Fertility Update: Another Slap In The Face From Cancer
Photo by Scott Young
As October is among us and breast cancer is on the forefront of all of our minds, I’m taking the opportunity to look back at what I’ve been through (since Facebook loves to remind me). But here I am again with another slap in the face from cancer “I’m still here haunting your life, don’t forget about me!”
Since my last post on going over the doom and gloom from the fertility doctor, I experienced a miracle. If you asked me if I believed in miracles I would of given a hard no. But after only one month of trying, my husband and I got pregnant. You can refer back to my last blog to read through the numerous reasons why we had strong beliefs that this was just not going to happen for us.
After 40 days had passed and still no period, I still wasn’t ready to believe that I could be that one off person who would beat the odds. Secretly, thinking of course this couldn’t be true, I took a pregnancy test. As the pink lines became stronger and stronger I started to scream, this couldn’t be real. My husband ran upstairs to see what all the fuss was about and we were both in a state of shock. I had a miracle baby growing inside of me.
The appointments began with weekly blood tests to be sure my hCG was rising normally and ultrasounds to ensure the baby was growing as it should. We were happily pregnant for two weeks basking in the potential of actually having a baby.
Since we were followed closely, every week we had a different “surprise” for example; one day my hCG levels were decreasing (which is a sign of miscarriage) while the next week I was told I had a happy healthy 6.5 week baby with a strong heartbeat. We were on a rollercoaster that I just wanted to get off of. One weekend I was mourning the loss of this little poppy seed inside me while the next weekend I was back to planning what the baby room would look like.
One week after I was told we had a happy healthy baby, we had our weekly ultrasound and the heart beat went down. We were told to expect a miscarriage. Later that day I was keeled over in pain at work knowing now that, my raspberry-sized baby had died inside of me. I had a follow-up ultrasound two days later that confirmed no heartbeat. I asked for a D&C (dilation and curettage procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus) and luckily they were able to get me in. I could now begin the process of healing and start to put this all behind us.
During this rollercoaster, I turned to my network of friends for support. I knew that this was not the traditional route that people normally take since talking about miscarriage and early pregnancy is a very taboo topic in our culture, but why?! This is a time where support from your network is extremely important. Even with the support from my friends and family I still felt isolated and alone, so I couldn’t imagine truly being alone during this process. I was also shocked to find nothing online about personal stories/blogs of women dealing with miscarriage post cancer/chemo. Where are these women? I know they’re out there!
Needless to say this has been a devastating experience. I feel like emotionally I have been pushed to my breaking point. I couldn’t describe the joy I felt knowing that I was pregnant and the feeling of that being ripped away from me so soon was just heartbreaking. I’m happy that these weeks of ups and downs are behind us and I look forward to trying again.
I was really hoping that this post was going to be a happy one, maybe even a pregnancy announcement! But I guess this is the reality and the “joys of cancer”. And all I hope is for this post to shine light on all those strong women dealing with these type of issues and heartache on a daily basis. I hope by sharing my experience provides comfort to anyone else dealing with a similar situation. – Dory Kashin