The paradox of hope and fear

September 1, 2009

Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on lovenox. I know that many of you brave women inject yourself regularly and I’m in complete awe. I sat with the shot for a good hour until Jack walked in and insisted on doing it. The pain of the needle going in isn’t horrible, it’s more this strange burning sensation once the medicine is inside. And the bruising! I look like someone kicked my stomach in. Still, I am grateful if it’ll help this one stick.

I feel funny today. I’m scared to call it nausea. It’s saliva and its constant and it makes me feel funny. I keep trying to attribute to something else, perhaps I didn’t drink enough water, or slept too little, or maybe its just the way the moon is orbiting. But maybe just maybe its a symptom of pregnancy. A real, live symptom, imagine that. I’m scared to imagine.

My friend said to me I’m not saying its related, but your negative attitude of not accepting congratulations, not wanting to talk about it, saying ‘if’ in terms of the viability of this pregnancy isn’t good. You could negatively affect the outcome. I hope that’s not true. I think its hard for someone who has not dealt with loss to understand my emotions. I don’t like talking about it. I try to find other causes for symptoms I might get. I’m not even signing up for ICLW next month because you have to submit three words to describe your blog and I can’t bring myself to write the P word. I mean, ICLW starts towards the end of September, I don’t know for certain where I will be come September! That probably sounds absolutely horrific, but its true.

BUT-  underneath the doubt, the fear, the anxiety, and the sadness, there is hope. It is a candle on low burning in the darkness. The flames are so small you could doubt its existence were it not for the quiet nights when I lie still and can feel its warmth radiate through my body.  So yes, I am afraid.  I’m deathly afraid. And yes, I don’t want to fucking talk about it because there’s something about hearing my voice travel the sound waves that amplifies this fear in my heart, but no, I’m not feeling hopeless. Why else would I have dared to try again? Each and every one of us IFers are living proof of this paradox. I may live in fear, but I float on hope.


  1. unless you are lying in bed all day every day sobbing i don’t think that your apprehension is going to affect the pregnancy. people who have not been through the things we have cannot even fathom the things we have to do in order to continue and stay sane. i also wasn’t comfortable talking about my pregnancy in the beginning, actually, i’m still getting used to talking about it as though it’s a real thing that’s happening, i’m four months in but still not 100% convinced that something isn’t going to go wrong. i can’t help it, i wish it wasn’t like this but i have to take the days one at a time and be thankful that i have gotten through another one and i am still pregnant, it’s like alcoholics anonymous.

    i haven’t done the lovenox shots so i don’t know what the needles are like, they sound a lot more brutal than the needles for the meds that i used, lupron, gonal f ovidrel, those needles were pretty harmless. it took me a long time to be able to give myself injections and i NEVER let my husband do it, it had to be me or someone who was trained to do it. one of the pharmacists i work with is certified to give injections so she did some for me, unfortunately she is only there twice a week so on the days she wasn’t working i had to drive to my dad’s house and have him (doctor) or my step-mom (respiratory therapist) do it, which combined with the driving took about an hour, total ass pain. finally one day i got sick of going to all the trouble and i gave myself an injection, i had to drive to my dad’s and have my step-mom watch me do it for moral support though! that was in the middle of my last cycle, so i didn’t end up having to give myself many injections, but every time i did i had to stand there for about five minutes holding the needle just above my stomach before i could work up the nerve to do it.

  2. I was on Lovenox a few months ago, and I did find that they got easier. Experiment with the cut-away part of the needle pointing up or down (don’t know why, but it seemed to make a difference.) Also, try playing around as much as you can with where on your belly you inject. I found that one spot might bruise and hurt like the devil, while a sweet spot only 1cm away would be almost pain-free.

    As far as the fear goes, I don’t know any way you would not be feeling fearful right now, and your friend isn’t making that any easier for you. You will be afraid, because you are human and because you have lost something precious and fear that sort of loss again. It’s not, however, going to doom this pregnancy if you’re apprehensive!

    None of which helps, I know. Just wanted you to know that I’m hoping right there with you, wanting the floatiness to continue. So much wanting it to continue. Thinking of you.

  3. I wish I could take all of that fear away – it really eats at me too. As for negativity affecting the pregnancy – bah – it is just not true. Fear is okay. Women who have not had miscarriages have fear. The more important thing is to make sure you have a safe place to vent your thoughts. Safe people who won’t poo poo your fears and make you feel bad for feeling that way. I have a friend like that and I just decided to quit confiding in her about my fears. I have other, safe people to confide in.

    As for the saliva – there is a technical term for that as a pregnancy symptom – it is a good, solid pregnancy symptom!!!

  4. Oh what the people who haven’t lost multiple babies will say, thinking that they are being helpful. Just my two pennies, here but… If your state of mind had a signifcant effect on the viability of pregnancy, this wouldn’t be your third pregnancy this year. You have to do whatever you can to protect yourself. If holding the pregnancy at arms length helps preserve your sanity, then it’s the right thing for you to do. If it helps you to attribute pregnancy symptoms to something else, because of the what if, then there’s nothing wrong with you doing that. If wanting it bad enough hasn’t had a positive effect, then protecting yourself from the very real possibility (which I truly hope is not realized this time) isn’t going to doom the pregnancy, either.

    The bruising is lovely, isn’t it. Your tummy will be a bruise rainbow within a couple of weeks. One thing I found that helped the sting (with Heparin, but they are very similar) was to get as small a pinch of skin/fat as possible (thin and tall pinch) and go straight in (rather than 45 degree angle). Like Susan pointed out, you’ll find your sweet spots and your never poke spots pretty quickly.

  5. Unless you have experienced loss, it is impossible to know the mix of joy and the mix of fear. The thinking “please baby stick” with all the positive thoughts you can muster and the “oh god, not another loss” that creeps into your mind in your darkest moments. While yes, I agree, you should focus all your positive thoughts on this little one, it would be remiss to say “dont think negative thoughts” when you cant really control that! Loss takes away your ability to not worry/think/obsess over losing another child.

    One day at a time. You will get there. Sending warm thoughts…

  6. just keep swimming, swimming, swimming it’s all you can do. Know that even when those negative thoughts creep in, there is an army of women send all the positive thoughts in the world to you.

  7. Please please please don’t think that any negative, sad or frightened emotions you may experience will have any implications on your sweet baby. Thoughts are powerful and real, but they do not cause miscarriages.

    Even though I have not been through losses such as yours, I completely understand the paradox of hope and fear. I wish I had the magic words to say that would make you think, “Oh, ok. I don’t have to worry now”…but I don’t.

    I think at this point, you have some great doctors on your side, and you’re doing everything in your power to make this pregnancy stick! And good for you for bravely taking your injections! I know that needle sticks are child’s play to some, but, to me, they’re intense and nerve-wracking! I’m proud of you. Like the others said, just keep experimenting with different techniques and locations, and I’m sure you’ll find a bearable combo.


  8. That’s such bullshit. I’m so sorry your friend said that to you. As if women who have known loss need one more thing to feel guilty about.

    My mom said something to me along the lines of thinking positive, claiming that it was “important for both of” us. I calmly informed her that I was not being un-positive, I was being realistic, and besides – was being overly “positive” going to reverse all the statistics and change the science and make me stop puking?! 🙂

    For what it’s worth – I think you’re doing marvelously. You are brave and strong and happy and scared!, and doing the very best you can.

  9. oh dear. that woman has no idea. i’m sorry you had to endure yet another insensitive, ignorant comment directed toward you doing or not doing something right…….as though we have the power to make our babies live based on the thoughts we have. i remember one blog comment i read one time that has stuck with me…….she said that if negative thoughts could cause a miscarriage, there would be no unwanted babies in the world, no teenage pregnancies that go to term, etc. i found this reality check to be so helpful for me b/c of the level of guilt i was carrying for each “negative” or “fearful” thought i had, just certain i was already the worst mother in the world.

    but it’s not true. we aren’t bad moms or moms who are causing our miscarriages—we are human moms…women who’ve suffered the pain of grief and loss, the desperate ache of broken dreams and yet remain standing with one foot on a shard of hope.

    you are brave to take the lovenox. and you are brave to have tried again. wishing you all the best, dear kate.


  10. I’m with everyone else, here– babies are made and kept in WAR for goodness sakes. So, you, my sweet Kate, you worry and wonder and hope to your heart’s content– none of that will harm your little one.

    And you are brave in every way-


  11. Thanks for all the advice and support everyone. Lilly, Kate, your points about babies born in war, and babies born to mothers who don’t want them, yhet still come into this world helps me realize that my stress or negativity is not going to affect the outcome. Thank you for the reassurances.

  12. Here from LCFA!

    I’m so where you are right now. I got my BFP 8/19 and am in this sort of ‘maybe pregnant’ type phase. I find that I want to start every blog post with “Well, I’m still pregnant”. I’ve never experienced a pregnancy loss, but having only two bfp’s in the 7 years cumulative we have dealt with IF, I’m just not ready to go buy baby booties and start pouring through name books yet.

    My friends keep tsk-tsking me about being ‘so negative’ too. They don’t get it. I HAVE to be like this…I have no choice.

    I wish you ALL the best with a healthy pregnancy. I think it will get easier as the pregnancy progresses (that’s what I’m telling myself). Feel free to come visit me and commiserate with me!


  13. I don’t think fear is necessarily negative – sometimes it keeps you safe. If you let it incapacitate you, then that’s probably not good for you. But, it sounds like you are trying to deal with your fears and carry on in the best way possible. I’m sorry your friend doesn’t get it, but I’m also glad that she hasn’t had the experiences that would give her the understanding.

    As far as the lovenox…I know I would have a hard time with an intramuscular shot, but the subcutaneous ones aren’t too bad. I took heparin, and I never even noticed the burning. The bruising is terrible though. Just keep finding different places to inject, and give the bruises time to heal.

    Good luck!

  14. Here from the blog roundup today. I know exactly what you mean in this post. When I was pregnant, I struggled with the fear until the day he was placed in my arms. As time goes on, the fear lessens and the flame of hope gets brighter and warmer.

    My hopes for a long and healthy pregnancy which ends with you holding your gorgeous son or daughter in your arms.


  15. no offense, but screw your friend! How dare she say that!

  16. Your friend is so totally wrong. You aren’t thinking negatively about the pregnancy. You are protecting your heart.

    As for lovenox, make it fun. If I get pregnant again, I’m going to use my lovenox bruises to draw something (maybe a smiley face).

    {{{Hugs}}} and good luck.

  17. Here from the Roundup..

    Your post made me tear up a little. Of course there’s hope, if there wasn’t hope, you’d not be so afraid.

    Your friend’s “advice” is not true. I mean it, don’t think another thing about it and just do what you can and what feels right. If that’s to tiptoe, then tiptoe. If that’s to feel like it’s ok, then feel like it’s ok. I spent THE ENTIRE pregnancy with my son checking for blood and saying “if.” We didn’t get him a crib even until the month before he was due (though we had a cosleeper from my (adopted) other child). I had maybe ONE WEEK around 10w where I didn’t check for blood and I was finally relaxing and then had a ton of blood (though things were ok) and the rest of the pg I checked EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I went from checking for blood because it would mean the end of him to checking for blood because it meant the end of the pg and labor. And you know what? It didn’t affect the outcome. He’s fine because he was going to be fine. WORRY can’t do that. Really. Really.

    Heck, my best friend found out her husband CHEATED on her, then came to live with us a while during her pg and HER KID is fine.

    I want to offer, too, this one thing….that it can be ok. Even if you think it can’t, if you can’t believe, or if you can only sort of believe but are so, so scared the whole time, it can be ok.

  18. Wow, that last paragraph gave me chills. Beautiful.

    This post is powerful, and so true. I still am struck by how oblivious people can be who have never had a loss, or saw firsthand it’s devastation. And how they fail to understand, or try to even, what these shoes feel like.

    Thinking of you during this scary hopeful time.

  19. Oh what a load of clap trap that is! If positive thoughts were necessary for a positive outcome none of my three kids would be here today. I was scared absolutely you know what-less every day in the first trimester when I was pregnant with my twins. After you have experienced a loss after years of infertility how can you NOT be scared? I didn’t experience any preganancy symptoms until the second trimester. I was a wreck…and they are fine. I absolutely love your words “floating on hope”. Long may you float 🙂

  20. The intermingling of hope and fear…you captured it perfectly. No one who hasn’t been through what we have can quite understand. I am so sorry to hear of your losses and wish you all the best…hope the Lovenox works its magic.

    Thinking of you.

  21. Oh sweetie. I’m sorry that you have to go through so much pain in your heart, your head and your belly. I don’t have any suggestions on Lovenox (what a terrible name) but hope you find some advice that eases your owwie.

    Your friend was WRONG WRONG WRONG. Protecting your heart is only human considering your difficult year. Feeling apprehensive does not cause miscarriage, neither does worry or sadness. If you friend tries that again, you put up your hand and tell her “No. I do not accept that. Please appreciate that this is a hard time for me. Your words imply that my feelings cause tragedy and they hurt me. It is not true. Just tell me you love me and give me a hug. That is what I need.”

    ((((big hugs and warm wishes)))))

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