October 15th is a special day. It is pregnancy/infant loss awareness month. Here is my (very long) story.
After a couple years of marriage my husband and I decided it was time to have a baby. I was completely clueless on everything but I read about conceiving and we went for it. Two weeks later, I was pregnant! I had heard stories and had friends who had such a hard time getting pregnant that I almost felt bad that it happened right away. I was one of the lucky ones. We went on to have a beautiful baby boy 9 months later.
After two years we decided to try for our 2nd baby. Knowing that it wouldn’t take us very long we waited until we were absolutely ready and planned a good time When the baby should be born. This time it took two months but I got pregnant. Again, we felt so lucky we were so fertile! Then it happened. About a week or two after my posivite pregnancy test I started bleeding. Obviously something was wrong but I was still oblivious to the fact that miscarriages could happen to me. Nobody talked about them so I figured they happened to such a small percent of women, which couldn’t be me. We went to the doctor and did some blood work and got that call the next day that rocked our world. Miscarriage #1. We were sad of course but knew we could try again and it would be fine so we moved on. After two more months I got pregnant with our second child. 9 months later we had a beautiful baby girl!
After about a year and a half we decided we wanted one more baby. We didn’t want them to be three years apart so we started trying sooner. Now once you have had one miscarriage it is always in your mind and I obsessed about it. Every month I would take tons of pregnancy tests. The first month came and we got a positive test! Before miscarriages, a positive means positive but after you have had a miscarriage it does not. I spent the next few days obsessing over if the line was getting darker or lighter and then the blood test confirmed that my numbers were going down. Miscarriage #2.
Again we were sad, but this happened before. We were ready to try again. So we did. After two months another positive test! This time the line on the test was definitely getting darker. Slight relief. We went to the doctor and got all my required blood work and results came back good! Two days later my numbers more than doubled. Even more relief! My husband’s parents were in town so we decided to tell them the good news. But the next day I didn’t feel right. I was cramping again so I took yet another test. The line was lighter and then later that day I started bleeding. I didn’t need the doctor to tell me this time. I knew what was going on. Miscarriage #3.
Up to this point all my miscarriages were technically called “chemical pregnancies” since they happened before we could hear the heartbeat. Sad but not as devastating as seeing your baby and then losing them. After recovering from miscarriage #3 we tried again. First month, positive test. A few days later positive blood tests and growing numbers. A week later still rising numbers! We were starting to get excited! At 8 weeks we went in for an ultrasound and there was a strong heartbeat! This was around Christmas so we told our families since it would be slightly obvious when I was not taking part in all the fun drinks. 😉 All was well for the next couple of weeks.
Then on the day we were driving back to Georgia from Ohio I had awful back pain. I mean terrible. I cried all the way home for 8 hours. Partly because of the pain and partly because I knew what was coming. We went in for the ultrasound and stared at a baby with no heartbeat. Miscarriage #4. Words can’t describe what we felt. Complete emptiness. I was in a fog when the doctor was explaining my options. I could wait for it to happen natural which could take a few weeks, take a pill or have the surgery. We opted for the surgery so we could put this behind us and move on.
Surgery day was so tough. Even though I knew the baby was not alive anymore it felt wrong to physically get rid of it with surgery. But I did it. And we moved on and recovered.
Almost the same story for the next month. Positive test, rising blood levels, heartbeat at the ultrasound. This time I had slight bleeding the whole time so the doctor decided to put me on progesterone pills. 8 week ultrasound came and we stared at a baby with no heartbeat. Again. Miscarriage #5. We couldn’t believe it. Again we had to choose our next step and went with surgery again.
At this point I was done. I couldn’t take it anymore. We had two beautiful children already. Maybe this was G-d’s way of telling us to stop. But my husband wanted to continue on. So together we decided to try one last time but this time my regular doctor recommended a fertility doc.
I went through dozens of tests and nothing seemed to be wrong with me. They couldn’t figure it out but gave me the go ahead to try again. Right away I got pregnant. I went in for the routine bloodwork and it wasn’t good. The nurse called and said my progesterone levels were too low to sustain a pregnancy. But they went ahead and put me on progesterone suppositories 😬 just to see.
Week after week we had a heartbeat and good numbers. At 12 weeks I had graduated from the fertility clinic and sent on my way! A few months later we had our 3rd baby!
It was a journey, but my journey had a happy ending. Not all journeys do. I have tons of friends that are still fighting this fight day in and day out. My heart goes out to all of them and everyone that is going through this. I didn’t tell anyone but really close friends and family. I wish I had talked to more people. I don’t know why I felt so ashamed. So if you have read this novel up to this point, thank you. And if you are one of those women who have gone through this or are experiencing this now just know that I am thinking of you. Every day. I am always here to chat if you need a person to talk to. I hope by telling my story I can help others open up about their struggles because it is very lonely to go through this struggle. Lots of love on this special day to all of you. 😘