I am My Own Worst Enemy-Part 2

Session 2 of counseling went well.  We started off with a reflection of how I felt about session 1, with a summary of how my week went to follow.  I informed her of the dream I had, and the appointment with my family Dr.  She listened and reinforced a few things:

  1. In my dream, my friend acknowledged my babies, which I may have needed in order to have acceptance of her pregnancy.  Even though she had acknowledged it prior, I may not have been ready to accept it.  The dream also indicates my desire to be closer with her again.
  2. The new sense of support I feel, having a team of Dr.’s working together on my behalf now.

Next, we talked about the difference between losing a pregnancy, and losing a person who has physically lived here on Earth.  I focused on losing my maternal grandparents, their funerals, burials, and celebrations of their life afterwards.  I explained how I felt a sense of closure after these events, how I can look back and smile about things we shared during their life even though I still miss them and mourn their deaths.  With my miscarriages, it is different; I do not feel closure. I cannot look back at all the wonderful memories I shared with my unborn children.  I do not know why they passed away. There was no funeral or celebration of their lives. Points gathered here:

  1. When you lose a person who was physically here, you are left with tangible memories of your time together.  For example, the trips you took with them, the sports you played with them, the hugs, the kisses, etc.  With a miscarriage, you do not have tangible events to remember, you just have what your hopes and dreams were for your future with them.  What were my hopes and dreams for them and our family?
  2. Society has created “socially acceptable” norms to mourn the loss of people who have walked the Earth, but unfortunately not for those who were only in their mother’s belly.
  3. Since there are no official steps in place for grieving the loss of an unborn child, it is important we create what we feel to be right in our own eyes.

That being said, Dr. G asked me some questions on what I have done so far to memorialize my lost children.  I showed her my tattoo and my bracelet with their birthstones.  I explained to her that I also purchased a wooden box, paint, and some trinkets awhile back that I hoped to use in a ceremony for them, but haven’t yet.  She questioned why I haven’t yet, and I explained that perhaps I am afraid to do it, because once it is complete, what do I have left? My response sparked some conversation.  She asked me why I feel as though I have to “finish” it? I really did not know what to say to that, not finishing it wasn’t something I even considered until then. My personality has always been to start a project, then finish it. She encouraged me to ponder starting it, but not finishing it right away, and what that would look like in terms of healing. We will go more in-depth with this in our next session. 

We touched on my anxiety, and setting up a positive plan of action for a future FET.  She had me describe what a typical treatment cycle has been like.  I told her about my peeing on a stick addiction, the serial betas, ultrasounds, etc.  All of which she knows well since infertility is her specialty.  She inquired as to why I feel the need to test at home so much, and I could easily respond with the answer, “for control.”  Dr. G asked some really good questions at this point:

  1. Control of what?
  2. Did I end up having control of what happened with each pregnancy anyways?
  3. How much do I really need to know during a cycle? For instance, are the betas really necessary for me to know? Did it matter if the lines were getting darker on the tests or not? Will knowing any of this change the outcome of what eventually happens?
  4. Are these actions (testing at home, serial betas, serial ultrasounds) causing me more anxiety?
  5. Is there anything we can do moving forward instead of these actions?

Lastly, we discussed how my loss is my loss, and should not be compared to any one else’s loss.  This was brought up due to some recent comments made to me such as, “well, at least you weren’t further along, or at least it was in the first trimester.”  She stood firm that psychologically speaking, a loss at 6 weeks can be as debilitating as a loss at 16 weeks.  We cannot say how devastated a person feels because of how far along in their pregnancy they were.  The grief that comes with a miscarriage depends solely on the hopes and dreams of what the person envisioned for their child, not how far along they were in the pregnancy.  She asked me what if all my losses had been at 6 weeks? Would I not feel as bad as I do now? Of course, I would have felt just as horrible, regardless of whether or not I saw the heartbeat many times and made it to 10 weeks or not.  This is not a competition.  My hopes and dreams for my earlier losses were just as real as the ones for my pregnancy that was further along.

There was even more, but I feel this was what I soaked up the most of during our session. Really looking forward to session 3!

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19 thoughts on “I am My Own Worst Enemy-Part 2

  1. Interesting on whether testing at home adds to anxiety. Never thought of that before. I had my therapist appt too last night, and even though we’re different circumstances, my therapist talked about feelings of IF (not loss, just IF) being just like “real” grief like losing a person would be. I sincerely hope you continue with Dr. G, it sounds like you’re making some real progress. *hugs my friend* 🙂

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  2. It’s so much easier to leave a reply than a comment in that tiny box–I can see what I’m actually typing here!

    ANYway, with just IF grief and no loss, you’re still grieving something/one even though that person maybe never existed but we think they should have or could have. Same deal with IVF embies that never implanted, it’s still a real loss that other people don’t understand. The stages of it are identical to grief like when a person we know dies. How cruel someone would say at least you weren’t that far along! I’d have slapped whoever said that lol 🙂

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      • Completely agree ladies, I can’t tell you how many times people have said “oh you were only nine weeks when you miscarried.” Like that is suppose to make it better. I think they just have no idea because they have never experienced it.

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  3. Thank you for sharing all of this. I find it helpful to learn from what your psychologist is tell you.
    Just as a side note, I did the serial beta’s and I’ve also refused to do them as your psychologist suggested. Honestly, it didn’t make a difference to how I handled the pregnancy or the loss. My beta’s were always on the slow side of acceptable and our babies were always on the small side so even when I skipped the beta’s I still knew what the ultrasound meant. So, for me, it really didn’t matter. But I also never had the peeing on sticks addiction once i had a confirmed pregnancy.
    Also, I haven’t done anything to memorialize our losses – no tattoos have been done, no trees have been planted, nothing. A friend gave me a necklace with five interlocking circles to represent our 5 losses, and I find that I’m not wearing it that much these days. I’m not sure why, but it’s almost like I’m avoid it. I’m curious to see what you do with this particular thing.

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    • You are welcome, friend. I think each person handles anxiety differently and heals differently, and this is the perfect example of that! I tend to go to extremes it seems, almost becoming obsessive with my habits at times. This goes for pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, & post pregnancy. Im hoping to do some things less addict like next time around lol. I am curious how I will proceed with this box, too. I will keep u posted 😍

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  4. I find it interesting what your psychologist said about the betas. During my last pregnancy before the loss I tried to refuse the betas and only do ultrasounds once every two weeks and my doctor refused and said it was mandatory. I am planning on bringing it up at our next appointment and see if I can explain why I want to change the protocol.

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    • I think u so should bring it up! My new RE also told me it was my choice whether I choose to endure the torture of them my 4th time around. My previous RE acted like it was mandatory too. I think they want it for their own data points if you ask me. And in all honesty, appropriately rising betas mean nothing to me! Ive had them perfect and still lost pregnancies later on. Hosh posh! I cant wait to hear how your conversation goes 😛

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      • Same here with the betas!! And then they want an ultrasound every 3rd day, so I would be happy that it was good and start stressing right away about the next. I think you are absolutely right about the data points. My appointment is Aug 17 I will definitely let you know how it goes.

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      • Wow! Every 3 days. Thats just crazy. I think anyone would feel like u did, at least I know for sure I would. Always worrying about the next one! I only had to do ultras weekly and that was so tough. My blood pressure was off the charts every time, I would shake, and cry. I hope your dr. listens to how you are mentally feeling ❤️

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  5. She sounds really wonderful and it seems like you are really working well together. I can identify with so much you’ve written about your losses (I have never been through treatments so don’t have any of my own experience to call on there.) But I have done several things to memorialize my babies – I bought a ring for each of them with the gemstone from the month of their due dates, and I also bought a stone at the Children’s Memorial on Martha’s Vineyard. I really hope you continue to see value from your visits. It sounds like you’re really making good progress.

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