My not-so-brave new world

Oh my. I have a blog. Hmmm. It’s interesting that having one doesn’t necessarily mean you know what to say. I guess that is part of the journey.

If I can’t figure out what I’m going to say, I can tell you why I want to say it. I’m writing this blog because the life I used to know has ceased to exist and a new one is erecting itself before my eyes. I’m trying to make sense of this new world, and that takes more time and energy than I’d like to admit. Suddenly every conversation, every walk down the street, every glance out my window, every commercial break is fraught with possible assaults on my sanity. Suddenly the family oriented nature of our society, one that I previously cherished, is a point of contention for me. How do I navigate this new world? I guess the first question is, why do I have to?

Hello. My name is Esperanza and I’m trying to get pregnant. If I could wear that on my shirt it would save me a lot of heartache. Hello. My name is Esperanza and I’m trying to get pregnant. Stressing the trying is a must. I’ve been trying for a little while now. It feels like a long while, but how long I’ve been trying is really beside the point. Whether it qualifies for the label “long” or not depends on the person who’s reading this and their attitude inevitably depends on whether or not they are trying to get pregnant and for how long that has been the case. In my mind, I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time. So qualifiers aside, My name is Esperanza, and I’m trying to get pregnant.

Actually, I’m not just trying to get pregnant, as I at first thought. More accurately I’m trying to get and stay pregnant. You might not think the two would be mutually exclusive, but sometimes they are. I learned this lesson very poignantly. You see, I did get pregnant. After seven months of trying I got pregnant and then after two weeks of being pregnant I found out I was pregnant in the wrong place. It didn’t happen that neatly, but looking back you could say it that way. After an MVA (manual vacuum aspiration) determined there was no pregnancy tissue in my uterus, the suspicious spot on my left fallopian tube was deemed an ectopic pregnancy and I was given a shot of methotrexate (MTX) to “resolve” it. I went into the ED pregnant and 12 hours later I left with nothing to show for it but a bracelet on my wrist and a not unfounded fear that I could still lose my fallopian tube. In the following weeks I got my blood drawn time and again, waiting for my levels of hCG (the hormone that makes the pee stick show a +) go down to the acceptable levels of <2. When they finally did the whole experience was technically over. Except it will never be over. Not really.

Now I’m coming out on the other side of all that, on the side where it’s over and yet has just begun. As I reassess my situation, it’s been considerably longer than seven months from when I started trying (Its amazing the meaning that word has acquired in such a relatively short time). I have a much higher chance of having an ectopic pregnancy again (my original chances were a mere 1% and once you’ve been on the shit side of that statistic, percentages suddenly seem much less assuring). Finally, along with my first pregnancy, I lost the naïveté that I once had about the whole process.

Actually, to be honest, I’d be lying if I said I was naive before my ectopic pregnancy. I was already very fearful that things would go wrong. My mother’s reproductive story was an intense one, peppered unsparingly with disappointment and heartache. That story is for another posting, but its important to point out that I knew that something could go wrong, was fairly sure something would go wrong, and I still feel like I lost so much hope along with my pregnancy. I can only imagine how devastating it must be when someone doesn’t see it coming.

I had such irksome foresight not only because of my mother’s story, but also because of my predisposition for anxiety and depression. I’ve been treated for both, along with ADD, for the better part of my adult life. They are essential, if not exasperating, parts of who I am. This new world that I live in is rife with opportunities for both my depression and anxiety to thrive. I’m trying very, very hard to combat them naturally, to find new ways to think and feel about the uncertainty I now face. But I have to say, it is hard… so, so, so hard. And that is why I’m writing this blog. My hope is that through this undertaking I can put things into perspective; I can try a little harder to be mindful and accepting; I can share my story so that others might find some understanding and common ground.

The struggle to start a family is not something our society shares. We would, and do, share the start of our family with the world when the word struggle is not included; but when that word finds its way into the experience, suddenly we are shut down. I know there are thousands of women out there who are struggling to start their families and feel they have no where to turn. I am one of those women. I also know that within their ranks are hundreds more who have to make room for depression and anxiety in their story. I am also making room. My hope is that my story will some how help others to feel less alone in their struggle.

I promise to share all the ups and downs, the entirety of my struggle with whoever cares to listen. I also promise that the ups and downs will not spill over 1000 words as this introduction has. Thank you for sharing my experience with me. Welcome to my not-so-brave new world.

4 responses

  1. Hi there! I am here from the future via Time Warp Tuesday and love getting a glimpse of you back when you starting Stumbling Gracefully.

    As an aside, if I have never told you this before, I absolutely LOVE the name of your blog!

    As a fellow ectopic pregnancy survivor, I get the grief and loss that you were feeling when you wrote this. I also really appreciate the thoughts you shared and the intention you had in starting your blog.

    I think in the 2 1/2 years or so that have passed since you wrote this you have come a long way.

    Of course there are some obvious things, like what happened with the goal you were trying to get to here… She is absolutely adorable and the light of your life in 2012!

    But beyond that you have been very successful in connecting with and being able to support others who are also struggling with trying to get and stay pregnant. You are also a wonderful writer and blog commenter! I always look forward to reading your future posts here (since we *met* in 2011) and receiving comments on my blog from you.

    Now I am going to return to February 2012 to see what you have to say about revisiting and reflecting on this, your first blog entry! xoxo

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