I've been having a rash of vivid dreams lately, most of which are not too incredibly difficult to analyze. The most recent was last night. In the dream, I was on a doctor's table getting an ultrasound. I was about 8 weeks along (the estimated time my baby died) and I could clearly see the tiny life curled up on the screen. The heartbeat was registering at 112 bpm (the exact measure we got at our 6 week ultrasound in real life). But as I watched the screen, I saw the beats become slower, tapering off quickly- 90, 85, 74, 51, and then, 0. No heartbeat. I literally watched as my baby died and then said, almost casually to the doctor, "it's happening again."
I didn't register nearly the same emotion in the dream as I am feeling in recalling it. It was almost commonplace for me, as if I were merely being visited by a parking ticket or a lost spot in line. And somehow, I knew to expect it. It felt as if by that point, it had happened a hundred times over. My guess is that even if this were the case, 101 would be just as painful.
I suspect I had this dream because I've put away the neatly organized IF records and have come upon a new obsession-trying to figure out someway to prevent another miscarriage. I have this fear, no, this deeply ingrained belief that even if we were to miraculously become pregnant, it will happen again. In fact, somewhere farther in the crevices of my IF riddled mind, I feel that I will be among the 5% of women who have recurrent miscarriages. I know, it's completely irrational. But thanks to IF, my brain is physically incapable of visualizing a happy ending and believes that I will always beat the odds...in the opposite direction of what I had intended.
As a result of my recent irrational attempts to prevent something that is, in most cases, not preventable, I've looked up every possible known cause of miscarriage and have combed through our records, trying to pinpoint any evidence that may suggest something we missed (a genetic factor, some kind of dysfunction in my system, anything). The simple fact is, not only is miscarriage generally not preventable, but also, it is often not due to some factor originating in the parent. As I understand it, even the tiniest slip-up in the sequencing of creation can throw development off it's course and no genetic or immune testing can predict this. Yet still I comb. I investigate. I ask doctors about inane and ridiculously expensive blood tests and they give me funny looks. But you see, I am completely terrified. In a place where control is least is where I want it most.
I realize that the dark cloud of IF is fueling these thoughts and feelings, blocking my brain from envisioning a happy ending. If I am lucky enough to have another BFP, it will be with a mixture of cautious hope and complete terror that I tip toe into the pregnancy. Dee mentioned envying the naivety with which fertile women proceed into their pregnancies. I too will never have this. IF has robbed me of this. If I become pregnant, I will never know what it's like to not look down every time I visit the restroom, my heart in my throat, searching for bleeding. Every twinge, every symptom will be searched over microscopically, analyzed over every neuron in my brain. My energy will be funneled into the impossible: mentally controlling every function my body undertakes in order to create a safe home for my baby.
While I am completely terrified of going through this again, the possibility is worth the risk. It still amazes me what we all put ourselves through for this end goal and it amazes me that I still proceed without a moment's hesitation.