I have an appointment with a new fertility doctor next week and every time I think about it, I feel sick. She’s got a great reputation and she specializes in multiple losses. That should make me feel pretty good, right?
That and the fact that this appointment is a consultation only, just to see what’s going on with my fertility health. No pressure. There will be no sperm-washing or hormone shots in the near future, that I can guarantee. Knowing all this doesn’t seem to help though.
Right now my nerves are so jangly that I’m tripping up stairs, dropping things, opening doors into my head, biting my tongue; it’s like all reason—and my sense of depth perception—has left the building.
I feel like I'm cramming for a test I can't pass.
I’m actually pretty sure I had a panic attack in my sleep the other night. I dreamt my heart was racing, I couldn’t breathe and I was dizzy. I really wanted pizza, but I had to wait in the doctor’s office while it baked—stay with me. I remember I was already worrying about how I was going to burn my tongue on the pizza that hadn’t even come out of the oven yet.
Then, my doc appeared sitting in front of me and asked me how I was. I smiled brightly and said:
“I’m great. Everything is going really well. Awesome.”
“Oh, Okay then.” She spoke dismissively but made no move to leave her chair.
“Oh! Actually, totally forgot,” I said like I’d forgotten to pick up bananas on my way home. “I’m not ok at all. I actually feel like crap. I think my nerves are shot. Can I get a prescription for Ativan and the name of a therapist?”
Then I woke up. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t remember if I was dreaming or awake. My tongue was all kinds of thick and dry. My palms sweaty. My eyes felt rimmed with hot charcoal, and my body felt like lead. This wasn’t exactly the fresh morning start I had hoped for.
It’s been like this every night for the last week.
“Why are you so stressed about this appointment?” A friend asked me yesterday, cutting right to the chase.
To be honest, I don’t know.
Maybe it’s because I don’t want to be poked and prodded again.
Maybe because I’m petrified that exploration will reveal some kind of terrible health condition.
Maybe it’s because I can’t even think about babies without what feels like a searing rip in my heart.
I don’t know this new doctor. I don’t know what I’m in for.
I don’t know what I want.
My mind is racing with solutions to a problem I may not be able to fix, may not have control over; one that hasn’t even been defined yet.
In the span of a moment I bounce between feeling bolstered contentment with my life right now, and the emptiness of loss. It’s a quiet struggle with a vast spectrum of emotion. One that makes me tell stupid jokes about my pain, and cry in the middle of Walmart.
What I fear most of all is that this doctor will tell me the miscarriages are my fault. That I did too much lifting, or took too much work on, or this was the price I paid for the wine I drank when I didn’t know I was pregnant yet.
My friends and family are so fast to correct me, so supportive.
‘There’s nothing you could have done, honey...”
I hear it all the time. I think I even tell myself the same thing, but it’s become a mechanical mantra. I just feel like I’m reciting empty words.
What if everyone’s wrong?
What if having my amazing Baby Girl was a total fluke? What if I have a body that doesn’t want to be pregnant? Or a mind that is so jumpy and revved up that my anxiety somehow kills my babies? What if all the yoga and acupuncture in the world doesn’t help?
What if this is all my fault?
In a way maybe I want it to be. Sometimes I think it would be easier to be angry with myself than to not know why these things happen.
The clock is ticking and each movement of the second hand feels like it’s snagging a cuticle. I feel inflamed and impatient. I want to pick at the face of time. I can feel my irritation mount just knowing that this stupid appointment is there in my calendar. I hate it.
And yet, it’s the only way forward. It’s the only way I can forgive myself.
It’s the only way I can prove that I’m innocent, once and for all.