, there was a good heartbeat, but the doctor warned me that the sac was small and there was low embryonic fluid, so it was likely not to survive. A week and a half later I went back in for another U/S and the heartbeat had stopped. I needed a D&C. Genetic testing was inconclusive and bloodwork showed nothing wrong with me other than my age. Subsequent IUI attempts all failed, and every time we went to the clinic I was obsessed over that other doctor not being there, that she was somehow bad luck. After a few cycles we decided to take a break for a few months.
During the hiatus, we conceived naturally. It felt like the greatest gift - that we had managed to do it ourselves, that I didn't have to go back to the clinic. I went in for the 6 week ultrasound and the heartbeat was strong and everything was normal. But I was freaked out by the prior miscarriage and asked if I could come back sooner than a month later. My OB made it pretty clear she was humoring me, but scheduled me for another appointment at 9 weeks. I went in, and when she asked me how I was feeling, I had a moment where I knew I could say "great," and instead I said "worried." There was no heartbeat. My OB is pretty stoic and has tons of experience, and I could tell she was pretty shocked - apparently miscarriage after heartbeat is only 2% of all pregnancies. (I know that 2% still represents a huge number of women, and that includes far later and more heartbreaking stories, and I am in no way trying to make my situation special snowflakey, but it's still a hard number to wrap your head around when it happens to you twice.) Again I needed a D&C, genetic testing was inconclusive, more tests were done and there's nothing wrong with me that should have caused it.
That was last August and after a couple more failed cycles trying on our own, we switched to a new fertility clinic. A lot more experience, better track record, and I feel much more comfortable there. But I can't help but feel like that couple's doctor cursed me in some way, or that my negativity cursed those fetuses somehow; that by acknowledging to my doctor that I didn't believe in my pregnancy, it caused the heart to stop beating - that if I'd said "great," it wouldn't have happened. I think these things even though I don't believe in curses, fully understand biology and that that's not how it works - that I'm being irrational. But I also know that everyone says that stress and negative thinking can negatively affect fertility - so where's the line? If being negative can keep you from conceiving, why couldn't it also keep you from bringing a baby to term? If the one is woo, then it's all woo.
TL;DR: After multiple miscarriages after heartbeat with no known cause, how do I get back to being rational about my fertility? How do I stop feeling like even if we do conceive, it's probably doomed? It seems like the very irrationality of my fears is what's making them so potent.