I can vividly remember my first months of trying to conceive baby #2. I was hanging out in one of my favorite online communities and actually, for the first time ever, started posting questions and comments.
I spent my time in the Trying to Conceive forums looking for new pregnancy test pictures to be posted for squinting (a hobby that I was just discovering at the time), answering simple charting questions, and comparing possible early pregnancy symptoms with other hopeful mothers-to-be. With a large community, there was always the mention of a miscarriage here and there. I always felt sad for the moms that dealt with losses, but I sort of figured miscarriages were like meningitis. I have heard of people having it but I would never get it.
After our second cycle of trying, I found myself jumping for joy with my positive pregnancy test in hand. A couple of weeks later the spotting started. I scrolled a little further down the page on the message boards and started reading the words, although distorted by the tears welled up in my eyes, Pregnancy and Infant Loss. I read post after post looking for stories of hope, and line after heartbreaking line about others experiences with miscarriages. While collecting this information, I couldn’t help but notice the signatures, the few lines that follow a post that often includes a brief history, of the other ladies on the message boards.
I was shocked to see how many of them had more than one miscarriage. Some signatures seemed to just have little angel emoticons floating all over the place. I knew that I was officially a member of the Miscarriage Club but I couldn’t fathom ever joining those ladies. I mean, they had to have some sort of “issue”. A disease that had been undiagnosed. A serious problem. I managed to survive my loss, club card in hand, and scroll back up to the top of the page where the regular Trying to Conceive conversations happened.
Then a couple of months later, when another positive pregnancy test was staring back at me, I was excited. I was nervous since I had learned that pregnancy doesn’t always end with a baby in my arms, but I was so sure that it couldn’t happen to me twice. And if it did, it certainly wouldn’t happen to me twice in a row.
Well, it did. I was now in the limbo area. I started spending more time in the pregnancy loss area on the boards and getting to know the user names of the other ladies who were in the same club as me.
Then, when my third pregnancy ended almost as soon as it started, I did it. I moved further down the list of “clubs” on the message boards. I was now an official member of the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Club.
It was a lot of the same people that I had come to know in the pregnancy loss area but now I was seeing ladies commiserating about loss number 3 or more. I never thought I would be a member of this board. I thought I would forever be a lurker who would read stories of multiple losses, feel bad, close the window and go on with my life. Not anymore. I was the one posting questions, looking for hope, and crying my eyes out when loss number 3, 4, 5 and 6 took place. It was the worst place with some of the best people I have ever met.
During these years of losses, I would read and learn all about those women struggling with infertility since many times the recurrent losses and infertility worlds overlap in so many ways. But, in all honesty, I was just being nosy. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of someone who had a hard time conceiving but since fertility was never an issue for me, I would never post. No one struggling with infertility wants to hear from a lady who gets pregnant every other cycle. I would think in the not so quiet head of mine, “I am so glad I don’t have to deal with that.” And, “That would suck!” Never in my wildest imagination could I have believed that I would be a member of the infertility club.
Then, the unimaginable happened. Here I am trying to get pregnant after 8 perfectly timed cycles, approaching my 35th birthday (the magical age of “Advanced Maternal Age”), and not so much as a squinter to squint at. I had already found myself scrolling down to the Infertility message boards but couldn’t imagine really being a part of the club. After learning of the effects of Doug’s medications, I have been more tempted to make introductions to these ladies that I have come to know by user name and fertility history.
But, then, I get scared. Doing that would make it official. I never imagined that I would be a member of the Infertility Club.
As much as I wished that none of these clubs existed, they do.