Community//

All I want for Christmas is a Big Fat Negative

Yes, you read that right. Definitely not a typo.

I’m in the dreaded two week wait as it’s commonly referred to among the trying to conceive community, which I’m now officially a member of.

Only I’m not waiting to pee on a stick to see if I’m pregnant, I’m waiting for my fertility investigation results. 

I didn’t think it would be this hard. I mean, it’s only two weeks. 14 days. 336 hours. Not that anyone except me is counting. 

The thing is, I’m not supposed to really tell anyone about it, right? Tell them I’m trying to conceive, because well, I don’t even have anything newsworthy to share yet. I don’t have a positive urine test, let alone am I past the 12- or 16- or 20-week scan (people seem to be announcing their impending bundle of joy later and later these days).

So that makes it kind of challenging. And really isolating.

I definitely can’t tell family, because the sheer thought of letting them down if it doesn’t end with them snuggling their grandchild, niece or nephew, is crippling.

And seriously, there’s only so much googling you can do and so many forum chats you can read before you convince yourself you’ve got all the syndromes and all the disorders. I mean, at this stage, who even needs the results anymore anyway?

The thing is, there’s so much riding on these results.

They could help explain my recurrent miscarriages. 100% is an impressive strike rate, but not in a good way (also, not the norm by the way). They could give me some clarity as to why I’ve lost 3 out of 3 pregnancies in a row.

Or not. That’s the thing. It really could go either way. It’s 50:50.

If the results are positive, it’s not exactly cause for celebration. It means they’ve found a problem. But at the same time, it could potentially explain why I’ve been so unlucky. 

Who am I kidding, luck really has nothing to do with it. 

A positive result could give me something to blame, so I can stop blaming myself. Was it that glass of wine before I realised I was pregnant? Was it the sashimi I had for lunch that one time? Maybe I should have stopped going to the gym? Maybe I shouldn’t have left the house at all! Once you start on this downward spiral, it’s hard to know when and where to stop. 

If the results come back negative, then hoorah, these particular things we’re testing for are not the problem. 

That’s not to say that everything is A-ok and we just need to give it more time (which clearly you have plenty of when you’re 36 and that body clock is ticking ever louder). There could still be other things wrong, but at least we will have ruled out these culprits and can narrow down the search. 

I wish I had an inspiring success story to share, but the reality is that I don’t. At least not yet. 

Importantly though, I wanted to share this story with you for a number of reasons:

1. Let’s not suffer in silence. Saying it out loud, well putting it down in black and white, feels official. It wasn’t a dream or something I heard about, something that happened to someone else. It’s what has actually happened to me. That process alone, of getting it all out there in the open, is actually really cathartic. 

2. Let’s not hide behind this curtain of shame. I want to encourage more open conversation around the topic of miscarriage. For some reason we feel like miscarriage is a dirty word and something we shouldn’t talk about when, actually, I’ve found having someone to talk to about this has helped me process it. I actually confessed to a friend recently and turns out she has had a miscarriage too!

3. Let’s not suffer alone. I know I’m not the only one out there trying to navigate this fertility maze, anxiously searching for answers. So, know that you too are not alone. 

4. Let’s be kind to ourselves. Trying to conceive is such a rollercoaster of emotions. Let’s not forget that this can be hard and let’s cut ourselves some slack every now and then. We’re doing the best that we can. 

And lastly, to all of you trying to find your way through the miscarriage maze too, I hear you and let’s not lose hope

Oh and sometimes, a big fat negative can actually be a good thing. Sort of.

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