Saturday, August 15, 2009

Next steps

I had a dream last night that I was pregnant. The weird thing was I didn't know it. I just kept getting a bigger belly. I finally went to the doctor, and she confirmed I was pregnant. She said 27 weeks, but I wasn't sure if that was how far along I was or if that's how much longer I had to go. I was just relieved because it meant I was out of the first trimester. It's very disconcerting to wake up from a dream like that. "Am I pregnant? No, that was just a dream. Oh, well." That dream ended, and I then had a dream where I was around a lot of people and we were traveling all over the world. Everywhere we went, I ended up being next to a pregnant woman who was bragging about being pregnant. I would cry and cry, but nobody noticed.

I was reminded recently of one of the ways I coped with my most recent miscarriage. I looked back at my journal from my pregnancy earlier this year. Two weeks after the baby died, I wrote a list of things I could do now that I was no longer pregnant: drink wine, go for a run, carry things up stairs, eat whatever I want without getting sick. I was so desperate to make myself feel better that I had to reconstruct my present to be thankful for what I had, rather than what I didn't have. That's the only entry in my journal about that pregnancy. I was so fearful and anxious during that pregnancy that I couldn't even write about it in my journal.

One of the next legs of my journey is a trip to Chicago to see Dr. Mary Stephenson. She runs the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and she is considered the Midwest expert on recurrent loss. My specialist told me that if anyone finds the next "cure" for miscarriage, it will be this doctor. I will see her in September, and I'm currently preparing for the consultation by thinking through everything I want to ask her. I have decided that she's the end of the road - there's nobody else left for me to consult. If she doesn't have any other answers, we'll just have to go with the knowledge we have now. I wrestle between feeling confident that she'll come up with another reason and accepting that she won't have any other ideas. There's also the potential that she will recommend a controversial treatment that I'm terrified of, and I'll have to make a difficult decision. I'll just have to do what I've learned how to do over the past six years...cross that bridge when I come to it.

The whole point of living is to believe the best is yet to come. --Peter Ustinov


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