This first pregnancy taught me a lot of hard lessons. Doctors don’t always match your personality or needs and serious conflict means you need a new one. I’ve also learned to insist on tests and checking on things that a physician (aka authority figure in a white coat) may not agree with and may consider irrelevant. I’m still learning to truly not care at all what other people think.
I’m not blaming my doctor for losing my first pregnancy, but I certainly don’t applaud her lack of support or apathy. There may have been nothing that could have been done to prevent what happened, but there were missed opportunities to gather information for the next time. Although I posed proactive questions, she demurred and discouraged any action, insisting there was nothing to do but let nature take its course.
I later found out about certain small health issues that combined could have easily led to the miscarriage I ended up having. There were still many other possible reasons, but these health issues would later stand directly in the way of getting pregnant again. Knowing about them sooner would have saved me a lot of time and stress. Both had been just a blood test away. Thinking back now to the time wasted in listening to a physician who in retrospect clearly didn’t care and couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger leaves me a bit infuriated with myself. But of course, I also wanted to believe that everything would turn out just fine.
In the time since I’ve picked up on a ‘rule of three’. No doctor has actually claimed this as their rule, but so many mentioned the same thing it’s stood out as a guideline they may follow. I was told several times that it’s normal for a woman to have up to three miscarriages, after which it’s time to start investigating if some bigger reason is behind the problem. While I believe the number may be true, and the minimum may be necessary for health insurance companies to impose to control costs, I don’t think this guideline or rule (if it is indeed such a thing) can be equally applied to all women. A miscarriage or two in your 20’s is different than in your mid 30’s. When at the same time they tell you that your fertility is declining rapidly after 35 and your chances of birth defects and chromosomal disorders are skyrocketing, a miscarriage at 34 with no explanation is a bigger deal.
As a formerly relaxed and almost passive family planner, I found myself second-guessing and questioning every doctor I saw. Where they sure? What about xxx? I didn’t like the pessimistic feeling that no one had my best interests at heart, but I had no good reason to think otherwise. That ability to relax and trust what I was told was gone, as far as I was concerned, all of them only had half the story. And my patience was exhausted; I was suddenly hyper-aware of how much time I had left. My clock appeared to have been turned on for me against my will.
And again, nothing was happening.