The Eighteenth Loss

November 27, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

"Catharsis: the purification and purgation of emotions—particularly pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration." - Wikipedia

Two full moons later and five days before the third is 98 days or 3 months. My womb did not have a cycle for three long, silent months, but I am glad that the bloodshed is over - at least for now.

Unfortunately, the past few days have been difficult as I am just realizing the emotional pain of the eighteenth loss. 

For those of you who have not read about my battle with unexplained/secondary infertility, I have started to name menstrual cycles after stillbirth "losses." Each cycle is a "loss" and the score for me is still at a dead zero while - you guessed it - infertility is at eighteen.

(Related Read: Sixteen Losses)

My husband's birthday was on the eighteenth - funny how the numbers align - and it was on that night that I noticed this strange (WARNING: TMI) light brown discharge. I was lightly "spotting" and wasn't sure to make it an early sign of a period or pregnancy. 

The hopes toyed with me, knowing that when I found out I was pregnant with Elijah, I had a similar spotting that is termed "implantation bleeding." If it was a period, my pre-menstrual spotting are more likely to be streaks of pinkish-red. Since this spotting was nowhere near that color, I really thought this could be it - this could be the moment before finding out I am pregnant!

The spotting mixed in with 3 months with no period really got me thinking and my hopes high. Yet, I knew not to be so stupid since time and time again, my hopes were false. 

When I told my husband about the spotting, he automatically assumed implantation bleeding and touched my belly. With him seeming excited, I was more in fear that this could all be nothing different. But it was different... this spotting was different. I was also experiencing tender breasts for days prior to the spotting and each day my breasts felt sore, I was on edge, checking for streaks or marks on my underwear. I was feeling for any abdominal cramps or back pain - but nothing. 

Just these sore breasts and this odd spotting. 

That same night I found the spotting, I told my husband that I wanted to avoid sex to observe, to see if it would become heavier in time (because this happened so often, me thinking it's implantation bleeding when it's really not). I placed a liner in my underwear, only to worry about it and switched to a pad. 

My worries proved me right as I saw a load of blood the next morning. It was the heaviest flow I have had in awhile, probably because I skipped a cycle for three whole months. I then realized that could also be why the spotting was light brown instead of pinkish-red; it was "old blood" that hadn't left for months, which my body was now getting rid of. 

I went on with life like it was nothing and didn't cry about it. It just is, I told myself. And there was nothing I could do about it. It wasn't the right time to be pregnant anyway (it never is). 

Little did I know how much I was holding in. I was not allowing myself to release my anger, frustration, and emotional pain. I stayed quiet because I didn't want to cry, because I didn't want my husband to become tired of how pathetic and obsessive I have become over getting pregnant. Talking about it would bring back those tears my husband heard a month ago, when another test came back negative. 

(Related Read: 28 Months)

These past few days I have been waking and sleeping with dread and couldn't figure out why, not until today. I realized: 

I just suffered the eighteenth loss and need to grieve. I need to punch a wall. I need to kick rocks and throw stones. I need to scream and shout. I need to cry. 

I haven't been the best wife, the committed student, the loving daughter or sister, but I am grieving. I am at a loss, an eighteenth loss. 

There is that saying "Fall seven times, stand up eight." I am thinking of getting this tattooed, but instead of seven/eight, I want to write how many losses it took to finally hold my baby in my arms. 

I have fallen so many times... more than anyone would ever know. 

With love,
Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

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