It seems I undergo some kind of holistic makeover every time we suffer a substantial loss. This time is no different.
Although this most recent pregnancy loss happened very early, it was substantial. It was, in fact, uniquely shocking and revelatory because it was the first time we had tried donor eggs to avoid the recurrent early pregnancy loss I’ve been experiencing with my own “old” (in the words of Western Medicine) eggs. This is not “just another chemical pregnancy” to me. It is a slap in the face, a billboard blaring that something inside me is not working as it should, something that means my womb does not sustain the tiny lives that have implanted there. My womb has become a graveyard, regardless of whether the eggs are my own or that of some young, healthy, proven donor. This has been a painful and terrifying realization.
My womb is a graveyard.
Holy crap. My womb is a graveyard.
And nobody seems to know why. I could get some expensive, uninsured testing done (beyond the RPL panel adn karyotype testing that came back normal). That might give me some answers. It might not. Some of those answers might be misleading. Some may not.
One thing I do know is that both my body – particularly my immune system – and my mind are ailing. They need my help. The straw has broken the proverbial camel’s back and the camel is laid up, in need of much care.
My spirit – so buoyant, so confidant, so certain that this last pregnancy was The One – is flagging. I am excited and happy for my pregnant friends and fellow bloggers, but the happiness and excitement is underwritten with a deep, quiet sadness and a nagging fear that I will not be joining them on the other side of the Infertility or Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Planets we once occupied together. I still have friends here, on Planet WTF, and I am not grateful I do – I wish you all would leave and join our other friends and fellow bloggers on Planet Pregnant and Planet Newborn. I sincerely wish that for all of us. But wishes are not enough.
Wishes are not enough.
I have spent this past week mulling, as I often do post-loss. I ruminate so well, I could have been a bovine. In the two weeks since we found out our DE baby was not going to make it, I’ve given up the daily meditations and affirmations. I had some wine, but it only made me feel more sad and lonely (it’s so surreal to feel lonely when I have family around, but this experience has taught me a whole new realm of loneliness that maybe one day I will write about) so I gave that up as soon as I started it. I used to love wine, I even enrolled in a part-time sommelier course once (while practicing law – talk about a Type-A overachiever). I ended up not going to the course as work interfered, but I can say that although I would love to be a sommelier instead of a lawyer, it’s not in the cards. My passion is gone. Not just for wine. For everything, it seems.
And this, my friends, all of this is why I need to heal body and mind. Something has snapped. My womb is a graveyard. And my heart and spirit are broken. Not forever. But they need help. They need to heal, as does my immune system, which seems to have gotten more out of whack with each of our 6 failed pregnancies since March 2013.
I’ve been working on that – I have been reading about and following in my usual adapted way an anti-inflammatory diet. Right now I’m reading Julie Daniluk’s Slimming Meals That Heal, not because I am trying to lose weight but because I liked the recipes in it better than her first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation, although I looked at that one, too. I’ve also been reading and tried a couple of recipes (adapted because that’s what I do) from Dr. Jessica Black’s More Anti-Inflammation Diet Tips and Recipes.
This morning, in a burst of ambition, I also downloaded an app with meditations for healing your immune system by Dr. Bernie Seigel, whose meditations I listened to on my original acupuncturist’s advice while struggling to get and stay pregnant during round one of our fun with fertility challenges (2010-2012). If interested, you can check out the app here or Dr. Seigel (a retired general and pediatric surgeon) here. I have yet to listen to any of the meditations on the app (which are derived from a double CD set for healing the immune system that you can find on Seigel’s website) but plan to start doing so tonight. I can’t bring myself to listen to any more fertility-related meditations for fear I may carve out my own eyes in doing so.
Finally, I’ve been re-reading The Mind-Body Fertility Connection by James Schwartz. My hypnotherapist is currently on maternity leave (of course she is, why wouldn’t she be?) so I’m not seeing anyone right now but I might raise this for discussion and a referral with my acupuncturist, the TCMD, when I see her this coming Saturday. I’ve been re-reading the parts of Schwartz’s book that address the science behind the mind-body connection.
On the topic of our mind-body connection, I’ve considered ordering the Audiobook, Magical Mind, Magical Body by Deepak Chopra, MD. It’s been around over a decade so I’m hoping one of you has listened to it and is willing to share your thoughts. I would be deeply grateful to hear from you if so – please comment below or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before any of you start reassuring me that my womb is not really a graveyard, please know that I appreciate this. I am aware that my womb is not literally or even metaphorically a graveyard. It just feels that way in my broken heart. I know, too, that I cannot think of my body in this way if I am ever to successfully carry another child to term or close enough that said child joins the land of the living. Hence the focus on self-care, healing and the mind-body connection. Just in case you thought you needed to console me about my beleagured uterus, please don’t. It is going to be okay, come what may. Someday. In my head, I know that, even if I have trouble believing it or embracing the belief in my heart these days.