Guilt... It's a nasty, 5-letter word, and one that most (if not all) of us are quite well acquainted with. I think that, when a child dies, a parent's guilt becomes amplified. What could I have done differently? It's my fault. I should have been able to save my child.
It's there. It's always there. I've had different incarnations of the guilt. At first there was the "had I not wanted children... had I not had fertility treatments... maybe my IC was the Universe's way of saying 'you arent meant to have kids' and that's why I hadnt gotten pregnant..." All sorts of thoughts. Those gave way to "had I not lifted that bag of groceries... had I not worked... had I not taken prenatal yoga..." Bobby and Maya's pregnancy changed that because I spent sixteen of the twenty five weeks they were gestating on my back, and I still had a fairly lousy pregnancy. So then the guilt wavered between the first round of "it's my fault because I wanted to have children" to "there's something wrong with me and my body failed them". And so on and so forth. Guilt, guilt, guilt. I'm pretty squared away on that particular emotion.
I've had some emails since my recent post, asking if I feel guilty for not having a TAC previously. To be honest, after our phone consult with Dr. Haney, I had some momentary guilt, but I can say now that, no, I dont have any guilt, with regards to not having a TAC previously.
I have accepted that Nicholas and Sophia were meant to only have a short time in my womb and arms before passing on to the Other Side. There are no diagnostic tools available to diagnose IC before a child is born too prematurely. From what can be seen, my cervix looks normal; there was never a reason to believe that it was problematic.
With Alexander, there is the thought of "what if". Unfortunately, the chances of having a TAC placed prior to his pregnancy are minimal. We would have done a Shirodkar; I wasnt a candidate for a TAC because I hadnt had a failed TVC. Because the general diagnostic tools available can't tell if you have true IC or if your cervix failed during a first pregnancy for another reason (for example, infection) AND because a TAC as well as the required C-Section births afterwards are surgical procedures, a TAC isnt routine. In retrospect, I can feel guilty for not demanding a TVC when Alexander's pregnancy began; perhaps that would have bought me more time, although I dont know how much. A TVC would have given me what I know now would have been a false sense of security. Since I still would have dilated, the chances are high that I would have delivered early. With Bobby and Maya, it was 17 weeks and then 20 weeks, with bedrest. Without the bedrest, I dont know what would have happened, but I can assume it would be similar, since I was a little over 16 weeks when I dilated with Alexander. I dont know that a TVC would have saved my little cuddlebug, but it might have bought me more time with him on the inside.
With Bobby and Maya... That's a hard one. A TAC over a TVC could have bought them more womb time... It could have prevented any sort of infection that led to an early delivery. Would there have been other problems? I dont know... I would prefer to not guess, if it would include an outcome different from the two bouncing, healthy babies (who are currently napping).
I miss Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander. I miss what could have been with P, D, Z, and G. But, a part of my guilt was displaced by peace long ago. I believe they chose us to be their parents. I believe that life doesnt begin or stop on this earth and that our mission (or whatever you want to call it) transcends time. Our souls are timeless. So time on this earth is just a drop in the bucket. Our lives impact the lives of those around us and those we love (and those who love us). They are still here, just not as we expected (or wanted). But a world without all of them? A world without raising Bobby and Maya? Not a world I would want either. So that guilt of what I most likely could not have prevented doesn't have a space (not when I have so many other things that inspire guilt!).