During 4 years of TTC (trying to conceive), my husband and I have now experienced 2 miscarriages. Our first was a “spontaneous pregnancy”, which means we were not on any fertility meds and it was unexpected since we were in the midst of fertility treatments (but not in an actual cycle…if that makes sense). Jeff wasn’t home when I tested positive and he wasn’t there 3 days later when my period came. It was short, but it was there. I learned then that coping with a miscarriage is not for the faint of heart.
The other miscarriage happened after our FET (frozen embryo transfer) in July 2019. We were hopeful that after transferring two PGS tested embryos, we would have at least one stick. We got a positive pregnancy test and our first blood test beta was 121 (which is great). Everything was looking good and we began planning things out in our mind (nursery arrangement, due date, travel plans, etc…).
A week later we went back in for our 2nd blood test and our HCG level dropped to a 9. We lost them. We were absolutely devastated. Jeff was mowing the lawn while I was inside taking care of dinner. The doctor’s office called and I held my breath. Then it came. The sentence that changed everything. Your HCG level dropped to a 9. I have done enough research and have been through this process long enough to know right away what this meant.
I walked outside and yelled (choking back the tears) at my husband to get his attention over the loud buzz of the lawn mower. Once he heard, I lost it. We bawled as we held each other. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We did IVF. It was supposed to work.
During these difficult times of miscarriage, I have had to learn to cope and feel like me again. As I look back on these experiences, I have created a simple list of things that I did (some unknowingly) to cope.
It’s okay to cry and nobody is going to think less of you for it. I like to think of it like a funeral. When you go to a funeral, you cry because of the loss of a loved one. Even though you never got to hold your precious baby (or maybe you did!), it doesn’t make your feelings any less valid. It still happened. You didn’t make this up. You’re not crazy. <——Sometimes you need someone to tell you that you aren’t crazy….so here ya go!
I’m not saying YOU need to do this, but I took the next day off from work. It’s hard to be productive when you’re that emotional not to mention the fact that you have tons of hormones still pumping through you (whether you did IVF or not).
2. Make a Plan
Following each miscarriage, we created a plan. We didn’t do it that very day though. Don’t feel like you need to rush into it. We definitely took some time to cry and process the loss, but when we were good and ready, we put a plan in place. We asked ourselves the following questions:
What is the next step?
When will we transfer (or try) again?
Will we have any additional testing done to see if there IS a problem somewhere?
A plan makes me feel a little better about the situation.We cannot control much about having a baby (even in an IUI or IVF cycle), BUT we CAN control what procedures we do and the timeline we will follow. Control what you can control….it might just make you feel a little better.
Testing. No one likes this word because it generally means another step and more time spent. I would strongly suggest you consider doing more testing to see if anything is wrong. Why not take the extra time and money instead of waste any of your embryos? I know I wouldn’t want to waste any embryos and didn’t so we opted for ALL the testing we could do (more on that later).
Some tests to consider:
- Endometrial Receptivity Analysis
- Test for Endometriosis
- RPL Blood Panel
Some of these tests may require an extra cycle so you will have to have patience. There are so many things that can affect your IVF cycle and these would be some of them.
Treat yourself to something special. It’s important to do something for yourself during this time. It’s difficult and we could use all the positive we can get.
- Purchase a sugary treat
- Purchase an article of clothing that makes you feel beautiful
- Get a massage or facial
- Get a pedicure
- Go out to your favorite restaurant
- Go on a small weekend trip
- Order Carry-Out on a week day so you don’t have to make dinner
5. Surround Yourself with Positivity
Let me preface this by saying, you might run into a little negativity when you are making your “plan”, but after you have completed your plan, GET OFF THE INTERNET…meaning, stop googling why this happened to you. Google doesn’t know why this happened to you. This isn’t something you will find on the internet. Just be proactive about it by doing some more testing or things that will actually give you answers. Google is NOT your friend when it comes to this.
Watch some good, happy shows. Read some entertaining books. Be around people who make you laugh. Do whatever it takes to surround yourself with positivity and happiness
Welp, there you have it folks. These are the things that I personally did to help me cope with my miscarriages. It totally sucks, but if I can get through the heartbreak, you can too!