It's really not surprising to read that women who suffer from Pregnancy Loss can be a cause of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I don't think I can ever underestimate the sheer fucking terror that comes from losing a child.
For those who have to experience this multiple times, there just isn't a vocabulary for it.
The other day I was chit-chatting with a friend at work who is now 20 weeks. She is glowing, and I am honestly, really, truly happy for her. I actually could spot her pregnancy nearly 8 weeks ago, I just knew. When a different acquaintance at work asked how I could spot it, I remarked as casually as possible, "oh, well, I have a lot of experience being pregnant." And I could see the expression on her face. She gracefully didn't press me on those words.
Despite the fact that I did a Clomid cycle and could literally fell my ovaries bursting inside of me (which is either awesome or means I am completely fucked for this cycle), I have felt as if I was living vicariously through the experiences of others this week, keenly observing and feeling the experiences of others while remaining as detached as possible from my own. The close friend who is deep in the throes of an IVF cycle. Another friend who is ttc and struggling.
But then there was the picture on a babycenter board this week that stopped me in my tracks. Posted by a mother in an "Over 35 and trying to conceive after miscarriage" group. The picture of her tiny perfect sleeping angel, born too soon at 21 weeks. Her cervix failed, despite an emergency cerclage.
Readers, that post just undid me. I can't jog the image of that baby from my mind. The wheels in my brain can't stop spinning. With grief for a woman I only know as a moniker online. With terror at the prospect of suffering such a fate.
I've remarked before that Asherman's Syndrome survivors like myself are at a high risk for incompetent cervix. This week I had to engage in a serious conversation with my husband about what this really means, because it's a lot to plan for.
IF I can get pregnancy, and actually carry a healthy baby that can make it past the first trimester, I will need to get my cervix checked as early as 12 weeks (ordinarily, this is something doctor's won't do until 20 weeks). If my cervix looks to be opening, then I will need a stitch placed in to hold it together. If I get such a stitch, I could spend a great deal of my pregnancy on bed-rest. And when they say bed-rest, they mean it. I know many women on the AS board who spent months lying in bed with a laptop, watching the world go by around them, because moving around to pick the clothes up off their floor could launch them into pre-term labor. I had to prepare my husband for the possibility that my employer won't let me telework and instead force me to go on unpaid leave (despite the fact that I research things for a living and most of those things are, umm, online). We have to prepare for the possibility of a pregnancy could financially wreak total and complete havoc upon us (and I would need to go on short-term disability).
A few years back my old boss at another organization remarked that she thought bed-rest was "bullshit," her cousin was on it, and it seemed ridiculous, surely she was gaming the system in some way. "I was on the elliptical machine the day before I gave birth," she said smugly. Being one of those obscene pregnant women who glowed with yoga classes and hiking myself, I didn't say much in response but nod and smile. Oh, if I only knew.