Hmm, where to start.
I honestly really debated writing this post. We haven’t told many people and it’s obviously something very personal to us. However, I have tried to be as open and honest about our fertility struggles as I can and I feel like avoiding sharing the lows along with the highs would do the story no justice.
After going through IUI, IVF and really any fertility struggle a woman will often hear ‘My friend got pregnant on her own right after XYZ…‘ You can fill that in with any type of infertility you wish. I think it’s a way for people to put a positive spin on something unfortunate but can often serve as an annoying reminder of the uncertain future.
When people would mention this to me (all the time) I would often shudder at the thought of getting pregnant on my own. One, it had never happened—the first miscarriage was a result of IUI and two, I didn’t want it to. See, despite getting pregnant on our first round of IVF the struggle does something to you. I no longer trusted my body to do what I had always hoped it would and thought if it did ever happen, I would panic.
After having Zain, I like most women went quite some time without a cycle. I was breastfeeding so I’m sure that delayed it but shortly after I started pumping exclusively, it appeared. I had consulted with my doctor and decided to stay off any medical form of birth control. I didn’t want the added hormones and although my chances were very slim I knew there was a tiny possibility I could get pregnant, medically speaking. I hadn’t been paying much attention to my body since I was taking care of Zain and keeping busy with work but while we were at my parents house over Thanksgiving I mentioned to Trevor that I felt a little off. I didn’t know what that meant, I was just a little queasy. He asked if I thought I could be pregnant and I laughed out loud. I mean, no.
Since we were headed to a friends house the next day for cocktails Trevor thought I should take a test and I begrudgingly agreed. I mean I didn’t need to, I wasn’t pregnant. My cycle has always been regular but I had just started a cycle post baby so I didn’t exactly think it would be on time.
At 4:30am the next morning I woke up, quietly snuck into the bathroom and took the test. I left it sitting on the sink and got back in bed. I was really just taking it to appease Trevor. He must have woke up somewhere in between and got up to go to the bathroom (I hadn’t even woke him to tell him I was taking it because no big deal, right?)
He came walking back from the bathroom and placed it in front of me. I rubbed my eyes and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This couldn’t be.
In disbelief, we hugged and even cried a little. Were we anywhere near ‘ready’ to have another baby? No. Did we love Zain more than anything and thankful we wouldn’t have to go through a grueling fertility process to have another child? Yes.
After the shock and panic set in, we talked and reminded ourselves not to get too excited. We had been down this road before and with so much still up in the air I knew we still had a few hurdles. We decided to take it one step at a time and call the doctor first. In the past, I have been counting the days till I could test. This time, I was well past my missed period and they wanted me to come in as soon as I got back to Chicago.
I went in to have my blood drawn and Trevor and I fully expected them to call back and say it was a fluke and I wasn’t. I waited patiently for the call (having a child keep you busy during this waiting period makes it much easier than before…) and when she told me my HCG and progesterone were consistent with a healthy pregnancy, I couldn’t believe it.
We waited a little while and went in for my first doctor’s appointment. By this time when I was pregnant with Zain, I got to hear the heartbeat so I was excited for that and for Zain to be with me for that special moment. I laid back for the ultrasound and for some reason all of a sudden felt panicked and scared again. The doctor said ‘Wow, you are really early’
I knew something was wrong.
Since this was a natural conception, she said timing could just be off but I knew what was happening. My body was failing me again and I left the office stunned with tears streaming down my face. Again, I had to wait a week to return and confirm what I already knew. There was indeed no growth and no heartbeat.
Last time, I opted to try and miscarry at home since for some reason I always have ‘missed miscarriages’ but this time was different. I had Zain to take care of and couldn’t afford to be on the couch for days at a time.
My doctor was amazing and came in after her surgeries to do my procedure so I wasn’t left feeling like this over Christmas. Just like that, my pregnancy seemed to have come and gone in a flinch. The D&C was fairly easy but heartbreaking. Again, I had been let down and was now having to be put to sleep for a in patient procedure.
Of course the risks are low, but I now have Zain and felt so much anger and frustration that this had happened and was taking me away from him. Trevor did such a great job listening, encouraging and feeding me Sweet Mandy B’s cookies after the procedure but I would be lying if I didn’t say it’s been a slow healing process.
It’s certainly made me even more grateful for my sweet baby and family who provided so much support and love for us. As quickly as it came and went, it still hurt. A lot of times when women talk about their miscarriages I think it can be easy to gloss over or assume it get’s easier as time passes but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a loss that you feel in every part of your being and something I will forever carry with me.
I shared this experience not for sympathy or sadness but as a reminder that this stuff is hard, it never ends and fertility issues are a continuous battle. I still have tons of hope for our future and definitely make sure to squeeze that boy of mine so hard these days!